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Old 10-13-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
jj
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Default capos, transpose buttons and other aids

i saw an interesting reply regarding this subject when i dialed in from out of town over the past few days but can't find where it was...I'm not down on anyone who uses these aids for having fun but here's my honest take:

'best' musical inventions:

-A tuning fork
-metronome

'worst' musical inventions:

-guitar hero
-karoke
-transpose button
-electronic tuner (ok, they are certainly handy amidst a live performance)
-capo

all debatable but wondered other's thoughts...i could certainly elaborate based on my personal experiences...actually many anecdotes, much like Cathy's but on the other side of the coin


I remember one guy saying to me after a guitar jam tune, 'i thought you said you could hardly play anything? wow, you even know how to use one of those things (capo)!'

I replied, 'no, I only know how to use one of those things because I don't know how to use one of those things! (guitar)'
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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I remember one guy saying to me after a guitar jam tune, 'i thought you said you could hardly play anything? wow, you even know how to use one of those things (capo)!'

I replied, 'no, I only know how to use one of those things because I don't know how to use one of those things! (guitar)'[/QUOTE]

lol
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

Quote:
I remember one guy saying to me after a guitar jam tune, 'i thought you said you could hardly play anything? wow, you even know how to use one of those things (capo)!'

I replied, 'no, I only know how to use one of those things because I don't know how to use one of those things! (guitar)'
That was a real good reply jj... lol !

I like my Shubb 6 string capo...
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:28 PM   #4
charlene
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

don't for one moment think JJ is not one talented guy..he sings, writes and plays keyboards/piano/guitar. You've seen what he does with video and pictures he takes and puts to music. He's a modest and humble multi talented Canuck!
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:34 PM   #5
New 12 String Mike
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

I use Shubb capos myself.

The thing I like about electronic tuners is that they end any tuning disagreements. Plus with 2 12 strings, they do save some time!
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

I use Shubb capos on both my six-strings and my twelve string. Been using a capo since I was 12. I have an electronic tuner which is fine, however a friend of mine uses a tuning fork for his HD-28.
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:57 PM   #7
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don't for one moment think JJ is not one talented guy..he sings, writes and plays keyboards/piano/guitar. You've seen what he does with video and pictures he takes and puts to music. He's a modest and humble multi talented Canuck!
Ma'am,

Give yourself a prize for the Understatement Of The Year.
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:17 PM   #8
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we've got prizes now?!!?!?!?
wowza!
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

some of my thoughts:

i agree, guys who use 12 strings can stike the e-tuner from my list, lol....i think the only reason i ever owned a 12 (Tak) was so it would become relatively enjoyable to tune a 6!

it is refreshing to not worry about dull batteries or tuner interferences and just learn to hear that A note, get that second string right in synch with that pitch and then train the ear to bring the low E in line with the A and carry back on up from there...seeing young kids use the e-tuners for every note or using a tone from their computer really will not develop their ears and sense of pitch...you won't ever give a better pair of gifts to a young aspiring musician than a tuning fork and simple metronome, they can last a lifetime and will keep on giving in many many ways

i love the sound of long strings on a nice guitar... i currently dont have any sort of quality guitar but i know many who do and it seems ashame to choke that rich tone with capos...with capo, there's no doubt that it's easier to move the fingers about when your hands are positioned higher up on the neck since the frets are closer together...for a young player (or small-handed female or male) who is getting frustrated trying to learn, the capo is a pretty good solution as long as it doesn't become a crutch, imo

when a duo is playing, it's often nice to hear some different 'voicings' on guitar chords when one player moves the capo up and transposes the chords to match what the non-capoed player is playing...eg) capo on 2nd fret and play in C while other player plays in D...or more extreme is like the SFAWN set up where capo is plaace waaay up there!

these last few points support the capo's usefulness...what i meant by' worst' was really more along the lines of 'restricting development and musicianship'...if one learns to play in the keys of say, C, D, G and A then that should provide enough flexibility for a vocalist...some vocalists tailor their key right to the optimal semitone but i think it's better to have singers push a bit and broaden what they think is their range confort zone...typically, the adrenelin of a live performance will have them hitting any iffy upper notes

i suppose guitar hero does give the fingers some dexterity and develops hand/eye response...i suppose of kids have hours to burn and can find time to ALSO work on 'actual' guitar development then fine but between part time work, studying, relationships and recreation/sports, i doubt there's time and i'm guessing the 'actual' scales, chord progression work and thoery work take a back seat to the video fun...i can't say i've tried it, maybe i will and will come back singing a different tune altogether, lol...but i have seen this 'game' come out and pretty much kill a get together

i suppose karoke is good for singer development and had it's moment as a party fad (maybe it's alove more than ever, i'm not sure) ...however if video killed the radio star, karoke killed the backing musician

if one really wants to work on their stage presence, well, that's what the shower if for

