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Yet another capo thread

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Bee 16 Jan 07 - 10:49 AM
Leadfingers 16 Jan 07 - 11:02 AM
Wesley S 16 Jan 07 - 11:12 AM
Scoville 16 Jan 07 - 11:14 AM
John Hardly 16 Jan 07 - 11:17 AM
Scrump 16 Jan 07 - 11:20 AM
billbunter 16 Jan 07 - 11:23 AM
GLoux 16 Jan 07 - 11:30 AM
Grab 16 Jan 07 - 11:50 AM
kendall 16 Jan 07 - 12:03 PM
Strollin' Johnny 16 Jan 07 - 12:03 PM
Scrump 16 Jan 07 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Jim 16 Jan 07 - 12:15 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Jan 07 - 12:16 PM
Bee 16 Jan 07 - 12:18 PM
guitar 16 Jan 07 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,michaelr 16 Jan 07 - 08:51 PM
Songster Bob 16 Jan 07 - 11:10 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 16 Jan 07 - 11:54 PM
Bee 17 Jan 07 - 12:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jan 07 - 08:16 AM
Strollin' Johnny 17 Jan 07 - 08:38 AM
Pete_Standing 17 Jan 07 - 09:13 AM
Scrump 17 Jan 07 - 09:22 AM
Pete_Standing 17 Jan 07 - 12:36 PM
JeremyC 17 Jan 07 - 01:07 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 07 - 01:41 PM
Scoville 17 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 07 - 02:50 PM
Scoville 17 Jan 07 - 03:13 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 07 - 04:16 PM
Scoville 17 Jan 07 - 05:22 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 07 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 17 Jan 07 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,Scoville at Dad's 17 Jan 07 - 07:25 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 07 - 07:57 PM
Scrump 18 Jan 07 - 06:59 AM
Shaneo 18 Jan 07 - 05:24 PM
Bee 18 Jan 07 - 06:11 PM
Jim Lad 18 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 16 - 02:00 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 16 - 02:06 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 16 - 02:08 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 16 - 02:09 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 16 - 02:11 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 16 - 02:12 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Oct 16 - 02:13 PM
Backwoodsman 12 Oct 16 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Alex S 12 Oct 16 - 06:39 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 12 Oct 16 - 09:58 PM
Will Fly 13 Oct 16 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Bloke in Groucho mask 13 Oct 16 - 04:32 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Oct 16 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Bloke in Groucho mask 13 Oct 16 - 04:46 AM
GUEST, DTM 13 Oct 16 - 05:10 AM
Backwoodsman 13 Oct 16 - 05:16 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Oct 16 - 05:20 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Oct 16 - 05:46 AM
gillymor 13 Oct 16 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,Gilly 13 Oct 16 - 05:59 AM
Will Fly 13 Oct 16 - 06:06 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Oct 16 - 06:45 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Oct 16 - 08:46 AM
Backwoodsman 13 Oct 16 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Bloke in Groucho mask 13 Oct 16 - 03:47 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Oct 16 - 09:12 AM
GUEST 14 Oct 16 - 09:59 AM
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Subject: Yet another capo thread
From: Bee
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 10:49 AM

I know, there are about seventy-jillion threads about capos already. I've read most of them, but I can't find a discussion regarding how far it is sensible to go using a capo. Most of the musicians I know are country-western players. That's pretty much all they play. They never use a capo past the second fret, which is fine.

However, I'm learning a lot of folk songs and many of them were originally written for mens' voices (I think). I know how to transpose, but that often brings me into 'B' territory, and I can't go there yet (I'm working on it). In the meantime, I find myself capoing up the fourth or fifth fret so I can sing, for example, Lightfoot's Did She Mention My Name. Is this a bad thing? Is it that strange to be capoing that far up the fretboard? I also find I like the sound of my guitar when it's capoed third or fourth fret, it's more bell-like and not quite so jangly, to my ear. (Note: not a real expensive guitar.)


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:02 AM

The secret is to play in different shapes ! C open is D if you play the same chords capo two . G open becomeds Bflat capo three , but if you play the same song in C shapes capo three , you're in E flat !
My VOICE likes Bflat , so I use G capo three , or even A capo one to get into Bflat !
Capo five and G shapes is just C , so why not play C open ? The guitar, as Bee says , sounds better with the full length of the neck in use !


