Guitar Songs With Capo – 6 Songs You’ll Need A Capo To Play

Guitar songs with capo requirements have a lot to teach us – let’s explore 6 easy-to-play tunes!

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In this free lesson you will learn…

  • How to use a capo
  • Why you need one (if you don’t already have one)
  • 6 songs to help you practice with a capo
  • Why you should learn the notes of the fretboard

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Let’s Learn 6 Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements

As guitarists, we’re privy to many tools that each make our lives just a little bit easier.

The capo is one of the most commonly-used tools for guitarists, and for good reason – there’s nothing else like it.

This genius little tool was invented to move the open position of our guitar to whatever fret we’d like it to be. This creates all sorts of room for different pitch-related adjustments with the guitar that we wouldn’t be able to accomplish any other way.

Pretty awesome, right?

guitar-songs-with-capo

If you’ve never used a capo before, it’s a good idea to pick one up just to be able to play an extended array of music on the guitar.

There are a tonne of songs out there that actually require you to use a capo in order to play them properly, and they’re all worth checking out.

As guitarists, it’s important to get familiar with some of the most common tools that we can use to make playing the guitar less complicated

Today, we’re looking at 6 guitar songs with capo requirements to help get you familiar with how to use a capo in the most musical contexts.

But first, why do we need this little clamp-like device?

guitar-songs-with-capo

A Simple Summary Of Why You Need A Capo

Think of a capo like a movable index finger that you can lock in place and not have to worry about.

Guitar songs with capo requirements just mean that you’ll be playing the song further up the fretboard and not in the regular open position.

Besides helping us with barre chords, capos give us access to different musical keys using the same chords we may already know from the open position.

For example, if we were to take our regular G major chord and play it with a capo at the 2nd fret, it would be an A major chord instead.

With that in mind, let’s talk briefly about transposing chords.

guitar-songs-with-capo

“What is transposing and why do I need to know about it?”

Transposing is the act of taking a piece of music that is played in a specific key and changing that key.

We can transpose songs to different keys by changing each of the chords to that different key entirely, or we can simply find the key that we want on the fretboard and apply a capo where needed.

The second option sounds easier, right? Right. That’s why you need a capo.

Vocalists who accompany themselves will often play guitar songs with capo requirements in whatever key suits their voice the best.

This tool makes for quick key adjustments so that you’re always singing in a comfortable range.

guitar-songs-with-capo

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Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements I: “I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz

If you’re going to start anywhere with a capo, it might as well be with a Jason Mraz tune.

This guy writes hits that are relatively easy to play by picking up just a few chords.

Lock your capo at the 4th fret in standard tuning and get ready to play the following chords:

G major

D major

E minor

C major

A7

Dsus4

B minor

You’ll see a quick pass through one B minor chord in one of the instrumental passages, but no other barre chords pop up in this tune other than the one.

Scroll down for some tips on how to play the first song on our list of guitar songs with capo requirements.

guitar-songs-with-capo

This song has an easy-flowing count that we can follow, making it super simple to play.

You can count this tune in eighth notes as follows:

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &

Pro Tip: Try and apply a bit of a reggae swing to your strumming – accent your upstrokes over your downstrokes, and really try to groove with it.

Of all the guitar songs with capo requirements on this list, you’ll find that this one will keep you grooving the longest.

Click here to listen to the song on YouTube.

Click here for the chord chart on Ultimate Guitar.

songs-with-guitar-capo

Can you share a ‘pro tip’, ‘top tip’ or a ‘skill tip’ here? This could be a standalone and specific piece of technique guidance or just a general tip. It can be fun to sprinkle a couple of these throughout your article. They’re like little ‘bonuses’ and we know our audience enjoy them.

Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements II: “Riptide” – Vance Joy

This is a song that we’ve covered before, and it serves as a great intro to using a capo.

As far as guitar songs with capo requirements go, Vance Joy keeps it pretty simple with his capo at the first fret.

You won’t have to sweat over any barre chords in this one either, as the chords are relatively easy and listed for you below:

A Minor

G Major

C Major

F Major 7

This is a super easy-going tune that many of you will really enjoy playing.

Let’s look at some tips for playing this next tune below.

guitar-capo-songs

The flow of this song is quite similar to “I’m Yours” in that it’s extremely laid back.

We chose this tune for our list of guitar songs with capo requirements because it only contains four chords and serves as a great introduction to using a capo.

Keep your strumming hand as light as you can with this song in order to really get inside the vibe of it. There’s no need to dig in with the pick on this one.

Click here to listen to the tune.

Click here for a full lesson from your friends at the National Guitar Academy.

easy-capo-songs

Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements III: “I See Fire” – Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s radio tunes are one thing, but this song that he wrote for the Hobbit soundtrack is absolutely splendid to listen to (and to play).

This powerful tune features a great riff to tie things together right from the beginning, and it’s well worth learning just to hear how it plays against the chords that follow.

Sheeran does a great job of pulling this song together with only six chords and his capo at the 6th fret. Unlike the other guitar songs with capo requirements on this list, the capo is a bit higher up on this one.

