I'm a huge fan of using a capo. In fact, I use one on almost every song just because I love to transpose. But other members of the band like to tease me about the fact that I never don't use my capo because I'm trying to avoid barre chords.

I would think that using a capo fluently is a great trait to have as a worship leader, and a guitarist, because it teaches you to transpose on the spot, in your head, and it's a lot easier to play and sing at the same time when you don't have to focus on your fingers. Does anybody else agree with me? Or am I just a freak? Haha.

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I think you hit the nail on the head. Some folks stay away from capos because they are not good at transposing on the spot.  I have been using capos for years.  It is a great way to enhance the music if you ask me. I grew up playing bluegrass and I oftened capoed to fill out the sound better. I also use a capo on the second fret with the low string open. It gives me a drop D sound without actually dropping the D.  Ever try using more than one at a time.  I was watching Phil Keaggy and he sometimes uses two at one time and I tried it.  It is amazing how creative you can get with a capo. I don't mind barre chords. I can play them. But I would rather hear some open strings ringing out and that is another great use of the capo.  Chris Tomlin and Paul Baloche use the capo a lot in their sets so if it is okay for them, it should be okay for us. 

Right on, Anderson!

Well said. It's all about the disposition you want. If you can't get the exact pattern you want with one position, you might find it in another. Using the capo will free up your fingers to do things you can't otherwise do. Anyone who is a "no capo bigot" doesn't understand why they're used. You can't do everything you want by just using barre chords. 

I love capos. They can really change the feel of the guitar (and an arrangement). I actually keep a handful of capos in my case (all Shubb) with notches cut out of the rubber sleeves so it "misses" certain strings. This allows me to imitate alternate tunings just by slapping a capo (or 2) on the guitar.

I can't say that I always use a capo...probably less than 50% of the time, but I have no problems with guitarists who like to use capos. Go for it.

I have a short, 3 string capo also, just haven't learned how to use it very well yet.

I hear people say a lot of bad about useing a capo but every time I see a video with some famus worship leader useing one I always point it out and say see even he uses one. I love to use the capo on any song that I can't play the bar chords on. I have an electric guitar also that I am useing to try to learn some bar chords but for the most part if its not a standard chord I use a capo. Plus it gives a different sound than just the basic chords or even the bar chords, so every song doesn't sound the same as far as playing style. So I say use it when you need to, thats why they make them. I've been playing for about 8 1/2 years now so I use what I can to learn new songs, and if it takes a capo to do it, so be it.

There's a stigma for some that using a capo somehow means you're not a good player. But they couldn't be farther from the truth. If Michael Hedges and Tommy Emmanuel etc. use one, you can hardly say it's a sign of mediocrity.

I completely agree on that.  I mean, if Keaggy uses a capo, could anyone charge him with not being a good player?

It is all about the sound.  IMO most acoustic guitars do not sound that good when you use all barre chords. (makes it sound too much like an electric) So if you are playing in flats, using a capo is a must if you want a real acoustic sound.

Also, if you have 2 acoustics and both players are strumming chords; capoing one at the 5th fret and transposing the key to the dominant will give you  a much fuller sound.

Yup! I agree.

Nothing wrong with using a capo! In fact, capo is part an parcel for anyone playing in a contemporary worship setting. It is not just about easy transposition but there is something about the sound of open strings and the capo offers help there. Furthermore it is a great way of layering guitar and create a very full sound with more than one guitar player. 

I don't think you can get the sound of some of the Jesus Culture, Sean Feucht or Hillsong music without good use of capos. 

Capos are a way of creating a certain sound as much as an easy way to transpose a song. 

There is no longer a way around the capo. It is part of worship guitar playing, acoustic and electric. 

An for the record, I am trained well (conservatorium) and have no trouble in using barre chords etc but that would not create the same sound. 


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