#1
Ok so here's a tab that I've been playing
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/o/oasis/wonderwall_ver4_tab.htm

I just noted that it asks for a capo on the second fret. However, this doesn't make sense to me for two reasons.

First, the song sounds right to me when I play the tab without the capo.

Second, the tab calls for playing open strings? If that means play open with the capo on, then why do they ask you to hold the second fret in some spots if a capo would be on anyway?

I'm probably missing something obvious here. I'd almost rather play the song without the capo at all.
#2
I've played this song, and the second fret just means the second fret starting from the capo (Which is how most capo tabs work anyway)
#3
the capo acts as a nut
so an open string with a capo on would actually be the fret where the capo is placed.
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#4
What ^ he said. And human brains.

Human brains, funny thing, that. It makes me go poetic right now for no reason. Anyway, it's got to do with how yer brain analyzes 'dem sounds. The intervals are what matters most, not the pitch of the sound. So it might sound right if you play it without capo, but it's supposed to be played with a capo. Don't use a capo if you don't want, but you'll be playing it "wrong" (whether or not that matters is up to you).
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#5
I def don't want to play it wrong. thanks for the explanation.

i'll pick up a capo tomorrow from the music store.

so i guess what I was doing was playing the song in a lower pitch
#6
Haha, somehow I knew the tab was gonna be Wonderwall before I even clicked on it.

Anyway, it's worth the money/time to pick up a capo. I wouldn't say you're playing it "wrong" without a capo. What you're doing is playing it in a different key. I don't know how much you know about theory, but basically it'll sound 100% correct by itself without a capo. But if you try to play along with the song, it'll sound terrible.

The capo acts like an automatic barre chord (or a nut), so when you play an "open" string with a capo on 2, you're actually playing the 2nd fret. Since each fret is a half-step, when you put a capo on 2, you're actually playing the chords a whole step higher than without the capo. The Em is actually an F#m, the G is actually an A, the D is an E, and the A is a B. Again, I don't know how much you know about theory, but basically what I'm saying is your playing a totally different chord when you have the capo on.

A capo is going to be really useful for singing or if you're in a band. A capo allows you to instantly switch keys, which can make singing more comfortable or make it easier for the band to jam along with it. Just because a song says to use a capo doesn't mean you have to. If you want to play along with the original song, then use a capo. But it's important for you and your band to find the key where you are most comfortable playing/singing in. Even if you don't have a band, a capo is a small investment that will last you for years, and trust me, you will use it.

Here's a quick example to show you the same song played with and without a capo. It's called There She Goes, you may recognize it.

Original Song - The La's (no capo): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhgw0ZOBg3A
Cover Song - Sixpence None the Richer (capo 3): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxThvhtoqG8

The second version uses a capo on 3 to accommodate the slightly higher female voice.

Okay, sorry if that was a little long-winded. I just think it's important to understand why you're using a capo. Good luck man!
Last edited by shortyafter at Nov 13, 2007,
#7
thanks. that's useful info.

I know some about music theory, as my best friend got me started on the guitar (the fret being a half step and stuff) but not too much.

I figured that capo's were good for songs to help for barre chords but I never considered using them to change key. Now I know