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Old 10-09-2010, 05:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Simple Capo question

Hello,

If I tune my guitar to D# and put a Capo on the first fret, would I then be playing in standard tuning?

Sorry to ask such a simple thing, I would just try, but I don't have a Capo.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes you're correct, although why you would do that is somewhat a mystery.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes you're correct, although why you would do that is somewhat a mystery.
Thanks, I'll buy a capo then. And well, I have some songs in standard, some in D#, some in drop D, and some in drop C#. I don't have four guitars, so for live performances I'd like to have one guitar in D# and capo it for some songs to get standard and another guitar in drop C# and capo it for some songs to get drop D.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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one point of clarification that needs to be made.

there's a difference between dropped-D and tuned down to D.

a 'dropped-X' tuning is implied for the low-E string only. hence 'dropped D' is DADGBE, same as standard only the low E is dropped to D to make playing power chords simpler (becomes a 1 finger thing). tuning down to D is when all strings drop a full step, or DGCFAD.

if you're doing tunes like Spoonman (which needs dropped D) then a capo is not at all going to address your issue (but a pedal tuner would).
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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one point of clarification that needs to be made.

there's a difference between dropped-D and tuned down to D.

a 'dropped-X' tuning is implied for the low-E string only. hence 'dropped D' is DADGBE, same as standard only the low E is dropped to D to make playing power chords simpler (becomes a 1 finger thing). tuning down to D is when all strings drop a full step, or DGCFAD.

if you're doing tunes like Spoonman (which needs dropped D) then a capo is not at all going to address your issue (but a pedal tuner would).
Correct me if I'm wrong, these are the names of the tunings I'm expecting to play in:

Standard - E-A-D-G-B-E
Dropped D - D-A-D-G-B-E
D# (Eb) - D#-G#-C#-F#-A#-D# (Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb)
Dropped C# (Dropped Db) - C#-G#-C#-F#-A#-D# (Db-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb)

So I think placing a capo on the first fret of a guitar in D# would bring it back to standard. And placing a capo on the first fret of a guitar in Dropped C# would bring it back to Dropped D. And of course everything has to be played a fret down.

Am I correct? I am kind of confused.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Drop C is Drop D tuned a full step down, so you can switch between those tunings simply by being in drop C natural and capoing at the second fret for Drop D.

D#/Eb is standard tuned a half step down, so you can tune to D# natural and capo at the first fret for standard.

Drop D is standard with ONLY the low string dropped a full step down to D. (You can see why this is a problem...)

The missing link here is moving up from Drop D/C to D# or standard, since the low string needs to come up a half step or a whole step respectively, independent of the rest of the strings. This is an easy solution, but it can't be done with a standard capo. You WILL have to manually tune the low string between drop C/D and Standard/D#. But you can make it easy on yourself by capoing 5 strings for Standard and D# and manually changing the low string.

This is probably confusing you more, but you need to understand that drop D changes one string from standard (and drop C is a whole step transposition down from that), and D# is simply a transposition from Standard. It's why you have to manually tune the low string between drop D/C tunings and D#/Standard tunings. Capos will make this a lot easier on you if you simply tune to the lowest tuning (Drop C) and full capo between that and drop D... and when you're ready to switch to E# and Standard, you capo on 5 higher strings the respective number of frets and manually tune the low string. It's really the simplest way, unless you know of a single-string capo to use with the other one.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JakeDTH View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, these are the names of the tunings I'm expecting to play in:

Standard - E-A-D-G-B-E
Dropped D - D-A-D-G-B-E
D# (Eb) - D#-G#-C#-F#-A#-D# (Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb)
Dropped C# (Dropped Db) - C#-G#-C#-F#-A#-D# (Db-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb)

So I think placing a capo on the first fret of a guitar in D# would bring it back to standard. And placing a capo on the first fret of a guitar in Dropped C# would bring it back to Dropped D. And of course everything has to be played a fret down.

Am I correct? I am kind of confused.
that's spot on. though personally i call the third one Eb, but that's just splitting hairs.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Drop C is Drop D tuned a full step down, so you can switch between those tunings simply by being in drop C natural and capoing at the second fret for Drop D.

D#/Eb is standard tuned a half step down, so you can tune to D# natural and capo at the first fret for standard.

Drop D is standard with ONLY the low string dropped a full step down to D. (You can see why this is a problem...)

The missing link here is moving up from Drop D/C to D# or standard, since the low string needs to come up a half step or a whole step respectively, independent of the rest of the strings. This is an easy solution, but it can't be done with a standard capo. You WILL have to manually tune the low string between drop C/D and Standard/D#. But you can make it easy on yourself by capoing 5 strings for Standard and D# and manually changing the low string.

This is probably confusing you more, but you need to understand that drop D changes one string from standard (and drop C is a whole step transposition down from that), and D# is simply a transposition from Standard. It's why you have to manually tune the low string between drop D/C tunings and D#/Standard tunings. Capos will make this a lot easier on you if you simply tune to the lowest tuning (Drop C) and full capo between that and drop D... and when you're ready to switch to E# and Standard, you capo on 5 higher strings the respective number of frets and manually tune the low string. It's really the simplest way, unless you know of a single-string capo to use with the other one.
I wasn't really intending to use a capo to go from a dropped tuning to a standard one, I know that going from drop C# to standard would be very hard, if not impossible for me. Just a capo on and off the first fret on both guitars, one in D# and one in drop C#.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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that's spot on. though personally i call the third one Eb, but that's just splitting hairs.
I started calling Eb D# because whenever I told people the tuning I'd say "it's E flat" and they would get this weird look on their faces like a "so you're playing out of tune?" But whenever I said "it's D sharp" people would react like "so D but slightly higher, interesting", it's weird but that's why I call it D# now.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I wasn't really intending to use a capo to go from a dropped tuning to a standard one, I know that going from drop C# to standard would be very hard, if not impossible for me. Just a capo on and off the first fret on both guitars, one in D# and one in drop C#.
Uh.. not hard, nowhere near impossible. But I'm wondering why you posted here in the first place... What you're saying you already know already answers any questions you've had then.

Am I missing something?
Please don't be wasting our time.
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