Partial Capo Part 2 (Guitar Lesson)


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Randall Williams

Partial Capo Part 2

In this lesson Randall returns to the world of the partial capo (or cut-capo). He covers additional right hand techniques and a few sample songs.

Taught by Randall Williams in Lessons with Randall Williams seriesLength: 18:00Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chord Charts
All chords in this lesson information section are played with a cut capo placed on the fifth, fourth, and third strings at the second fret. The first chart listed under each chord instructs you where to place the left hand fingers on the fret board. The second diagram for each chord is a composite of the notes fretted by the left hand and the cut capo. The numbers within the diagrams represent fret numbers, NOT finger numbers.

Asus2

(Strum all six strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_4_
D_x_
A_x_
E_5_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_2_
E_5_

Eadd11/G#

(Strum all six strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_x_
A_x_
E_4_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_2_
E_4_

D6/9(no 3rd)

(Strum the five highest strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_x_
A_5_
E_x_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_5_
E_x_

Amaj9/C#

(Strum the five highest strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_6_
A_4_
E_x_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_6_
A_4_
E_x_

Asus2/E

(Strum all six strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_x_
A_x_
E_x_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_2_
E_0_

F#m11

(Strum all six strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_x_
A_x_
E_2_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_2_
E_2_

B7sus4

(Strum all six strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_x_
A_x_
E_7_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_2_
E_7_

Aadd9/C#

(Strum all six strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_x_
A_x_
E_9_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_2_
E_9_

Emaj7sus4/D#

(Strum all six strings.)

E_x_
B_x_
G_x_
D_x_
A_x_
E_11_

E_0_
B_0_
G_2_
D_2_
A_2_
E_11_

Lesson Overview

This is the second installment in Randall's mini-series dealing with partial capos. Once again, Randall's guitar is tuned to standard tuning. A "DADGAD" partial capo is clamped on the 5th, 4th, and 3rd strings at the 2nd fret.

Right Hand Accompaniment Pattern

Randall introduces a new strumming accompaniment pattern in the second scene. The rhythm to this accompaniment is played in steady quarter notes. On beats one and three, strum only the low bass string. Then, on beats 2 and 4, strum the upper four strings of the chord. Apply some light palm muting to give the accompaniment a chunky, booming sound.

Palm Muting

Palm muting is an incredibly important technique. It is used in almost every style of playing with the exception of jazz. Consequently, it is absolutely necessary that you master this technique.

Note: For more information about palm-muting, please visit lesson three from Dennis Hodges' Metal series as well as lesson 16 from Jim Deeming's Phase 1 series.

The Technique

When applying the palm muting technique, the strings are not muted altogether. Rather, they are slightly muffled to create a unique tonal quality.

The key to successful palm muting technique is proper positioning of the picking hand. The thumb muscle and palm area must rest slightly off the bridge towards the pickups. If you rest your palm on the bridge, the string will continue to ring normally. If you move your palm too far towards the neck, the string produces a choked, dead sound. It may take some experimentation in order to find the perfect palm position. Remember to let your ears guide you when learning when learning a new technique. Listen to your favorite players, and imitate the sounds you hear. If it what you are doing sounds bad, make some adjustments and try again.

Degrees of Palm-muting

There are various degrees of palm-muting. Some situations call for a very heavy drastic palm-mute. Other musical situations call for a much lighter form of muting. Let your ears guide you. A string sounds increasingly more muted as more hand mass is placed on the string. The volume diminishes with the level of palm-muting. If you want a loud tone with total palm muting, you must pick the strings with more aggression.

Palm-Muting All Six Strings

The three bass strings are most frequently used with the palm-muting technique. However, as Randall demonstrates in the lesson video, it is possible to palm mute all six strings and strum them simultaneously. The entire blade edge of the hand must rest across all six strings to accomplish this technique. The wrist must make a quick and deliberate strumming motion. Volume and sustain can be increased by releasing some right hand pressure from the strings after the first string in a chord has been strummed.

Playing "Cotton Fields"

At 00:40 in Scene 2, Randall demonstrates how the accompaniment pattern outlined above can be used to play the classic song "Cotton Fields." This song utilizes the I, ii, and V chords in the key of E major. The voicings for E5, F#m11/C, and Bsus4 will be used for these chords. If you need to review how to play these chords, refer to the "Info About This Lesson" tab. Diagrams to all chords discussed in the lesson can be found there.

