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Using capos

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Menita 27 Feb 02 - 05:23 PM
Mooh 27 Feb 02 - 05:46 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Feb 02 - 05:46 PM
Jeri 27 Feb 02 - 05:58 PM
ddw 27 Feb 02 - 06:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Feb 02 - 06:06 PM
khandu 27 Feb 02 - 06:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Feb 02 - 06:22 PM
Anahootz 27 Feb 02 - 06:38 PM
michaelr 27 Feb 02 - 07:46 PM
Louie Roy 27 Feb 02 - 09:32 PM
Anahootz 27 Feb 02 - 09:53 PM
khandu 27 Feb 02 - 10:04 PM
Bobert 27 Feb 02 - 10:12 PM
Cap't Bob 27 Feb 02 - 10:15 PM
khandu 27 Feb 02 - 10:18 PM
Cap't Bob 27 Feb 02 - 10:43 PM
Steve in Idaho 27 Feb 02 - 11:24 PM
catspaw49 27 Feb 02 - 11:42 PM
nager 27 Feb 02 - 11:54 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Feb 02 - 01:18 AM
GUEST,kponpkn 28 Feb 02 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,p.mitchell@work 28 Feb 02 - 04:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Feb 02 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,T-boy 28 Feb 02 - 08:15 AM
Roger in Baltimore 28 Feb 02 - 08:17 AM
Big Mick 28 Feb 02 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 28 Feb 02 - 08:46 AM
Tiger 28 Feb 02 - 08:56 AM
C-flat 28 Feb 02 - 10:53 AM
Gary T 28 Feb 02 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 28 Feb 02 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Lynn Koch 28 Feb 02 - 09:17 PM
Cap't Bob 28 Feb 02 - 09:50 PM
Pete Jennings 01 Mar 02 - 06:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 02 - 06:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 02 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,lucy ann 04 Mar 02 - 11:51 AM
Don Firth 04 Mar 02 - 12:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Mar 02 - 03:13 PM
Don Firth 04 Mar 02 - 03:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Mar 02 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 04 Mar 02 - 04:57 PM
Don Firth 04 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Mar 02 - 11:05 PM
Murray MacLeod 04 Mar 02 - 11:25 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 02 - 02:11 AM
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Subject: Using capos
From: Menita
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 05:23 PM

Guitarists: here's something that causes me no end of aggro during performance - changing the capo setting between songs. It always necessitates retuning. This is, obviously, because the capo depresses the strings between the frets and, to that extent, stretches them. Because they are thicker, and therefore get pressed down harder by the capo, the bass strings are the most affected. Over the years I have settled on a brass Schubb capo and I use Martin strings. I also start a set by tuning accurately for the capo setting I'll be using first. But I hate playing fractionally out of tune, and I hate making an audience wait while I fuss with retuning. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Mooh
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 05:46 PM

I hear ya! Your approach works, but will work better when the guitar(?) has a perfect set-up. Use as little capo pressure as necessary for your technique, capo close to the fretwire but not touching it so that there's a minimum of string deflection. For smooth sets, a second guitar can speed up the between the song transitions, so that you're retuning less frequently. Arrange tune/song orders so that there's a minimum of capo relocation.

I've likely forgotten other solutions...it's getting late for me. Anyone else?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: Using capos
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 05:46 PM

Nope... it's part of the nature of the beast... Some folks might try to suggest shaving the capo for a more even tension, but this sounds like an awful lot of work to potentially ruin a perfectly good capo...

What's the T-shirt at Elderly music say?? "Tune It Or DIE!" I'm with you... being just a little bit out, bugs me to NO end! Better to take the few seconds to tune before you start playing than try to get in tune while playing... Ya gotta have really fast hands for that trick...

My Boss TU-2 tuner is fantastic... makes tuning after those capo moves a breeze... And it kills the signal to the mains, so the audience doesn't have to listen to my tuning...


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 05:58 PM

This is probably a dumb question, but why hasn't anyone invented a capo that doesn't stretch strings? It could fit under the strings like a movable nut.

