Pulling out all my capo tricks!

It has taken me a while to get to writing this post, but two weeks ago I planned a worship service that would force me to use as many capo tricks as I know how to use. It was fun doing this, but really I had to be careful not to do something that would be distracting during a time of worship. This goes not only for the congregation, but for me as well. If what I was doing pulled my attention away from leading worship, than it is too much... do you know how to make sure that doing something musically challenging isn't a distraction? Its pretty simple really. Practice.

Ridgeview Worship Music 5.23.10 from Ridgeview Church on Vimeo.

Here is the music service from that Sunday. Now keep in mind that the camera guys aren't exactly zooming in on my hands or my capos to help the readers of this blog.

The first song is Glorious One (Fee) and we play it in the key of A. Typically I play it in G capo 2, but this week I played it with the shortcut capo. I put a standard capo at 5, then a cut capo at 7. This makes for a really cool sounding drone in the key of A.

The second song is a medley by Keith and Kristen Getty called Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer and When Trials Come. This song starts in the Key of C#, which is a key I wouldn't dream of being able to play in. So, I played at capo 4 in A before the song change, which allowed me to play some of the alternate voicing for A, A2 and Asus chords up the neck of the guitar. If you watch the video, you will see me change the capo from capo 4 to capo 6 at the beginning of When Trials Come. This meant that I could strum in G which gave me better fingering positions for the chord changes of that song compared to the previous one. Then, when the band changes to the key of D, you will see that I take the capo off all-together. I could have left it on and played in A again, or moved it up to capo 8 and played in G, but the 12 string guitar begins to sound like an out-of-tune ukulele. I pulled it off to get some depth back into the sound.

The third song is Ready to Love by Aaron Ivey. This song is in the key of B minor, and I am playing it on the 6 string using my own capo technique using 3 capos. Doing this gives the guitar a really deep drone, and an especially cool sounding G chord. It is accomplished by putting a standard capo at capo 1, a standard capo at capo 2 minus the high E string, and the cut capo at capo 6. The fingerings are all totally different from anything you have used before, but they are all 1 and 2 finger chords. The voicing is built around the concept that a D chord (D-F#-A), a Gmaj7-9 chord (G-B-D-F#-A ) and a Bm7 chord (B-D-F#-A) are all very, very similar except for the bass note. After getting used to the new fingerings, and playing on both sides of the cut capo, I have found this to be a great voicing that I love to use when possible.

The fourth song is Creatures of Our God and King by Passion. I used the same setup for this song. It is probably easier to see and hear what the voicing sounds like (right around the 22:00 mark), although our camera guy started singing along quite loudly... don't get distracted.

The final song is My Soul Sings by Delirious? On this song I am using a standard capo at capo 3 and the open capo at capo 8. It creates a new voicing that can be played on both sides of the capo. So, when you play behind the capo, there are some new fingerings to learn, (again they are all 1 or 2 finger chords) and when you play in front of the capo you just use standard E finger shapes. Again, its a cool unique sound.

All of the capo techniques I use keep a guitar in standard tuning. I need to be able to go from one song to the next without switching guitars around. That being said however, I often have to re-tune the guitar when I put multiple capos on the neck... they really start to pull things sharp. Hope you can use some of this to help you in worship leading, and/or in your guitar playing.


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