Using a capo is an easy way to change key and help you produce the best possible guitar accompaniments for songs.
To make things easier, we have produced five chord charts showing the keys and chords that can be achieved using a capo.
The links below take you to pages showing both the chord charts and pictures of the chord shapes to be found in the principal guitar keys of C Major, D Major, E Major, G Major and A Major.
Before clicking through to the charts and chord pictures, take a moment to see how the charts work.
Each chart shows the keys that can be achieved by playing certain chord shapes with the capo placed on different positions of the fretboard.
| 1st fret
We’ll take a quick look at the C Major chart as an example. The top line lists the chords commonly used in the key of C. The vertical green column shows what chords and keys are achieved as you move the capo along the fretboard but continue to use the chord shapes from the key of C.
If you look along the line with the first green headline, Db Major, you will see that with the capo on the first fret, the C Major chord shape becomes the chord of D Flat Major. The Dm shape becomes the chord of Eb Minor.
At the second fret, the C chord shape becomes D Major and so on up the fretboard.
If you click on the links below taking you to the other chord charts, you will see that similar effects can be achieved using chord shapes from other keys. We also give you pictures of a guitar fretbroad showing how to play the main chords in each of the principal guitar keys.
Once you look at the charts for a few moments you’ll see that you have various options for playing each key, depending on which chord shapes you use and where you place the capo.
You will find there are several ways to play in what otherwise seem to be difficult keys for guitar such as E Flat or A Flat.
For example, if you want to play in A Flat Major then you could do so by placing the capo on the first fret and playing the G shape chord. Alternatively, you could put the capo on the fourth fret and play the E shape chord.
It’s worth experimenting with this to decide which shape and position best suits the sound you wish to achieve.
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