I don't know if we have keyboard/piano players in the forums (where is David? hope he's well) ...would love to hear some 'transpose button feature' feedback...I am sure Mike has the feature on his Roland and/or Yamaha (and the Kurtzweill at home) but gets no use...I could be mistaken...I would think he would get great mental and physcial stimulation if he had the request to play one of the GL live standard in a key other than what's been engrained in his muscle memory over the decades...for tunes that had distinct and busy keys solos, it may not be quite as fun but at his level I don't think it would be an issue except for 4 or 5 of the nastier key signatures

does anyone know what, if any, tunes GL has changed the key of over the years? (i recall some thread about this but not specifically...i think the key was lowered from the studio recording for a few, no?)

char, you're very kind...because wee bits of very talented folks may have rubbed off over the years, i do some of those things 'fair'ly well but nothing 'very' well at all, it's the truth...fingers are sloppy, hurts my brain to hear my voice but am very thankful for the ears i was given...btw, one way to preserve one's treasured hearing is to attend lots of GL concerts, you never have to worry about your ears ringing the next day

there are many great unknown names, faces and talents throughout where I live and same is true throughout the world...and there are many fine guitarists, writers and singers right in these very forums...i'm neither part of the former nor the latter group

note: this thread was meant to be in Small Talk, move as you see fit, char...if it happens to survive and morphs into talking about GL's capo use then fine

ps) besides being Ms Fix It and Ms Reno It, char has a special knack for creating striking art from a combination of glass and metal(s) ...and as for her singing, the only time i truly endorse capo usage is when one is frantically trying to zero in on what key she is singing in
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:03 AM   #10
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we've got prizes now?!!?!?!?
wowza!
Well, of course not.......it was just a vicious rumor.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:44 AM   #11
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so cruel, so cruel..
I may not recover.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

jj, it's not that I don't know most of those diminished, augmented, major 7th, and the rest of the chords. I used to play in a jazz band, back when I was young and foolish, and I HAD to know them, and how to transpose from one key to another without using a capo. Using a capo has nothing to do with that. Certain types of chords sound better on certain styles of songs. Open chords happen to sound better on Lightfoot tunes. In order to get songs in my vocal range, and still be able to play open chords, I use a capo. It's as simple as that. Nothing annoys me more than some guitarist that's too full of himself, trying to chord along using barr chords that sound like "chumpity, chumpity, chumpity..." Believe me, there's one at fiddling who plays this way. Erks me every time!
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

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Originally Posted by bjm7777 View Post
I use Shubb capos on both my six-strings and my twelve string. Been using a capo since I was 12. I have an electronic tuner which is fine, however a friend of mine uses a tuning fork for his HD-28.
I use Shubb 6 & 12 string capos, too. And I tune to a tuner, but when I'm done, I always find myself tweeking a few strings. I believe no guitar is a perfect guitar, and certain strings on certain frets will be slightly out of tune. I also believe that about 90% of the people listening wouldn't even notice it. But we do. We're guitar players.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

jj, a lot of the kids I've taught over the years, especially the younger ones, I've started out using a capo on the second or third fret. For one thing, the frets are closer, and they have less of a struggle reaching the fingerings. And if you get a kid who just won't press on the strings hard enough because it hurts his fingers too much, a capo can really work wonders. Right now, I'm trying to teach my 7 year old neice. I bought her a little guitar with silk strings last Christmas, and she didn't learn a chord until I donated an old capo. Now she doesn't have any problem playing basic, open chords.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

love the feedback! and coming from one jazz nurtured and who teaches, all the more glorious...i may not have fully stood behind my lists but am glad it has brought about some responses...remember, some of us are Canucks (ie. fencesitters....then again there is the odd exception like Don Cherry, our moderator, lol)

a therapist where i work during the day just told me of how guitar hero has been helpful in their field...maybe i should move it to the top of the "best" list

question cathy: yeah, the voicing (open chord) issue is loud and clear and I think i only briefly mentioned it on my pro-capo rant but when you say you cap+5 in G for IYCRMM, wouldn't playing in C cound open and give one that longer rich string tone? i thought it would be easy for the key accompaniest also....i realize it's not how the Gord plays it but just wondered...i do love alt arrangements so there's a biast...i'm one who believe we all hear slightly different tones and see slightly differnet colours...that's why i like B+W...it reduced art to a lower common denominator and let's the focus on composition occur...sorry, i'm mutitasking here and may be more inarticulate than even per usual

yeah, this should be under small talk...no offense if ya want to move it, char
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

Capos are great and they have little to do with whether one can play in a certain key or not. The give the instrument an entirely different voice. There are loads of songs that sound better in c capoed two instead of d.

Good examples of songs that sound great capoed and wouldn't sound half as good otherwise - John Prine's Hello in There. Sure you can play it in d but g capoed 7 is what makes the sound. Same thing with Steve Goodman doing The Dutchman. It'll be OK in c but is amazing in g capoed 5.

i would hope I need not get into how one Gordon Lightfoot makes use of capos.

