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Designing A New Guitar Capo

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John in Brisbane 24 Oct 02 - 09:42 AM
Mooh 24 Oct 02 - 09:45 AM
53 24 Oct 02 - 09:49 AM
Mooh 24 Oct 02 - 09:49 AM
Peter T. 24 Oct 02 - 09:51 AM
CraigS 24 Oct 02 - 09:59 AM
Rick Fielding 24 Oct 02 - 10:02 AM
Grab 25 Oct 02 - 08:52 AM
Mooh 25 Oct 02 - 09:53 AM
Rick Fielding 25 Oct 02 - 12:15 PM
Don Firth 25 Oct 02 - 12:42 PM
Mooh 25 Oct 02 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 25 Oct 02 - 02:34 PM
Gary T 25 Oct 02 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Claymore 25 Oct 02 - 03:39 PM
Jeri 25 Oct 02 - 04:45 PM
Murray MacLeod 25 Oct 02 - 06:20 PM
John in Brisbane 16 Dec 02 - 08:14 PM
clansfolk 16 Dec 02 - 08:59 PM
Cluin 17 Dec 02 - 12:10 AM
Jeanie 17 Dec 02 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 17 Dec 02 - 08:55 AM
Clinton Hammond 17 Dec 02 - 12:46 PM
Cluin 17 Dec 02 - 01:06 PM
Clinton Hammond 17 Dec 02 - 01:12 PM
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Subject: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:42 AM

I was about to build a new Capo, but thought I'd better check first to see if a commercial version already exists.

I've spent a fair time playing guitar in the old fashioned Spanish guitar tuning of EADGBE, plus I'm quite comfortable playing in higher positions and tend not to use a capo much at all these days. I've had my romance with open tunings such as DADGAD, but I find it hard to unlearn the long term habits of standard tuning.

So I thought I'd knock up a rough capo which provides open tuning without having to re-tune any strings. The concept is easy. For G open tuning simply create a rectangle which covers (say) the second and third frets with 'fingers' to depress the EA..BE strings at the appropriate places but leaves the D and G strings open.

This design denies you access to all the notes at frets 1,2 and 3, but all bar the 3 lowest bass notes are available further along the neck.

The idea would work (easily) with any native chord shape that has notes fretted on both outside strings, eg D, C or Dm, and there would be countless variations.

Whether you'd make different shapes for each key, or have a universal model with replaceable finger tips - I have no real idea.

I had asked a friend a couple of years ago to help me knock a prototype together. If such a beast already exists I won't hassle him any further. Any ideas for a commercial source please?

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Mooh
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:45 AM

Check the online Sterner Capo Museum for various designs.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: 53
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:49 AM

Good luck. Bob


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Mooh
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:49 AM

Sorry, that post was artificially abbreviated. Sterner has a capo listed much as you describe, and there has been many discussions here regarding virtual tunings with capos, multiple capo use, adapted and modified capos and so on. I have been building and modifying capos for years, so I look forward to your designs if you want to share them.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:51 AM

Better the other way round. Standard tuning for people in open D. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: CraigS
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 09:59 AM

It is a simple matter to modify a Schubb capo to achieve the desired effect - only necessary to cut the rubber. New rubber bars are sold separately, and they are commonly available in USA and Europe.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 10:02 AM

I've got the "Third Hand Capo" which does what you're looking for, but it's awkward. Just cut grooves into a Shubb (or Dunlop "C" Clamp) and you'll be happier, I bet.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Grab
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 08:52 AM

Can anyone explain to me what the purpose of one of these is?

As I see it, the only benefit is to add different "drone" notes on the open strings. One of the nice things about altered tunings is the different chords you can get, or even on the ones where the basic notes are the same, the different textures you get from using different strings or with different tension on the strings.

If you just want a drone note then fine, but it's in no way the same as a true open tuning. Now if someone wants to invent a capo which'll hook the strings to add more or less tension, so you can truly switch between standard and open tuning, I'd buy that like a shot! :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Mooh
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 09:53 AM

Graham...There is such a device, though it's not a capo. It's very expensive, and so far I've only seen it rigged to a Les Paul (Jimmy Page appears to endorse it) but there may be applications I'm not aware of, of course. Probably weighs a ton.

As for the virtual tuning capo idea, yes you're essentially correct, once you're beyond open position, standard (or whatever tuning one starts with) is what you're playing. New timbres, textures, voicings are still available based on the different open notes. I like them alot for the drones you mention, modal effects, and "drop" type tunings without the hassle of extreme refingering. I don't think anyone seriously uses modified capos to convince themselves they're using open tunings, nor would I pretend that they're a universal solution to everything, but there are advantages. I often tune low to start with, but even in standard I can get a nice drop D, double drop D, Em, A, dadgad (up a step), and other effects. I think of modified capos as a cool addition to my "trick bag", like slide, E-Bow, digital effects, and various techniques...usually all used sparingly.

I'm a genuine tinkerer, so such things appeal to me. There's no cure.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 12:15 PM

Well you could equip your guitar with three "Hipshot extenders" on the bass strings and three "Scruggs-Keith" tuners on the treble strings. You'd have one heavy peg-head BUT, think of all the open tunings with no effort!