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Wesley S
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:12 AM

The capo is a tool - and a pretty good one I might add. If it serves the song - use it. The song should always come first.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scoville
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:14 AM

Capo wherever you have to to get a singable key. I normally do just fine in A or D (capo 2nd fret) but occasionally have to go higher to get a register I can handle or to get chords in the right shape so I have some bass notes.

I don't capo more than I have to (I wouldn't be capo-ing 5 and playing in G to get C. I'd just play in C), but I do what I need to do to be able to sing the song. It's not strange. Don't worry about it.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: John Hardly
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:17 AM

Use the capo.

If the smart guy who invented hadn't invented it when he did, some other smart guy would have...

Or else we'd all be playing guitar in duet -- one guy to play, and the other guy to barre the strings at the appropriate fret.

And since folk musicians are naturally misfits and anti-social types, they'd have NEVER found a partner to travel around with and hold their strings for them.

Folk music would have died.

Save folk music. Use the capo.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:20 AM

Hi Leadfingers - I wouldn't say it necessarily sounds better, just different. I think Bee was saying she likes the sound of the guitar when it's capo'd - I know what she means. There's less bass but you do get a pleasant sound using the capo.

Bee, I too used to wonder whether it was a good idea to capo too far up the neck, but since then I noticed a lot of top-class artists doing it, so I figured, if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. I've seen many artists capo on the 5th fret, and some even higher occasionally.

I agree that you can avoid using a capo by playing different chords, but you don't always get the 'right' sound by doing that. For instance, there's more than one song I play in A, by using the capo on the 2nd fret and playing G, because it allows me to use certain chords I couldn't easily do if playing without the capo.

I often find I can't sing in the same key as the writer (or as the music is sung on a recording, etc.) because the range of my voice is different, so I don't hesitate to use the capo if I need to.

The only limitation is what you can comfortably play - too high up, and the chords get more difficult to play. Also, of course, you lose out on the bass notes too. IMO there's nothing wrong about using the capo - it's just what sounds best to you.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: billbunter
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:23 AM

Personally I'd avoid B altogether. You need to concentrate on the voice. As a very general rule keep the capo gn the 4th fret for anything in B and you'll have a nice G shape. I find I generally capo on the 5th (C shape) for F and The third for Bb(G shape) which actually covers about all the songs I ever sing. You might find something similar for you.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GLoux
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:30 AM

As indicated, a capo is useful to get into a "singable" key, but I sometimes use one to get a different sound. For example, I capo on the 7th fret and play C-shape chords (key of G) to get a music-box effect on a waltz we play.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Grab
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:50 AM

Nothing wrong with capoing at higher frets. It's worth knowing chords well though so that you can play in different positions. You might still decide you like a high capo better, but you might find that they sound better done with different chords instead - A/D/E instead of G/C/D capo-2, for example. But if it sounds good, keep on doing it! :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: kendall
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:03 PM

Have you tried tuning your guitar down to "D" and singing in your regular positions? My big 12 string likes it down there, but some 6 strings don't.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:03 PM

I'm with Scrump.

And it's true that, for instance, you can play 'C' shapes without a capo, or 'G' shapes with capo F5, but they don't 'sound' the same. They're the same key, but not the same sound. Same goes for many of the other available permutations.

Find a key you can sing in , then find the chord shapes/capo permutation that matches the feeling of the song best. IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scrump
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:09 PM

I suppose one of the points I was trying to make above, is that even if you can play all the chords there are, there may be reasons why you would still want to use the capo, because you get a different sound which you may prefer for a given song or tune, e.g. playing C chord with capo on 2nd fret gives a different sound from playing D without the capo.

Gloux above reminds me that I used to play a rag (b*gg*red if I can remember what it was, now) using the capo high up - the sound was a little like an autoharp.

And I do play one song with capo on 5th fret, and play G chord (when I could easily play it in C, but I think it sounds better that way, just for that song).


