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Capo Rhythm

by Sinisa Cekic

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  • Hi GMCers!

    Welcome to my new lesson about Capo!

    A capo is a clamp that you can use on different frets of the guitar to change the pitch of the open strings. Each fret on the guitar is a half step, therefore if you put a capo on the 1st fret, all of the open strings will sound a half step higher that normal. This makes changing the key of a song very easy.

    Why would you use a capo? Have you ever noticed that some songs are a little too high or a little too low for you to sing?
    Do you struggle to play songs with chords like Eb Ab and Bb?

    Capo certainly can help you with some of issues outlined above. Chord shape, and chord sound are a two basic ideas to understand.
    No matter what fret you have the capo on, when you play a G chord shape, in your mind you will always think of it as a G chord. This is a G chord shape. If you were to capo the guitar at the 2nd fret and play a G chord shape, then the chord sound would be that of an A chord.

    G major chord contains G,B and D note, practically, you can play it without the help of your left hand, simply snap G/B/and D strings together , and you will got G major, right? Now place the Capo on the second fret, on the position of A major chord, strum again the same strings together, and? You'll get A major chord!

    The next thing is that a capo is often used by singer/songwriters to play a song in a different key, but still be able to play the song using "open" chord formations that would normally only be possible lower on the neck.

    This is a great technique to use when playing with another guitarist because it allows you to voice your chords higher or lower than his guitar.

    First, you need to know something about your fretboard, at least the notes on the 6th string on the guitar. This will help you when you want to decide to change the key of a song and what key you want to transpose it to.

    Take a look:

    If you were playing an G Major bare chord :



    ..and put the capo on the 3rd fret (G tone), you could save your finger positions by fingering an E Major shape. Here's what it looks like :



    Of course, this is still a G major chord, but using only three fingers, played with open E major chord shape! Got it?

    So, do not let the pictures below videos confuse you, they just show the shape of chords to hold with the fretting hand.

    In this lesson Capodaster is on 7th fret (B tone).
    For example: E minor open chord (shown below) is actually a B minor chord, but with the help of Capodaster which is placed on 7th fret fingering is same as for E minor open chord. We can play same B minor with just a two fingers - like E minor!

    Let's start!

    Guitar : 7ender Squier telecaster

    Equipment : Sonar8 DAW, Guitar Rig5 plugin

    Tempo : 100 bpm

    Signature : 4/4

    Chord progression : D/Dsus4/C/G/

    Capo position : Capo has been placed on 7th fret!









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