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Capo problem?

Tigger the Tiger 22 Jan 12 - 07:04 AM
Bert 22 Jan 12 - 07:08 AM
Silas 22 Jan 12 - 07:08 AM
Tigger the Tiger 22 Jan 12 - 07:10 AM
Bert 22 Jan 12 - 08:20 AM
Tigger the Tiger 22 Jan 12 - 08:22 AM
Silas 22 Jan 12 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Ray 22 Jan 12 - 08:49 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Jan 12 - 03:15 PM
JHW 22 Jan 12 - 03:24 PM
Skivee 22 Jan 12 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 22 Jan 12 - 04:25 PM
Tigger the Tiger 23 Jan 12 - 06:48 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Jan 12 - 06:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jan 12 - 10:23 AM
Raptor 23 Jan 12 - 10:44 AM
vectis 23 Jan 12 - 11:10 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 23 Jan 12 - 11:55 AM
John MacKenzie 23 Jan 12 - 12:14 PM
Silas 23 Jan 12 - 12:17 PM
JHW 23 Jan 12 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,gillymor 23 Jan 12 - 12:44 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 23 Jan 12 - 04:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Jan 12 - 12:41 PM
Gurney 24 Jan 12 - 02:03 PM
Don Firth 24 Jan 12 - 03:27 PM
Skivee 24 Jan 12 - 06:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Jan 12 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 25 Jan 12 - 10:27 AM
John MacKenzie 25 Jan 12 - 11:40 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Jan 12 - 01:14 PM
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Subject: Capo problem?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 07:04 AM

I always used what we used to call a 12 string capo;I have recently purchased a new elastic capo. It seems to be about the same as the old capo. My capo has always been fine on the Martin D-18. I bought a Gibson J40. This one has quite a rattle when I use the capo. The action on the Gibson seems lower than the D18. Can anyone explain or correct the problem?Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 07:08 AM

Is the neck straight? Is the Bridge high enough?


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Silas
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 07:08 AM

If you can afford to play a Martin D18, (and why not) then get yourself a decent shub capo. They are less tghan £20.00 and will last a lifetime, if your friends don't nick it.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 07:10 AM

The J40 has one of these weird string through,clamped bridges;I have never seen this before. How do I tell if the bridge is too high or too low?The Martin has a very high action,takes intense strength to play,but no rattle. Neck on the J40 is straight.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 08:20 AM

The strings should be roughly a quarter of an inch above the twelfth fret.

Your Martin should not take intense strength to play. Take both of your guitars to a local luthier and get them set up properly. Both should be similar to play and personal preference plays an important part in setting the action.

So ask him to let you play a guitar that he has set up, and go from there.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 08:22 AM

I never knew anyone with a Shubb type capo in the sixties. I had seen these online. Do they scratch or damage the guitar?Do they put additional stress on the bridge?Would the 12 string capo be too much for a 6 string?Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Silas
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 08:24 AM

They do loads of different ones, but the standard one would be fine for most applications - can't damage your guitar when using one, no stress on the bridge, very easy to use, just a genius design.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 08:49 AM

If the neck on the J40 is straight - dead straight - that could be your problem. There should be a slight bow - known as "relief". If there isn't any putting a capo on is likely to make it rattle. Exactly how much relief is a matter of experience and adjustable using the truss rod. As Bert said take it to a luthier.

The Martin shouldn't be hard to play - I've had a D18 since 1974 - it probably needs a set up. Sounds to me as if the nut is too high. Not a big problem - needs taking off and reducing in height. Simple job but probably one for a luthier as you can easily take too much off and then need to build it up again.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 03:15 PM

Tigger, you seem to have a HUGE way to go to understand the mechanics of guitars - for all I know you are a brilliant player.

First, all the frets need to be even, without grooves, and not sharp at the ends nor rolled off too much at the edges. The camber (the side to side curve) of teh fretboard needs to be right, and manufacturers ahve different standards.

Next the neck should curve VERY slightly forwards. In theory the string should leave every fret at the same angle. THis is controlled by the truss rod. Put a capo on at the first fret and fret the top and bottom strings where the neck joins the body. Now check the clearance between the string and fret at about the 7th fret. Only just visible is probably too little, and 25 thou is probably too much.

Next with capo at the first fret, measure the clearances under teh strings at the second fret. Take the capo off. Measure the clearances at the first fret. The result should be the same.

Finally we come to the action height. measure the clearance under the strings at the 12th fret. I play 25-ish thou bass side, 17 or 16 thou treble side.

Take your guitars to a decent local guitar tech.


Capos should be placed ONLY JUST not touching the fret. They should be only tight enough to stay on. Any tighter or any further back and they will pull the strings affected sharp.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: JHW
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 03:24 PM

The capo museum has pics of lots of capo types


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Skivee
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 03:35 PM

I second Mr. Bridges sound advice. Playing a guitar should not be a contest of strength. Have a qualified luthier look at the guitars, and get Shubbs.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 04:25 PM

I believe Gibson finger boards have a more radius-ed cross section than does the Martin D guitars. This could cause some rattle on the wound E and A strings.

I have an old (1964) Martin S 12-20 and it has little or no radius on the board. The capo I use on it is nearly flat.

