Applying capos


    A capo is a device clamped onto a fretted stringed instrument so that it can be played at a higher pitch. MuseScore allows you to emulate this effect by adding Capo text to an instrument staff (or staves). This automatically transposes playback to the desired pitch while keeping the notes, or fretmarks, unchanged. Partial capoes are also possible (see below).

    Applying a capo to your score

    The capo element is available in the Guitar palette, which is hidden by default. To reveal this palette:

    1. Click Add palettes
    2. Click the Add button next to Guitar

    To apply a capo to a staff:

    1. Click on the note, or rest, where you want to add a capo marking.
    2. Click the Capo element in the Guitar palette. “Capo 1” is shown by default.
    3. Adjust the settings in the popup dialog (see below).

    Apply capo

    Adjusting capo settings

    Turning capo on or off

    • Select On at the top of the dialog to indicate that a capo should be added to the instrument.
    • Select Off to indicate that the capo should be removed from the instrument and return playback to the original key.

    Setting capo position

    • The number in the Fret spinner refers to the fret where the capo should be applied. For example, fret 1 transposes the key up by a semitone, fret 2 by a whole tone, and so on. The text label in the score will update automatically.

    Specifying partial capo placement

    • The switches in the Apply to section let you specify that a capo should be applied only on certain strings. When at least one is turned off, the text in the score will change to indicate a partial capo.

    Customizing capo text appearance

    To change the wording of the Capo text:

    • Check the Manually specify instruction text box in the popup dialog.
    • Type the text you want to appear in the score.

    To place the capo text beneath the staff:

    • Under Position, select Below.

    Apply capo

    Changing capo setting mid-score

    Using the steps above, you can, if desired, vary the capo setting at different points in the score. Each capo instance will affect the transposition of all music that follows it, up until the next capo mark.

    Note: it is not possible to apply more than one capo at the same time. This feature is planned for a later release.