A partial capo performs a roughly magic trick on your guitar. Fool your buddies and baffle your enemies: you sound equivalent to you’re the usage of an substitute tuning, but you’re no longer!
Partial capos carry out this sleight of hand by holding down some strings and leaving others untouched—thereby changing the intervals between initiate strings.
In an earlier lesson (published in the May perhaps presumably well 2017 narrate and in the book/video Beyond Strumming), I launched the five-string partial capo, which offers you a setup equivalent to dropped-D tuning whilst you space the capo at the second fret overlaying the high five strings. Now let’s explore the three-string capo, designed to expend down strings 3–5 or, flipped spherical to the loads of facet of the fingerboard, strings 2–4.
Basically the most typical exhaust of a three-string capo is on strings 3–5 at the second fret—the capo is grabbing an Esus4 chord form for you. (Survey ma, no fretting!) In that space, the intervals between initiate strings are the identical as in DADGAD tuning up a total step (E B E A B E). So the capo offers you something care for instantaneous DADGAD, while your strings are bodily aloof in typical tuning.
In this exercise, we’ll level of curiosity largely on this DADGAD (or Esus) partial capo space—having a test at chord shapes and then making an strive them out briefly progressions. In Week Four, we are in a position to flip the capo spherical to duvet strings 2–4 at the second fret—so it’s holding down an A fundamental chord form.
Except it’s top to strive cutting up a fashioned capo—no longer a in point of fact easy or instant hack—you’ll desire a particular capo to play these examples. Fortunately, three-string capos are readily on hand and no longer a spacious funding: test out the Shubb C7B, Kyser Snappily-Alternate Quick Decrease, D’Addario Artist DADGAD, G7th Newport three-string model, and others. And the price is neatly price it for cracking initiate a total original candy box of sounds on your guitar.
Week One: Familiar Shapes, Fresh Sounds
First, set up your partial capo in space on strings 3–5 at the second fret. Strum at some level of the initiate strings to listen to the sus4 chord. You would simply should tweak your tuning after including the capo; I acquire that a partial capo tends to knock out the tuning somewhat.
Now test out the D chord shapes in Example 1, initiating with the one-finger D5. Designate that I’m naming chord shapes in terms of the capo; a D form sounds as an E. Also present that the high line of these chord grids represents the capo space (second fret). When strings 6, 2, or 1 are initiate, they in truth ring two frets below the capo, at the nut.
Strive out the D most fundamental, D minor, and D7 shapes, all with hundreds initiate strings. The Dadd4 is a candy cluster voicing with the third and fourth of the chord subsequent to every assorted.
Play some G voicings in Example 2. You’ll undercover agent that the first G form looks to be like and sounds steady equivalent to you’re in typical tuning—on legend of that you just would possibly presumably be in typical tuning! Within the second G form, bound away the first string initiate. Then initiate up the second string, too, for a Gadd9. As shown, you can furthermore play a Gadd9 by the usage of the third-fret barre chord form but leaving the high strings initiate; the instance exhibits diversifications fretted with four, three, and two fingers. Indirectly, test out the Gm form that’s a long way gentler on the fingers than the everyday six-string barre.
Example 3 offers a assortment of A fundamental and minor shapes enriched with sus4, add4, and 11 extensions on the initiate first and second strings. Within the final few A shapes, bolt up the neck while aloof the usage of initiate strings on high.
In Example 4, play by extra chord shapes, initiating with Cadd9 and C9. The E chords present a wrinkle: in advise for you a low root, it’s indispensable to stress the sixth string alongside the capo. To carry out that, you can simply should dart your capo a little additional from the second fret (toward the nut) than you can generally space it; see a candy build steady a long way adequate from the fret that your index finger can hunch in to stress the sixth string, but no longer to this level that it causes the capoed strings to buzz or sound lifeless. Fretting beside the capo care for this can simply feel awkward before every thing but will get extra proud of note.
Closing out this week, play the Bm7, F6, and Bbmaj7 shapes, all with sparkly initiate strings on high. Endure in mind that you just can transpose all these chord shapes (and the examples that note) with a fashioned capo: steady exhaust a fashioned capo plus a partial capo two frets elevated. Ought to you build a fashioned capo at, hiss, the third fret, and the partial capo at the fifth fret, your D shapes sound in the most fundamental of G.
Inexperienced persons’ Tip #1
Do now not omit that the partial capo only impacts the sound whilst you’re playing an un-capoed string initiate.
That’s the close of week one. Your total lesson capabilities four weeks of workout routines (plus a bonus exercise.) There are two ways to catch admission to the fleshy video and musical examples: Join our neighborhood at Patreon.com/acousticguitarplus OR Clutch the January-February 2024 narrate of Acoustic Guitar magazine.