I have Shubbs and Kysers myself.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: capos, transpose buttons and other aids

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I use Shubb 6 & 12 string capos, too. And I tune to a tuner, but when I'm done, I always find myself tweeking a few strings. I believe no guitar is a perfect guitar, and certain strings on certain frets will be slightly out of tune. I also believe that about 90% of the people listening wouldn't even notice it. But we do. We're guitar players.
Absolutely true. To be honest, I just find E, then go from there by ear. Then check E again. My harmonica is handy sometimes, too. As for the tweaking, good guitars take years of training to teach them that they are no longer trees, and to kindly settle down and be a guitar.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:00 PM   #18
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1st of all, I'm having trouble getting a certain picture out of my mind (that would be...jj playing piano and guitar with his earlobes )...but I'll be ok

Meanwhile, I have some comments @ Guitar Heroes and then capos

My cousins' children (then aged 10 & 12) showed me how to play and told me I was pretty good the 10 year-old told me I picked it up a lot faster than any of her friends hehe.

But they didn't have real guitars..so we went out and bought some and both the kids were playing pretty good in no time! I was astonished at how quickly they learned to play. I would think that playing Guitar Heroes helped with that!

I bought all the kids 'online' lesson cards last XMass, but I don't know if they've ever used them. And last I spoke with my cousin to ask if the kids were playing the guitars -they had become bored and were no longer playing. I told my cousin that it was allright -that they'll probably pick it up again when they're teens.

In turn though...did the game (more fun/exciting and the thrill of 'winning') discourage them from playing their instruments?

It is good for hand/eye coordination, etc., and it does appear to have helped a great deal when they tried real guitars -so I think time can only tell what will happen to our young Guitar Heroes!

I for sure in my youth, spent more time playing games than playing guitar! Cards, board games, shooting pool, sports...you name it! gee...I wonder if playing pinball and centipede (man, I was addicted) helped me with my guitar-playing at all . Well...it did get me drinking for the 1st time (when I was of legal age) because you had to drink to play!

Myself...I never even touched an acoustic guitar until I was 16! And even then, I was completely on my own and didn't know what the heck I was doing. No other teens in my neighborhood had a guitar.

I taught myself to play chords...but couldn't read music. Somehow quickly taught myself on the piano 1st but still can't on guitar. I didn't know anything about alternative tuning or capos until I was in my 30's...but I used to have to tune all my strings down to accompany my vocals until then.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:42 PM   #19
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Is it more difficult to learn how to play piano, compared to playing guitar ?
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:10 PM   #20
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Is it more difficult to learn how to play piano, compared to playing guitar ?
I'm not sure. I can say that learning the piano provides a solid foundation that makes the transition to the guitar (or any instrument) much easier.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:06 PM   #21
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Is it more difficult to learn how to play piano, compared to playing guitar ?
It was far easier for me to learn to play the piano than guitar. The piano is a superior instrument. The main 'benefit' if you will, of a guitar is it's portability. That's why I started playing one. My mom kicked my dad out of the den and he had to bunk in the basement where the piano was. He was cool about me playing piano down there but he was usually crashed out by 8pm! My mom and sis played the piano too so it was hard to get on it!
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:19 AM   #22
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Thanks to you both; RM & podunklander !

I play guitar (self taught), but have always enjoy listening to that beautiful piano sound.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:32 AM   #23
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That's an interesting question. I somehow have never been able to "get" the piano. Fret boards make more sense to me than keyboards and there's no real reason why - certainly a keyboard is more logically set up. just one of those things. Harmonicas elude me as well.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:16 PM   #24
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I suppose a person could play it in C, but can you get those typical Lightfoot chords and make it sound the same? I wouldn't have a clue how to play the intro and make it sound right. The intro, to me, is one part of the song that's recognizable to most people. I like to put my own twist on it, but basically, I use the same chord variations that Gord does.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:26 PM   #25
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Absolutely true. To be honest, I just find E, then go from there by ear. Then check E again. My harmonica is handy sometimes, too. As for the tweaking, good guitars take years of training to teach them that they are no longer trees, and to kindly settle down and be a guitar.
Boy, that's the truth! When I bought the D-15, I was really disappointed in the way it sounded. Not much resonance at all. I was talking to an old guitar player about it, and he suggested I put in in front of a speaker and play some loud rock music. I had just the rig for that. A big stereo in the car with six speakers inside and a 12 inch sub-woofer in the trunk, all run off 1750 worth of amplification. I put the guitar in the trunk, and proceeded to tell my son he could listen to a rap CD while he was shooting baskets out in the driveway. I swore the house was going to come off the foundation, but it completely changed the tone of the guitar, and from that point, it felt alive when I strummed it. You could feel the vibrations. Many people have told me it's a special guitar, and they've never played a D15 that sounds like that! I think I trained that guitar good. It still sounds good, even after having been tossed off a flat-bed, cracked and repaired.
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