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Capos

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(@dazed_and_confused)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

This is not meant to take away the musician ship of Alan Jackson or any other country Singer but....
Last Night i attended An Alan Jackson concert and i Noticed though he was playing what appeared to be Rhythm guitar, he was using a capo so he could affectively play all his chord "open" is this a common technique of Singing Rhythm playing guitarists to free up the mind in-order to focus more on the vocals?

Alan Jackson was great... His backing band, The Strayhands {I belive} were amazing too.

American by birth, Texan by GRACE OF GOD

There are two kinds of people in this world... THose who live in Texas and those who wish they lived in Texas.


   
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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

I'm not sure what you mean. The capo just changes the pitch, not the chord shapes. Altered (open) tuning does that.


   
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(@doc-gliss)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 34
 

Dazed_and_Confused, while many people use capos to avoid having to play awkward chords like Ab and Eb, different chord shapes can have different voicings and different tones from others, so a capo is often used to facilitate certain chord shapes for this reason. Example: The first four chords of "Jesus Take the Wheel" are something like D2, A/C#, Bm, A. But if you use a capo on the second fret, the chord shapes you play are C2, G/B, Am, G. The sound is much more open and flowing and lends itself to much smoother strumming and chord changes. Try playing it both ways and see which one sounds better to you.

Another way capos can be used is to change the voicing of a chord. Example: The acoustic guitar intro to "Good Day for the Blues" is played with a capo on the fifth fret and the open chord shapes G, C, D, and Em. The sound is fairly high-pitched and trebly, almost like a mandolin. The actual chords are C, F, G, and Am, which is what you'd play without a capo. Once again, try playing those four chords both ways and listen to how different they sound.

Cheers!

If the dude woke up this mornin', he's playin'.


   
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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

+1 for Doc Gliss' right-on-target explanation.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@ballybiker)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 493
 

+1 for Doc Gliss' right-on-target explanation.

make that +2

too often the capo is seen as a cheat....it is the guitarist's friend and should get a better press IMO

what did the drummer get on his I.Q. test?....

Drool

http://www.myspace.com/ballybiker


   
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(@jminor)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 168
 

too often the capo is seen as a cheat....it is the guitarist's friend and should get a better press IMO
I agree.. When i first started using a capo i felt like i was cheating somehow. But as long as you don't rely on it (ie. know and be able to play the same chords without the capo) it's just another tool at your disposal.

practice tip.... put the capo on a random fret and play a song you know (still in the correct key).. You transposition skills get a workout. This used to take me ages for each song but it gets easier with practice.

Insert random quote here


   
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(@gchord)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 151
 

+1 for Doc Gliss' right-on-target explanation.

make that +2

too often the capo is seen as a cheat....it is the guitarist's friend and should get a better press IMO

I used to think that the capo was a cheater gizzmo. Then I seen where a really great guitarist using one to rase the pitch.It changed my mind about them. Good definations on what a capo can do.


   
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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

But again, most experienced guitarists are not using it merely to change key, as they will be able to play some inversion of nearly any chord without. Most often, they use the capo to change the open string nature of the guitar. This creates almost (this may be poor wording) a "modal" feeling for the particular chords/key of a song, as these certain open string notes appear frequently throughout. On the open strings it is more easily possible to have them produce a certain "backgound' feeling for the tune, ringing out across chord changes and frequently being a part of some particularly tasty or poignant intervals.

Not just for strumming, the capo also is important in fingerstyle and classical pieces where the availability of certain notes in the open strings is intrinsic to attaining voicings, harmonies and even the fundamental playability of those voicings and harmonies.

Using a capo is not so different from picking an alternate tuning. Both often are done for the same reasons.

-=tension & release=-


   
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