What is the CAPO?

The CAPO and guitar-playing

The word capo eludes most people unfamiliar with the guitar world. The word originates in Italian as “capo tasto” which means “head of fingerboard.” The capo is used to raise the pitch of the guitar. Or any stringed instrument. It is a small clamp mechanism.

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Capos come in all different kinds and materials. Many guitar players use nylon or steel string capos. These are the least expensive options to choose.

The next step is learning how to attach a capo to your guitar. Perhaps you haven’t yet noticed your favorite guitar musician using a capo but they are used quite frequently and are easy to attach to the guitar. The capo can be hooked onto any fret on the neck of the guitar. What is a fret? Take a look at the neck of your guitar. You’ll see vertical ridges that span the neck, equidistant from one and other. On any one of these ridges you can attach your new device.

After you’ve chosen the fret to which you would like to attach the capo, double check that the capo is in fact holding all six of the strings down. The sound will surely be affected if the strings aren’t all pressed down in the way they should be. Another thing to look out for is if the capo starts pulling any of the strings. This will also impact the sound, so keep this in mind.

There is more than just one kind of capo. This capo is called the third hand capo and is a special kind of capo. The third hand capo makes sure that all six strings are pressed evenly and stay in place. This special capo, like the first kind of capo we discussed, helps guitar players reach tones and pitches on their instrument that they would not be able to hit otherwise.

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Sometimes you might be playing or even listening and singing along to someone playing the guitar and the song just doesn’t sound quite right. The capo can really help aid you in attaining that perfect pitch. Feel free to play around with which fret to put the capo on. Remember, exploration and experimentation are key to the guitar-learning process.

The capo is used by experienced and beginner guitar players alike. While experts use the capo to reach very difficult sounds and pitches, beginners can use the capo to play more simple pieces and sound without as much difficulty.

The capo can present some obstacles. For one, it can get in the way of how you hold your guitar which is something you’re still working on. This may in turn affect both the sound and the hand-reaching required to play certain chord patterns. Again, practice makes the awkwardness go away. Just stick with it and in no time at all it will feel much more natural.

Capos can be utilized with all stringed instruments but are most commonly used with guitars. Guitars come in two basic forms: acoustic and electric. The largest difference in these two types of guitars is there sound, but the basic concept of playing them is the same. They each typically have six strings—some do have twelve— that run horizontally along the fretboard.

The six-string type of guitars are generally more common and most definitely more common among beginner guitar players. However both the six-stringed and twelve-stringed guitars are played similarly. You play by strumming the non-fretboard fingers (usually the right hand) across the strings. Sometimes, guitar players use a pick. While you are strumming with one hand, the other hand is holding the guitar and working on producing the note or chord pattern which will in turn change the sound of the strum.

The essentials for every guitar player when traveling with his guitar:

1. Extra strings are a must. Strings break all of the time and most commonly in times when you least expect it. Make sure to have a spare change of strings with you just in case. If it has been two months and they haven’t broken, be sure to change them out anyway. And if you’ve taken such a liking to playing and practicing your new instrument, changing your strings even more frequently than every two months is not a bad idea.

2. Picks are small. This means they can be quite easy to lose. Keep a few professional pics with you so that you avoid have to use alternatives ones. Using a professional pick does improve the sound so stick with those!

3. Finding a capo and the right one for you is also a guitar-playing essential. If you don’t have your capo, finding the perfect pitch can be a frustrating endeavor. Invest in a good capo and keep it with your guitar to avoid any potential pitch problems.

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4. Like the capo, a tuner is a really helpful device when playing the guitar. For beginners, there are electronic guitar tuners that you can find. This type of tuner will allow you to familiarize yourself with the art of tuning which is something you can learn how to do later on. For now you can tune your guitar while continuing to focus on learning how to play it. Electronic tuners can help fix awkward sounds that you can’t quite get with ordinary strumming.

If you can afford it, go for a more expensive capo. These are going to be the most reliable and durable, therefore and most likely saving you the trouble of having to replace it and spend more money. But first, the guitar in which to attach the capo. A capo does you no good without the actual instrument!

