All music performance is a creative endeavor, whether it’s an original composition or an interpretation of someone else’s piece. Creativity is absolutely necessary to the art of making music, and without it, all we have are meaningless strands of notes trailing across a page or hanging limply in the air. Great musicians nurture creativity, and one of the best ways to do this is with consistent improvisation. How can you give life to someone else’s written music without being able to create your own? It’s possible to mimic musicality, but to own it, you’ll need to create music.
That’s where capos come in. Whoever invented the guitar must have already thought of the capo, which compensates for the unfriendly keys. A simple idea, it effectively moves the nut up the neck by clamping down all all strings at once. The result is to raise the overall pitch while keeping the relative tuning of all the strings intact. This allows the player to choose another key to play in, a more friendly key. I should really say ‘pretend key’ because the key doesn’t change at all. Only the fingering changes, as if it were a new (friendly) key.
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