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Justin Lessons on Basics, Essentials & Beyond => Questions And Answers (QA) => Topic started by: Indigo on June 16, 2015, 08:55:45 pm

Title: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: Indigo on June 16, 2015, 08:55:45 pm
Lesson Link: http://www.justinguitar.com/en/QA-002-UseACapoToChangeTheKey.php

Questions...
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: de_conne on August 28, 2015, 09:07:49 pm
Not really a big issue atm, but I have been wondering this before:
What if there is no capo and you want to sing lower instead of higher???
I suppose you need to lower the chords?

suppose the song is : G - D - Em - C
Can I lower the chords a Tone?
F - Cb - Dm - Bb

Would that work? (no clue on how to play a Cb or Bb except using bar chords...)

Thx

Regards,
de_conne
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: close2u on August 28, 2015, 09:16:46 pm
What if there is no capo and you want to sing lower instead of higher???
I suppose you need to lower the chords?

You need to play open chords / barre chords in a different key , yes.

Quote
suppose the song is : G - D - Em - C
Can I lower the chords a Tone?
Yes

Quote
F - Cb - Dm - Bb

G goes to F down a whole tone so ...
D goes to C
Em goes to Dm
C goes to Bb

btw
Cb is really B but you made an error on that one.
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: stitch101 on August 28, 2015, 09:25:56 pm
The biggest mistake people make using a Capo is thinking they need sing at the same pitch as
the guitar. Learn to sing in key. If you are singing a song and want to sing it in a  lower key
you don't lower the guitar. You find the key that you want to sing in and play the guitar in that
key. If you where to sing to a mandolin you wouldn't try and hit the high notes of the mandolin so
why do it with a guitar.





Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: de_conne on August 31, 2015, 03:26:18 pm
G goes to F down a whole tone so ...
D goes to C
Em goes to Dm
C goes to Bb

btw
Cb is really B but you made an error on that one.

Thanks! D goes to C... Offcourse :)

regards,
de_conne
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: SiegeFrog on August 31, 2015, 05:40:39 pm
The biggest mistake people make using a Capo is thinking they need sing at the same pitch as
the guitar. Learn to sing in key. If you are singing a song and want to sing it in a  lower key
you don't lower the guitar. You find the key that you want to sing in and play the guitar in that
key.

Could you elaborate on this? There's a critical point here I think I'm missing.
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: stitch101 on August 31, 2015, 06:11:51 pm
Could you elaborate on this? There's a critical point here I think I'm missing.

Let's say you are playing a song in the key of G and you find it to be a little to low for your voice
and would like to sing it in the key of A.
You have a few options. You could put a capo on the second fret and play the chords as you would
in the key of G. But your are not playing in the key of G you are now playing in the key of A.
So another option would be to play the song using open chords in the key of A.
You could also Capo up to the 5th fret and play a C chord. You are still in the key of A but if you
tried to sing that high you might pull something. So you would sing the pitch as an open A and the
guitar would be an octave higher than your voice.
It also works the other way. If you find the key of G a bit to high for your voice you don't need to tune
down just play in a lower key like F and sing in F.



Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: SiegeFrog on September 01, 2015, 06:09:30 pm
The biggest mistake people make using a Capo is thinking they need sing at the same pitch as
the guitar. Learn to sing in key. If you are singing a song and want to sing it in a lower key
you don't lower the guitar. You find the key that you want to sing in and play the guitar in that
key.

I think I understand what you're saying here. Would it also be correct to replace pitch and key with octave? I thought you were saying something else before. Thanks for the clarification.
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: shadowscott007 on September 01, 2015, 10:04:17 pm
This might just make things worse.

Say there is a song that uses open G, open Em, and open C.  You sing it where you sing it and it works fine.

Now if you were just to decide to play those chords way up the neck like G at the 10th fret, Em at the 7th and C at the 8th.  You can still sing the same notes in the same octave as you did before, at the same pitches.  Even though the guitar definitely sounds higher.  You don't have to sing in the next octave to chase the higher pitch of he guitar chords

Capoless example, that.

Shadow
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: SiegeFrog on September 03, 2015, 05:12:08 pm
Say there is a song that uses open G, open Em, and open C.  You sing it where you sing it and it works fine.

Now if you were just to decide to play those chords way up the neck like G at the 10th fret, Em at the 7th and C at the 8th.  You can still sing the same notes in the same octave as you did before, at the same pitches.  Even though the guitar definitely sounds higher.  You don't have to sing in the next octave to chase the higher pitch of he guitar chords

This is normally about the time where people start yelling at me, but I'm going to try anyway. I'm assuming from your example that you're talking about playing barre chords: G (5th string root), Em (5th), and C(6th). I think that the G and Em would be shifted up an octave from the open position while the C is essentially the same octave as the open position. You're saying that you can sing it in the same octave as the open position version even though most of it is shifted up an octave. A while back I got confused as to Justin's capo suggestion for What's Up by 4 Non-Blondes, and someone reminded me that the note circle is a wheel not a ladder.

