Guitar Reference Material – Capo Transposition Chart
- Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 9:00
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When I started playing guitar and first learned barre chords, I thought using a capo was “cheating”. “Shouldn’t everyone learn how to play an F chord or C# minor?”, I thought. While this is surely true, I now realize that the sound you get by using open strings is such a beautiful tone that understanding and using a capo is valuable for every guitarists. Guitarists in pop, rock, blues, country and folk use capos extensively.
For the unfamiliar, a capo is used to shorten the strings by clamping across the neck of the guitar. This raises the pitch of the strings without having to retune. There are different styles of capos available but they all do basically the same job. A capo makes it much easier to play in those “non-friendly” guitar keys that use lots of barre chords, very useful when playing acoustic guitar. Many singer-songwriters use capos to easily change the key they are playing in to fit their voice. Mixing guitars with and without capos can really fatten up a group or recording, too.
The following chart shows how to change keys(transpose) using the five common guitar keys of C. G, D, A, and E. Follow each column down to the fret the capo is on the find your resulting key you are actually playing in.
Note: A PDF of the chart presented in this lesson can be viewed here.