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Mandolin Capo-Opinions

Dharmabum 02 Apr 04 - 01:46 PM
Willie-O 02 Apr 04 - 01:51 PM
Mark Ross 02 Apr 04 - 02:04 PM
Áine 02 Apr 04 - 02:13 PM
Dharmabum 02 Apr 04 - 02:15 PM
dick greenhaus 02 Apr 04 - 02:18 PM
Dharmabum 02 Apr 04 - 02:26 PM
GLoux 02 Apr 04 - 02:40 PM
Spot 02 Apr 04 - 03:40 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Apr 04 - 05:46 PM
Wesley S 02 Apr 04 - 06:05 PM
Dave Hanson 02 Apr 04 - 08:58 PM
Dharmabum 02 Apr 04 - 09:52 PM
Mooh 02 Apr 04 - 11:43 PM
mooman 03 Apr 04 - 02:39 AM
GUEST,eileen 03 Apr 04 - 05:21 AM
Dave Hanson 03 Apr 04 - 05:26 AM
Murray MacLeod 03 Apr 04 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,eileen 03 Apr 04 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 03 Apr 04 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,eileen 03 Apr 04 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 03 Apr 04 - 01:49 PM
Mudjack 03 Apr 04 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 03 Apr 04 - 06:02 PM
Mark Ross 03 Apr 04 - 06:21 PM
Mooh 03 Apr 04 - 07:39 PM
Dharmabum 03 Apr 04 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Paul S 03 Apr 04 - 10:16 PM
Kaleea 04 Apr 04 - 01:43 AM
Dave Hanson 04 Apr 04 - 01:52 AM
jack halyard 04 Apr 04 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Andy 04 Apr 04 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,eileen 04 Apr 04 - 05:33 AM
Leadfingers 04 Apr 04 - 03:19 PM
mooman 04 Apr 04 - 07:05 PM
Willie-O 04 Apr 04 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,makemerry 15 Jan 11 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,Ray 15 Jan 11 - 12:32 PM
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Subject: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dharmabum
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 01:46 PM

Wondering what Y'all might think about these things.
I've been attempting to play mandolin for the past 8 months & while playing with some other folks the other day,I found myself thinking a capo would,ve come in handy.

What're your thoughts?
Any recomendations on a brand?
I was looking at the Kyser,though it looks a little bulky on such a small neck.


Thanks,D.B.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Willie-O
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 01:51 PM

Personally I've never found a capo for any mando family instrument that didn't kill the sound. Just never took to them.

If you frequently play with singers who are obsessed with capoing to the easiest key for their voice, it might come in handy. However it's worth your while to learn the closed position scale and chord forms which make it possible to play in any key on a mando--they are not as difficult as you might think, due to the short scale length/narrow neck. And of course you can always try negotiating with the other players--ask for A rather than G#, C rather than B, etc.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Mark Ross
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 02:04 PM

Try the PAIGE banjo/mandlin capo. You can also slip it over the nut, where it will remain, and you always have it handy. It's perfectly legitimate to use one, I've even seen a stand-up bass player with a capo for playing in odd keys. And I read somewhere that there was a Nashville studio player back in the early days(Tommy Duncan?)who designed one to use on his fiddle.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Áine
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 02:13 PM

Hey DB!! I use a Kyser; but, I wouldn't recommend it. It's too hard to get on and off the neck. I got it because I use a Kyser on my guitar, with great results. In general, I don't see a problem in using a capo on the mandolin, especially when you're playing in a group. I'm with Willie-O when he says to use the closed position chords.

All the best, Áine


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dharmabum
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 02:15 PM

Thanks Mark,I'll check out the Paige.

D.B.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 02:18 PM

The simplest fiddle capo is a short length of Weed-Whacker cord slipped under the strings a half-tone up from the nut.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dharmabum
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 02:26 PM

Hey Aine!
Thanks for the heads up on the Kyser.
I'm also with W-O on learning all of the chord positions & I'm attempting to do so,but I can forsee times when one would come in handy.
I'd thought about adapting an old elastic strap capo by "shortening' it,but alas,I haven't used one in so long I no longer have one to destroy. So if I'm going to drop the cash,I might as well buy a good one.

D.B.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GLoux
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 02:40 PM

I use a capo on guitar and banjo, but never have on mandolin...closed position chords are very easy to pick up and use on the mandolin.

My wife's the fiddler and she retunes instead of using a capo.

We ran into Bruce Molsky at Clifftop last year and he showed us that he has outfitted his fiddle with a new type of geared tuning peg that looks like a friction peg, but isn't...he does so much retuning throughout a performance that he'd been looking for a solution like this for quite some time.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Spot
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 03:40 PM

Evenin all....
Surprised no-one mentioned the Shubb mando capo...I have one and wouldnt think of using any other..its excellent. Good looking piece of kit that doesnt seem to adversely affect intonation...Get one!!!!

    Regards to all....Spot


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 05:46 PM

I use a small shubb. Actually it's a banjo one. It doubles as a 5-string capo for the guitar, for mock-drop-d.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 06:05 PM

I've got a nifty little capo but I don't know who made it. I'll try to find out over the weekend. It doesn't work as well with the new mandolin - it has a gentle arch to the neck.

