Using The Partial Capo
Owing to the configuration of the guitar fretboard, the design has some inherent limitations. To gain the benefit of the DADGAD tuning and simplified chord positions the capo must be placed on the second fret, which results in the guitar being in E major pitch. Thus, in order to continue to play the DADGAD tuning chord positions at different pitches, the user is required to use an additional regular standard capo two frets behind the cut capo to effectively raise the pitch of the guitar to different keys. Recent products such as the Transpo Capo have attempted to solve these limitations by incorporating a patented double capo system.
Though the partial capo can simulate the open chords of a particular tuning, it does not mean that chord fingerings meant for a particular tuning can simply be adapted to the other tuning. In most cases, this is not possible, and unique fingerings must be calculated that take into account the position of the capo and the original tuning.
The following is a description of how the partial capo works on a guitar in standard EADGBE tuning:
The partial capo must be placed two frets away from the nut. This applies if using the partial capo with a standard capo to achieve various tunings. If the partial capo is used without a full capo—placed on the second fret covering the A, D, and G, strings—then the guitar player can use simple one to three finger chord shapes in order to play songs. This gives nice open chord sound.
The key is determined by the bass note. When placed on the 2nd fret the bass note is E. When cut capo chords are applied then the songs played will be in the key of E. If the guitar player puts a full capo on the first fret, and the partial capo on the 3rd fret, the bass note is F, and therefore the guitarist is playing in the key of F.
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