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Capo

Beginners
btimm  
9 Apr 2010 23:09 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Okay, so I am trying to make this fun for my wife too, so I am learning some stuff she likes as I learn scales, chords, etc. I learned (don't laugh too hard guys) a Keith Urban song. In the song, he uses a capo on the first fret. I have one and use do it and it sounds fine, but my first question when learning was ... why?

It consists of primarily G, D, and A. Why would I not use a capo and just play those as open chords? I don't see the point, can someone help me understand why capos are used? I am clearly missing something here. Thanks!
btimm  
9 Apr 2010 23:10 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Nevermind, I get it now. lol
deadman2k666  
10 Apr 2010 09:14 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Canada
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capo's shift the key. since the capo is on the first fret every chord is moved up a half step. So yer really played G# D# and A#.
BodomBeachTerror  
10 Apr 2010 13:00 | Quote
Joined: 27 May 2008
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^yeah^
gx1327  
11 Apr 2010 02:31 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
hah, i am laughing, but DON'T LAUGH it's not a bad question...

the thing i LOVE about guitar is that you can play any... ugh, trying to form my thoughts into words. okay so learn a lick or a scale or a solo. and then just move up a fret, and play the same lick/scale/solo with the same relative finger positions... and you are playing the same thing, just in a different key. it's AWESOME. man, i love guitar...


i just recently learned weezer's "say it ain't so" which i recommend because it's easy, it requires a little dexterity, and it rocks. BUT, the song itself is played with the guitar tuned to open D#... in other words, every string is tuned down a half a step.

since i have two guitars, when i first learned it i tuned one of my guitars down a half step and played along with the mp3. but because it was not practical, i re-tuned to open-E and play the song the exact same way, just 1/2 step up in key.

of course i can't play along to the .mp3 anymore, BUT, if you play relative to yourself, you're completely fine.

another cool thing about the capo --- you can play chords like open C and open G which might be hard to barre otherwise.

BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTt

i actually am curious about something. so i am a fan of "tegan and sara", the canadian alt-rock band comprising of identical twin canadian sisters who are both lesbians. they rock and i just saw them live last week. they have a song which is pretty popular (on XM radio at least) called "hell". the rhythm is all 5th chords, it goes
1-3-3, x-4-6-6, x-6-8-8 for the verse. BUT, tegan uses a capo on the first fret for this song....

wwww..... why???? i don't get it?

the chorus is 2-4-4, x-4-4-6, 4-4-6, 6-6-8. that's all she plays. why capo the first fret? i would love to ask her but i would probably try to convince her to go straight and make out with me if i ever had a private audience with her...
gx1327  
11 Apr 2010 02:57 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
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live video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0JMvqpn0NI

tegan has a capo on the 1st fret, i still don't know what the purpose of it is.... p.s. the quinn sisters exclusively play gretsch guitars, and i can't lie, every time i watch a video by them it really really really makes me want to buy an elcromatic corvette...
Mici  
11 Apr 2010 06:20 | Quote
Joined: way back
Kosovo
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gx1327 says:
with the guitar tuned to open D#... in other words, every string is tuned down a half a step.

If you tune all your strings down one half step from the standard tuning it's called DROP D#, not OPEN D#. It would be an open D# if the chord you were playing with all open strings (that is no fretted strings) would be an open D#. The same goes for all the other notes and open tunings.

gx1327 says:
i re-tuned to open-E


Same here, it's not open E.
This is how you tune your guitar to open E:

e| same
B| same
G#| half step higher
E| whole step higher
B| whole step higher
E| same


As for your question, the only explanations I can think of are:

She might have needed the capo for a song she previously played on that show but she didn't have to remove it because apparently on this song no chords involving open strings are used;
Her guitar was tuned in drop D# so she had to use the capo to be able to play the way she would have if her guitar would be tuned normally.