D


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Tigger the Tiger
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 06:48 AM

I should admit at this point that I am of the female persuasion; I play completely by ear;all my friends were very excellent male guitar players as I learned. We never discussed the technical aspects of setting up a guitar in the sixties. I got the D18 in 1965 after my Gibson J200 was stolen. Most of my firends had Martins,so there was no need to let them play mine. I just thought I had to work a little harder at it as my hands did not start out as strong as theirs. When I met professional performers, I did not think to ask about set up. Everyone always told me to never,ever let anyone work on the guitar. Thank you all so much for the information.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 06:56 AM

Tigger, if you are worried about your Martin lifetime warranty, it's only valid in the USA but even so if you use an authorised Martin repairman it is not affected.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 10:23 AM

yes shubbs are the best and work in most situations - I've never heard of one damaging the guitar. the twelve string one will work on six strings and twelve strings.

I got a shubb noir for xmas - but thats cos I'm a poser - play a black guitar!


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Raptor
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 10:44 AM

JHW great link. Thanks

Has anyone here tried the G7TH style? I'm finding mine finacky.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: vectis
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 11:10 AM

My new G7th works very well. They had problems with the clutch on the first batch but replaced them without a murmer if they failed, as mine did.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 11:27 AM

gave both mine away, the G7 and the Nashville - they couldn't get to grips with the neck on Faith guitars.

Kysers aren't as good as they were IMHO. I've got a drawer full of them. Tried em all exhaustively last year.

Nah ....shubb all the way. that little plastic thing needs supergluing onto the screw. otherwise - its okay.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 11:55 AM

Big Al,
       I adjusted the top bar of a Hamilton to suit the camber of the arm on my Faith Dreadnought and it works well.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 12:14 PM

All the new D28s I have seen require setting up, before they can be played. Odd when you think of the price the charge. I bought a Tanglewood 12 string for about £400 new, and it was set up perfectly. Just shows, that you don't always get what you pay for. My present 12 has a very shallow neck, and I have had to build up the back pad on one of my capos to make it hold the strings down effectively. So it could just be that your Gibson has a lower profile/thinner neck, and this is what the difference is


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Silas
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 12:17 PM

Well, the Tanglewood may have been well set up FOR YOU, but everyone is different. I think most guitars action is set a little too low.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: JHW
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 12:27 PM

As 'John from Elsie's Band' found, I had to curve my Shubb bar to suit the camber of my resonator guitar so that capo stays with that guitar. The elastic capos were actually better at accommodating camber but I still wouldn't use one now.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 12:44 PM

New Martins always used to come with high action at the nut and bridge. I suppose Martin's reasoning was it's easier to go down than up (at least at the nut) and that players who use their guitars are going to prefer custon setups.
You can find a nice variety of Shubbs and other capos at Elderly.com. if your local shops don't have them.
Beware though, what Silas says is true, Shubbs seem to grow legs at jam sessions.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 04:02 PM

A properly cut nut should have a similar string height above the first fret as a string closed at the first fret has above the second string and so on down the fingerboard. A capo should close all strings to the fret with enough tension that they do not buzz but not enough to stretch them sharp. The curvature of the fingerboard is controlled by the truss rod, and is critical, but but it can only be properly set if the nut and saddle/bridge are without an other underlying problem. The advantage of the Schubb over the Kyser is that a set screw adjustt the tension. However, the Schubb can not be easily clamped on the headstock and it is slower to move to another position. A twelve string capo needs a stronger spring because there are more strings and they are of dis-similar diamiter.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 12:41 PM

is a hamilton a capo? I'm not familiar with it.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 02:03 PM

Yes, Al. It is a big spring thing like a knuckleduster. I still have one.
Elastic capos are advertised online here and you have to order the length (2", 1.75") and curvature you want. There are two curvatures.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 03:27 PM

Definitely get the action of the guitars properly set up. It's amazing how much it can often improve the playability of a guitar, even (especially!) one that's right out of the chute.

I use a classic mostly, so I use an old-fashioned wooden çejilla (seh-HEE-yah). CLICKY. Flamenco guitarists use them a lot. Not too practical for a steel-string guitar, though.

On my steel-string, I use a Shubb. CLICKY #2. They work like a charm, don't scratch the guitar unless you get very clumsy with them, and they come in nickel or brass, and you can get them straight (for a classic) or slightly curved (for a steel-string).

Except for the çejilla on my classic, they're the best capos I've ever found.

'Course, if nothing else works, there's always THIS.

Don Firth

P. S.   Piece of trivia, perhaps, but if you're ever on Jeopardy and the question comes up:   The word "capo" is short for "capotasto," which is Italian. "Capo" means "head," and "tasto" refers to the key of a musical instrument. So essentially it translates into "head key." The device was invented sometime in the 1700s. CLICKY.

Sometimes you see a guitar capo referred to as a "capo d'astro." No, no, no! A capo d'astro is a part in some brands of grand pianos (Bösendorfer, for one), which alters to tone (presumably, enriches it), but does not change the pitch of a piano's strings. Totally different function from a capotasto.

More that you ever wanted to know.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Skivee
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 06:57 PM

All sage advice, Don.
Look at you being all Mister Smart!


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Jan 12 - 07:12 PM

not to be confused with a caporegime or a capo de tuti capos, who will offer you a key change you can't refuse.

or a capucinno which they sell in Starbucks, and tastes vaguely of coffee.

or a capo di monte ornament depicting a squirrel holding his nuts.


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 10:27 AM

Big Al,
         Visit www.sternercapo.se/Capomuseum. Look under "Yoke around the neck" type, sub section "Spring" for the Hamilton. This is a well put together on-line museum on capos and quite fascinating.
John


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 11:40 AM

capo da capi


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Subject: RE: Capo problem?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 01:14 PM

Sandy Mc Lean is exactly right.

A Hamilton quick action would benefit from a softer bar rubber - about the consistency of a Shubb rubber. Rubber tube from an old bunsen burner is about right.


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