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#1 2009-11-28 12:04:51

Ms.Mouse
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From: UK
Registered: 2007-07-18
Posts: 16
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Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

Apologies if this is a really dumb question but . . .

if a song requires a capo on the 3rd fret for guitar then do you use a capo on the 3rd fret of the uke after transposing the chords to GCEA uke?

I learned a song from printing the pdf off Chordie and it was only when I exported to Chopro that I saw there was a hidden comment to capo the guitar at the 3rd fret.  So I tried a capo on the 3rd fret of the uke but wasn't keen on the result.

However, in the case of that song, I play it picking the notes rather than playing the full chords and I do not use the full chord shapes (because I can't do them yet!) and it sounds better to me, played that way, without a capo on the uke.

I haven't tried alternate picking patterns to see if that makes a difference as I already play the song on two ukes, an acoustic concert with high G and an electric tenor with low G and the picking needs to be different for the two instruments already.

Best wishes,

Lizzie


Play the Ukulele: The most fun you can have doing something badly!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I'm not going to say I'm no Jim Morrison, I'm not going to say I'm no John Lennon - I'm not going to say I'm like The Monkees neither! - 'I'm a Believer!' - Some people say I make a pretty good musician - but I've always argued that's going to take me a long time . . . "
Wild Man Fischer

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#2 2009-11-28 17:18:23

Doug_Smith
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From: Western Oregon,US
Registered: 2008-07-22
Posts: 1184

Re: Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

Hi Lizzie, and thanks for your first post on Chordie!

  There are lots of Uke players here, but as a guitarist I would think that it would sound strange to capo the Uke as you would guitar for sure.  Third fret capo on standard tuned guitar would be GCFA#F.  Just thinking about it I hear a dischord in there.  I may be wrong, but I think you can change the preferences in Chopro to different instruments and tunings, so you might try going back to the piece and see about letting the software have a go at it and print the result.

Let us know how it goes for you, and Take Care;
Doug


"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

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#3 2012-03-09 10:51:47

ndrewoods
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Registered: 2011-07-05
Posts: 25

Re: Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

Doug_Smith wrote:

[Hi Lizzie, and thanks for your first post on Chordie!

  There are lots of Uke players here, but as a guitarist I would think that it would sound strange to capo the Ukulele lessons as you would guitar for sure.  Third fret capo on standard tuned guitar would be GCFA#F.  Just thinking about it I hear a dischord in there.  I may be wrong, but I think you can change the preferences in Chopro to different instruments and tunings, so you might try going back to the piece and see about letting the software have a go at it and print the result.

Let us know how it goes for you, and Take Care;
Doug

^ I agree. I read a lot of forums bout not using capo on a uke like putting it a guitar. Most uke players just use bar chords and don't bother with a capo.

The problem with a capo on an ukulele is that the scale length is so short that when you use a capo it puts too much pressure on the strings and they become sharp (#) or a little high. The "intonation" is off because the strings are "bent".

Last edited by ndrewoods (2012-03-11 05:44:57)

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#4 2012-03-09 20:40:23

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3056
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Re: Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

It depends on how the uke is tuned, but you don't want to capo it, you just want to learn to play in whatever key the song is in, and that means understanding what the capo is doing for you.

What chord shapes are you playing on the guitar when the capo is on?  If you're doing a lot of E and A shapes, the song is probably in G.  If you're doing lots of C and F shapes, the song is probably in D.  If you're doing lots of D and A shapes, it is probably in E.

Learn those chords on the uke, and you're done!  No capo required.


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#5 2012-03-09 21:30:24

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Tooele Ut
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3801

Re: Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

Capos are only used to allow your voice to be comfortable in a certain range.  If you can sing all the notes comfortably without the capo, then do.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#6 2012-03-10 01:11:01

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3056
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Re: Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

That's not necessarily true.  A capo changes the key of the instrument.  Sometimes that's to help with vocals.  Sometimes it's because it makes it a whole lot easier to play the song.

For example, something written in F  is far easier to play if you simply capo at the 1st fret.  Zurf could play his Bb no problem!  Bluegrass players do this all the time.


