USING A CAPO – THE EASY WAY TO PLAY IN ANY KEY
A capo is a device that you can clamp across your guitar neck in order to temporarily shorten the strings. Therefore, the sound you make when you pluck or strum the strings sound higher.
If you were to place the capo across the first fret, anything you play above the capo would now be one key higher than usual. This is particularly useful for beginners who only know how to play ‘open chords’, that is chords around the first few frets on the guitar.
For example, let’s say you already know how to play a song in the key of C, but you have tried singing along and it doesn’t sound quite right. You want to play the song in the key of C# instead. To work out how to do this from scratch, especially if you only know how to play open chords is a major hassle. So you clamp the capo across the first fret and play exactly what you usually play just above the capo (the strings are now effectively shorter and you play from the second fret instead of the first. Easy!
To play this song in the key of D, just clamp the capo across the second fret instead.
If the song you usually play is in the key of A, placing
the capo across the first fret transposes the song into the key
of A#, and so on.