Author Topic: Using a capo – playing different chord shapes & staying in the same key  (Read 9284 times)

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Offline tobyjenner

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Fantastic piece of work Richard, crystal clear ! So good vibes. I started a spreadsheet about 4 years ago mapping out something similar but never finished all the options. Will save for a thorough read later.

Cheers

Toby
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Here since Mar 2013 Completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM, MTMS Still on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
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Offline Bytron08

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Awesome post close! Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

Offline Strummer of 69

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I have created a pdf containing all graphics / images / chord charts available to download for anyone who would like it here.

:)
Fantastic input Richard!  Would you have any advice on changing the key of a song in B minor?
I'm presuming the capo method outlined wouldn't work due to B minor Barre chord.
I really like the oasis song Stop Crying your heart out which Noel appears to play in B minor when he performs it acoustically.
Unfortunately it's far too high for my voice! I have to detune by a whole step to make it viable.
I've tried changing the Key to A minor but it doesn't sound quite right.
Noel appears to be using a couple of non diatonic chords and I'm not sure how I would carry those over to a different key?
One thing I've noticed about the capo method you've given is it's great for lowering the key of any song once you've moved the shape up the neck.
Great for someone like me with such a deep narrow vocal range.
Doesn't appear possible with this song though....



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Offline close2u

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@ Toby @ Bytron.

Long overdue thanks.

@ Strummer of 69
Great username - welcome to the forum :)

Quote
Fantastic input Richard!  Would you have any advice on changing the key of a song in B minor?
I'm presuming the capo method outlined wouldn't work due to B minor Barre chord.
It can and does. Everything moves and sometimes barre chords end up being available as open chord shapes.

Quote
... Stop Crying your heart ... I've tried changing the Key to A minor but it doesn't sound quite right ...
How did you achieve that? What chords did you end up with? In what way did it not sound 'right'?

Quote
... the capo method you've given ... Doesn't appear possible with this song though....

I like a challenge! :)


Do you want to stay in the original key of B minor?
If so, then I hope this helps.

Most online sources list the chords as:
Bm, D, E, Em (or Em7), Esus4, G, Asus2, Asus4
I have listed alphabetically.

The chords in the key of B minor are:
Bm, C#dim, D, Em, F#m, G, A

The sus chords are neither major nor minor so Esus4 can be taken as a replacement for diatonic Em and Asus2 plus Asus4 can be taken as replacements for diatonic A.

So all the given chords are diatonic. Apart from E major. E major belongs in the parallel major key of B major. It is a 'borrowed chord'. Bringing it in to the song which is firmly in the key of B minor makes it a major IV.

Okay. Let's get the capo going. If you are playing Capo 2 all chords can be played as open shapes apart from G, which is played as a full E-shape barre chord. If you move the capo, then what?
Well, the B minor chord is considered an A-shape minor chord.
Following the CAGED order beginning with A we have AGEDC. Which means the next potential shape for the B-minor chord is a G-shape. We do not have an open chord shape for minor chords using the G-shape so we move on.
Next up to consider is an E-shape. Yes. We have an E-shape that we can use to play minor chords. To play B minor with this shape we must capo at fret 7. Let's see what that yields for the other chords.

Bm - E-shape minor open chord
D - G-shape open chord
E - A-shape open chord
Em - A-shape minor open chord
Em7 - A-shape minor 7 open chord
Esus4 - A-shape sus 4 open chord
G - C-shape open chord
Asus2 - D-shape sus 2 open chord
Asus4 - D-shape sus 4 open chord.

Oh yes!
You can play the entire song with no barres in the original key of B minor.

Now, if you want to change key, simply keep those same chord shapes and move the capo to suit.

Offline Strummer of 69

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Thanks so much for putting in the time to answer my query.
That's absolutely amazing!
I did look up an alternative key online and found the chords Am, G Dm7, F and C.
The song sounds ok ish with those chords but it just didn't seem as detailed and full sounding as in the key of B minor.
With Capo on the 7th I can use the Chords you've given and move the Capo further toward the neck to suit my vocal range.
Big learning curve
Thanks again

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« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 08:05:05 pm by close2u »

Offline Strummer of 69

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To start, look at the following example chord progression.

1] Open chords:   
D,  G,  Em,  A,  G,  D


Richard I'm confused with the Capo 2 chord shapes. I don't understand how Am capo 2 can be the same chord as Em in the open position?
Surely that's a Bm??
Isn't Dm the corresponding capo 2 shape for Em open??
I'm probably missing something simple so go easy on me

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« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 11:11:46 am by close2u »

Offline close2u

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Richard I'm confused ... I don't understand how Am capo 2 can be the same chord as Em in the open position?
...
Isn't Dm the corresponding capo 2 shape for Em open??


you are not missing anything - the fault is all minoe. Either a typo or a plain mistake that you have spotted and I now need to correct. Many thanks - I will o back and edit it.
:)

Offline close2u

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Oh boy - it can't have been a typo as I found a few other mistakes.
Oh my.  :-[
All now (hopefully) 100% correct after some editing.