Someday we'll win this thing...

www.aclosesecond.com

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#7 2012-03-10 01:32:18

bensonp
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From: Tooele Ut
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3801

Re: Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

That's what I meant to say Jerome. smile


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#8 2012-03-10 15:03:10

Ms.Mouse
Junior Member
From: UK
Registered: 2007-07-18
Posts: 16
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Re: Guitar capo 3rd fret to ukulele GCEA

Many thanks for all the comments :-)

The song I was working on was "Sweet Dreams" by The Eurythmics (also covered by Marilyn Manson). 

The version that says "capo on the 3rd fret" doesn't seem to be accessible via Chordie any more but from what I have said in my first post, the key would have been [Em] but with "capo on the 3rd fret" in the notes, taking it to [Gm] - which sounds dreadful on a gCEA uke! (ie. played as [Gm] without a capo)

I am guessing that everyone who has replied will know the following already, but for any new readers who don't know this already . . .

- GCEA strung uke, eg. a tenor uke, is like a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret - but missing the two "fat, deep strings" (sorry, I know bugger-all about guitars!)

- a gCEA uke (eg. soprano, concert) is similar except the g string is an octave higher.

The current versions of "Sweet Dreams" via Chordie are in [Cm] - which I think sounds awful on a gCEA uke, eg. http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/www.g … 20351.html

This version in [Em] is in my Chordie Songbook and from the url it looks as if I have used the Chordie renderer myself and it is not accessible via Chordie Search (and it doesn't mention a capo):
http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/?url= … ranspose=0

That one is the version I learned on a gCEA uke. When picking, I play [Em] this way 0-4-0-2.  Chordie renders [Em] like that but most uke players use 0-4-3-2.  When strumming I switch between the two versions and that gives a nice effect.

On the tenor uke, GCEA, where I would pick an open g on the smaller ukes, I need to pick the E string, fretted at the 3rd fret, to get the high g because the open low G sounds rubbish there.

The only version I could find now citing "capo on the 3rd fret" is this one, in [Am], taking it to [Cm] again:
http://www.guitarsongs.info/ROCK/euryth … dreams.htm

IMHO, on a uke, this song sounds fine in [Am] and [Em], quirky-so-so-mmm-not-sure-about-it in [Dm], rubbish in [Cm] and [Gm] and I won't even attempt [Bm] and [Fm]. (Flats and sharps? The only one I always have a peek at is [F#m], because it's dead easy on the uke and sounds lovely, but not for this song.)

I like [Em] to pick and sing "Sweet Dreams" it as it makes a nice "medley sandwich" with "Sweet Dreams" as the bread and "People are Strange" in [Em] as the filling.

As a "stand-alone" song on the gCEA uke, [Am] is easiest for strumming - with the usual uke-cheat of playing easy [E7] instead of nasty [E].

I have got better at playing since I first posted my question - as you'd hope! Although I am still pretty rubbish at bar chords.

Something that has helped is playing along at a session where most of the other instruments are guitars. I normally use a uke capo to mirror what the guitarist are doing, so that I only have to do one transposition in my head. However, another uke player pointed out to me that if the guitarists have their capos on the second fret then they are usually playing in [A] so I have started not using a capo on the 2nd fret when they do and been transposing to "uke + 2 semitones" in my head! Just recently, my brain started to do that nice thing where it performs the double-transposition in one mighty leap and shoots the results down into my hands as if by magic :-) Only for 2nd fret capo songs in [A] so far but it's a start.

Sometimes the background, "tinkly" sound of a picked uke with a capo makes a nice contribution to a strummed "guitar song" with a capo on a higher fret, eg. 4th.

As far as using the capo to change the key to suit the singer's voice is concerned . . . the uke is already so high that I have never done this, I just change the key and if I can't find a key that I can both play and sing then I have ditched the song ;-( Maybe I should try using a capo when that happens, to see if it might work OK with some songs.

I haven't recorded how I play Sweet Dreams yet but when I do I will post a link here as a "thank you" for all the help and comments.

Finally, there is an interesting discussion here about using the capo on the 3rd fret of a guitar:
http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/foru … p?t=136831

Best wishes,

Lizzie

Last edited by Ms.Mouse (2012-03-10 15:12:44)


Play the Ukulele: The most fun you can have doing something badly!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I'm not going to say I'm no Jim Morrison, I'm not going to say I'm no John Lennon - I'm not going to say I'm like The Monkees neither! - 'I'm a Believer!' - Some people say I make a pretty good musician - but I've always argued that's going to take me a long time . . . "
Wild Man Fischer

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