Are capos always optional?

I use the website and the app. Some songs show a capo when playing the website video during practice. Other song lessons, Justin has specifically said the capo is optional, but is this normally the case?

If you want to be able to sing with your playing then having a capo is important, you can move it up and down the fretboard to make the chord progression suit your voice better, there are also more benefits but no point to elaborate further at your stage.

At this point, i have little intention of singing. Maybe someday

Tony @MrSpeed74

I felt like you at the beginning about not singing however with encouragement from the community I decided to put my reluctance to one side and gave it a go. So glad I did as It adds so much more than just playing the guitar, give it a try.
Michael :notes::notes::notes:

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A capo can also be required in order to play along with the original version of a song too, which is worth bearing in mind for beginners. You can get a cheap one for peanuts these days, so there’s no reason not to get one really.

I was unsure about capos at the beginning and now I see them as mandatory. I don’t rekey for singing, but being able to play the original chord voicings is important IMHO.

Try playing Hotel California in the right key uncapoed… not the same.


A capo on the 3rd, 4th, 5th fret can help people to deal with the full barre F as wel but

of course
as soon as you are into singing or you would, like me, to downtune your guitar a bit, you might wanna capo to be able to play along with an original.

As a singing guitarist, a capo is crucial!

I’m not playing with original versions but rather the versions on the app or in the practice sections of the website. With the app, I’ve never seen a capo used. But the same song on the website might show it. This leaves me VERY confused

I don’t have the app, but I think the song lessons on the web site are made to be played with the original recording. That often requires a capo to sound right.

No song in the app requires a capo. Even if the original version does, the app songs have been tweaked not to. However, if you learn the song in the app and then decide you want to play along with the real thing on YouTube or whatever, then it won’t sound right if that real song used a capo. Justin’s website lessons are based on the real song, hence some of them make use of a capo when required.

If you will never, ever want to play along with original recordings, and you will never, ever want to adjust songs to better fit your own voice for singing, sure, you never need a capo. But as mentioned, a decent one is cheap as chips so why not get one and have a play around with it? Not only will it help you understand what a capo does and why they are used, it is also just a fun thing to experiment with as songs can sound very different in different keys.

Also to make playing the songs easier for beginners using the chord shapes they have learned so far.

Thanks, i really like your answer. But, taking my question a step further, I’m not trying to play around or experiment, yet. I know this is necessary. But I’m only on module six of grade one and trying to do things “by the book”. Should i start experimenting now or wait until i get better? I have a capo, maybe I’m a little intimidated by it… but maybe i should break it out. Maybe I’m rambling, anyway, thanks

Well, each to their own of course but I would definitely start experimenting now. Why not? You aren’t going to do any “damage” by playing around with things that you haven’t covered in the lessons yet. It’s a nice way to take a break from your usual practice routines, and you might find something you really enjoy that you want to find out more about. :+1:t2:

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Hi Tony,
Here is a reply from another beginner (I’m in module 7 :hugs:).
Before starting my guitar journey, I didn’t even know that a thing like a capo exists :flushed:. But very early, I got introduced to it and really don’t want to miss it anymore.
I use Justins song videos, his App, and his beginner songbook for learning new songs. And sometimes even other ressources.
I really like experimenting with the capo. It’s never too early to start with that and can be great fun :grinning:.
But I also have to admit, that I like singing along, and as I’m no experienced singer with only a very limited voice range, using a capo is absolutely crucial to me :wink:.

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