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:15 PM

I like to play fiddle tunes in G&C, but most mandolin and fiddle players like these tunes in A&D, so I use the capo here. Some songs have licks that don't sound right unless they're capoed. I've seen Earl Scruggs play the guitar two or three times and he always had it capoed at the 7th fret. I love to play Earl's versions of You Are My Flower and it just doesn't sound right without the capo up high. I often play with another guitarist and we try to capo away from each other to get a different sound; often D open and C shapes capoed II.
I don't ever capo beyond the 5th fret on the banjo and I don't use a capo on my arch top guitar, since it sounds better to me with closed chords. I don't often capo my mandolin, but I have once or twice at the first fret when someone wants to play in flat keys.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:16 PM

I go as far as "Step it out Mary" in C#m - Em shapes at the 8th


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Bee
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:18 PM

This is all great advice, Catters. Thank you! I think I've said before that I would be no way as well along in playing if it wasn't for being able to read the Mudcat archives and ask questions. Living in the country and not knowing other folk musicians has meant Mudcat is my best resource for real live people who know what I want to do. From the c&w-ers, lovely people that they are, I get comments like 'nobody plays minor chords much anyway', 'you'll only ever play three or four chords in a song','you'll never learn to play with other people unless you use this strum pattern', and the like. They mean well.

I am so looking forward to summer, when the Bluegrass festivals are on. My husband and I like attending them, and I know there are kindly musicians, many of whom don't mind switching from bluegrass to folk, all over the fields there that will be happy to give me advice and show me hands-on.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: guitar
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 12:39 PM

I sing songs and when I play guitar I sometimes use a capo, the reason is because I only know a few chords and I can't do barre ones.

And the keys I normaly sing in are Bb, A, C, G, D,E,AND F.

TOM


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,michaelr
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 08:51 PM

Another reason to use a capo is in a duo situation: Guitarist 1 plays in, say, G, and guitarist 2, capoed at the 5th fret, plays in C. Makes for a fuller, more interesting sound than both playing in the same register.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Songster Bob
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:10 PM

There's no "rule" about how high up the neck to put the capo -- I know a very good performer (Dick Swain) who regularly capoes at the 7th fret to get the keys he needs in the tunings he uses (DADGAD and others). The effect is musical, so why not do it?

Now, if your strings are pretty heavy or your action high, the higher you go, the more out-of-tune you get (sharp), so that can be a limit -- a practical one, not a conceptual one.

I have one guitar that can't be capoed above the 5th fret (at least not using a Shubb capo, my preferred kind) because the thickness of the neck pops the capo off unless you tighten it so much that you go sharp. This guitar, by the way, is not an el cheapo, either -- it's a 1944 Epiphone Zenith archtop.

So capo away, and see how it goes.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 11:54 PM

I rely on the capo because of my hand injuries. The capo allows me to play in the shorter frets. The hard work for me was accepting the fact that it is easier to capo at 5 and play G shapes if I wanna sing in C. I also get some nice bass runs.

With out the capo I be on the shore when all my friends are sailing.

Don


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Bee
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 12:22 AM

My guitar is an Epiphone DR 100, strung with light strings. The action was perfect when I got it. The neck is narrowish, good, as I have relatively small hands. I have no problem making chord shapes high up the neck, since my fingertips are pretty small. I can capo up as far as the 11th fret and still play, although I haven't found a reason to do so. Interesting noise, though, kinda like a ukelele.

I love using a capo; it lets me sing a lot of songs I'd be stumped on otherwise.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 08:16 AM

If more than two guitars is playing in a session, it makes sense for one of them to be capoed up high and playing different chords, so they don't get into each other's way. Two, four, fiive, seven frets up, whatever suits.

All right, you can do it other ways - for example, you can leave off the capo and play different inversions, if you're up to it. But using a capo is a simple and straightforward way of opening things up when someone else joins in with a guitar.

Using a capo needn't be about being unable to play the chords without it. It's about getting a particular sounds with particular fingerings. It's about being grown up and not posturing about being a clever boy (or girl).


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 08:38 AM

Hear Hear, McG. Good post.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 09:13 AM

Good point McG

Because I spend a lot of time in CGCGCD, I've even put the capo on 9 (for A) although I don't usually go higer than 7 (G). If you have guitar (or other fretted instrument) with good intonation and balanced sound then a capo in any position should be fine. A neck join at 12 can cramp your style so 14 adds flexibility.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scrump
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 09:22 AM

Agreed, McGrath. If a capo helps you achieve what you want, then use it. If not, then don't.

As I said, I sometimes capo up higher because it makes it easier to play a particular song/tune using different chord shapes from the un-capo'd ones; but sometimes I do it to get a different sound I can't get without it, when it might even be more difficult to play that way.