And is it just me, or do you find that when you tune with the capo on, you get the string in tune and the thing eventually gets sharper? Or is my capo on too tight?


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: ddw
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 06:04 PM

Mooh's suggestions are all good, especially the one for slacking off the capo tension. That went a long way toward helping me solve that problem when I was using Shubb capos exclusively. I switched to using one of the spring-loaded clamps —— can't think of the brand name at the moment, the one that starts with a K; Kysler or something like that -- and found I almost never have to retune after capo placement. The only trick is to get the thing seated just right, which means putting it as far down over the neck as it will go. The pad seems to cut on a bias so it gives less tension on the bass strings and more on the treble.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 06:06 PM

Under strings??? what a great pain in the butt that'd be... And I suspect there'd be just as many problems that way as well... otherwise, someone would have popularised it by now...

Going Sharp? Ya... maybe yer clamped on too tight and the string takes it's time going under the capo? I donno... never had the problem myself...


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: khandu
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 06:17 PM

I agree with ddw, I have few tuning problems with Kyser Capoes. Maybe he and I just got hold of a couple of flukes!

An on-board chromatic tuner also helps to speed things up when having to tune between songs.

khandu


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 06:22 PM

Either your actions too high above the frets - or the frets are too high and the capo too tight so that you stretch the strings more than they need to be. Or maybe it's just that you've got perfect pitch ears, and hear stuff the rest of us mortals don't.

I find with a Keyser and a guitar that is set up with a low action and frets whcih are pretty low on the fretboard, I seem to get along fine, frequently changing where I put the capo in the middle of a set of tunes. The people I play with would tell me if I was putting it out of tune, they aren't tactful about stuff like that - but then maybe they've got tin ears too.

Clearly there is always likely to be a little detuning when you go shifting capos around - but it'd be worth it checking to see if you couldn't maybe fix it so you less than you are at present. Perhaps a lot less.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Anahootz
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 06:38 PM

I use my keyser all the way up to C and never have to retune. My flatpicking guitar's action is set at the lowest pre-buzz height, and the soft pad and proper placement of the keyser ensure that it stays in tune all night.

If your capo puts your guitar out of tune, then your fingers do, too, since they are performing basically the same function. Experiment with new capos, better capo placements, and varied action heights...if that doesn't work, get a new guitar.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 07:46 PM

Has anyone here used the Glider rolling capo? (www.glidercapo.com - I haven't learned how to do clickies yet) You roll it with your right hand or your left thumb, up and down the fretboard, and behind the nut when you don't need it. They claim the guitar stays in tune. I think I'll check it out.

Michael


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Louie Roy
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 09:32 PM

The easist solution throw the damn thing away and learn to play a guitar like it was made to be played .Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Anahootz
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 09:53 PM

Chop it off at the 5th fret, eh, Louie?

Right on! You tell 'em!

Only sissies need all those damn frets...they just confuse a guy.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: khandu
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 10:04 PM

Here's the link, Michaelr.

That's a damned good point Louie!

khandu


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 10:12 PM

Hey, unless you want to follow Louie's suggestion, which isn't all bad, I'd say you need to turn this problem into an opportunity. While you diddle with the tuning, intro your next song. This is folk music afterall and most folk songs are enhanced with a little intro. Back in the old days when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the bobert was doing a few coffee house gigs I would come out with a couple strings messed up so that I would have a chance to do a little talking... The nice thing about the capo is that you're in the ballpark so you can talk and tune.... Try it, you'll like it. And so will your listeners... I promise.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 10:15 PM

I have an old capo that I bought at Elderly Instruments around thirty years ago. To my knowledge they haven't been on the market in some time now (I could be wrong). Anyway, the capo was designed so that when the capo was engaged it was directly on top of the fret. There were two little metal guides that pressed against the back of the fret in order to make it easier to align. Pressure was applied on the bottom by a thumb screw device. It takes very little pressure to engage the capo and the strings are not bent between the frets. With this capo it is rarely necessary to retune the guitar.

