Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Capo Chart

I hesitated to put this question out there lest it turn into a capo/no capo debate. But does any one have a capo chart specifically for mandos? All I can find are guitar charts. Are they interchangeable charts? If they make capos for mandolins, it would follow that there are capo charts for mandolins.

For me, at my current playing ability, using the capo allows me to participate in our worship service and get some practice time in.

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I didn’t know what you meant for a capo chart. Paged Dr. Google and what I found was a chart that showed a table of notes for rows and capo positions for columns. If that is what you are talking about, then yes you can use one for mandolin. Notes are notes and chords are chords, regardless of the (typical) instrument.

With that said… with a short amount of work, you’d be able to figure that stuff out. Basically once you understand how to count up the scale, everything else should fall into place. For instance, you probably know how to play open chords for G, C and D. Let’s say you are doing a song in A. If you know that A is two half steps higher than a G, just put a capo on 2, play a G and voila! An A chord. The other common chords that are in use in A are D and E. Automagically you get those from C and D shapes when capoed at 2. I would expect Ben’s theory classes would give you what you need to never look at a capo chart again.

One other thing I would encourage… there are a ton of great open chords and variants. I play mando with worship some and I love the open chords. They are easy to play and sound lovely. If you are interested in those, we could do a different thread on those.

Have fun!

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Hey! It’s okay to use a capo while you’re learning, and even Sierra Hull uses a capo at certain times to get the open strings she wants.

I don’t have a video on it for mando specifically, but I do teach the same principles here if you can sit through the banjo talk :slight_smile: :

There’s something wrong with the way he put that…:thinking:


Thanks, @Mike_R . I am working towards being able to actually understand all the musical talk that goes on and still get to pick a little. We have a piano player who loves Ab, Bb and F. Meanwhile, the 2 acoustical guitars can capo and match her no problem. Me, however, not so much. I had ZERO musical background before picking up the mando, so I’m most definitely behind the power curve. The guitar guys have ZERO knowledge of a mando but try to help when they can.

Thanks so much for pointing me to the banjo capo lessons. Just watched them and now feel a bit smarter! I may not actually BE smarter, though :smile:

I’ll keep at it.

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