Originally Posted by camardelle
I've got the chords to a song I want to learn bass for. The chord sheet states to capo II which I figure means the guitar should have the capo on the second fret, and the player still plays the same chords.
As a bass player, if this is the case and the first chord is a G, then I should be playing something A, correct? Is this what is referred to as transposing?
Yes, what you are doing is transposing. The problem here is it's tough to tell whether the person who made the chord chart is using the chord names that correspond to the fingerings or the chord names that correspond to the actual pitches. My thoughts on that:
1. Chord names that correspond to the fingerings would be more common, because that's easier for a guitarist to read. In such a case, you'd need to transpose up 2 half steps.
2. In order to get a G chord (pitch-wise) with a capo on the second fret, you'd have to fret an F chord. This is an awkward chord on guitar because it doesn't have an "open" shape but must be played as a barre. G, on the other hand, is an easy chord to finger on the guitar, which is one reason why so many rock songs are in this key. So again, the evidence points to the chord names corresponding to the fingering, and you needing to transpose.
3. You could simply listen to and play along with the recording. It should be pretty obvious which key is correct.