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Fifth string capo

MARINER 23 Apr 08 - 05:05 PM
Leadfingers 23 Apr 08 - 05:15 PM
Geoff the Duck 23 Apr 08 - 05:54 PM
deadfrett 23 Apr 08 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 23 Apr 08 - 07:29 PM
Mr Happy 24 Apr 08 - 05:03 AM
BanjoRay 24 Apr 08 - 05:54 AM
kendall 24 Apr 08 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Jim 24 Apr 08 - 03:24 PM
Charley Noble 24 Apr 08 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Jim 29 Apr 08 - 04:25 PM
MARINER 30 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM
Maryrrf 30 Apr 08 - 05:20 PM
banjoman 01 May 08 - 07:10 AM
Geoff the Duck 01 May 08 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,redhorse at work 01 May 08 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Jim 01 May 08 - 11:22 AM
goatfell 01 May 08 - 12:27 PM
Steve Latimer 01 May 08 - 09:49 PM
Geoff the Duck 05 Jun 08 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,TIA 05 Jun 08 - 09:04 AM
Mark Clark 05 Jun 08 - 10:25 AM
banjoman 10 Jun 08 - 07:11 AM
fretless 10 Jun 08 - 09:48 AM
Charley Noble 10 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM
DonMeixner 10 Jun 08 - 02:43 PM
Stringsinger 10 Jun 08 - 05:42 PM
Charley Noble 10 Jun 08 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,TIA 25 Jun 08 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,redhorse at work 25 Jun 08 - 08:07 AM
Desert Dancer 18 Aug 08 - 03:00 PM
Leadfingers 18 Aug 08 - 04:01 PM
Charley Noble 18 Aug 08 - 08:51 PM
Desert Dancer 18 Aug 08 - 09:41 PM
olddude 18 Aug 08 - 09:50 PM
Geoff the Duck 24 Aug 08 - 06:26 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Jun 10 - 02:26 AM
Leadfingers 07 Jun 10 - 04:04 AM
Bob the Postman 07 Jun 10 - 08:02 AM
Desert Dancer 07 Jun 10 - 11:42 AM
Leadfingers 07 Jun 10 - 06:47 PM
Desert Dancer 07 Jun 10 - 09:12 PM
Leadfingers 08 Jun 10 - 06:48 AM
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Subject: Fifth string capo
From: MARINER
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:05 PM

I recently went to buy a 5th string capo for my ,lefthanded 5 string banjo.The man at the shop who was to fit it for me said he had great difficulty doing it ,as all the capos he had were for right handed banjos.Is there a difference between left and right handed 5th string capos ?? Or is he taking the mickey ??.And if there is a difference where can i get one specifically for a left hander ??


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:15 PM

MARINER - Make your own !! The Factory jobbies dont work upside down or back to front , so get some thin metal strip ( A heavy Duty Carton Staple works) , bend to fit round the neck in TWO pieces with an elastic band as tensioner ! About a qarter inch is enough to fret the fifth string , and just enough at the other end to hold it in place !
I am away from home at the moment , but have a diagram I can E mail when I get back to U K ! PM me your E mail address and I will send it off !!


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:54 PM

I suspect the way they are sprung is based on holding the string as it would be found on a right handed instrument.
When I needed a capo, I didn't want to screw something into a vintage banjo neck. I made one using a bent (pointed end) paper clip hooked over the string, heavy nylon fishing line tied so it runs under the strings and down under the neck where it is attached (stitched through) to velcro. At the other end of the paper clip, a short piece of clothing elastic for tension and the other end of the velcro, to fasten the whole thing firmly. The combination of velcro and elastic allows it to fasten firmly at different widths of neck when capoing higher or lower.
Where the back of the paper clip might dig into the sid of the banjo neck, I wraped and stitched an offcut of vinyl fabric which I had used to make a banjo carrying case following the "sling" design in Pete Seeger's How to play 5-string banjo book.
The design has worked well for over 20 years. I ave replaced fishing line and nylon a couple of times.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: deadfrett
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:58 PM

M- I've used HO railroad spikes for about 30 yrs now. They work great and are inexpensive. Check out a banjo repair book for instalation tips. Dave


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 07:29 PM

A Dunlop sliding fifth string cap doesn't care what side it is on.

don


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 05:03 AM

My pal Jim, who's a architect, uses an old fashioned drawing board clip.

