Using A Capo

Using a capo is like using a balancing scale.

Chord X – one that you don’t know or would rather “disguise” as some Open Chord Y, has a specific WEIGHT.

When you put a Capo on fret Z, you need to RE-BALANCE things by subtracting Chord X by the amount of frets Z to give you the new, much friendlier looking Chord Y.

Just start subtracting from Chord X until you get an easier one.

C#m – 1 = Cm.  no good.

C#m – 2 = Bm.  no good.

C#m – 3 = Bbm.  still no good.

C#m – 4 = Am.  Great!  Slap the capo on the 4th fret, and BAM! You’re playing a C#m disguised as an Am.


Author: aarondoerr

Owner of Fellow Musician LLC, a small music education business specializing in outreach and private study. I'm guitarist for musical theatre and production assistant at St. Louis Public Radio.

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