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5: Beginner: Capos

John-Paul Gentile

13:44 · Acoustic Guitar

This week Jp teaches how to use a capo to not only transpose songs into new keys, but also how to use a capo to change the feel and tone of a song while keeping it's original key the same.

5: Beginner: Capos

John-Paul Gentile

A capo is not to be used as a crutch. You should still know what key you are playing in.

6th String notes:
  • Open string – E
  • Between E & F and B & C there are no sharps – look on a piano to see where the balck and white keys lie
  • 1st fret on E string is F
  • next is F sharp
  • Next is G
  • Then G sharp
  • 5th fret = A
  • then A sharp
  • 7th fret = B
  • next is C
  • then C sharp
  • D
  • D sharp
  • E (double dots on the fret board)
Dots on the fret board (6th string):
  • Open is E
  • 1st dot on 3rd fret is G
  • 2nd dot on the 5th fret is A
  • 3rd dot on the 7th fret is B
  • 9th fret, 4th dot is C sharp
  • then back to E

Double Dots means the scale is repeating itself – an octave

If you consistently practice, your muscle memory and ability to memorize these things will come extremely fast.

JP showcases a G7 capo. Put it pretty close to the fret so that when it bends the string it’s only slight, otherwise it will send the whole guitar out of tune.

4th fret using G formations. Open string E the G chord was 3 away from open. Once the capo is on you count 3 up from the capo, not the nut. G chord now becomes B (even thought you’re using the G formation), C becomes E etc

The minute you put the capo on you have to realize and assess where you are. You can use any formation you want, but you need to be able to communicate the actual note that’s on your guitar.

JP shows the C formations as well. C shape is now playing an E etc.

Disregard the space between your capo and the headstock.

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