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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #5004  by b weird
 Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:42 pm
Last night I went to see a band called Dancing Bear play at my local library and when they played Been All Around This World they used a Capo on the second or third fret. I'm not sure if this is right or not could someone please help me. Thanks.

 #5005  by hesgone95
 Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:35 pm
A capo allows you to change the key of a song, and still play it in it´s original form. In other words you don't have to transpose anything. For example, if the key is Gmaj and you want to play it in Amaj, capo the first fret and play the song on the 5th fret using the chord and melody forms of Gmaj. (I think that's right, somebody correct me if I'm mistaken.) In that way, you play and open G form on the 5th fret and it sounds as an A.

It's helpful if you have trouble singing in certain keys, like me. I have a really hard time with Gmaj for some reason, but A and D are no problem. So if I want to play something like Ripple (in Gmaj), I capo it and that way I can play the original chord and melody forms, keep the original feel of the song without transposing everything to a different key. Still use 1st position Gmaj chords, but on the 5th fret.

I hope that makes sense and helps. peace

 #5006  by Billbbill
 Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:20 pm
It's the second fret.

 #5007  by strumminsix
 Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:27 pm
No. It's called a "cheater" for a reason. :lol:

It's not transposing to play barre chords.
Transposing is putting something in a different key.

Build up your ability to play all over the neck.

 #5011  by Trystine
 Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:57 am
They were probably using the capo to "cheat". I'm guessing they wanted to play the song using Barre Chords but had a guitar with poor action. Therefore, they put the capo on the 3rd fret.

 #5012  by mutant_dan
 Fri Apr 21, 2006 8:55 am
Capos are commonly used in Bluegrass. Specifically on acoustic guitar parts where you want to be able to play open chords and let the open strings ring out.

 #5013  by Trystine
 Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:07 am
I'm sure strumminsix will disagree but I think there are a few instances where the capo can be an affective tool, such as getting chords to ring through. I consider it cheating when somebody is just trying to work around holding a barre chord. Although, I sympathize with anybody who plays an acoustic guitar with strings that are reluctant to touch the fret board.

 #5015  by strumminsix
 Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:44 am
Trystine wrote:I'm sure strumminsix will disagree but I think there are a few instances where the capo can be an affective tool, such as getting chords to ring through. I consider it cheating when somebody is just trying to work around holding a barre chord. Although, I sympathize with anybody who plays an acoustic guitar with strings that are reluctant to touch the fret board.
I wouldn't disagree one bit. I was being sarcastic above.

Didn't ya notice the laughing guy?

It can be a tool or a crutch. Most people use it as a crutch.

 #5018  by Trystine
 Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:14 am
That's the problem with all these new communication techniques: it's hard to express sarcasm...like right now.

 #5019  by hesgone95
 Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:50 am
Thanks Billbill, you're right, it's the second fret. I played Ripple last night with my capo. My mistake.

And Strumminsix, it IS transposing. My example was wanting to play Ripple in A. In order to play it in the first position, I have to transpose the song to that key, ie. changing all the notes and chords to A. If I use a capo, I don´t have to transpose, I can play G chords but be in the key of A. :smile:

Peace

 #5021  by strumminsix
 Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:46 pm
Dude, I totally misread your post. "same form" being key words.

Sorry.

I don't think of forms just chords.

 #5038  by hesgone95
 Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:04 am
no sweat....my post had it's errors... :D

 #5039  by Billbbill
 Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:00 am
Ya know, for certain songs (none dead) I find the capo rather useful.

I do however agree with the expressed sentiments about not using it as a crutch to avoid the legwork of familiarizing oneself with going up and down the neck and barring.

But for those with small or weak hands/wrists* or for getting a higher pitch sound or for giving yourself more flexibility w/ say fingerpicking I think it's perfectly legit. No matter how well you can barr you still have one less finger to work with than w/ a capo.

* These folks should still strive to reduce their dependence on the capo.