Here are some tips about buying and maintain your guitar:

The price point is important. You can buy very expensive guitars, more affordable ones, and pretty much everything in between. What does your budget allow? Make sure to buy a guitar that first fits your budget.

Additionally you want to choose a guitar that is easy and comfortable for you to play. This is going to be slightly different for everyone. Something to keep in mind is finding a guitar with strings which are closed to the fret board. This can make learning easier.

When it comes to learning guitar, you can approach in one of a few different ways. By that, I mean, you can take the traditional approach of going to a teacher each week or more often, and then practicing alone the rest of the time, or you can try the new approach with the aid of the internet

There are a great number of online learning programs available nowadays to choose from, and here’s a link to a comparison table of the best online guitar lessons – www.guitarbrief.com. These are by far the most popular, and for good reason. They have solid reputations for providing top quality training for many years and are trusted by hundreds of thousands of players worldwide.

The guitar itself is essential, but also take a peek at the above list of additional essentials that every guitar player should have. This includes things like a capo, extra strings, and a pick.

Guitar strings can rust if not properly handled. It is therefore important to wash your hands well before you play.

Lastly, keep your guitar in a protective container in a climate controlled environment. Make sure the temperature or weather isn’t going to make a sudden change. This can be very hard on your guitar.

Methods For Tuning Your Guitar

Essential Guide to Tuning Your Guitar

Playing the guitar isn’t terribly complicated, but it does take time and practice to understand how all the parts work including the tuning of the guitar.

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Tuning the guitar before you play will help you create optimal sound quality for your music. Each string has a specific note corresponded to it. If any string goes out of tune, the whole lot will sound off. Depending on the guitar, more tuning will be required. It just so happens that some guitars require more while others require less tuning. Read on for more important information regarding tuning.

It can be difficult to tune this instrument known as the guitar. The reason for this being it has six strings and each of those strings has a specific pitch and place on the musical staff. The string numbers are from top to bottom as follows: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, along with their musical counterparts: mi, la, re, sol, si, and mi—or, E, A, D, G, B, E.

The first step in tuning the guitar correctly is to obtain a reference pitch or an axis. You can use a pitch pipe or perhaps a better idea is to find a tuning fork which will give you an axis. Pitch pipes have a tendency to fluctuate after some time and use. Therefore, tuning forks are the more reliable alternative in addition to being easier to use.

To use the tuning fork, you must first make it vibrate by gently tapping on a hard object of any kind while simultaneously holding the handle. Next, allow the handle to touch just above or below the sound-hole on the soundboard of your guitar then lightly move the fork towards the bridge. Using this method, you will be able to find where the resonance is the loudest. The objective is to hear a high pitch A (la). When done correctly, this should be the same when created by pressing the first string when it is depressed on the fifth fret.

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Once you have tuned the first string (E/mi), the open sound should be the same sound as that of the second string when pressed on the fifth fret. Going forward: the third string on the fourth fret is the same the open second string (B/si), fourth string/fifth fret, open third string (G/sol), fifth string/fifth fret, open fourth string (D/re), and finally the sixth string/fifth fret, open fifth string (A/la).

Next it’s important to double check your work and the accuracy of the tuning. First gently touch the fifth string just above the fifth fret wire. Make sure to not press the string to the fingerboard. When you strike the string in this way, if done correctly, the sound should resemble the high-pitched one created by the tuning fork. This second process is called “harmonics.”

(You can find out everything you need to know about harmonics here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic)

noteThe two varieties in tuning your guitar are a package deal and one method cannot be used without the other. Depending on your preference you can use the tuning fork first and then check your work with the harmonics method or the other way around.

If the two methods don’t bring about the same result, you’ll need to do it again. If after two or three times tuning and crosschecking your work, the strings are still not in tune you may need to replace your strings.

Manual tuning can be a hassle, so an alternative is to purchase an electronic tool called a strobo. A strobo tuner is a more expensive choice in tuning, but it’s quite easy to use. First you need to turn the dial to the name of the string. Then it will choose the sound of the string using a condenser microphone to tell you if the string is, in fact, in tune.

Other ways of tuning involve the use of other musical instruments. Another investment to help you with your tuning needs is a pitch pipe set.