I agree about the closed positions however. Thats the way to go.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 08:58 PM

Shubb, best capo ever invented, I rarely use one on the mandolin but if I do it's a Shubb.
eric


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dharmabum
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 09:52 PM

No doubt the shubb is one of the best guitar capos on the market.
I've had the same one for over 20 years now.

I'll have to look closer at their mando capo.
Though, I really like the look of the Paige.

Thanks everyone for the input.

   D.B.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Apr 04 - 11:43 PM

I agree, Shubb and Paige, in that order. I've never liked the Paige rubber so I replace it with hydraulic hose which distorts the string less and keeps tune better, but otherwise they work great and are best for those times when there's a risk of loss 'cause it never needs to leave the instrument. Hardly ever use one mind you, usually only in jam situations when following someone's hands or something.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: mooman
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 02:39 AM

I agree with Mark...it would be best to persevere with leaning the scales for other keys which is not too difficult on the mandolin.

Either a small Shubb or the Paige would work fine. I sometimes use a capo in alternative tuning on my octave mandolin and have a preference there for the Paige.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,eileen
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 05:21 AM

capos are for sissys


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 05:26 AM

Call me a sissy again and I'll put a capo round your neck.
eric


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 11:34 AM

This thread was one day late, surely.

......"I've even seen a stand-up bass player with a capo for playing in odd keys ".......

Nice one, Mark, but, as I said , a day too late...


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,eileen
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 12:49 PM

Eric,
sounds quite provocative.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 01:05 PM

The Kyser is far and away the best. They don't call it the Quick Change capo for nothing. The capo made for banjo and mandolin is far from bulky and is the choice of many pro mandolin players that I know. I am associated with a large bluegrass organization and Kyser is the overall choice for guitar and banjo/mandolin. The banjo/mandolin capo is easily available from the Elderly Instruments catalog.

I think the Shubb does not stack up.

People who don't consider the capo an essential tool to clean and versatile playing are probably not very good musicians and are limited in what they can do.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,eileen
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 01:17 PM

Ouch! I consider myself a good musician and quite versatile...and I'm paid well because of it. I found so many instances when a capo would just walk and rather then spend the night not playing...I learned to get along without one. But let's not bicker, eh? I meant that "tongue in cheek" and it's also sort of a slogan amongst myself and people I play with...sort of like "tune it or die" or "close enough for folk music". Ya'll take this rather seriously don't you. I shall remember to keep my tongue out of my cheek in the future.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 01:49 PM

Eileen, sorry, couldn't see your tongue because you did not press your cheek up hard enough against the screen.

Yeah, I do take it very seriously. I have gotten in to some interesting discussions before on this topic. As a general rule, I have found players who scorn capos to be very stubborn and rigid and ones who do not play well with others. Playing a three chord song in Bb without a capo just doesn't contribute to a clean sounding instrument as well as say capoing on first fret and playing in A configuration or third fret with a G configuration.

Capos are not crutches but tools. And we all know, "the right tool for the right job."

No offense meant.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Mudjack
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 05:54 PM

Real Mandolin players don't use capos, that is why I use the Shubb banjo, flat. This device saves me from learning a dozen or so more chord positions. So the capo goes on and I can stay with the music.
I have never seen an accomplished "real player" use one. You pull a capo out at a bluegrass jam and you can feel the stare downs.
I think us novice p[layers might want to learn some real basic chords and take them up the neck. But since my fat fingers are porpotional to the rest of my torso. The capo is the order of the day.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 06:02 PM

I have see some real mandolin players, excellent cross-pickers use a capo. I was just last weekend at a major bluegrass festival where many genuine bluegrassin' hillbillies could care less what people thought about if someone used a capo or not, themselves included. Some of these guys even played fine Weber instruments.

You're not one of those bluegrass old guys who condemn some experimentation just because it's not the way "Bill" did it are you?

I don't claim to be a mandolinist, but I play with many. What is the differnce between what you are describing and a Kyser capo?


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Mark Ross
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 06:21 PM

Murray,
That wasn't an April Fool's prank, I swear there was a stand-up bass player using a capo. I mean, I did drink a lot back then, but I was sober that day.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Mooh
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 07:39 PM

I arrange a few tunes (Blackeyed Susan, Martyrdom, Slane) with a lot of open notes within the chord melody. To transpose these arrangements would be a colossal pain in the arse, especially on the fly. So, if there was reason to transpose up, I'd likely capo. In my experience, it's usually singers who push for such key changes, and less often the box or whistle players. For a more permanent arrangement I'd go without the capo, but to each his own.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dharmabum
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 08:57 PM

The guitar & banjo have been my primary instruments for the past 30 some years.
Because of M.S.my ability on both instruments has been somewhat diminished. I can still manage to do a little clawhammer banjo & maintain a fair bit of rhythm guitar.
The main problem being a loss of accuracy in my left arm/hand while trying to play any kind of lead on said instruments.
I've found that the shorter scale of the mandolin is way more forgiving, as I can manage to hit any number of notes without moving my hand up or down the neck .
I'm finding myself now transposing some of the lead work that I used to be able to do on guitar, over to mandolin with a small amount of success.
There is one particular song that I'd always done in the key of B on guitar.To do lead on mando in that key means moving up & down the neck quite a bit,however,a capo on the second fret makes life a whole lot easier.
And I'm all for making life easier at this point in the game!

