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Questions About Guitar Capos

guitar capo
Acoustic & electric guitar capo

What does a guitar capo do?” “How to use a guitar capo?” These are common questions about guitar capos. To learn how to use a guitar capo, we must learn what a capo is and how it works.

So What is a Capo?

A capo, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is “a movable bar attached to the fingerboard of a fretted instrument to uniformly raise the pitch of all the strings.”

What Does a Guitar Capo Do?

This is by far one of the most common questions about guitar capos. Simply put, a capo works like playing a bar chord. If the strings are clamped on a certain fret, the open notes now become the notes that are barred by the capo.

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Each guitar fret is a half step. Standard tuning is E,A,D,G,B,E, and if the guitar is capoed on the second fret, those open notes now go up a whole step and become F#,B,E,A,C#,F#. The most common use of a capo is to play in a different key but with chords that are more familiar to the player. For instance a beginner or intermediate guitarist might need to play something in the key of A, but they might only be able to play the chord structures for the key of G.

If this is the case, they can capo the guitar on the second fret, which is a whole step up, and play the key of G chord shapes, and there you go, it becomes the key of A.

What Are Some Other Reasons to Use a Capo?

Some players with small hands really take advantage of using a capo because they may struggle with some bar chords or other chord shapes. Also the chord shapes get smaller as the spacing between the frets get smaller moving up the neck. Another common reason for using a capo is if your band has two guitarists.

Using a capo when you have more than one guitar player may bring a new dynamic to the song. As long as both guitars are still in the same key, doing this helps the guitars not to clash. If you want to get a really bright sound out of the guitar, you can capo really high on the fretboard and make the guitar sound more like a mandolin.

Capos are also widely used when playing guitar with wind instruments. Wind musicians like to play songs in keys that are more difficult to play on guitar. Using a capo can make these guitarists lives much easier.

Here’s 3 steps to using and applying a capo.

1. Tune your guitar right before you apply the capo. Sometimes putting a capo on and then taking it off a few times will cause your guitar to go out of tune since it may be slightly bending the strings. It is a good idea to check the tuning before you apply the capo and after you take it off. Chances are that you will be fine, but it is always good to be sure.

2. Applying the capo is easy but it is important to take a few things into consideration.

Put the capo directly in from of the fret you wish to apply it to. I have seen people put the capo in the middle of two frets; this is incorrect as it will change the pitch of the strings. You want to get as close to the fret as possible without it being directly on the fret itself. You also want to makes sure the capo is straight up and down.

3. Now that the capo is in the place you want, you can enjoy the benefits of using a capo. Experiment with different keys and chord structures, and become familiar with transposing keys so that you can use the capo to its fullest potential. Once you are done playing guitar, always remember to take off the capo because leaving it on all the time can add extra tension to the guitar neck and cause problems in the future.

Guide To Buying An Acoustic Guitar

Buying an Acoustic Guitar – Considerations

acoustic guitarMusic is something that most of us cannot live without. It has become such an integral part of our lives that we have become spoiled for choice when it comes to pleasing our ears. But among the endless cornucopia of sounds, melodies and instruments stands the Acoustic Guitar.

The Guitar is probably the most played and most used instrument of all time. This is mainly due to its affordability and ease of use. Many people adore it and if you’re one of them then you might have thought of picking a Guitar yourself. If so, read on!

• Like all major purchases in life, the biggest factor is price. Many people like going for cheap things only to realize that they were duped. It is therefore of great importance that when you want to purchase a guitar, compare prices with a wide range of models and prices. A good quality guitar is one that has a strong body and overall integrity.

• The strings should be of high quality. Low quality strings wear out easily and do not last long. You might be thinking “I can always replace them, so why does it matter?” Well, in the long run it’s going to cost more to perpetually replace the strings than if you were to have high quality ones in the first place.

• One should also make sure that the tuning pegs of high quality. This is because some types are weak and end up breaking easily. This may also be expensive as you have to go back to the shop to buy new tuning pegs.

• In this day and age, branding is of utmost importance. Always check out the company behind the Guitar. Companies usually have different styles and philosophies when it comes to instrument making. So be sure to do a little research about the company before you decide. My personal recommendation is Fender or Gibson. They’re two of the best companies out there that constantly produce quality guitars.

• The durability of the guitar should also be put into consideration. Some guitars can last for decades while some barely make it in the first year.

• Size of a guitar also matters when buying it. Acoustic guitars come in various shapes and sizes. Your own body size will be a big factor in this, be sure to feel physically comfortable with what you’re buying.

• The case of the guitar should also be considered as it’ll be needed for storage and transport. Poor storage will take precious years away from your Guitar, so ensure that the case is of good quality.

• Also, ensure that the manufacturer provides a decent warranty for your guitar. It’s a pain to have to give up the whole thing when some small part breaks down.

• Most importantly, you’ve got to feel for the guitar that you’re buying. I know it sounds cheesy but a guitar is a very personal thing and it’ll be with you for a long time, so make sure you feel some sort of connection with it before the big purchase.

I recommend guitarmusician.com as a great place to shop online.  You can browse the different brands, types and styles that suit your musical taste and ability.

Guide To Buying An Acoustic Guitar

Buying an Acoustic Guitar – Considerations

acoustic guitarMusic is something that most of us cannot live without. It has become such an integral part of our lives that we have become spoiled for choice when it comes to pleasing our ears. But among the endless cornucopia of sounds, melodies and instruments stands the Acoustic Guitar.

The Guitar is probably the most played and most used instrument of all time. This is mainly due to its affordability and ease of use. Many people adore it and if you’re one of them then you might have thought of picking a Guitar yourself. If so, read on!

• Like all major purchases in life, the biggest factor is price. Many people like going for cheap things only to realize that they were duped. It is therefore of great importance that when you want to purchase a guitar, compare prices with a wide range of models and prices. A good quality guitar is one that has a strong body and overall integrity.

• The strings should be of high quality. Low quality strings wear out easily and do not last long. You might be thinking “I can always replace them, so why does it matter?” Well, in the long run it’s going to cost more to perpetually replace the strings than if you were to have high quality ones in the first place.

• One should also make sure that the tuning pegs of high quality. This is because some types are weak and end up breaking easily. This may also be expensive as you have to go back to the shop to buy new tuning pegs.

• In this day and age, branding is of utmost importance. Always check out the company behind the Guitar. Companies usually have different styles and philosophies when it comes to instrument making. So be sure to do a little research about the company before you decide. My personal recommendation is Fender or Gibson. They’re two of the best companies out there that constantly produce quality guitars.

• The durability of the guitar should also be put into consideration. Some guitars can last for decades while some barely make it in the first year.

• Size of a guitar also matters when buying it. Acoustic guitars come in various shapes and sizes. Your own body size will be a big factor in this, be sure to feel physically comfortable with what you’re buying.

• The case of the guitar should also be considered as it’ll be needed for storage and transport. Poor storage will take precious years away from your Guitar, so ensure that the case is of good quality.

• Also, ensure that the manufacturer provides a decent warranty for your guitar. It’s a pain to have to give up the whole thing when some small part breaks down.

• Most importantly, you’ve got to feel for the guitar that you’re buying. I know it sounds cheesy but a guitar is a very personal thing and it’ll be with you for a long time, so make sure you feel some sort of connection with it before the big purchase.

I recommend guitarmusician.com as a great place to shop online.  You can browse the different brands, types and styles that suit your musical taste and ability.