I would be interested to know if anyone has ever used this type of capo and I'm also curious to know if by some chance it is still available. The one I have is beginning to show signs of wear and tear.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: khandu
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 10:18 PM

Cap't Bob, After thirty years I was showing some wear and tear! Now that I am pushing fifty...

I have never seen nor heard of such a capo. If you find them anywhere, let me know!

khandu


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 10:43 PM

khandu ~ If you want to know what the thing looks like send me an e-mail and I'll send you a jpg photo of the thing. My e-mail is: RMiller@m33access.com

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 11:24 PM

Cap't Bob - they aren't made anymore. I've looked.

As far as I am concerned the only thing that eliminated the retuning was when I had my guitar Feitenized. Look here for more info. It is a wondrous thing - cost me about $250.00.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 11:42 PM

You can also try a tip a lot of us learned from Rick Fielding, especially great on 12's but works well on 6 string too.......On the bass E and also, depending on gauge, on the A....Cut a small v-shaped groove in the rubber. Makes a big difference.

You might also enter "capo" in the filter box and set the refresh to the max and you'll find several excellent capo threads from the past.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: nager
Date: 27 Feb 02 - 11:54 PM

Louie:

I once saw the great guitarist Segovia in concert.. he was out of this world. The greatest classical guitarist I have ever heard. On some of his pieces he used a capo. Get real.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 01:18 AM

Yup, those two little "V" shaped grooves will work wonders. I'm an absolute tuning fanatic, and it can be really annoying when you're playing with someone and the moment they put the capo on they go sharp. In almost every case, it's 'cause they've put the sucker on right between the frets (where it stretches the strings like crazy) or they're using too much tension. The worst part is if it's a player who doesn't realize they've gone sharp. Oops no...the WORST is when they then start to tune the guitar WITH the capo on....so that when it comes off...they're REALLY outta tune!

Cap'n Bob, I've got two of those downstairs, and I'd send you one (cause I've got a collection of about fifty capos!) but I've taken the little metal tabs off both and adapted them for banjo. Can't remember the brand name for the life of me.

Hi Louie. Segovia's "capo" was in the keys that his songs were transcribed into. That boy didn't play much in Ab or F#! And the Flamenco virtuosos ALL use capos...right up to the seventh fret. Don't tell them not to use a "clamp", most of them look pretty tough!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,kponpkn
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 03:29 AM

mebbe spaw could make a link to that capo museum > that WUZ a hoot.

The "Bird of Paradise" [TM] capo--though mine had a casting failure-- does have the twin advantages of [like Shubb, unlike Kyser] a cam which applies just enough pressure to take the buzz out, and very light weight
KeepOnPickin


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,p.mitchell@work
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 04:24 AM

Re' Louie's comments...

I enjoy using a capo as it allows me to play lots of tunes without having to be a master on the guitar. My technique is limited and I haven't the time to chase excellence in the field of music. However, my other reason for it's use is that, on my 12 string in particular, the texture of the notes changes. This adds a little something to some of the songs I enjoy playing. When I play with others (as it were) it adds a another dynamic there too.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 07:57 AM

I tend to position the capo so it's just jutting on to the fret, maybe that's why I seem to get away without too much trouble.

Making not using capos some kind of macho thing just strikes me as a bit ...ill-judged. There are some sounds and combinations of sounds that cannot be achieved without a capo. For example chords including open strings (or capo fretted ones) just aren't the same sound as chords where all the strings are fretted. Hammering on and pulling off and bass runs and all that just don't work the same way.