Note: Standard notation / and tablature to this song excerpt can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab. The lyrics to the song are provided as well.

IV Chord in E major

The IV chord in the key of E is produced by fretting the note at the 5th fret of the 6th string and strumming all six strings. This chord contains the following notes from low to high: A, B, E, A, B, and E. Together, these notes form an Asus2 chord.

At 01:55, Randall demonstrates "Cotton Fields" again. This time around, the IV chord is substituted for the ii chord. When re-harmonizing a song, the IV chord is often substituted for the ii chord and vice versa since these chords share a few of the same notes. When applying any chord substitution, always make sure that the substituted chord does not clash with the melody line. The melody line is almost always the most important component of a song. Compare and contrast the difference and sound that results from substituting the IV chord for the ii chord in the song.

"The Water Is Wide"

Randall demonstrates some new chords that can be used when playing "The Water Is Wide." This song utilizes the iii and vi chords, which Randall has not yet covered. For the vi chord, a C#m7(addb6) chord is used. This voicing can also be used as an A major chord depending on the context of the song. An Esus4/G# chord is used for the iii chord. Even though the notes within this chord form an inverted version of the I chord, this voicing sounds enough like the iii chord to be used in the context of the song. Fretboard diagrams for these chords are provided above. Once again, the E5 voicing is used for the I chord.

Many songs can be played with just the I, ii, and V chords or the I, IV, and V chords. In many instances, these simplistic songs can be spiced up by adding in some chord substitutions. For example, the vi chord is often substituted for the I chord. The E5 voicing (I chord) and C#m7(addb6) (vi chord) share several of the same notes. As noted before, this vi chord also shares some common tones with the IV chord. Compare the chord changes for the song provided in this song and the simpler changes provided in lesson 5. What impact do these alternate voicings have on the overall quality of the performance?

Method to Building Chords

You've probably noticed that the 1 finger chords with the cut capo often do not present "true" versions of the diatonic chords within the major scale. For example, the chord voicing that Randall demonstrates for the iii chord is actually a suspended and inverted version of the I chord. However, this voicing is close enough in sound to the iii chord (G#m) that it can be used in place of the iii chord within a song.

Approximate versions of the diatonic chords in E major can be played by fretting one note on the six string. Randall demonstrates this idea at 01:20 in Scene 4. If you know the E major scale across the sixth string, you can play all of the diatonic chords in E major.

Here is a break down of the chords produced:

No fretting fingers=E5
6th string / 2nd fret=F#m11
6th string / 4th fret=Esus4/G# (similar enough to G#m to be used in its place.)
6th string / 5th fret=Asus2
6th string / 7th fret=B7sus4
6th string / 9th fret=Aadd9/C# (similar enough to C#m to be used in its place.)
6th string / 11th fret=Emaj7sus4/D#

Playing with Disabilities

A finger doesn't even need to be used to fret each note on the sixth string. This is very handy for players with missing fingers, arthritis, or other disabilities. Randall demonstrates some alternative fretting methods at 01:55 in Scene 4.

Exploring Songs / Transposition

Use the chord voicings and concepts that Randall has show in this lesson to play cut capo versions of of your favorite songs. In order for this to work, the song has to be played in the key of E major. Otherwise, you must transpose the chord changes to this key. "Transpose" refers to transferring material from one key to another. Randall has provided a transposition guide under the "Supplemental Content" tab that will help you with this process.

Transposing chords to a new key requires that you understand how each chord in a progression relates to the tonal center. For example, in the key of D major, F#m functions as the iii chord. When transposing to the key of E use the iii chord in this key (G#m). Remember that the voicing that Randall uses for the iii chord is not actually G#m but a very close approximation.

Playing in the Original Key

It is possible to play your selected songs in their original key if a full capo is used in addition to the short cut capo. For example, placing a full capo at the second fret and a short cut capo at the fourth fret transposes everything up a full step to F# major. Essentially, you are changing the location of the nut by clamping on the full capo. This raises the pitch of the strings and transposes material to higher keys. When the full capo is used, all of the chords are still played using the same spatial relationships. In other words, the I chord is still fingered two frets above the short cut capo. Randall provides a demonstration of how to use two capos at 03:40.

Beware of Internet Tabs!