I'd go with the first one, though.
deadman2k666  
11 Apr 2010 16:44 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Canada
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andd mici yer wrong aswell! it would be Eb standard or D# Standard not drop D#. generally Drop x means yer E string is dropped to such note
deadman2k666  
11 Apr 2010 16:45 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Canada
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and i would argue its somethin to do with the chorus. however i have never heard the song, so i couldnt tell you
deadman2k666  
11 Apr 2010 16:48 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
Canada
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and she plays a couple of open chords, after watching the video i noticed that, they just arent typical open chords
Mici  
12 Apr 2010 10:08 | Quote
Joined: way back
Kosovo
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deadman2k666 says:
andd mici yer wrong as well! it would be Eb standard or D# Standard not drop D#. generally Drop x means yer E string is dropped to such note

Yes, you're right. Never mind my post until I correct it. I don't know what it's called but it's definitely not drop [anything]. Sorry about that.

Don't want to turn this into a fight or anything like that but what you said about drop x tunings is not very true. See, it doesn't only depend on the E string. It basically means that the lowest pitched string is tuned tuned 7 half steps lower than the next string. For example Drop D♭would be like this:
E♭
B♭
G♭
D♭
A♭
D♭
I hope I didn't get anything wrong this time.
deadman2k666  
12 Apr 2010 16:28 | Quote
Joined: 21 Sep 2009
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he;s talking about eb standard,
btimm  
12 Apr 2010 21:01 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Yeah, I realized how ridiculous the post was as soon as I typed it, I just had a brain fart. I wish you could delete your own posts! hehehe Thanks for the comments though everyone.

And gx, I am learning "Say it Ain't So", it's no so easy for me yet though, hehehe. But it is good practice for things and it is teaching me things I need to learn.

Also, you should definitely check out the cover of the song by the Deftones, which is sick.
Mici  
13 Apr 2010 06:56 | Quote
Joined: way back
Kosovo
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Nah, it's probably better not to delete it cause sooner or later somebody else is gonna come up with the question and now they have so many answers waiting for them. ;)
btimm  
13 Apr 2010 07:29 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Good point Mici.
gx1327  
17 Apr 2010 00:18 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
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re: the tegan and sara song --- no, she ALWAYS plays the song with a capo. recorded, live, whatever. doesn't matter what song comes first. and as for the song itself, all of the chords are 5th chords about the low E and A strings --- nothing complicated. i just think it's so odd that she would leave it there. they move the capo all around throughout their set. one song it's set aside clamped to the headstock, the next song its at the 3rd, back to the head, back to the 1st fret, back to....

unless she is playing an "open" chord in the video that i'm missing.

deftones really covered "say it ain't so?" HAHAHAHA this i've got to hear...
adelaideguitar  
17 Apr 2010 04:30 | Quote
Joined: 14 Apr 2010
Australia
Karma: 3
>> i am a fan of "tegan and sara", the canadian alt-rock band comprising of identical twin canadian sisters who are both lesbians

Um, Wow. Thats a selling record jacket if ever Ive heard one.

On the topic of capos. A capo on the first fret does make the strings lower and they are playing more than 5 chords on the song "hell".

Looks and sounds like a lot of sus2 chords.

So, the question is, why use a capo over tuning up? I think they just do it for personal taste. A half tone shift can effect the sound of a song, and vocalists are very keen on having the pitch just right.

That said. I did this for years. I would tune down to D and then use a capo for E and E flat songs, since bass players tend to learn songs in the recorded key, regardless of what the guitar is tuned too.

Who knows. But lesbians twin sisters rock. Kinda. I guess they pull a lot of lesbian fans and dudes that arn't quite clued in.

Hey, in Australia we have the The Veronicas! ha.

I see a market for a twin brother *** band. Or, was that Bros?
adelaideguitar  
17 Apr 2010 04:32 | Quote
Joined: 14 Apr 2010
Australia
Karma: 3
o my god! the word g a y is censored but lesbian isn't!
KicknGuitar  
17 Apr 2010 10:13 | Quote
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Lessons: 6
Karma: 1
what a bunch of fagalahs.
On another note, if gy is censored why isn't straight?
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