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#207206 - 06/22/13 10:24 PM [Off-Topic] Capo
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
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I have been playing guitar since age 11 (nowdays I play AT guitar the way I play AT golf) and have never used a capo. Not that I haven't tried. I popped the thing on and just CAN'T ignore the fret markers to make the capo become the nut.

Did it take you real guitar players a long time to get comfortable with a capo? I just think it's "cheating" somehow.... like "Real men barre frets!!"
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#207208 - 06/22/13 10:40 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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I mostly use guitar as accompaniment, either finger-picking or strumming. So I use a capo to easily and quickly transpose songs to the key I wish to sing them in. Plus I find the open chord forms are usually more pleasing to my ears than their barre versions.

I truly do not remember whether it was difficult to get used to as I have been doing it so long I just automatically adjust the markers in my head as soon as I put on the capo!

As to whether it is cheating I have found most of that nonsense is spread by fellow musicians...listeners could care less whether or not you use a capo and they are the ones I am hoping to please!

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#207210 - 06/23/13 02:39 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
pghboemike Offline
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Registered: 07/13/02
Posts: 2427
Originally Posted By: eddie1261


Did it take you real guitar players a long time to get comfortable with a capo? I just think it's "cheating" somehow.... like "Real men barre frets!!"


this thread contains songs and artists who used a capo
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-714330.html

Quote:
I popped the thing on and just CAN'T ignore the fret markers to make the capo become the nut.


popp the thing on and just close your eyes and play
works for Jose Feliciano
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#207211 - 06/23/13 03:11 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Eddie,

The capo isn't a crutch, it's a tool. While I've never used one on an electric guitar, it's quite useful on an acoustic guitar in order to get the sustain that you can only get from open strings, or using a capo.

If you have a vocalist that insists on trying half step increments in order to find the perfect key, it's an invaluable tool.

A better tool would be to get a new vocalist! wink
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#207213 - 06/23/13 04:28 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: bobcflatpicker]
ROG Offline
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Registered: 12/12/11
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Loc: York, England
Originally Posted By: bobcflatpicker

The capo isn't a crutch, it's a tool. While I've never used one on an electric guitar, it's quite useful on an acoustic guitar in order to get the sustain that you can only get from open strings, or using a capo.


I agree totally with Bob. It's not something I use very often, but when you need to it's invaluable.

BTW Bob, do you actually have an electric guitar?

ROG.

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#207216 - 06/23/13 04:49 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: ROG]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Originally Posted By: ROG
Originally Posted By: bobcflatpicker

The capo isn't a crutch, it's a tool. While I've never used one on an electric guitar, it's quite useful on an acoustic guitar in order to get the sustain that you can only get from open strings, or using a capo.


I agree totally with Bob. It's not something I use very often, but when you need to it's invaluable.

BTW Bob, do you actually have an electric guitar?

ROG.


Roger,

I've owned a few dozen electrics over the years. The only thing I've got at the moment is an Epiphone Dot electric guitar, a custom Martin acoustic guitar and a customized mandolin.

Since I like eating more than I like my instruments, I've had had to sell everything but these 3 instruments after the mass layoff when the company I worked for got bought out.

Oh well.....


Edited by bobcflatpicker (06/23/13 04:58 AM)
Edit Reason: Cuz I wanted to!
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#207217 - 06/23/13 05:27 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Joe Gordon Offline
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Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 491
Loc: Galston, East Ayrshire, Scotla...
(The capo isn't a crutch, it's a tool. While I've never used one on an electric guitar, it's quite useful on an acoustic guitar in order to get the sustain that you can only get from open strings, or using a capo.)