Actually doing stuff like that really DOESN'T work. Believe me I've tried damn near every wacky thing possible on a stringed instrument.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 12:42 PM

Fit a guitar with Scruggs banjo pegs?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Mooh
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 12:49 PM

Adrian Legg style init? Never done it myself, never needed to retune that fast I guess, but whatever works...Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 02:34 PM

Only works on on barre at a time, but Scott tuning capo - the cheap UK equivalent of a third hand


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Gary T
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 03:12 PM

I have a capo, possibly the "Third Hand" mentioned by Rick, which has six individual "fingers." They are actually eccentric discs which can be rotated to an up or down position, so one can select which strings are fretted and which are open. I believe Harvey Reid (sp?) used one on some numbers (no doubt having gotten bored with being able to do so much so well with ordinary equipment). It's intriguing, and would make drop D tuning (well, actually, drop E) a very quick proposition. I haven't used it, but some day I might get to playing around with it.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 03:39 PM

Also Kyser has a capo with a slot drilled out at the bass end, which is essentially a Dropped E capo. However when used with separate capo placed two frets down the neck from the Dropped E, you can go anywhere on the neck with a dropped D effect in other keys (while playing the actual piece using fingering in the key of C). Unfortunately this is only useful when accompanying singers as opposed to instrumental pieces.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Jeri
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 04:45 PM

Gary T, Harvey, along with Jeff Hickey invented that Third Hand sucker. Third Hand Capo webpage Pictures and everything.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 06:20 PM

Claymore, I don't quite follow your last post. Surely you mean "fingering in the key of D" ?

I use the two-capo thing all the time, as you describe, but I don't think I ever use anything but D position chords.

And it can be used to effect in instrumental pieces. "Si Bheag, Si Mhor", and "Hector the Hero" are two that spring to mind that I can only play using the two capos (without changing to DADGAD).

Murray


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 08:14 PM

I've done quite some experimenting, but at the end of the day would have to concede that 'Every thing old is new again'.

I bought a couple of cheap Kysers ($6 US), removed the barring rubbers and replaced with 12 mm round profile soft rubber trim, through which I'd drilled a hole about 3-4 mm in diameter.

Then I muddled with short lengths of the rubber which covered 1, 2 or 3 strings. My aim was to produce a G chord with the following notes G (Bass) B D G D G. This was easy enough to do with two capos. On the second fret I placed a 2 string rubber piece on the bass end, left 2 open strings and then placed a 2 string piece of rubber on the highest strings. On the third fret it was a 1 string rubber, 3 blanks and then a 2 srting rubber. Hey presto, you have the desired G chord - or G#, A etc by adding a conventional third capo. But I hated the technique required to actually play it. Because it was a few weeks ago I'm not sure that I can now explain it properly, so I won't. I'm a Celtic player rather than Blues and I was uncomfortable with the scales - and too impetuous to persist.

I then moved on to the conventional A chord using a 3 string rubber. This works beautifully. In terms of scales and power chords I just pretend that the capo is the virtual nut of the guitar and play scales in the key of G Major. I then cut off the excess aluminium covering the two bass strings to provide better access to F# and B in particular, and I wound up with a capo design that I now know is available commercially in the US at least. Not sure whether it's Kyser or Schubb.

You can of course mount the capo from the other side of the neck to create an open E sus (2 or 4?) which creates a reasonable discord, or fret the fourth string at fret 2 to create an E chord without thirds (E9 ?).

And one important point to close this contribution. If your guitar is in standard EADGBE tuning and you place the 3 string capo to produce a A chord you are clearly playing in A. As with a normal capo you play chords and runs as if you were playing in G, and because you are in standard tuning you can play any familiar chord shape below the capo. So there's no need to re-learn Diminished, Augmented, Maj 7th or Min7b5 etc.

And it's a bit of fun!

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: clansfolk
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 08:59 PM

shubbs partial capo has a dog leg which clears the bass string - works A LOT better than cutting down a standard capo or just cutting rubber - I know!!!! - gives DADGAD style tuning but in "E" or open "A" tuning with the advantage of mixing "open tuning" and standard chord shapes (D and G shapes) - used one for years and they work well - great for confusing musos at sessions especially when used along side of a standard capo.........

Pete


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Cluin
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 12:10 AM

I read an article in Acoustic Guitar a few years ago about David Wilcox (not the "Riverboat Fantasy" one, the other one) where he described how he sometimes cuts off the end of a Kyser capo and carves away the rubber whereever he wants a string not to be stopped. Creates some open-type tunings that way, with special characteristics because, of course, the finger positions on the open strings don't change and it can provide for some unique arrangements not playable any other way.

Apparently the folks at Kyser picked up on it and started marketing specialty capos hacked up just this way.

Reminded of the time when I and another guy by the name of Clinton Hammond figured out a way to play Garnet Rogers' version of Lui Collins' "The Enfolding" using 2 Kysers, one of them only stopping some of the strings 2 frets up from the first. Took so much fiddling around trying to get the capo from not popping off halfway through that I gave up on it. Can't remember how we did it now. Cutting one of my Kysers down would have solved that problem but I ain't rich enough for that kind of shit just to play one song I wasn't that crazy about anyway.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Jeanie
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 07:37 AM

I somehow missed this thread until now. If you go to the Patent Database of the European Patent Office at http://ep.espacenet.com/ and type "capo" in the top left search box, you will find 110 capo designs - well, 109 actually, because one of them is for "CAPO - A board game based upon the Mafia" !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 08:55 AM

I was going to mention the Harvey Reid Website--it's not really an altered tuning, of course, because the tuning stays standard. It really is a third hand thing.
Also, you can search the uspto.gov site, you need the alternatif plug-in for drawings, but they direct you to it. Many things have been tried, but then some on the market today were novel enough for utility patents. When I searched my fingerpicks, just to find out how to improve them, it turned out in all the hundreds of types, nobody had ever done anything remotely like mine. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 12:46 PM

Multiple capoing, partial capoing...

Baaah...

Just retune the guitar... It's easier...

:-)


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Cluin
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 01:06 PM

plunk... plung... pling... pling.. pleeng.. pleeeng... pl

*SPROING!*


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Subject: RE: Designing A New Guitar Capo
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 01:12 PM

Ahhh...

That's my favourite song that you play, Cluin!

LOL


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