Playing the guitar is about music, not about showing off how strong your fingers are. "Never use a capo" is a bit like telling a trumpet player never to use a mute.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,T-boy
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 08:15 AM

Once did a floor spot and was struggling with my capo - Diz Dizley was in the audience and called out 'throw it away, boy'. I think he meant the capo, not the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 08:17 AM

I use Bobert's suggestion and talk and tune at the same time. One definition of folk music is "music where the introduction is longer than the song". You've gotten several good suggestions. A trick that has reduced my tuning time is to "stretch" the strings when I first put them on the guitar. As you get the string close to pitch, place two or three fingers under the string a gently pull it away from the fret board. Any unresolved tension at the peg hole and at the tuner peg tends to resolve and the string is likely to stay in tune unless you mess with it. You can just set it and forget it. This has reduced the sharpening of pitch with a capo as well for some reason I cannot explain.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 08:39 AM

Let me add a second, third and fourth to Rick's capo trick for the twelve string. He very graciously made me a gift of a type of capo that I really wanted for the Guild. Rick spent quite a bit of time getting the fit just right and then showing me how to position it. I must tell you that I love it already. Between that capo and him showing how I SHOULD be making my C, F, and B7 chords, I just might get competent on that damn Guild. And I started so well with my G.............

Use Rick's tip, it will improve your sound.........and ain't that what it is all about?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 08:46 AM

The capo Captain Bob mentioned was put out by Sabine, around 20 years ago. They don't make them any more. I've still got one, and it's the best capo I've ever used. I think a lot of people didn't like them because they required a little more effort to put them on (two hands), as compared to the now-ubiquitous Kyser and Shubb capos. To me, that was a small price to pay to get a clean, even sound from a capo with little or no impact on tuning.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Tiger
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 08:56 AM

I'm glad to see a bunch of you come to the defense of capo users - McGrath said it best.

I grumbled to myself when I read Louie's post, 'cause I've had that argument with my father-in-law on numerous occasions when I deploy my "cheat".

Now, I'm off to practice my bluegrass runs in F.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: C-flat
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 10:53 AM

Louie Roy's suggestion to get rid of capo's and learn to play properly is all well and good unless you want to play "Here comes the sun" (capo 7th fret),Paul Simon's "Scarborough fair"(again 7th fret),and many more. The picking on these songs requires ringing on open(capo'd) strings. You'd need a lot of fingers! I have several different capo's as my guitars have differing fretboard profiles. Make sure your using one suited to your neck i.e.curved or flat as this can reduce the amount of pressure needed and help with tuning problems.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Gary T
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 11:47 AM

Virtually any song can be played without a capo so long as you don't care what key it's in that way. Singers and those playing with certain other instruments find the choice of key to be critical, however, and the capo allows one to make the music without having mastered every key. I find suggestions to never use a capo unrealistic for the great majority of those who play guitar.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 01:17 PM

True, but it's more than just getting the song into a key that is comfortable for your singing voice. A capo changes the timbre as well as the pitch, and sometimes that different sound is what you're looking for. A capo is a standard and much-used accessory for flamenco guitarists (they call it a cejilla, if I remember correctly), even those who have moved beyond their traditional role of backing singers in favor of playing solo (a la Montoya, Sabicas, etc.). I consider myself a pretty accomplished player, and there are a number of songs -- and instrumental pieces -- that I always play with a capo, because I prefer the sound that way.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,Lynn Koch
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 09:17 PM

I don't think anybody mentioned the strings as the possible culprit. Lucy Ann mentioned using Martin strings. I may be committing a major sacrilege here, but I have never been fond of Martin strings - to my ears (which admittedly have evidence of wear and tear), Martin strings start to go dead within hours of putting them on the instrument. Dead strings exacerbate tuning problems, with or without capos. I'd suggest putting on a FRESH set of Dean Markleys or Elixers and see if that helps. Also (I may be wrong on this too, but who's there to stop me from saying it!?!) if you're using light guage strings, the bending problem may be more pronounced than if you're using medium or even medium lights. But the what do I know? I'm just a guitar player. {he he}


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Cap't Bob
Date: 28 Feb 02 - 09:50 PM

Whistle stop and Steve ~ thanks for the information about the Sabine capo. A mighty fine capo and sorry to hear that they are out of production. Guess I'd better take real good care of the old one.

