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Using The Capo

You may have run across sheet music which talks about something called the Capo. This lesson will briefly discuss the capo, and how it is used. 



This is a picture of a Kyser Capo  on the guitar neck. We see an             example of a "Capo 3".

A capo literally clamps onto the guitar neck and acts as a                   moveable nut on your guitar. This particular capo is called the                   Quick Change, for obvious reasons.

There are many types of Capos, but Kyser makes the best. If you           purchase a Kyser, it will probably be the last Capo you'll ever buy.




The Capo acts as a barre.  When we do a "Capo 3rd", we are barring the 3rd frets, and can therefore play a G Major Barre chord simply by fingering an E Major chord.

Normal - G Major Barre Chord

Capo 3rd -  G Major Barre Chord



The first chord is a normal G Major Barre chord. The second chord shows how a G Major Barre chord is played with a Capo on the 3rd. It looks like an E major chord, but if you listen to it, its definitely G Major.

Here is a simple capo chord chart. The 'No Capo' column refers to the original chord. 'Capo 1' means a Capo is placed on the first fret, and so on. The chords in each column tell you what the original chord will now be, with a capo on that particular location.

No Capo Capo 1 Capo 2 Capo 3 Capo 4
A Bb B C C#/Db
Am Bbm Bm Cm C#m
B C C#/Db D Eb
Bm Cm C#m Dm Ebm
C Db D Eb E
D Eb E F F#
Dm Ebm Em Fm F#m
E F F# G Ab
Em Fm F#m Gm Abm
F F# G Ab A
G Ab A Bb B

For example, we saw above how the E chord played with a Capo on the 3rd fret is actually a G Major chord. If we look at E in the 'No Capo' column, and follow it to the 'Capo 3' column, we see that it is indeed a G chord.  


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