I'm glad my guitar tutor stressed the ability to play in any key on guitar.....double barre's included! Recently, because of my excursions into "flat picking"....I follow the experts...use a capo where it sounds best!
Here's a tale....back in the sixties, I was recording a "skiffle/country cover" in Abbey Road Studios...(name dropper!)....a few problems....,they had already swapped rhythm guitar over to lead, so Big Jim Sullivan was on lead, much to my delight! When the others were on their break, he came over & said "Joe, play it through for me the way YOU play it at home?"........he tried a few fills...hammer-ons...(Wonderful!)
When we started again it sounded so much better.....the Bass player offered "to slap"...better still! Ready for a take..........the producer asked Big Jim...."That's great, but what will you do for the key change?"......Jim said, "If the bass will cover me for a couple of bars, I'll slap on a capo." (You could almost feel the other guitar player's amazement!)
In those days studio time was really expensive,( I was expected to do at least six numbers in a 3 hr. session!)
......the result of Big Jim's use of "a tool"? Next take was the one!
Ah well! Back to flat picking....."Whiskey Before Breakfast".....capo 2nd fret!! Regards, Joe G.


Edited by Joe Gordon (06/23/13 05:29 AM)
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#207219 - 06/23/13 05:46 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: Joe Gordon]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Joe,

Quote:
Back to flat picking....."Whiskey Before Breakfast".....capo 2nd fret!! Regards, Joe G.


I prefer "Whiskey Before Breakfast" without a capo, ... but I Like to drop the the low E down to D and play it in D instead of using a capo on the second fret while using a C position.

But that's just me.

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#207225 - 06/23/13 07:22 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Joe Gordon Offline
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Registered: 12/21/02
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Loc: Galston, East Ayrshire, Scotla...
Darn Bob! Now you've got me thinking.......I wonder if??.....
Joe G.
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#207231 - 06/23/13 08:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: Joe Gordon]
Don Gaynor Offline
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Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7861
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Tommy Emanuel don't need "crutches" but he loves "tools". Chet used a capo to great advantage also.

Watch Tommy use one and weep.

http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=199184#Post199184


Edited by Don Gaynor (06/23/13 08:56 AM)

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#207235 - 06/23/13 10:11 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4400
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
I tend to avoid the capo - not that I believe everybody should.

It's easier for me to not worry about it, as my hands are always close by - I play electric/rock and not the kind of music that needs that kind of ringing - and the capo makes the guitar a little sharp (I've verified this with a tuning meter).

For the kind of playing I do, I tend to avoid the "cowboy chords" (open string chords as my now deceased guitar guru used to respectfully call them) and play mostly movable chords where I can use finger pressure to either sustain, choke or get somewhere in between.

There of course is nothing wrong with a capo in appropriate circumstances, but then again, there is nothing wrong about not using one either.

It all comes down to the style of music you are playing, who you are playing with (if anybody) and your personal artistic taste.

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#207236 - 06/23/13 10:11 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Originally Posted By: eddie1261
...just CAN'T ignore the fret markers to make the capo become the nut.



Hi Eddie,

Consider picking up an inexpensive Classical Guitar that has no fret markers on it. Great for breaking that bad habit of depending upon the fret markers too much, but also kinda cool in so many other ways. Those nylon strings, being easier on the fingertips and muscles, can make for extended length practice sessions as well.

The other bit of advice I can give on this is that you should start "picturing" the chord shapes in your head instead of on the neck itself. That one thing is what gives us "ownership" of he shapes, and can speed up the time between chord changes as well.

As for the idea that use of the capo is "cheating" -- the only people who seem to take that stance are the self taught rock guitarists and such. The truth is that the Barre Chords have their place and the Capo also has its place as the Capo can allow us to do so many things other than the Barre Chords it ain't funny. Dependent upon type of song, style, genre, etc. of course. For example, use of Capo in a jazz or bebop guitar rendition is not likely something to do. But use of Capo for various Rhythm, Fingerpicking or just playing in some of the keys that don't yield easy use of "open" strings for droning and such makes the Capo a very useful tool.


--Mac
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#207246 - 06/23/13 10:52 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
Kemmrich Offline
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Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
I have two categories for people:

1.) This group includes those that a) think using capos is cheating; b) think normalization is a good idea and c) hate Bruce Springsteen.

2.) This group includes everybody else.
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#207279 - 06/23/13 07:56 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: Kemmrich]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Loc: WV, USA
Originally Posted By: Kemmrich
I have two categories for people:

1.) This group includes those that a) think using capos is cheating; b) think normalization is a good idea and c) hate Bruce Springsteen.

