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CherylTheSinger

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 
In my weekly (whenever we don't have bad weather or no school or testing or whatever that particular day of the week) fifth grade general music classes I teach guitar. This year for the first time I added a song for each class (12 to 14) students to their concert in March.  The parents LOVED it! The class that I wasn't able to see for a month and a half before the concert was a bit terrifying, but they manged to do great.  That class played, "ABC," with short cut C and G chords, while the class that I actually got to teach more played, "This Land is Your Land," while the remaining students of two fourth grade classes and the fifth grade class that wasn't playing at the time sang.

I am limited to 40 minutes for a concert each year, as we have a cafetorium, and if I have an assembly, that's about the amount of time I can get into it during the day.  I also like to keep my concerts short. Along with guitar and singing with 4th and 5th grade, I have 3rd grade students play their recorders.

I am making these points because as I figure out what I want to do next year I came across an elementary musical about playing in a band. It is a nice, short show, fun songs, with background tracks that include, "Sweet Home Chicago," but played in A major. The total number of fifth grade students I am going to have next year is 20. I have 21 guitars.... this could work, IF.... the capos don't trip them up. Playing the song with G, D7 and C would be possible, but I haven't used capos at this level yet. I actually haven't used capos in a guitar class yet, so the lack of experience on my part worries me as well. I could always use a little software to change the key, but sometimes that doesn't sound all that great.  Low G's for 4th grade students may not be sung very well either, but A's aren't really that much better, still I'd rather have them sing it in A.

Would using a capo to do this trip them up too badly, or is this an easy fix to my problem?
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mattgerry

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'd say capos would work great! What reservations are you having? My middle schoolers use capos all the time to get songs into singable keys. I just tell them it turns chords that we like to play into chords that we don't know yet. I kind of make it out to be a magical tool.
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Glen McCarthy

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Reply with quote  #3 
Make sure to buy the correct capo. Classic guitars have a flat fingerboard while steel-strings are convex. Capos are made for specific instruments (fingerboards). Two examples:

http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/acoustic-curved-trigger-capos

http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/classical-trigger-capos
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