How To Use a Capo

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Hi, I'm Caren Armstrong, and this is a lesson on how to use a capo.

This is a free preview lesson of what you get with a Full Access membership with Guitar Tricks. If you enjoy this preview lesson and want to learn even more, click the yellow button on this page to try Full Access, which includes thousands of lessons and more about today's subject, the capo.

The capo is a tool that allows you to play in ANY key using familiar chord shapes you probably already know!

Pronunciation: cAY-Poe or cah-poe.

Place the capo evenly across strings parallel and within .5" of fret bar, secure it with your right hand and apply correct tension.

With a capo, you can:

Change keys while still playing familiar open position chords. This makes a song easier to play & easier to sing.

You can create new, or more, voicing options because the capo can help make your music more interesting by playing in different keys.

Say you like to sing in the key of G, but you want your song to have a more bluesy feel. Capo 3 and play out of the key of E and voila! You are still in G, but now you are working with a different set of chords and your song has a sonically different vibe.

Maybe you are jamming with a pal, instead of playing the same chords in the same register, create harmonic variation by using your capo. For example, say the song is in the key of G. player one stays down in the normal G position, player two uses a capo on the 5th fret and plays out of the key of D. check it out, both create a G chord, but the voicings will be different and nicely distinguishable. For added interest, one player strums, the other fingerpicks. Super easy to get super cool sound, and the variations are endless.

That concludes this free preview lesson on using a capo!

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Caren Armstrong
Instructor Caren Armstrong
How To Use a Capo song notation