2.) This group includes everybody else.



Kevin,

I understand snarky comments from you when there’s something contentious being discussed, but I don’t understand them when there’s not a contentious topic at hand.

Especially when what you say is totally inaccurate. I didn’t say using a capo is cheating.

What’s the deal?
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#207281 - 06/23/13 08:08 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: bobcflatpicker]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4372
My original post said that I feel like I am cheating if I use a capo. His snarkiness was aimed at me.

That being said, I STILL can't make my brain stop using the fret markers.
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#207282 - 06/23/13 08:17 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Don Gaynor Offline
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Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 7861
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
Norman Blake, capo 3rd fret (Eb), just because he likes the sound there.

http://youtu.be/sYau7QfiiuM

Flatpicker Tony Rice playing Church Street Blues and proper use of a capo. Tony don't need no steenking crutches! He is acknowledged as one of the best living flatpickers.

http://youtu.be/gE992CZQJmM

Note capo, 3rd fret (Eb).


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#207283 - 06/23/13 08:21 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3352
Loc: WV, USA
Eddie,

Quote:
I STILL can't make my brain stop using the fret markers.


I do the same, primarily because I’ve never had a guitar without fret markers.

That being said, what I do if for example I’m using a capo on the second fret and using a C position, I think in terms of C when I’m playing next to the capo but I switch to thinking in the key of D when I head up the neck.
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#207284 - 06/23/13 08:23 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: Don Gaynor]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3352
Loc: WV, USA
Good clip Don. I've always liked ole Norman.

He's the only guy I've ever listened to that can write a brand new song, but when he plays the song he can make it sound like it's a hundred years old. Considering that old time music is his thing, that's a real plus. wink


Edited by bobcflatpicker (06/23/13 08:32 PM)
Edit Reason: Just cuz.
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#207302 - 06/24/13 05:03 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Joe Gordon Offline
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Registered: 12/21/02
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Loc: Galston, East Ayrshire, Scotla...
Bob, I've always liked him too......even before my most recent foray into flat picking! He always picks really cleanly....and that wonderfully relaxed right hand! If mine was only 50% of that I'd be delighted! Joe G.
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#207338 - 06/24/13 12:08 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Capo [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
Notes Norton Offline
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As much as I have no need for a capo for the kind of music I find myself playing, I certainly don't consider them cheating.

In music, what hits the ear is important, not how it was done.

I remember back when I bought my first Atari/ST computer and started making Band-in-a-Box aftermarket styles, other musicians considered computers cheating. Now some of them buy my software.

Perceptions change.

I enlarged the fret markers on the top of the guitars I bring on stage. Sometimes the stage is dark, or with bright lights the neck is in shadow, I sing so my mouth is sometimes glued to the microphone, so it is very difficult to see the fret markers.

I can do one or two fret jumps without looking, but if it gets much more than that, I want to look out of the corner of my eye and get it right.

When I play, I choose the fret position for how the music sounds, which is sometimes not the easiest or most convenient position. I may want certain inversions of a chord, or play notes on certain strings for the tone, and if it isn't the closest position to the one I'm currently playing, if I can do it, I'll make the jump.

Of course that is according to my 'artistic' interpretation (for better or for worse).

Auto-tune - now that's cheating (oops, to respond to that, please start a new thread).

But capos like pedals, whammy bars, alternate tunings, slides, fret markers, and anything else you can think of aren't cheating, just tools that enable you to get a certain sound. If it works for you, use it and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.

I read where some rock star (forget who) wrote note names on the back of his bass neck. Cheating? Nah. Whatever gets you by.

In my duo I play with backing tracks that I make myself. A good friend of mine is a keyboard wizard and in his duo he does everything live. Does he think I'm cheating? I don't care. Other duos buy karaoke tracks and sing or sing and play over the top. Are they cheating? Not as far as I'm concerned. I'd take that short cut if I thought it would make me sound better, but I really like making the tracks sound like I want them to sound, in my key, and with my arrangement.

Cheating is copying someone's test paper in school, playing music is using whatever you have to make the best music you can make.

Insights and incites by Notes
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