Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper
Activity: Capo Dial
Construct a dial to determine on which fret to place a capo for
various musical transpositions.
A capo is basically a moving nut. The nut of your guitar
plastic piece that the strings run through at the top of your guitar. It
could be thought of as fret "zero." For example, if someone were
to play a
note on the fourth fret of a string, it actually means four frets away from
What the capo enables a player to do is essentially move the
to any fret they like. This allows players to transpose music. A
becomes very useful in situations where you may know an entire song in one
key, but no one you are playing with can sing it that low. Using a
could raise the key without having to play any different chord progressions.
The capo dial is a quick way to figure out which fret to place
at for various transpositions. The chords and numbers are color coded and
is very easy to use. The outside letters represent the starting key or
chord. The inside circle of letters represent the key or chord to which
There is then a set of the numbers 1-12 beneath each one of
these letters. They represent the frets where you place your capo. Simply
match up the color of your starting key with the color of the number under
the key you wish to transpose to and that will be the fret at which you place
||For example, in picture 1a, a C chord is being played, but
using the same chord shape I wanted it to be an F chord instead.
1b shows the original chord, C, being lined up with the new chord, F. The
of the original chord, C, is black and the number that is also black is 5.
Therefore, one could place the capo at the 5th fret, play the C chord shape,
and have it now be an F chord. (picture 1c)
Contributed by Matthew Rumley.