View Full Version : Going up the neck for another harmony voice

04-14-2004, 09:33 PM
This post is about backup acoustic rhythm gutair.
My instructor was telling me how to go up the neck and harmonize with the other guys playing open string chords. Adding another voice so we are not all playing open string chords. I thought I had it, but by the time I got home I could not remember how to pull it off. He is out of touch .....

For example if the song is being played in the key of G -- I would go up the neck and capo on the ____ fret and play the same chord progression (I, ii, IV, V, I or whatever) using the new _____ key.

Can someone give me the rule of thumb on how to figure all this out.


04-15-2004, 07:46 PM
The only thing that comes to mind is inversions or, extensions - inversions of extensions ?? I'm guessing (from reading some of your posts) that you're familiar with those ideas. (? I can't understand any key shift, though.

.....I know, I'm a big help ! :rolleyes: Oh well........


04-15-2004, 08:13 PM
For example if the song is being played in the key of G -- I would go up the neck and capo on the ____ fret and play the same chord progression (I, ii, IV, V, I or whatever) using the new _____ key.You could put the capo on the 7th fret - then play the open C chord shape - this gives you a G. So it's like playing in the key of C.


04-15-2004, 10:16 PM
Maybe you should study triads and inversions and then rethink your question, then post again.

04-16-2004, 01:01 PM
Found the answer on the Internet You can find most anything on the Internet if you just keep looking.

Dansms Guitar Chord Theory Capo Chord Equivalents at: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~desmith/guitar/chords/capo.htm

This site lists two ways of accomplishing this, I prefer the second example where you know the key the song is being played in (by everyone else) and you want to go up the neck to add harmony. At this point you do not really care how far up the neck nor do you care what new key you will use after the Fretboard is altered by using the capo. To do this there is a four step process, as follows:

Determine what key the song would normally be played in, if there were no capo involved. For this example lets use the key of A with a chord progression of A,D,E.

Look up the neck for As. There is an A on the 2nd fret, 5th fret and 7th fret. Beyond the 7th fret your harmony will take on a ukulele flavor, so the 7th is far enough.

Put the capo on the fret where the As are found. By putting on the capo you have changed the Fretboard notes. When you move the capo --- The A found on the 2nd fret is now a G. And if you go to the 5th fret the A found on the 5th fret is now an E and the A found on the 7th fret is now D.

Decide which fret you would like to use. Capo at the second fret and play Gs (G,C,D). Or capo at the 5th fret and play Es (E,A,B), or use Ds (D,G,A) if you capo at the 7th fret.

Your decision, either one will harmonize

04-16-2004, 03:34 PM
Wow !, I have to be honest, This looks like it's just complicating a simple issue.
Maybe I'm missing something, I'll look it over some more but at first glance, it seems like a, needlessly complicated appraoch.
I'll get back to ya'.


04-17-2004, 01:47 AM
.... simple is always better. :cool:

04-20-2004, 02:31 AM
Say the song is written in D and the band will play it in D.
There are 3 acoustic guitars. To keep from having all three playing open strings chords ---- you want to go up the neck and play harmony adding another voice. You like the A chord progression. So....

Make an A at the 2nd fret (like normal) now walk it up the neck, until you get to D -- A#, B, C, C#, D --- you are at the 7th fret. And to make this an A you would have to move the nut to the 5th fret.

Move the capo to the 5th fret and play your A chord progression while the rest of the band plays in the key of D using a D chord progression.

I understand this is the way most people do it. The way I listed in the other post works OK but with it you will only be able to harmonize using the notes of the strings, i.e. E,B,G,D,A,E. Using this method you can play harmony in C or even F if you wanted to.

Help yourself to the method you like best.