Here’s a nice video to show you visually the process to tune your guitar. The teacher takes it nice and slow so that any beginner can work alongside and hear the results as they go:

Learning Guitar Lingo

Learning the Guitar Lingo

In today’s music culture, the guitar is a hot and hip musical instrument to choose. It has created some of the most iconic sounds of recent times and guitar players can be found while flipping through the channels on television and radio or walking the streets or subway stations of your favorite big cities.

Guitar language, just like any other language is full of strange sounding words when you start unfamiliar. But fear not after this short explanation of important guitar terms, you will be up to speed and be able to converse with the lot of guitar players spanning genres and ages.

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There is more to guitar language than just the guitar parts, but refreshing your memory on the parts of the guitar is a good place to start your guitar-language learning journey. Below, we’ve outlined some of the important parts of the guitar.

– Body

The body, or sound box, comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. It is the largest part of the guitar. Depending on the style of the guitar it may have a hollow body (acoustic guitars) or a solid- or semi-solid body (electric guitars). The hollow body of an acoustic guitar enables the sound to resonate from the guitar itself while electric guitars rely on electronic pick-ups which amplify the sound from the guitar.

– Headstock

The headstock is the furthest part of the neck from the body. It usually has the tuners and sports the logo of the specific guitar.

Guitar Headstock

– Nut

The nut is what holds the strings in place as they approach the headstock. It’s used to keep the strings in the same position from the body of the guitar to the headstock and the

– Neck

The neck is the long stretch of the guitar which contains the fret board.

– Fret board

The fretboard is comprised of a long section which is divided into parts varying in width. Typically, in modern guitars, the fretboard has 20-22 frets.

guitar-fretboard

– Bridge

The bridge is important for the resonance of sound. It raises the strings in order to produce different types of vibrations.

– Pick-up

The pick-ups, pick up the strings’ vibrations and transmits them into electrical impulses. The pick-ups therefore act like a microphone. Pick-ups are usually only found in electric guitars.

– Amp

The amp, or the amplifier functions like a speaker box. The weak sounds from the electric guitar become strong and full with the use of an amplifier.

guitar-amp

– Capo

A capo is a tool that can be attached to the fretboard to raise the pitch. It aids in a guitar players playability because the player can maintain the same chord structure and position of his or her fingers while still being able to manipulate and change the key.

That covers a good portion of the guitar’s parts. Below you will find other words you may come across while speaking and learning about the guitar.

– Riff

Guitar riffs are parts of songs that contain different combination of chord progressions.

– Reverb

A reverb assists the effects box of an electric guitar in order for the guitar to adopt a more natural sound even with the use of an amplifier.

– Tablature

Guitar tablatures, or “tabs” are another way to notate music specifically for use when playing guitars. It is different from traditional ways of writing music because the notes and lines of the guitar tabs directly correspond to the fret on the guitar. Guitar tabs are a really helpful way to play your guitar.

– Vibrato

A vibrato is a technique in guitar playing when the string is bent so that it can make a sound that resonates for a longer period of time.

– Arpeggio

An arpeggio is another technique in guitar playing. The idea is to omit a note or notes from a chord to create a different sound. Utilizing arpeggio produces a more unique sound and aids in the rhythm of a particular tune.

– Pick

A pick is used to strum the guitar. It is usually a small piece of plastic.

guitar-pick

– Whammy bar

The whammy bar is most commonly found in electric guitars. It is an attachment that allows the player to “bend” the pitch of the given notes. Guitarist usually refer to the sound the whammy bar creates as the “cry” of the guitar. It is a very unique sound.

– Plucking

Plucking involves not strumming all of the strings in one fluid motion but rather picking or “plucking” one string at a time. This produces a more defined sound from each note.

– Palm mute

This technique of guitar playing is commonly used in the punk rock genre. The player uses the palm of his strumming or picking hand to stop the strings from making any sounds or vibrations. The strumming in this technique will create yet another very unique sound.

Increasing your guitar lexicon is a must as you continue on this journey of learning how to play the guitar. Continue to practice using these words in order to get a good grasp of what they are and when and how they are used.