Cap't Bob


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 06:29 AM

Here the web address of the Capo Museum. Once there, scroll down and click on the box called "Preserving Tone and Tuning" for a method of fitting the capo which does just that. Takes a bit of practice to get the alignment right, especially when using a strap, but works every time.

http://w1.865.telia.com/~u86505074/capomuseum/

(If anyone can convert this into a blue clicky, please do).

Pete


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 06:35 AM

Capo Museum


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 02 - 06:44 AM

Weird stuff in there - notably the Bob Wiley Digital Capo incorporating an artificial finger, available in different finger sizes, and different flesh tones - except it's not any more.

Spike Milligan would have loved that!


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,lucy ann
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 11:51 AM

Thanks to everyone who has joined the capo debate! Some really useful insights, and more experimenting for me to do.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 12:21 PM

Segovia never used a capo. Ever! Montoya and other Flamenco guitarists use one as a matter of course, but to alter the tone of the guitar and/or to facilitate fast scales and runs by playing further up the fingerboard where the frets are closer together. An Alegrias, for example, always uses the A major chord and scale forms, but it doesn't have to sound in the key of A.

But Segovia using a capo? No. Never.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 03:13 PM

If he didn't I imagine he retuned the guitar instead at times.

Any time people are arguing about capos someone always says "well,Segovia used them, and that's good enouigh for me." Now Don says categorically he never did.

Not that it really matters - Segovia was playing a different kind of music, as well as being a bit handier at playing than most of us. But can anybody determine whether he ever did use a capo?


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 03:51 PM

For certain pieces, especially some lute transcriptions, Segovia and other classic guitarist will tune the 6th string down to D. For some lute pieces, I've seen classic guitarists occasionally tune the 3rd string down a half-step so they can play the piece with the same fingering a lutenist would use. I also know a lute-player or two who tune the top six courses of their lutes exactly like a guitar (that involves tuning the 3rd string up a half-step). But a classic guitarist retuning more than one string is extremely rare. Usually a classic guitarist is playing from written music, and most classic guitar pieces are written in (or if transcribed from another instrument, transposed to) keys that are relatively easy on the guitar. Stringed instruments are usually easier to play in sharp keys, wind instruments easier in flat keys (in an orchestra, somebody's gotta give).

An accompanying instrument should accommodate the voice. If you must absolutely sing a song in Eb and either D or E won't do, use a capo. If you can only get the kind of accompaniment you want with certain chord forms, say A, but you want to sing the song in C, then capo up three frets and use the A chord forms. The song is what's important here. A capo is a very useful tool, and it's foolish not to use one if it accomplishes the purpose. The only time that a capo becomes a "cowboy's crutch" is when a person wants to learn only one or two keys and use the capo for everything else. That's just lazy, and the person misses a lot of great possibilities.

One reason we know that Segovia never used a capo is that hell hasn't frozen over yet.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 04:26 PM

Of course anyone stating as a fact, maybe as a would-be clincher in an argument, that Segovia used a capo on occasion would need to be able to point to some instance of this. You can't prove a negative, after all.

However there is nothing intrinsically improbable in the idea that he mighthave, like many other outstanding instrumentalists. After all, there is nothing unworthy or undignified in using one.

As for hell freezing over, Dante has the inner and lowest circle of hell as completely frozen over.


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 04:57 PM

The capo allows me to play guitar, period. Without one to shorten some scales I am unable to play. I use two on my Ode long neck 5. One is always at the third fret where it is tuned in "G". The other I move about as needed. usually for the keys of "C", "D", and "Eb". I also find the Boss TU-2 to be indispensible.

Don


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 05:00 PM

Of all the really fine guitar-playing folk singers I know (and know of—and that's a whole bunch), I know very, very few who don't use a capo. Richard Dyer-Bennet? He didn't use one, but then I don't regard him as a folk singer in the usual sense (nor did he—but that's a different argument).

