#1
Hey man.

I've tuned my guitar down to C#, as I feel that my voice sounds WAY better when I'm playing guitar and singing at the same time. If I try to sing, with my guitar tuned to Standard, I'm having a really hard time singing in Key. But as soon as I capo up, 3-4 frets, I can "easily" sing in tune. Why is that?
#2
Well first, because capoing up, can have the same net effect as capoing down.

Assume a song in in E major, I, IV, V chords are E, A, B.

Now put the capo on the 4th fret and play the same chords. What you have now are Ab, Db, & Eb.

So is the key of Ab higher than the key of E? Well, the capo would lead you to believe it is BUT....., depending on the octave you're singing at, it could be a b5th lower!

In E major, the tonic note is obviously E. In Ab the tonic note is obviously Ab.


But which Ab are you singing as the root tonic? G, Ab2 ,A, B, C, D, E, F, G, Ab3, A, B, C4 (middle C), D, E, F, G,Ab4

My best guess is, although you're moving the capo up the neck, you're dropping the sung octave down.

Many, many popular songs are written with the guitar played open, but have melody ranges most suitable for tenors. Thus, to accommodate a baritone, you have to do what you've already learned to do, either tune down, or capo up.

Ah, it's all right, just pick up on a lot of songs by Dire Straits. Mark Knopfler is a baritone who uses a capo quite a bit.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 22, 2016,
#3
Are you confusing keys with tunings? You can play in any key in any tuning. What can you not sing along to when playing in E standard?
#4
Quote by derek8520
Are you confusing keys with tunings? You can play in any key in any tuning. What can you not sing along to when playing in E standard?
I don't think he is, but? It sounds like he's a baritone trying to sing songs keyed too high for him. Like I said, you can capo up, and drop the key at the same time, depending at which octave you center the melody.

I'm pretty sure he doesn't know the theory behind what he's doing, just that it works. Hence the confusion.

As far as drop tuning the guitar goes, that would drop the key, and maintain the chord shapes.

Which works the same as using the same chord shapes, capoing up, and dropping the singing octave. No?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 22, 2016,
#5


Clarify please? Are you putting a capo on 3rd fret in standard or C#?
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you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#6
Quote by NeoMvsEu
....[ ].....Clarify please? Are you putting a capo on 3rd fret in standard or C#?
Well, a capo on the 4th fret, assuming C# standard tuning and the shapes for E major, would place you in the key of F. However, going up from E standard would put you in Ab

I shouldn't speak for the TS, but my best semi-educated guess is that he's capoing up from E-e standard tuning. That would have a similar effect to down-tuning to C#. Save for the fact that the notes for the melody contained in the chord shapes, would now be an octave above where they would be in C# standard tuning, and the vocal part would be an octave below them.

3 semitones down versus 4 semitones up is an offset of a perfect 5th. In fact, the melody line would be a tad lower with the guitar capoed up, as it would be tuned down to C#

I hope that makes sense.

Guitar music sounds an octave lower than it is written. But, a soprano sings the melody at the octave it's written. A baritone would sing at the octave the music is written for guitar, an octave below her! In that scenario, she would be singing C5, as the baritone would be singing C4 (middle C), yet both read the notes off the music at the same point in the staff.

You could have fun with this yourself. Just find a reasonably average female singer, (mezzo soprano or soprano), and sing along with the record, an octave below her. You'll both be singing the same note, simply an octave lower.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 23, 2016,
#7
Quote by derek8520
Are you confusing keys with tunings? You can play in any key in any tuning. What can you not sing along to when playing in E standard?

Exactly. The tuning doesn't define the key. If you are having a trouble with singing a song, just transpose it to another key.
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#8
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Exactly. The tuning doesn't define the key. If you are having a trouble with singing a song, just transpose it to another key.
Isn't that exactly what the OP suggests he is doing?

I can't come up with any plausible way of suggesting or interpreting the TS, "can't sing in the key of E". But the idea of capoing up, or tuning down, suggests he is tailoring the key of the song to fit his vocal range.

I don't have much high end in my vocal range, and I do exactly what I explained above, sing an octave below the soprano women, and re-key to deal with tenors and contraltos.

I mean really, if I'm using E shapes in E standard, I'm in the key of E. If I tune down to C#, then I'm in C# (actually Db ennharmonically). And again, I'm if playing with E shapes in E standard and capo up to the 4th fret, then the key would be Ab. Now, if I sing an octave down in Ab, I'm a 4th BELOW Db.

That what I got out of the OP. Our TS doesn't know theory well enough to explain what he's learned, "intuitively", or if you prefer, "by ear".

I certainly give Gingerlocks enough credit to know the difference between "E standard", (the tuning), and "E major", (the key). (*)

(*) Should I though? I suppose at some point we'll find out.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 23, 2016,
#11
Hey Gingerlocks,

I've got a feeling its because your voice range is beyond that and therefore not able to sing in key. What you can do is to find your vocal range first and then choose songs from then on so you wont need to transpose down/re tune your guitar. you can try this to find your vocal range: . You can check my website http://superiorsingingsuccess.weebly.com/blog/how-to-sing-better-instantly-4-singing-tips for more tips if you want!
Last edited by davidlwl94 at Jun 29, 2016,