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Basic Capo Video - Go to youtube
Placing a capo on the neck of your guitar is a great way of playing the instrument using simple open chord patterns. You can strum chords, play arpeggios, melodies and create solos. Capo's are often used on acoustic guitars and are also suitable for electric guitars. The capo holds down the strings at the fret you choose effectively changing the scale length of the neck and the notes of the open strings that you can play at that position. Using this technique you can move the capo up or down the neck and play a song in different keys using the same chord patterns.

The capo is great tool for guitar players who use finger style techniques allowing the instrument to produce a rich full bodied sound. For players who find it difficult to fret bar chords the capo provides an easier option to play chords and melodies around a particular fret position.

To help you learn the chord shapes and start creating your own songs you can use a Chord Notation Sheet to write down a chord structure and then either get a friend to play back the chords or record a section so that you can improvise a lead line or create a melody over the chords.

Whether you are an experienced guitar player or just starting out you may find the following posters useful. If you are a beginner, start by picking a key signature and then choose chords from the same key (See 'KNOW HOW - MAJOR SCALES' for the notes used in a Major scale and the Primary matching chords). Using the chosen key signature, practice playing a chord sequence and the melody or solo notes over the chords.

When deciding which fret to use the capo on, look at the position of the route notes found in the 'MAJOR SCALE FINGER PATTERNS' and how these relate to the next three or four frets above the position that you will place the capo. Identifying a suitable route note will help you decide which key signature and chords are most suitable for that particular position for example. The keys of C Major, F Major and G Major work well in the open position. The keys of Ab Major, Bb Major and Eb Major with a capo at the third fret. The keys of Bb Major, C Major and F Major with a capo at the fifth fret.

If you want to play in a minor key then you can use the same notes that are found in the Major scale but the route note would then start and finish from the sixth note of the Major scale instead of the first note for example. A minor scale would use the same scale as C Major but would start and finish on A. E minor would use the same scale as G Major but would start and finish on E.

Remember that scales are a discipline that help you map which notes relate to a particular key and sound. Most songs tend to start and finish on the route note of a chosen key but it is up to you to decide which notes, which order and how many notes you play in between. Start with the basics and maintain a discipline about the chords and notes you play. Later you can begin to experiment by introducing sharps and flats as passing notes, some of which will sound successful and pleasing. Others will not.

With more experience and knowledge you can introduce more complex chord structures with extended chords, key changes and solos or melodies that use Modal scales.

MUSIGITAL POSTERS & SHEET MUSIC NOTATION
Click on the PITCH poster to download and print it

Click on the PITCH NOTATION poster to download and print it

Click on the MAJOR SCALES poster to download and print it

Click on the MAJOR SCALE FINGER PATTERNS poster to download and print it

Click on the PENTATONIC SCALE FINGER PATTERNS poster to download and print it

If you are a musician, teacher or student, you can use the Music Notation Sheets for composition, tuition and practice. Pick the sheet that best suits your task, download the pdf file and print them out to add your *notation. Each sheet is available in A4 and Letter size.

MUSIC NOTATION - A4
Score Sheet A4 Score & Bass Sheet A4 Score and TAB A4 TAB Sheet A4 Chord Sheet A4 Chord & Vocal A4 Chord Construction A4
MUSIC NOTATION - Letter
Score Sheet Score & Bass Sheet Score and TAB TAB Sheet Chord Sheet Chord & Vocal Chord Construction
*Please note: The use of Musigital Music Notation Sheets to distribute copyright material is prohibited