#1
hey guys

im a beginner, almost a week learning so far, ive learned 6 chords and am practicing changing quickly, not learned any songs yet.

Ive been looking at some tabs that i wanted to learn and i see things like 'capo 5th fret' and then the chords i already know.

So what i was wondering is if i capo on the 5th fret do i just play the chords as if i was playing open chords? say a D with capo and 5th fret, so i play as if there was no capo? I know its to do with pitch shifting for vocals etc, but i was wondering how using a capo works with my chords when i see theres also like 7 positions to play every chord as well?
#2
With tabs they will tell you what chord to be played as if the capo was the nut of the guitar. So capo at 5th fret and D-chord means to just put the capo at the 5th fret and play a D chord like you'd normally play one.

You can look at something called the CAGED system to see how to play the same chord at a different fret.

So if you play an A chord in the open position, you can play one using a G-shape if you bar at the 2nd fret (place the capo at the second fret and play the G-chord formation and you will get an A chord).
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#3
Quote by rock.freak667
With tabs they will tell you what chord to be played as if the capo was the nut of the guitar. So capo at 5th fret and D-chord means to just put the capo at the 5th fret and play a D chord like you'd normally play one.

You can look at something called the CAGED system to see how to play the same chord at a different fret.

So if you play an A chord in the open position, you can play one using a G-shape if you bar at the 2nd fret (place the capo at the second fret and play the G-chord formation and you will get an A chord).


right so the capo basically replaces understanding and applying the CAGED system? for ease in sharing tabs and repitching? so really as a beginner all i need to know is open chords and find capo chord tabs to play anything else?
#4
Quote by InfernoUk
right so the capo basically replaces understanding and applying the CAGED system? for ease in sharing tabs and repitching? so really as a beginner all i need to know is open chords and find capo chord tabs to play anything else?


That is a basic understanding of it. As a beginner, you should try to learn the E-shaped bar chord and the A shaped bar chord. Even if you have a capo on, some songs might require you to play for an example an F chord or something similar.

If you didn't have the capo, and you played the chords as is then your song would just sound as if it were in a different key.
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#5
Quote by InfernoUk
right so the capo basically replaces understanding and applying the CAGED system? for ease in sharing tabs and repitching? so really as a beginner all i need to know is open chords and find capo chord tabs to play anything else?

No, the capo doesn't "replace" anything - using one simply shortens the scale of your guitar meaning the open strings are transposed. Just because a song uses a capo doesn't mean it'll exclusively use open chords.

Using a capo means you lose those lower open notes, and your new "open" notes will have a very different timbre to un capod or unfretted notes. There's two main reasons you'd choose to use a capo. Primarily its a stylistic choice, because you want the sound it gives you. Sticking a capo on shortens the ringing time of the open notes so in effect it "normalizes" the timbre of all your notes. You lose the option of a boomy low E for example, and the shortening of the note range gives a mandolin-type character to the sound, especially if the capo is fairly high up.

The second reason is it's a quick way to play a song in a different key on the fly, but again it's a compromise because you lose your open notes.

People make "capo chord tabs" for songs that were recorded with a capo, you won't find "capo" versions of songs that didn't use one just so you can avoid playing a barre chord.
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#6
Quote by steven seagull
No, the capo doesn't "replace" anything - using one simply shortens the scale of your guitar meaning the open strings are transposed. Just because a song uses a capo doesn't mean it'll exclusively use open chords.

Using a capo means you lose those lower open notes, and your new "open" notes will have a very different timbre to un capod or unfretted notes. There's two main reasons you'd choose to use a capo. Primarily its a stylistic choice, because you want the sound it gives you. Sticking a capo on shortens the ringing time of the open notes so in effect it "normalizes" the timbre of all your notes. You lose the option of a boomy low E for example, and the shortening of the note range gives a mandolin-type character to the sound, especially if the capo is fairly high up.

The second reason is it's a quick way to play a song in a different key on the fly, but again it's a compromise because you lose your open notes.

People make "capo chord tabs" for songs that were recorded with a capo, you won't find "capo" versions of songs that didn't use one just so you can avoid playing a barre chord.


right yea i understood it like that, so barre chords are the chords played in different positions?

I can see it hard for a beginner to remember all the positions up the neck of a barre chord for every chord!
#7
In all honesty it's not that hard as long as you just take a step back from it, you just need to learn the notes on your fretboard and that's only a sequence of 12. The whole point of barre chords is that you can use the same shape for every chord all the way up the neck, and you identify the chord from the root note on the lowest string - so if you play an E major shape barre chord at the 3rd fret, well that note is a G, so that makes it a G major chord.
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#8
Quote by steven seagull
In all honesty it's not that hard as long as you just take a step back from it, you just need to learn the notes on your fretboard and that's only a sequence of 12. The whole point of barre chords is that you can use the same shape for every chord all the way up the neck, and you identify the chord from the root note on the lowest string - so if you play an E major shape barre chord at the 3rd fret, well that note is a G, so that makes it a G major chord.


right i sort of get it. ill take a look for some youtube guides or something!
#9
The primary use for a capo is to accommodate the singer. Let's say I learned a song in "G". However, the person who's gonna sing the song doesn't sing in G.... Let's say she prefers B-flat.

B-flat is a very clumsy key to play normally... But if we apply the capo to the 3rd fret... Viola.. I can now play the song as I always do, using the "G" chords, but it will sound in B-flat.

There are other reasons. It's very common for folks with vintage instruments, or 12-strings, to tune the instrument down a step or so to protect a bit from the strain of full-tension strings.
So, when they want to play in "normal" tuning... Just apply the capo at the 2nd fret and you're in "concert" tuning.