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Capo for Mac Review

Capo for Mac Review

One of the best ways to learn the guitar is definitely to study the styles and work of others. Having grown up through the TDK cassette generation before graduating to CD I spent many hours rewinding and repeating guitar solos in an often vain attempt to work the notes out by ear.

capoIn many ways this repetitive rewind was much easier with tape that it was with CD as one wrong button press had you back to the start of the song and not the start of the solo, my back aching from leaning over a tape player it was often easier to air guitar the solo that actually work it out.

Today though, learning by ear really can’t be any easier with the release of the amazing Capo application for OSX. Taking its name from the device guitarist’s use to transpose songs to a different key, this application offers seriously more use and function for the upcoming rock legend.

Capo (the application) takes any song that is free of digital rights management and allows you to control the speed of the song without changing the pitch thus allowing you to slow the solo down and hopefully identify the individual notes.

Capo is simple to use, in iTunes locate the song you want to work out  and drag and drop the song directly into the Capo main interface. Alternatively you can drag the sound file onto the main window.

The interface of Capo is designed to make the software as easy to use as possible and it succeeds. The software offers 4 additional speeds (in addition to 1x),  I found even working at 3/4 speed while keeping the pitch at the correct level made guitar lines much easier to work out.

markersCapo offers a range of in-song management tools. Markers can be set within the song. As well as M for general Markers Capo offers shortcut markers for Chorus, Verse and Bridge.

Without doubt the ability to add markers is very useful for quickly locating aspects of a song especially if it takes you a few listens to get the gist of what is going on.

If you are a rock guitar type of player then for working out  solos the loop tool is most definitely your friend.


Click at the beginning of the solo and drag to the end and Capo will highlight this area with the loop icon. You can tweak these points if necessary. Capo will then repeat this selected music at your selected speed. Easy !

shortcutsControlling a piece of software with a guitar on your knee can be a bit of a challenge but yet again a set of carefully designed keyboard shortcuts offers quick access to adjusting speed, pitch or moving the playhead to a particular marker.

It is definitely worth trying to learn keyboard shortcuts as it is amazing how much time they will save you once you have your head around the basics.

If this wasn’t enough, Capo also allows you to save the song markers and loops for returning back to at a later date.  All your markers, and loops remain intact so you can start at exactly the same point you left off.

Capo takes the work out of transcribing songs and actually makes it so easy it becomes a much easier and fun process. After just a few hours of playing with the application I was finding myself jumping between my favourite songs from my iTunes library in an attempt to work out both the chords and solos.

If you play guitar and own a Mac Capo should be considered an essential piece of software.  With Garageband   Guitar Rig 3  and now Capo the Mac is proving again and again to be the platform for guitarists.

Get your own copy of Capo here

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