It's sprung, so holds tension well


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: BanjoRay
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 05:54 AM

A Shubb 5th string capo doesn't care which side it's on either.
I used to use Mr Happy's drawing board clip years ago, but they don't always fit properly (depends on the banjo), and they're a bit intrusive on the neck.
HO railroad spikes are very good - care needed when you insert them. These days I don't bother - Tunes in A and D can be played just by tuning the fifth string up to A. My fith strings been going up and down like a bride's nighty for years without breaking strings.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: kendall
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:48 AM

Leadfingers introduced me to his contraption when I borrowed his banjo, and it worked well.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 03:24 PM

Here's another vote for HO guage spikes. I have them at 2 and 4.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 03:32 PM

The HO gauge railway spikes work fine but they are now hard to find. You do not want the ones with round heads. You want the old style with the off-set head so you can tuck the 5th string under it. If you'd like a dozen or so, I still have several hundred of the little suckers. PM me and I'll mail them out to you (US only) for a dollar. Off course, the postal department may not like sharp metal objects being sent through the mail but I generally surround them with masking tape.

Some further words of caution, pre-drill before hammering the spikes in, and don't hammer them in with a sledgehammer.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 04:25 PM

I also use a spike in place of a pip (fifth string nut) The advantage is that it uses the fifth fret as a nut and you don't have to retune (as much) when you capo the fifth string. Often the pips are placed behind the fret and your string will go sharp when you capo it.

I hope you can understand this.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: MARINER
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM

Thanks folks, I will absorb all your advice in time(busy right now)but I have to admit that ,so far,some of it confuses me ,a raw beginner .


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Maryrrf
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 05:20 PM

I can also vouch for Leadfinger's invention - he made some 5th string banjo capos for me using the innards of a windshield wiper!


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: banjoman
Date: 01 May 08 - 07:10 AM

Have alook at the new elastic fifth string capo on ebay. I bought one and was really pleased at how good it is. As a banjo builder I ahave always been reluctan to drill holes in any banjo that arn't needed and this really solves that problem - no drilling or nasty holes in the fretboard


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 01 May 08 - 07:55 AM

Can you provide a link to that? All I found were mandoline size capos for the other 4 strings.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 01 May 08 - 08:24 AM

when I googled "elastic fifth string capo" I came back to this page!

However I also found this Earl's fifth String Capo at Elderly. Is this the one you mean Banjoman?

nick


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 01 May 08 - 11:22 AM

I've also had luck with the Reagan fifth string capo. Yau can see it to the right of Earl's fifth string capo if you click on GUEST,redhorse at work's blue clicky. This is very cheap and simple and it doesn't mar the banjo in any way. I keep a couple around to lend to students who haven't had their spikes installed yet.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: goatfell
Date: 01 May 08 - 12:27 PM

Lead fingers a Jobbie is a word for shit


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 01 May 08 - 09:49 PM

The Railroad spikes are also available on the same page, just under the Reagan.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 04:06 AM

Refresh - because somone is looking for this thread

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 09:04 AM

Thanks GtD. I ordered an Earl's and a Reagan to try before I make any holes in my baby.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Jun 08 - 10:25 AM

I know several players who use the Reagan 5th String Removeable Capo available from Janet Davis Music. This just slips over your fifth string and sits right on any particular fret. You tighten the screw to lock it in place or remove it and put it in your pocket when not wanted.

Banjo players are, to a man, well known as gadget freaks. I get to play with some world class banjo players and they've tried every 5th string capo known to man. Most of them have now abandoned 5th string capos entirely in favor of spikes.

Have the spikes installed at the shop that does your repairs and setups. The shop where I occasionally work charges $3.00 (USD) per spike. We take great pains to protect the instrument, get them all lined up properly, and make sure the clearance is correct for the strings you use. If you expect to play any bluegrass style banjo, get pegs installed at 2, 3, 4 & 5 since you'll need those for all the keys you'll be using. If you're certain you'll only be playing old-timey music, you can get by with pegs at 2 and 4 (add one at 3 if you play in F using a D tuning).

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: banjoman
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 07:11 AM

Has anybody tried the "Eagle Claw" fifth string capo?
I bought this system a while ago and although it worked, it needed a bit of modification to the fifth string tuner and was always a bit awkward as it consisted of five different lengths of wire that hooke around the tuner peg.
It did work, but not a patch on the earls capo


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: fretless
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 09:48 AM

Another vote for the HO spikes.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 12:37 PM

I still favor the HO spikes, the old style with the off-set heads. The new round-head HO spikes don't work.

