Your opinions on capos..?

jak3af3r

Jake
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So as an aside, I hear you guys that say you don't use a capo on electrics, and I understand it,

But a capo offers advantages that just moving the chord shape does not. There's a tonal difference between open chords and bar chords. That whole G, C, D thing that "Sweet home Alabama", and countless others, make famous, isn't possible without open chords.

It's not just "can you get it in tune with a capo". it's also can you get the song at the pitch you need for the singer, but still play the way the song was intended. You can tune the guitar after the capo is in place. And then you can play "Sweet home Alabama" in G# if needed.

Well... I prefer not to use a capo. I can get away with it on electric because I learned everything with movable shapes. It's only on acoustic and really at the first fret I'd struggle today because I don't have the hand strength I did when I played a lot lot more.

There's also the argument against capos that you can't use open strings LOWER than the capo for particular chord voicings should you need them.
 

aphantomvaper

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Well... I prefer not to use a capo. I can get away with it on electric because I learned everything with movable shapes. It's only on acoustic and really at the first fret I'd struggle today because I don't have the hand strength I did when I played a lot lot more.

There's also the argument against capos that you can't use open strings LOWER than the capo for particular chord voicings should you need them.
There are capos that only hold down the table strings or part of the fretboard.

However these capos are made differently and belong to a different family. Sometimes they have a beef...as you don't mess with a made capo.
 

jak3af3r

Jake
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There are capos that only hold down the table strings or part of the fretboard.

However these capos are made differently and belong to a different family. Sometimes they have a beef...as you don't mess with a made capo.
I am aware of those. I have also seen people use a capo for 2-4 strings and leave the rest open.

Let's do a thought experiment though. Suppose you have a simple song with the chords G C and D and you now want to play it in Bb. With a capo your option to keep the voicings the same would be to put the capo on fret 3 and play the same shapes.

But if you're the only chordal instrument, you would have a better resolution to play capo 1 in A which gives you A D and E. The root of the "E" chord is now a fifth below the tonic. This also voice leads the 3rd of your "E" chord up to the root by a half-step which sounds more complete.

Now suppose you don't use a capo at all. Your chords are Bb Eb and F respectively. Not having a capo allows you to play the Eb with the open G string and fret the A and D strings on fret 1. This will trick your ear with a phenomenon known as "the missing fundamental" and you'll perceive an Eb a half step below the open E string. Now you end up with better voice leading all around, more tonal options should you need them, and access to all the frets on the guitar.
 

theDeepender

Yup…
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I try to NOT use a capo on my electric guitars. I will adjust and use chord shapes that don't require a capo. On acoustic it is a must. I am a big fan of the Shubb capos. You can adjust them to not put so much pressure on the strings. It will work on an electric as well.
Yeah, I very seldom use capos unless there are some chord shapes required that I can’t manage without a capo.
 

theDeepender

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So as an aside, I hear you guys that say you don't use a capo on electrics, and I understand it,

But a capo offers advantages that just moving the chord shape does not. There's a tonal difference between open chords and bar chords. That whole G, C, D thing that "Sweet home Alabama", and countless others, make famous, isn't possible without open chords.

It's not just "can you get it in tune with a capo". it's also can you get the song at the pitch you need for the singer, but still play the way the song was intended. You can tune the guitar after the capo is in place. And then you can play "Sweet home Alabama" in G# if needed.
I try to never retune after applying a capo. If you put them on correctly, retuning is not necessary. Be careful to apply even pressure to all of the strings. Beside, if you retune to a capo, when you remove it, or just move it, you’ve got to retune again. Take the time to put it on correctly.
 

AP515

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I try to never retune after applying a capo. If you put them on correctly, retuning is not necessary. Be careful to apply even pressure to all of the strings. Beside, if you retune to a capo, when you remove it, or just move it, you’ve got to retune again. Take the time to put it on correctly.
I agree, but sometimes it just doesn't want to play nice.
 

LSchefman

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I try to NOT use a capo on my electric guitars. I will adjust and use chord shapes that don't require a capo. On acoustic it is a must. I am a big fan of the Shubb capos. You can adjust them to not put so much pressure on the strings. It will work on an electric as well.
I'm a Shubb user as well. I have a couple that have been here forever, and have no issues.

Lots of good products on the guitar market these days!
 
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