The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #28529   Message #354367
Posted By: Terry K
10-Dec-00 - 06:50 AM
Thread Name: Capo - what are the rules?
Subject: Capo - what are the rules?
I'm puzzled.

As a raw beginner on guitar, I've been reading about the capo. The book says to put the capo on whichever fret suits the pitch of your voice and use the same chord shapes. It doesn't say there are any rules.

I can follow this only so far.

For example, without the capo (standard tuning) the A major chord gives us A, Csharp and E, the 1,3,5 notes of the A major scale. If I capo up to fret 3, the A major chord shape gives C, E, G, thus a C major chord. I guess the other chord shapes (D and E) will complete the picture to give the 1, 1V, V chords in the key of C. Similarly, if I capo up to fret 2 I would get a B minor chord. All well and good.

But if I capo to fret 1, the A chord shape gives me D, F, Asharp - is this a proper chord? And fret 4 would give me Dflat, F, Asharp - what on earth can that be!

So I figure that there must be some rules about what chord shapes are allowable for each of the frets you might wish to capo to.

I've read some of the previous threads on the subject of capos but I don't think this question has been asked before.

Maybe someone can give me some answer - other than "why don't you just get on and play the bloody thing"!!

Cheers, Terry