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By Grant Norsworthy

Watch this short video. To understand the thought process behind the teaching video, read the blog post below it.

Please understand this – I do not claim to be an expert acoustic guitarist. I’m actually a bassist! Bass guitar is the instrument I dedicated a huge chunk of my life to – to make myself the best bassist I could possibly be. I was a pro bassist. Now I’m a speaker/teacher who plays a bit of acoustic guitar.

While I have usually had an acoustic guitar lying around the house somewhere gathering dust, I have really only picked it up in the last several years and started to play. I feel quite underconfident with my acoustic playing and (I’m a bit embarrassed to say) I have never made the time to really work at the instrument like I have the bass. There hasn’t seemed to be the available time! My playing is getting better because I play a lot as part of my job, but I’ve got a long way to go.

But that possibly makes me more able to relate to most acoustic guitarists in the Church. Not many of us feel truly accomplished. We’re not at “pro” level. We need every hint and tip we can to make this acoustic guitar thing work! That’s where capos can be extremely useful!

Perhaps because I have stretched my left hand so much doing big, wide hand shapes on the bass, I find bar chords (where the ring and pinky fingers on the left hand need to be “glued” together) extremely difficult. Those fingers don’t seem to want to do that for me! I can play bar chords (sort of) but to do so well, while engaging a congregation, singing, leading a band, remembering lyrics and (hopefully) being tuned to the leading of the Holy Spirit is tough.

And I don’t really like the sound of bar chords compared to more “open” chords – where more notes are being made from unfettered strings. Bar chords (at least on my guitar and with my hands) rarely sound as full and rich.

But with capos, I can find a way of playing pretty much any song I want from the Church repertoire in pretty much any key! I have  dedicated time and energy to understand song structures, chord sequences and chord voicing. While doing that I have discovered some ways of using capos that are all quite simple, work well for me and hopefully are useful to you!

This video is #6 in the More Than Music Mentor training resource series. In it I demonstrate the way I have integrated three different capos into my acoustic guitar playing. Each in their own way help my playing to be simple, have a good constant sound and bring more song keys and chords within my reach. I’d be quite lost without them!

Watch Video#6 –  Acoustic Guitar: Keys & Capos again.

For more free resource videos and info, visit

And if your looking to purchase an acoustic guitar, you should first check out this great article from Beginner Guitar HQ. It’s a comprehensive buyers guide!

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