You get what you pay for when finding free tabs on the internet. Roughly half of the transcriptions posted on tab sites are quite inaccurate. You may want to start your transposition practice by playing songs that other teachers have taught here on JamPlay to ensure that you are working with a reliable transcription of the song. Keep in mind that songs are taught throughout the Phase 1 and 2 lessons as well as the Phase 3 series.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


myjamplaysmyjamplays replied on May 16th, 2013

I dont know why you don't fully Capo?

mkshresthamkshrestha replied on August 29th, 2010

I'm slightly confused how to actually use the transposition guide... can you please give a few lines on that... ? Thanks a ton... love your techniques and ideas.

Randall.WilliamsRandall.Williams replied on August 29th, 2010

MK, I may try again in a recorded lesson this week. One way to think about it is with a capo - as the capo goes up, you drop the chord you're playing down to counter it. Example: If I'm playing a D chord, you're hearing D (that's easy, right?) But if you put the capo on the 2nd fret, then the whole thing has just gone up to E. You're playing D, but you hear E, right? Now, if you play C (take D down to C) then you're still capoed 2, so you hear D. Clearasmud? I'll try to do a basic transposition lesson this week and post it.

Randall.WilliamsRandall.Williams replied on November 16th, 2009

Thanks Jesper!

Randall.WilliamsRandall.Williams replied on September 28th, 2009

PS: if you're grabbing songs off the Internet and applying this method to play them, let me know how it works, ok?

Randall.WilliamsRandall.Williams replied on September 28th, 2009

Right hand lessons coming very soon. Thanks for the great feedback! Send along your specific questions and ego adjustments, I'll respond and post new video when we can film it. :) R

craigntibetcraigntibet replied on September 28th, 2009

When will other lessons come out? #3??????

craigntibetcraigntibet replied on September 28th, 2009

I have never seen or heard of cut capo....but now......I am SOLD!!!!!! This is GREAT!!!!!!!! Now I am just waiting for the transposition guide...patiently!!!!!!

jesperlindejesperlinde replied on September 26th, 2009

please add some righthand lessons, your awesome rhythm and technique is inspiring.. :) thanks for all your lessons..

jboothjbooth replied on September 25th, 2009

Please note : the transposition guide will be up on Monday for the stuff in scene 5.

Lessons with Randall Williams

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Randall Williams is a dynamic, powerful, classically trained acoustic musician who interest is found in the dynamic and relevant world of folk. One of Randall's specialties includes the style of cut or partial capo.



Lesson 1

Useful Music Theory

In his introductory lesson, Randall Williams discusses music theory in a useful and practical context. This knowledge will be required for his future lessons.

Length: 26:39 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Music Theory Part #2

Randall Williams returns with the second part of his lesson on useful music theory. In this lesson, he talks about using a capo, ornamenting chords, and the minor scales.

Length: 36:38 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Open Tuning

In this lesson Randall introduces the concept of open tuning. He will talk about how open tunings work as well as how they alter your chords and scales.

Length: 31:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Open Tuning Part 2

Randall Williams returns to the world of open tunings to talk about open d, open g, and open c. He also give tips on slide guitar and playing in these tunings.

Length: 41:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Partial Capo for Total Beginners

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the life of a beginner easier.

Length: 12:46 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Lesson 6

Partial Capo Part 2

In this lesson Randall returns to the world of the partial capo (or cut-capo). He covers additional right hand techniques and a few sample songs.

Length: 18:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Partial Capo Part 3

Randall returns to the world of the partial capo. In this lesson, he talks more about playing songs and chords. He also introduces a second capo.

Length: 9:41 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Partial Capo Part 4

Randall returns with the fourth part of his partial capo for total beginners lesson set. Randall introduces more right hand patterns and talks about playing with a disability.

Length: 11:28 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Randall's Toolbox

Randall Williams shares his technique toolbox in this lesson. He explains over twenty different rhythmic patterns that can be applied to a chord progression.

Length: 27:38 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Randall's Toolbox Part 2

Randall shares part two of his toolbox mini-series.

Length: 25:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Partial Capo Techniques

Randall Williams shares many new ideas in part one of his Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

Length: 38:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Partial Capo Techniques Part 2

Randall Williams shares part two of his fantastic Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

Length: 16:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Partial Capo Techniques Part 3

Randall shares part three of his Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

Length: 19:29 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Partial Capo Techniques Part 4

Randall Williams continues on to part four of his exciting Partial Capo Techniques mini-series.

Length: 29:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Partial Capo Techniques Part 5

Randall concludes his Partial Capo Technique mini-series.

Length: 32:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Exploring Songs Part 1

Randall Williams explains and performs the song "Causeway" by Daithi Rua.

