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A capo is a guitar accessory that clamps onto the guitar neck and shortens the strings thus raising their pitch. There are different types of capos based on their design. The trigger capos are the most popular and feature a spring-loaded clamp. The design is simple and allows repositioning using one hand. The only downside to the capo is its non-adjustable tension. Screw capos allow users to dial-in the right tension but unfortunately repositioning takes time. Other types of capos include: roller capos, toggle capos, shubb capos, G7th capos and partial capos. In light of all the different types of capos available the question remains, who needs a capo?
A capo allows the guitarist to play more songs with fewer chords. This is particularly beneficial to a beginner looking to learn different chord progressions. As a beginner you can learn five of the basic chords and play numerous songs. A capo increases the song options tenfold as adjusting the pitch opens up new possibilities.. Without a capo playing some of the songs would require learning new chords including barre chords. The difficulty of executing some of the chords may be frustrating and deter beginners from advancing. A capo is a good weapon to have in your arsenal as a beginner guitarist.
The intermediate level of guitar playing is the most versatile and exciting stage. Players at this level begin exploring new styles and gathering a deeper understanding of the fretboard. If you are armed with a guitar capo you will discover new territories that most intermediate players struggle to find. You can explore new chord progressions and try your hand in executing advance finger placements. A capo also allows the guitarist to appreciate the versatility of the fretboard. This opens doors to new finger styles, unique scales and advanced music arrangements.
The Advanced Player
For the advanced guitarist, a capo is a permit to have fun. Although some people think a capo is a cheat’s tool, many advanced players use it to play otherwise impossible chords. With pitch alterations, an advanced player can explore colourful notes that add texture to chords. Transition between different chords is also smoothened making basic music sound advanced. Some advanced players use partial capos that only adjust the tension of specific strings as opposed to the entire set of strings.. As a result, they can combine notes in a unique way to form advanced chords with unique sounds.
Singing while playing the guitar is hard. However, it can be done well with the help of a capo. The capo allows you to simplify chord progressions and make the song arrangement easier to play. As a result, you can sing and play without compromising either. Moreover, a capo makes it easy to transpose music. If you are looking to change keys to suit your singing, the capo will come in handy. This is particularly evident when women cover songs originally sung by men and they have to adjust the pitch to suit their voice
Music Rearrangement and Song Writing
A capo allows rearrangement of music into simpler or more complex versions. Since you can toy around with notes, pitch and chords you can rearrange music to different styles adding a new feel. Moreover, if you are struggling to make your songs unique from popular songs that share your progressions, a capo will help. You can rearrange popular pieces into unique songs and add your own original feel to it
Soreness and Fatigue
Playing chords across the fretboard and executing difficult fingering styles can take a toll on your fingers and wrist. A capo simplifies things and gives your fingers a break. Moreover, your wrist can rest as you use simpler finger shapes and move less across the fretboard
Whether you are fond of using a capo or not, it’s a good accessory to have. You never know when you will need it.