I'm using a Capo for the first time and wanted to know if I understand correctly how it works. Right now I have my Capo across the strings on the third fret. By placing it there and using the open C as a reference, if I understand correctly the key I would be in would be 3 half steps higher or D#. So if I had the Capo on the fourth fret, the key would be 4 half steps higher than C which is E. Do I have this correct or have I got it wrong? Thanks

  • By the way, there is no such key at D#. It would be Eb.
    – Jomiddnz
    Nov 9, 2018 at 6:50
  • @Jomiddnz there is such a key; it's just very uncommon and looks nasty due to multiple double-sharps. Nov 9, 2018 at 13:51
  • For purposes of counting half tones up from "C" it seems the note identification D# would be most appropriate but since it is an accidental, E flat is also correct Nov 9, 2018 at 14:45
  • @JamesWhiteley - I have several D# keys on my piano - all black, and the keys on the right of two together! Seriously, it is a key - but only a theoretical one. No-one in their right mind would bother with it in preference to its enharmonic Eb.
    – Tim
    Nov 9, 2018 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Playing that open C shape gives you - 1st fret - C#, 2nd fret - D, 3rd fret - Eb, 4th fret E, 5th fret - F, 6th fret - F#, 7th fret - G, 8th fret - G#/Ab, 9th fret - A, 10th fret - Bb and 11th fret - B (if you can reach it!). I've named the chords by their most common names.

To help you, make a circle like a clock face, (12 points), and write each note name in order round it. Counting round is simpler.

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