D.B.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,Paul S
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 10:16 PM

I remember the look I got from my dad when I brought home a capo.

'Course, back then they called 'em "cheaters".

I've seen people use them and have no problem at all with it. But any time I've tried one on my mandolin, I've never been comfortable. The strings are slightly out of tune (and more so when you remove it); the strings just have a funny feel to them, and I keep bouncing my left hand off it, when I'm playing the lower frets.

I found it was much easier to play in a goofy key then get used to one of those rotten things. But if you don't find it as troublesome, you should definitely use one.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Kaleea
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 01:43 AM

Gee, am I ever living a sheltered life. I've never seen anyone use a capo on a Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, or Mandolin. Or a piano, for that matter.
    But seriously, folks, I finally succombed to the "cheater" of which I always spoke with disdain. After arthritis, and finally carpal tunnel in both hands, I actually bought one of those "quick change" type capos--which is difficult for me to squeeze to get it on, but I have used it so as to not have to play a song in all bar chords as I used to easily do in years gone by. (sigh!)
    I have finally come to terms with my former nose-in-the-air-anit-capo-&-other-such-stuff self. I even bought a Telecoustic! guitar for the smaller neck & I have fun playing it, too. Some people swear that I am, indeed, suffering from Alzheimer's or some other form of dimentia. It isn't dimentia, it is diminished motor skills & geezerdom. I intend to take full advantage of blaming whatever I can on my geezerdom & gray moments!


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 01:52 AM

Keep firing eileen, some of these 'ere capoists have had a sense of humour bypass. My mate sings ' Only A Pawn In Their Game ' in C sharp, so until I learn it better I'll use a capo on my mandolin.
eric


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: jack halyard
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 05:11 AM

Duh! I thought da capo was da head honcho in da Mafia.
As both a singer and a guitar, bouzouki and mandolin player, I've found the capo- in my case the Shubb- useful for adjusting to another singer's legitimate requirement for a better pitch. Since I use alternate tunings which need open strings, I find the capo preferable to bar chords. I do, however use the bar option for more funky rock, jazz or boogie type of arrangements. I guess flexibility is part of musicianship for me. I capo or not according to the needs of the song or tune.
I note a significant difference between the attitudes of instrumentalists and singers. Those who do not sing find the demands of those who use their throats frustrating. I have a beloved friend who is completely mystified by the requirements of instrumentalists, great singer though she is. The capo is a good, simple device for easing your way round such relational complications.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,Andy
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 05:12 AM

Honestly don't use one they get in the way. I had one thrust at me at a open mike do, I tried to use it then flung the sodding thing straight in the car park.
Close cords and counter melody picking is the way to go.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,eileen
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 05:33 AM

<--laughing at the visual that Andy just presented. Perhaps the next time someone loses a capo at a session I will suggest a stroll out to the carpark? I have to admit to you all...I'm not a "chorder" but more of a (as Andy put it) counter melody player...and Eric, thank you for the encouragement, you made me feel quite welcome.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Leadfingers
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 03:19 PM

As is so often the case itis simply a matter of personal preference.
I DO have a Shubb that works on the mandolin , but very rarely use it.
For Melody work it seems unnecessary , and for Chords , it CAN get in the way.But if it suits your playing , NO problem - Use a capo.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: mooman
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 07:05 PM

Since no-one else mentioned it, I hear they make a very good male contraceptive as well. Not that I've tried (onset of geezerdom)...

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: Willie-O
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 07:17 PM

I don't have a problem with capos in general. I just don't like them on mandolin. Cuts back on the ring too much, which is the essential tonal quality of the instrument. I haven't had a chance to try most of the recommended varieties--actually don't know which ones I may have tried.

But if you can't play cleanly in B flat, try practicing more, or use the capo that works for you, not slagging people who have a different approach than you do.   

A lot of times I prefer the sound of a capoed guitar to the same guitar without one--fewer overtones make it cleaner and crisper. But I've been getting into jazz where weird keys are part of the game, and part of the essential sound.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,makemerry
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 01:54 AM

For all you macho mando players who wouldn't think of using a capo, I do believe I've seen Ricky Skaggs use a mandolin capo (I think it was on a Youtube video and it definitely looked like a capo on his mandolin). The direction of evolution seems to be that at some point you start doing things for your own reasons and you stop caring about what makes you look good or bad to other people.


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Subject: RE: Mandolin Capo-Opinions
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 15 Jan 11 - 12:32 PM

Using a capo on mandolin is seen by some people to be the equivalent of using a strap over the head rather than just over one shoulder or using a capo on an electric guitar - no, no , no, no, no, no. But why? If it works for you do it!


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