I guess I really don't like to install what I consider garish hardware on a banjo neck, even if it functions well.

I usually install three spikes: at the 7th, 10th, and 12th frets. But it all depends on what major keys you prefer to play in or sing. Most of my instrumental work is done out of the C or F position with the 2nd string tuned up half a tone. I used to play with contradance bands and most of their tunes were in G, D, or A and if I capoed to the 2nd fret I could do quick changes without retuning the 5th string; well, I did have to retune the 2nd string to play an open A. The net result made life easier for me.

And after I left the contradance scene I found the tuning was useful for singing as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: DonMeixner
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 02:43 PM

I have used most types available to me. The spikes are probably the best but you haven't truly lived untill you've shredded a finger tip on a spike by accident. It ranks up there with running the bitter end of a 5th string under a fingernail.

On a work horse like my Ode I'll stick with my sliding capo. It is fast and dependable and it doesn't hurt.

D


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 05:42 PM

I use a Shubb which works well on my RB175 longneck. I also use the Reagan capo when
I want to play higher up the neck where the frets are closer together. This is good for
intricate clawhammer.

I have found that the spikes don't hold well if you play with force. The Shubb has no trouble keeping the string down with it's screw apparatus.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 08:05 PM

It's true that sometimes the railroad spikes don't hold well and a string pops out.

It doesn't happen often the way I play but when it does, the moment is memorable.

Of course I used to break a lot of 5th strings and that problem is minimized with either kind of 5th string capo.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 12:17 AM

Following all the excellent advice above, I got and Earl's and a Reagan and a Shubb. I like the Earl's way better than the Reagan (requires no - or little - tuning when moved). I haven't gotten up the nerve to put the Shubb on (or even have it done by a pro)... I'am afraid to put any holes at all in the old feller.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 25 Jun 08 - 08:07 AM

Just got my Earl's.
Works fine (even thought it doesn't look like it's fretting the string properly)on both my SS Stewart and my Wildwood, neither of which I wanted to drill or stick pins in! Also takes up practically no space in my pick tin

nick


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 03:00 PM

I don't think I'd ever seen this inexpensive option mentioned here before: cap-o.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 04:01 PM

That IS a neat option but would probably require a string retune each time you moved it !


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 08:51 PM

Becky-

Interesting!

But blue clashes with my banjo!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 09:41 PM

But Charley, that's the beauty of this one -- there are several color options!

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: olddude
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 09:50 PM

I just tried it with my old cheapo one
it really work well. Thanks Becky

by the way, about a month ago I got my first stabbed under the nail from spike on my good banjo. Don has a way of understating it ! Dang thing still hurts ... and it is a special burning kind of throb


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 06:26 PM

Becky - it looks like a brilliant idea. I particularly like the idea of a range of colours to suit the mood of the song you are accompanying.
I will have a play with the idea.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 02:26 AM

Now available on E-Bay! click

(!)

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 04:04 AM

A Professionally turned out Pen Top Capo ! For £4 plus postage ! Take a pen top and make your own ! Or ask me for info on the home made ones I use ! PM your E Mail and I will send the plans !


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 08:02 AM

For pen-top DIY, see link in Becky's 18 Aug 08 - 03:00 PM post above.


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 11:42 AM

Leadfingers, where's your entrepeneurial spirit? Shouldn't those plans be available for £2.99 ??


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 06:47 PM

Becky - IF it was my own design maybe , but as I cant remember who showed me the idea Forty years ago , it would NOT be the done thing !


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 09:12 PM

(Just to be clear, I think anybody who'd need to pay for plans -- i.e. could not figure it out from the pics I linked a couple of years ago -- shouldn't be trusted with a hacksaw and should go ahead and pay the £4 plus postage to anyone who's capable of cutting a cap for them. I think it's pretty funny that someone's actually listing pre-made ones on E-bay. Wonder if they'll get any sales.)

(And in full disclosure, I saw the E-bay link on www.banjohangout.org.)

8-|

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Fifth string capo
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 06:48 AM

I had a PM from tubaphone over a year ago asking for details , but they didnt give an E mail and I cant download to a P M !


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