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Down Up Dick
05-17-2014, 05:40 AM
I have a capo, and I have a baritone singing voice. Someone told me I could use a capo to find a good key to use for singing, but for the life of me I can't see how. The capo raises the key and therefore the pitch. I don't think I want the pitch to rise do I? It seems like a useless piece of equipment to me, unless I'm missing something.

If anyone has it all figured out, please elucidate. Perhaps the capo belongs with the rest of the music junk I bought over the years.

Jim Hanks
05-17-2014, 09:01 AM
Depends on the key you're aiming for and if you're willing to also transpose what key you're playing in. For example, say you have music in F but you want to lower it to D. Hmm, D might me hard to play in directly - too many E chords. But you could play it in C and put the capo on 2nd fret-now you're in D.

Plus if you raise enough you can drop your voice an octave to get to the right key.

It's another tool to get you to a combination you're comfortable with.

dickadcock
05-17-2014, 11:58 AM
What's a capo for? Doesn't matter. You have to have one. Other people will feel better knowing you have one. You don't have to use it.

It' like a car's GPS that way.

When I was 18-wish, we used to call them "cheaters". You didn't really expect to see a pro use one. They did. And they used several instruments tuned differently. I did a lot of folk music gigs (for money) with college buddies & we used capos extensively to give a more varied sound. Like a guitar playing on 5th fret, and another w/o a capo playing the same chord w. different fingering. I didn't think about it then, but it was like a tenor and Bari uke playing together in the same key, but sounding different, and fuller together.
It might be useful if you need to play in a group & would like an easy way to do it. In that case, though, if one has a good chord base, & only need the name - not a diagram - a capo isn't needed.

As Jim said, it's good for changing to a pitch you are comfortable singing in.
Example. I have been learning "That's All" from Ukester Brown's practice sheet. Some new chords, & fun to practice. I think that if I want to learn to sing it, I will have to transpose or use a capo. Those finger shapes sound great on both tenor & baritone, but if I really play it in A on the baritone, I have another big bunch of chords to learn.(I haven't checked - I may know a lot of them, or not)
Being a solitary player now, the other use of the capo is to play along with recordings. I don't know why I run across so many recordings in E- flat and F sharp, but I do. A pro could just re-tune up or down for the amount of time it takes to get a track recorded.
Finally, I use the capo very sparingly, as it makes one of my favorite chords very difficult (standard E7, Bari B7)

Did I see that you are a lower brass guy? Now THAT's music you can feel!
(Me? Sousaphone, Baritone, & tenor slide Trombone)
~Dick

kypfer
05-17-2014, 12:11 PM
Unless you've got small fingers (or a big uke) the capo is likely to of less use than it might be on a guitar or banjo, for example, where shifting up four or five semitones is a practical possibility. However, if you've got a song in a key that is just a semitone or two too low for your (or a friends) voice, but the next easily playable key is just a bit too high, using a capo to "fit things in" makes life easier.
It can also come in handy if you want to strum along with a recording that's in a "non-uke-friendly" key.

Down Up Dick
05-17-2014, 01:53 PM
Thank you, Jim Hanks, you helped me a lot. Now days they sell you things with no information at all. How one can buy a $1000+ computer and not get any instructions is beyond me. Anyway, I appreciate your help. How far up the neck can one use the capo?

dickadcock, I really enjoyed your first sentence. That's why I bought the darned thing in the first place. I am a devout assessary buyer. I have more music stuff in my music room than a music store has. And yes, I am a low brass man now, but since grammer school I have played all the brass instruments at on time or another. I also play side drum and lots of different flutes and whistles. Thank you too for your help, but I have to read it over again to
understand it better. I'll check back with you if I have any questions.

kypfer, thank you too, I'll have to mull through all this info to see what I can use with my very important capo.

mailman
05-17-2014, 02:25 PM
Thank you, Jim Hanks, you helped me a lot. Now days they sell you things with no information at all. How one can buy a $1000+ computer and not get any instructions is beyond me. Anyway, I appreciate your help. How far up the neck can one use the capo?

dickadcock, I really enjoyed your first sentence. That's why I bought the darned thing in the first place. I am a devout assessary buyer. I have more music stuff in my music room than a music store has. And yes, I am a low brass man now, but since grammer school I have played all the brass instruments at on time or another. I also play side drum and lots of different flutes and whistles. Thank you too for your help, but I have to read it over again to
understand it better. I'll check back with you if I have any questions.

kypfer, thank you too, I'll have to mull through all this info to see what I can use with my very important capo.

You could tune your uke down a couple of semitones, making it easier to fit your vocal range. If you are playing by yourself, it doesn't matter at all, as long as your uke is in tune with itself.

But, should you want to play with others, you could pull out your trusty capo, and easily change your tuning back up a couple of semitones, to standard pitch....

Jim Hanks
05-17-2014, 05:44 PM
How far up the neck can one use the capo?.
On the bari, at least 3, maybe 5. Soprano maybe 2, or more. There's no hard/fast rule.

coolkayaker1
05-17-2014, 08:03 PM
DrBekken is our resident expert on capos on baritones. Perhaps he will chime in.