Have a look at the chords for this song here:

E Minor

G Major

D Major

C Major

A Minor 7

G Major/B

Want some tips for conquering guitar songs with capo usage like this one? Keep scrolling.

best-capo-songs

One of the big advantages that no one talks about with a capo is that it makes our strings feel a bit tighter. This can lead to a better sense of control over our strings in many cases.

You’ll feel this in many guitar songs with capo requirements, but especially in playing the main riff in this one.

Have a close look at the tab (linked below) and feel out the riff before tackling the chords.

Pro Tip: If you feel like giving fingerpicking a shot, this is a great song to practice with.

Let your thumb take the root note of each chord, and pluck the remainder of the strings with your other fingers.

You should follow a pattern like this for starts:

Thumb – Fingers – Strum

Listen to the song.

Check out the chords.

capo-guitar-chords

Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements IV: “Free Fallin’” – Tom Petty

Tom Petty is another one of those hitmaker musicians that can do no wrong in our books.

“Free Fallin’” is one of the guitar songs with capo requirements on this list that will really get in your head.

Seriously, you’ll be singing this song everywhere and you won’t even realize it.

We’ve made a point so far on this list to focus on slower tunes so that your ears can get used to hearing the pitch differences when playing these guitar songs with capo usage.

Lock that capo in at the 3rd fret and prepare to strum through the chords below:

Gsus2

Asus4

D major

D5

G5

A5

song-chords-with-capo

Much like the other guitar songs with capo requirements on this list, “Free Fallin’” is a slow burn.

This makes it the perfect playground for those newcomer guitarists who want to get their feet wet with some new chord shapes.

Pro Tip: The quick chord movements in this song are no match for a good practice regimen!

Practice the transitions between these chords thoroughly to get them under your hands and fingers.

The movements in the verse only look intimidating, but the chord transitions themselves are actually quite tight.

Take this as an opportunity to sharpen your transitions.

Click here to check out “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

Click here for the chord sheet.

free-guitar-capo-songs

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements V: “Mr. Brightside” – The Killers

We couldn’t get through this list without mentioning one of the most radio-friendly pop-rock songs of all time.

This song has held its position on Billboard charts about as firmly as it holds its capo position at the first fret.

This song is an excellent example of how downpicking can work to drive a song’s rhythm forward.

With only five chords for the whole song, learning this one off our list of guitar songs with capo requirements is a no-brainer.

Check out the chords below:

C Major

C Major/B

F Major

A Minor

G Major 

guitar-capo-songs-lesson

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to practice your strumming through the pre-chorus and chorus sections of this song.

By alternating between downpicking in the verse and strumming in the pre-chorus and chorus, you can give your strumming hand a feel for a more free-flowing approach to strumming as a whole.

You’ll also give yourself the ability to rotate between strumming patterns more freely. This song is a great playground for strumming patterns, so take advantage!

Click here to check out the track.

Click here for the chord sheet at Ultimate Guitar.

guitar-capo-songs-tutorial

Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements VI: “Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac are considered to be rock pioneers in their own right by many.

This thought-provoking rock ballad

This slow-paced tune is great for guitarists who want to learn about guitar songs with capo requirements and want the challenge of a multitude of chords.

The big advantage of this song is that it forces you to work with arpeggios, which can serve as a hurdle in the beginning but can quickly help you to level-up your playing.

Let’s look at some tips for playing this tune in the next section.

“Landslide” is a detail-oriented tune, so it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on.

The picking pattern will have you moving in between strings a bit, but it will also force your hands into a new level of coordination. With that in mind, we’re here to tell you to welcome the challenge.

Pro Tip: This song is best practiced slowly in order to internalize the picking pattern.

Although it will come off a bit unorthodox to beginner guitarists at first, the pattern is well worth the practice. Sit with this instalment of our guitar songs with capo requirements as long as needed.

Click here to listen to the song.

Click here for the chord chart.

The Best Way To Practice These Songs

Slow and steady wins the race! 

As beginner guitarists, it’s easy to rush through songs to try and get the most chords under our fingers as quickly as we can.

However, it’s more important that we internalize what we’ve learned.

Take the time to explore these guitar songs with capo requirements, because they will show you different ways of looking at positions on the fretboard.

Guitar songs with capo usage flip our perspective on the guitar by re-adjusting the open position. Once we learn to explore this in more detail, we can find a bounty of learning points about the guitar and music.

Guitar songs with capo requirements can make our lives easier not just as vocalists looking to accompany ourselves, but as guitarists learning to explore the fretboard and everything it has to offer.

It’s important to be inquisitive, so make sure to take a close look at where you’re positioning your capo and what key it puts you in.

If you’re interested in figuring out what key you’re playing in more easily, click here.

Use arpeggios to sound out unfamiliar chords, and use a metronome to help you practice your strumming in good time.

More Pro Tips For Perfecting These Guitar Songs With Capo Requirements

Check out a few more tips from us below:

  • If you’re muting strings unnecessarily in a chord, rotate your wrist to open up those strings.
  • Use alternate picking when playing arpeggios or skipping strings in a picking progression to get a better economy of motion
  • Listen to the song! Everything you need to know is in the recording, you just need to make good use of your ears to pick it all out.

Recommended Resources

If you enjoyed this lesson on guitar songs with capo requirements, you’re going to love the other lessons we’ve got for you below:

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