Cheers

Offline Strummer of 69

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Oh boy - it can't have been a typo as I found a few other mistakes.
Oh my.  :-[
All now (hopefully) 100% correct after some editing.

Cheers
Great! Thanks for the reply Richard. Definitely thought I was missing something.
I was head scratching for a long time!

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Offline brianlarsen

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Nice one Richard.
All these Circle of 5ths-, CAGED-, Triads-, Capo/key-concepts coming into clearer focus...
Would I be wrong to think they are all related? ;)
I feel I'm going to have to start learning the notes on the fretboard soon if I want to make proper use out of these patterns/relationships... When I do, I'll start pesterning:
"Are we there yet?" :P

Offline close2u

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Nice one Richard.
All these Circle of 5ths-, CAGED-, Triads-, Capo/key-concepts coming into clearer focus...
Would I be wrong to think they are all related? ;)

You betcha!!

I am rethinking my next instalment of the Circle of Fifths. I have been writing it sporadically for a while, including composing examples on Guitar Pro, but it is getting so big I think I need to limit it to a short mention and then write a whole new thread on the concept I will be adding in.
:)
Quote
I feel I'm going to have to start learning the notes on the fretboard soon if I want to make proper use out of these patterns/relationships... When I do, I'll start pesterning:
Know at least the root notes within your open chord shapes - not just he lowest root note.
Quote
"Are we there yet?" :P
On our journey of 1000 miles?
No, of course not.
But we have taken steps!
;)

Offline ynot

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Re: Using a capo – playing different chord shapes & staying in the same key
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2021, 07:30:48 am »
Excellent thread, thanks. 

I experienced this several times.  Once I was playing a song in D with no capo and noticed a much more experienced player than I was playing along with me with his capo on the 2nd fret.  When I asked him about it, he explained that he then was using the C shaped chord fingering to play a D and as such was in the same key.  He went on to say he preferred it for songs in D as he had a number of bass runs that he liked to do. 

Another song I learned is in the key of Bm and while I successfully play the Bm barre chord in a number of songs, in this song, there were many more measures / bars of Bm than I was used to so I put the capo on fret 2 and play the whole song with the Am shape instead of the Bm barre.  It means I also have to play the original D G and A different, now they are C shape, F barre shape (G) and G shape. 

Offline DavidP

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Re: Using a capo – playing different chord shapes & staying in the same key
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2021, 07:46:04 am »
Hi Tony,

Not sure if you are aware of our Community virtual OMs (too many posts recently to remember all, so apologies if a repeat). We are holding one today, which will be 6am Sunday morning your time, assuming you on the same timezone as Maggie, 19h00/7pm UTC Sat night if not. You could join in if convenient, play a couple of songs if you like.  It can be done super simple with just a mobile phone/laptop if you don't have time to figure out how to use your Mac and interface. I'll PM you the link in case.
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
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Offline ynot

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Re: Using a capo – playing different chord shapes & staying in the same key
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2021, 08:05:25 am »
Thanks, I'm a chance of joining at that hour but no chance of performing as we are living in our caravan (doing the big lap) and my darling wife would not appreciate the sound of my guitar and singing.  :-)

Offline DavidP

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Re: Using a capo – playing different chord shapes & staying in the same key
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2021, 09:29:47 am »
Thanks, I'm a chance of joining at that hour but no chance of performing as we are living in our caravan (doing the big lap) and my darling wife would not appreciate the sound of my guitar and singing.  :-)

Fair enough, Tony.

We did do one OM that was scheduled to be at a more convenient time for those down under and in the land of the rising son. If there is sufficient interest then we'll do the same again in the new year.
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
Road Case: https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=41958.0
My Music: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG2X_TlNs7agW-U0EBCDdbw

Offline ynot

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Re: Using a capo – playing different chord shapes & staying in the same key
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2021, 10:20:20 am »
I've been aware of the community om, just hoping for a more antipodes friendly time frame, will be happy to sign up to perform depending on where we are.  Most of the time we've been traveling doing the big lap we have good broadband, alas there have been a fe places where we've had little or none.

Offline DavidP

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Re: Using a capo – playing different chord shapes & staying in the same key
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2021, 12:57:17 pm »
I've been aware of the community om, just hoping for a more antipodes friendly time frame, will be happy to sign up to perform depending on where we are.  Most of the time we've been traveling doing the big lap we have good broadband, alas there have been a fe places where we've had little or none.

Our spirit is inclusivity, Tony. The spread of timezones, from UTC+11 to UTC-8 makes it difficult to schedule an event in a time that is convenient for all. 

So the approach has been to call for interest and then make a decision as to when to schedule.  And based on the locations of people wanting to perform  that has meant 4 of 5 scheduled at the time of today's and 1 that started evening time out east.

I expect we'll continue in the same way next year, based on people's interest, at least until we come up with other ideas/suggestions.
Began the adventure Dec 2016 expecting little, achieved more than I imagined, and now I'm a happy advancing beginner
Road Case: https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=41958.0
My Music: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG2X_TlNs7agW-U0EBCDdbw

 

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