Perhaps you already noticed that I'm always using this magic thingy on most of my solo guitar stuffs.
Here are some of the reasons:
(1) Matching the Right Key of the Song. Since the friendly guitar keys are C, G, D, Am and Em, I have to analyze the melody range and the chords progressions and figure out if it fits the first position.
For example, the original key of a given song is in the key of E. So, it's either I clip the capo on the 2nd fret and play in the key of D or stick it up to the 4th fret and play in the key of C.
Another example would be a song in the key of A. The easiest thing to do is to play in the key of G with a capo on the 2nd fret. Or sometimes a song that is already a friendly key (i.e. key of C) played in the key of G but capoed on the 5th fret.
(2) Easy Transitions for Both Melody Lines and Chord Shapes. As mentioned previously, the friendly keys would and should dominate your analysis. Sometimes, I just ignore the original key and position the capo anywhere and play everything in the key of G. I love this key so much! I think it is the easiest key of all.
(3) Minimize String Resonance. If I play without a capo, I'm kinda hearing overtones and it just freaks me out. So, by clipping a capo, it somewhat reduce a bit of the string resonance and it keeps the melody and chord transitions smooth.
Capo is not a cheat. It is the smartest solution to some difficult guitar situations. Get one and enjoy!
© 2011 Lex Von Sumayo