What was throwing me was when stitch said you don't have to sing in the same pitch as the guitar. I was imagining someone taking your progression in G and deciding to sing it in D (D Bm G) without changing the guitar! I thought he was saying you don't have to transpose the melody as long as you kept the chord progression the same. I realize now he was not saying that.
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: stitch101 on September 03, 2015, 07:12:32 pm
Sorry fo confusing you Siegefrog.
In What's Up Justin isn't using a capo to change key he's using it to avoid
barre chords. The chords in What's Up are A  Bm and D. When you put the
capo on you are still playing the chords A Bm and D you're just using different
chord shapes. 
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: SiegeFrog on September 04, 2015, 12:11:27 am
Sorry fo confusing you Siegefrog.
In What's Up Justin isn't using a capo to change key he's using it to avoid
barre chords. The chords in What's Up are A  Bm and D. When you put the
capo on you are still playing the chords A Bm and D you're just using different
chord shapes.

What confused me there is that Justin says that he has a hard time singing in the original key and suggests moving the capo up to the 6th or 7th fret. I couldn't figure out why moving the capo up was going to help him sing it lower. Then someone pointed out that he would sing an octave lower the guitar. Hence the wheel, not the ladder.
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: stitch101 on September 04, 2015, 12:54:42 am
What confused me there is that Justin says that he has a hard time singing in the original key and suggests moving the capo up to the 6th or 7th fret. I couldn't figure out why moving the capo up was going to help him sing it lower. Then someone pointed out that he would sing an octave lower the guitar. Hence the wheel, not the ladder.

That is exacly why I posted the biggest mistake people make using a capo is they try and sing at the same pitch
as the guitar. When they need to sing in the same key. I could have used the word octave but in this context it's
the same thing. Just because the guitar goes up doesn't mean your voice goes up.  But you still need sing in the
correct key whether it be higher or lower than the guitar. Even when you sing harmany it need to be in the same
key.
 
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: de_conne on September 04, 2015, 09:15:58 am
Great information guys!

regards,
de_conne
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: justinguitar on September 04, 2015, 09:41:25 am
Wheel not a ladder - great way of explaining it! :)
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: SFDonovan on December 15, 2015, 05:46:56 pm
" I couldn't figure out why moving the capo up was going to help him sing it lower. Then someone pointed out that he would sing an octave lower the guitar. Hence the wheel, not the ladder."

I think this is why I became confused when I saw a version of Southern Cross by Crosby Still & Nash that played it in G rather than A with a capo at II.  I was like "Doesn't a capo at the 2nd fret raises it up?"

So instead of

Got outta (A) town, on a (G) boat, to the southern (D) islands

its...

Got outta (G) town, on a (F) boat, to the southern (C) islands

But the capo still allows you to sing it in A but an octave lower?  This gets confusing.
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: justinguitar on December 15, 2015, 05:49:46 pm
Hence the wheel, not the ladder.

Nice quote :) might steal that! ;)
Title: Re: QA-002 • How To Use A Capo To Change The Key To Best Suit Your Voice
Post by: mmmbert on December 16, 2015, 01:13:44 am

I think this is why I became confused when I saw a version of Southern Cross by Crosby Still & Nash that played it in G rather than A with a capo at II.  I was like "Doesn't a capo at the 2nd fret raises it up?"

So instead of

Got outta (A) town, on a (G) boat, to the southern (D) islands

its...

Got outta (G) town, on a (F) boat, to the southern (C) islands

But the capo still allows you to sing it in A but an octave lower?  This gets confusing.

If I understand what you said, I don't think that's it.

Don't think of chords as shapes but instead as groups of notes.  So putting the capo on the second fret and playing a G chord shape makes the notes played the notes of an A chord. Think about it. In an open G chord, from the thickest to thinnest strings you play GBDGBG (in the 3 finger version). Putting the capo on 2 and moving everything up two frets, they become AC#EAC#A, which is an A chord. Same for the F and C, they become G and D. So in your example, without the capo it is A G D, and with it is also A G D. So a person would have to sing both in the same key. I am not an expert on keys, but I think it is D (because it has the I IV and V chords of the key of D).

Now if you were to capo on the second and play the original A G D, the chords that are actually played  are B A E and they key is E. That is how you change key.

The part about singing an octave lower, I think is something like this. Say some has a naturally low singing voice and he wants to use open shapes to sing with, say the A D E shapes, but his voice is still too low, he is singing in F lower than the A. He could put the capo on the 8th fret (4 frets back from the 12th, which is the octave, 4 frets equals 2 whole steps which takes you from A to G to F). Then when you play the A shape it is an F chord, which is they correct key an octave higher.