Length: 8:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Exploring Songs Part 2

Randall Williams takes a look at his original song "Stronger For Your Flame" and offers a wonderful performance.

Length: 10:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Exploring Songs Part 3

Randall Williams shares an inspiring, original song called "Draw the Line."

Length: 6:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Exploring Songs Part 4

Randall Williams shares his beautiful original tune, "Praying for Land" in this lesson.

Length: 7:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Exploring Songs Part 5

Randall Williams teaches his original song "Ghost in the Machine."

Length: 9:37 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Exploring Songs Part 6

Randall Williams shares his touching original song, "I Will Come For You."

Length: 8:38 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Performing

After sharing many great tunes in his Exploring Songs mini-series, Randall Williams says a few words about performing.

Length: 10:29 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

Short Form Songwriting

Randall Williams creates a song with you from scratch in this fascinating lesson about short form songwriting.

Length: 31:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Singing with the Guitar

Randall Williams presents his introductory lesson on singing with the guitar.

Length: 10:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Singing with the Guitar Part 2

Randall explores more singing topics in this lesson. He provides sample exercises and encourages you to sing along.

Length: 26:15 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Exploring Songs Part 7

Randall Williams shares another beautiful original tune called "Guatemala" in this lesson.

Length: 6:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Songwriting Part 1

Randall Williams continues his exploration on songwriting. In this particular lesson, he focuses on musicality and the creative process.

Length: 14:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Songwriting Part 2

Randall Williams continues his discussion on musicality and creating songs.

Length: 23:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Songwriting Part 3

Randall continues his discussion on songwriting in part 3 of his songwriting mini series.

Length: 21:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Songwriting Part 4

Randall Williams concludes his mini-series on songwriting in this lesson.

Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Randall Williams View Full Biography He felt that classical music lacked the inclusiveness of folk music, and that the inevitable division between performer and audience was unbearable. And so Randall returned to the world of traveling with his guitar, writing songs in train stations and sleeping on couches, then singing and playing on street corners, cafï, and pubs. For a time he lived aboard a 20' sailboat that he bought for $800, teaching himself how to sail by single-handing through the Baltic and North Seas with his guitar sleeping in the berth beside him at night. He wrote a book about the trip, which begins with the story of almost getting squashed by a tanker before dawn one morning in the North Sea.

He moved to North Africa, then set off across the Sahara by hitching with locals - bouncing through a minefield on the way that made his mother have bad dreams. He loved the adventure, but he missed the music.

In 2005, Randall returned stateside to scrounge up a career as a performing songwriter, hoping it wasn't too late. So far, it hasn't been. As the "Partial Capo Guy," Randall has written two books for Hal Leonard, recorded a DVD for Kyser Musical Products, and given workshops at some of the biggest festivals in United States. As a performer, Randall has been a finalist in the Founder's Title and Mid-Atlantic Song Contests, A regional finalist at Kerrville, a showcase artist at Northeast and Midwest Folk Alliance, and at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis, and an Audience Favorite at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. His 2007 live release, "One Night in Louisiana" made a respectable dent in the folk DJ charts (One single, "Lebanon," was #8 in May,) and he's generally a nice guy to have around, capos or not.

Randall is as much at home in a Bangkok slum or a Senegalese village, at the Kennedy Center in D.C. or the Fine Arts Palace in Brussels sandwiched between a twitchy orchestra and a full house, or shoeless on the floor of your living room. Randall has sung in a dozen languages in over 35 countries.

Lynne Andrews: "When Randall left the confines of classical music largely behind, they lost a great talent, but the world gained a good friend - a friend who will tell its stories with grace, compassion, humility and humor."

Randall began playing guitar seriously in 1988, and played his first open mic one year later. Randall kept playing and learning more and more. Randall began teaching guitar in 1992, while studying musical composition, analysis, and performance. Randall got his undergraduate music degree in 1996, then studied flamenco for about a year (1997) before beginning studies at the royal conservatory of music in mons, belgium.

From 1998 to 2001, Randall studied voice, analysis, and harmony at the conservatory, with classical guitar lessons on the side for about 6 months. Randall's undergraduate study and the conservatory courses added a degree of musical structure to his improvisational ability, and gave him a strong music theory base. He recieved the premier prix for concert singing from the conservatory in 2001.

Randall's most recent discoveries: how to build a structure for creating chords in open tunings, and learning how to structure placement of partial capos in standard and alternate tunings.

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