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Capo's Pt2 - Working out the chords and keys with a capo on and where to place it for

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

In part 2 of my free video guitar lesson on Capo's we will look at where to place the capo to get a certain chord.

We will look at our open chords C, A, G, E and D as shapes instead of chords as once you have a capo on these 'shapes' become different chords.

Example. If you put the Capo on the 2nd fret and play a C shape the resulting chord is D

If you put the Capo on the 3rd fret and play a G shape the resulting chord you get is Bb

This all applies to minor chords too just change the shapes to the minor version. So for example use an Am shape with a Capo on the 3rd fret and the resulting chord is Cm

There is a downloadable PDF with a diagram for you here with a chart that shows you all this and I show you in the video how to work this out.

We'll also look at working out a second guitar part by using the chords of a key.

So if the 1st guitar player is playing in G and the chords of the song are G - C and D. Then those chords in numbers are I, IV and V of the key. So using this chart we can work what other 'key' to play in using a capo. Remember we're thinking of our chords as shapes which will give us different chords depending on where we place the capo.

So as an example in the key of D, chords I, IV and V are D, G and A.

So therefore if we put a capo on the 3rd fret and play those shapes we will end up with the I, IV and V of G being G, C and D

Knowing all your notes on the 6th (E) string, 5th (A) String and the 4th (D) string will be very helpful too as all the root notes for the C, A, G, E and D chords are on these strings.

The capo is often thought of as something just beginners use but I will show you a few things in this video that would be considered more advanced techniques and knowledge.

Getting a capo on can be tricky as people often put it on and find that their guitar is out of tune after putting one on . The trick to getting it on and keeping the guitar in tune is this.

  • Hold down the strings the fret ahead of where you’re placing the capo

  • Place the front of the capo down on the strings around the middle of the fret

  • Allow the the back to release holding the strings in place

  • Give each string a little pull as sometimes the capo can snag the strings

Please check out my book where I go more things like this like adding passing notes to chords, riffs to you chords and lead lines to your songs in the styles of Folk, Country, Blue, Rock, Funk and more in great detail. Every chapter and technique has a song to learn which will cement everything I teach you. The book comes with 9 hours of video lessons and demonstrations as well as audio files for you to practice and play along to.



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Download Capo keys guide.

Capo Keys
Download PDF • 101KB

Capo Keys 2 of 2 and notes of the guitar
Download • 180KB

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