Simple Guitar Capo Chart for Transposing Songs



Hey, not all of us can be Phil Keaggy or Lincoln Brewster when it comes to guitar chops, so the next best thing is getting a little help from a capo when it comes time to play in those slightly tougher for guitar keys.

What is a Capo?

The word capotasto (capo for short) literally means ‘head of the fretboard’ and comes to us down through history from as far back as the early 1600s. A capo is placed across the strings to shorten the length and thus raise the pitch. The most common usage of the capo is to raise the pitch of a fretted instrument so that a player can play in a different key using the same fingerings they would use if played “open” (i.e. without a capo). Basically one key is played, but another key is “heard” or sounded by the shortened strings.

For example, if the player places the capo on fret 2 and a “G” chord is played (the same distance from the capo as if it were the nut), then the actual chord that is heard is an “A.”


Use this simple chart to help your young guitarists, those who are still learning to play more than basic chords, or those who just like to play in G, transpose chords quickly and easily. The Bible encourages us to “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts” in Psalm 33:3. Sometimes all it takes is adding a capo to our young and inexperienced guitar players’ toolbox to get them into a more confident place.