Capo
A capo clamps down the strings of a string instrument at a specific fret position. A capo is used...
  • to change the pitch of an instrument to match the vocal range of a singer.
  • to overdub the sound of a chord during recording sessions by playing the same chord at different fret positions.
  • to free your index finger when playing advanced barre chords.

Chord Shapes

The capo increases the pitch of your instrument. When a capo is placed at the 3rd fret of your instrument the chord shape of an A major chord will produce the sound of a C major chord.
Playing the chord diagrams on a higher pitched instrument (i.e. with a capo) means that the entire song will be played in a higher key. If you want to learn how to play the song in the original key while keeping the capo, you need to update the chord diagrams. In Song One you have two options:
  • Option A - Add the virtual capo to Song One's virtual fretboard (see below).
  • Option B - Transpose the song (see below).

Option A - Adding The Virtual Capo

Tap on the capo icon at the bottom left of the screen and select the capo position in the pop-up menu (e.g the 3rd fret).
Song One automatically adjusts the tuning of the virtual fretboard and updates all chord diagrams of the song.
The A major chord now shows the chord shape that will produce the sound of an A major chord (with the capo at the 3rd fret position).

Option B - Song Transposition

The chord diagrams may also be updated by transposing the song. This approach is used by apps that rely on pre-defined chord diagrams like OnSong. The method produces the correct chord shapes but has a few shortcomings (see image).
This makes it a less desirable option to use in Song One. To use it nonetheless:
  • Place the actual capo at the desired fret position (e.g. 3rd fret) on your instrument. (This will increase the pitch of the instrument by 3 half-steps.)
  • Then offset the pitch increase of the instrument by lowering the song's key in Song One by the same amount (3 half-steps).
Note: Do not add a virtual capo to Song One's virtual fretboard when using option B.

Overdubbing Chords

To overdub chords during recording sessions record the chords without a capo first:
Example: Recording an A major chord without a capo.
Then place a capo on your actual instrument and add a virtual capo to Song One's virtual fretboard. (Song One automatically adjusts the fretboard's tuning and updates the song's chord diagrams.)
As an example place the capo at the 6th fret position to record a brighter and lighter sounding A major chord:
Example: Recording an A major chord with a capo at the 6th fret.

Playing Barre Chords

Make barre chords easier to play by placing a capo on your actual instrument at the postion of the index finger. Add a virtual capo to Song One's virtual fretboard at the same position. (Song One automatically adjusts the fretboard's tuning and updates the song's chord diagrams.)
The 'A dominant 13th' barre chord played without a capo.
The 'A dominant 13th' chord played with a capo at the 5th fret.