I've heard the business about Segovia using a capo before, usually from some folk singer who wants to use a capo but seems to think that it's an object of shame, therefore it must be justified. In an undoubtedly futile attempt to put it to rest, I submit the following:—

I have seen Segovia many times in concert, I've seen him several times on television, I have met and talked with him on two occasions, and I attended a question-and-answer type workshop that he gave for the Seattle Classic Guitar Society back around 1960. In conversation with him and in articles and books he has written, the word "capo" has never come up. I have many of his records, so I have a good idea of the repertoire of music that he played, and indeed I have a lot of sheet music for the same pieces, many fingered by Segovia (not that I can actually play very many of them). I have never seen him on stage, on television, or in photographs ever using a capo. And none of the music he played required the use of a capo.

I believe that anyone who says they haveseen him use a capo is either prevaricating or mistakenly thinking of someone else (perhaps one of the Flamenco guitarists—Montoya did use a capo, but he played a different kind of music). Anyone who makes that claim that they know for certain that he actually did use a capo would have to have incontrovertible proof before I would believe it. And if I were shown such proof, I would be very surprised indeed.

If a person wants to use a capo, he or she should go ahead and use the bloody thing without feeling that they have to drag Segovia into it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 11:05 PM

Hear hear Don. Of course Segovia didn't use a capo...his music didn't CALL for it. People who use him as an arguement,(and I've heard it too McGrath) simply don't know the difference between Classical and Flamenco guitarists. ALL Flamenco players use the capo (on virtually all songs) because their music CALLS for it. I saw Paco de Lucia in concert and he played the whole night with the capo on the fifth or the third fret.

Jazz players don't use it because their work is based on scales and a capo would completely mess up their view of the fingerboard. Rockers don't (generally) use one because their songs are usually in the 'open keys'. Keith Richards wouldn't give two shits if asked why he often uses a capo.

Blues guitarists (both acoustic and electric) often use them. Albert Collins rarely removed his capo from the ninth(!!) fret

The capo can be TWO things...an aid to lesser skilled guitarists who primarily SING to communicate, and a tool for getting specific SOUNDS from the instrument.

Now here's my Question....why do two thirds of the ACOUSTIC singer-songwriters who appear on my radio show look panicked when I tell them there's no place to "plug in" and they'll have to use an actual MICROPHONE!?

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 04 Mar 02 - 11:25 PM

Not that this has anything to do with capos, but since Segovia has entered the thread, I remember reading in Groucho Marx's autobiography that he once invited the Maestro to his house and in the course of the evening handed him his beloved (and wxpensive) Gibson f-hole guitar to play.

Segovia fingered a chord or two and handed it back saying it was unplayable. I can't swear to it but I think Groucho said he gave the guitar away to somebody the next day.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Using capos
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 02 - 02:11 AM

A Segovia story is, I think, worth a bit of thread creep. I heard this with my own two fat, flappin' ears.

It was after the aforementioned question-and-answer workshop in 1960. The Seattle Classic Guitar Society members in attendance, along with Segovia, adjourned to Arnie Pearson's house. Segovia sat in the big easy-chair with his pipe in one hand and a snifter of brandy in the other and held court. Various people walked up to chat with him. I was sitting on the sofa about six feet away, taking in everything the Maestro said. Segovia was gracious and eloquent in offering encouragement and answering questions; the very picture of the cultivated European gentleman and the venerated virtuoso.

One fellow asked Segovia about a recording of a Bach piece he had done. He asked him about his interpretation and wondering why he had handled it the way he did. Segovia explained his feelings about what he thought Bach was getting at in that particular piece and how he had endeavored to express that. The fellow was not satisfied. He persisted. Segovia restated his feelings about the piece. "Yes, but—" the fellow went on, disagreeing with Segovia and explaining to him how he thought the piece should be interpreted. Segovia listened to him patiently, showing no signs of irritation, then when the fellow ran out of breath, he asked, "Young man, how old are you?" "Thirty-two," the fellow answered, a bit puzzled as to why Segovia would ask his age. "Ah!" said Segovia. "Would you do me a favor?" "Certainly," said the young man. "Please," Segovia said. "Don't play Bach until you are at least fifty-five."

Point taken. The fellow shrunk down to about three inches tall and slunk away.

Don Firth


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