Who invented the capo, anyway? He or she deserves some sort of award.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 12:36 PM

I've read somewhere that an antecedent of the guitar had holes in the neck to allow some sort of clamp across the strings - the earliest capo?


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: JeremyC
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 01:07 PM

I use a capo for a lot of stuff, but it's mainly to move the voicings I like best for the song to the key that best fits my voice. Sometimes if I'm playing with other people, I'll capo up really high, but if there's a mandolin or anything similar, I don't bother, because I'm not going to invade the poor mandolinist's sonic territory with my much louder instrument.

I'll go up to the fifth or sixth fret, but beyond that, I consider using different voicings unless I'm going for that really high "music box" sound.

James Blunt personally offends me with his capo use, btw.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 01:41 PM

I play some fairly heavy-duty classic guitar pieces, so I don't think anyone can accuse me of not being a good guitarist just because I sometimes use a capo when accompanying songs. And I use it whenever I find it convenient to do so.

In fact, I sometimes use the capo to play in keys that are perfectly easy to play in.

Case in point:   I sing "Bonnie Dundee" in the key of C. When I first started working out an accompaniment for it, I wanted to get certain effects on the guitar, such as playing a bit of the melody line as an intro and between verses. Also, I wanted to work in a fifth-interval drone to give it a sort of bagpipe effect. I could do this using the first position C chords, but it would be a real finger-buster. I could get the effects I wanted fairly easily in the key of A. But if I sang it in A, it would be uncomfortably low for my voice and it would sound too growly. So I put the capo on the third fret, play as if I'm in the key of A, and voila! I'm in the key of C and I can get the arrangement I want.

I use the capo a lot for songs in minor keys because there are not many minor keys you can play in without having to use bar chords all the way. May as well use the capo and free your fingers to do other things to enhance the accompaniment.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scoville
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 02:06 PM

I've never heard of anyone being accused of not being a good guitarist just because they used a capo!


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 02:50 PM

Probably not too much anymore, but when I first got interested in folk music and started learning the guitar (early 50s), a capo was considered an abomination and a sure sign of someone who couldn't be bothered to learn more than a few chords. In fact, I kept hearing it referred to as a "cheater."

For the most part, those days are gone because most people know better, but one still hears in from time to time, even right here on Mudcat.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scoville
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 03:13 PM

Well, thank goodness that seems to be dying out. I need my bass strings. No open D or A can do that for me, and the %$#@!! who says I have to do it with bar chords can pay for my carpal tunnel surgery in 10 years.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 04:16 PM

Where I was able to make a break-through around here as far as using a capo was concerned was that I had taken classic guitar lessons for a few years before I started singing in coffeehouses and such, and every now and then I would toss in a classic piece between songs. Usually wowed the audience. Then, after playing something like this:   Fasten your seat belt—if I pulled out a capo and put it on, nobody much was going to try to say I didn't know my way around a fingerboard.

That's not me, incidentally. I'm old, bald, male, and nowhere near as good looking. But I could play that pretty darned well. All the notes! Every bleedin' one of them! Still can, if I've taken my vitamins and have a pretty good tail-wind.

Then, when the three flamenco guitarists who played at the Spanish Village during the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 used capos freely, nobody who'd been around at all said anything about using them when accompanying songs.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scoville
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 05:22 PM

Believe it or not, I got most of the way through two flamenco pieces--damned if I can remember which ones now--when I was taking guitar lessons. The kicker was that I've never owned a classical guitar and was playing them on a steel-string flat-top. Talk about killing your hand.

Sounded like crap, too. Only a little better than maybe flamenco on a banjo.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 06:52 PM

Wow! You probably have a left hand you can crack walnuts with. And playing rasgueados and such on steel strings couldn't have helped your right-hand fingernails much! I'm trying to imagine flamenco on a steel-string guitar and I can't quite make it work. Still, a pretty fair feat!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:17 PM

The reason to use a capo is if you want the sounds of open strings. Also, to use it to compliment another guitar playing in a lower key. To use it just to change to a key you can sing in brings up the other name for a capo (the cheater).

It's pretty useless when playing jazz. You want those punchy closed-string chords.

The capo used as a device to press two or three strings in alternate tunings is interesting, though. The Kayser seems to do this well. Shubb won't work. The G7 might.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Scoville at Dad's
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:25 PM

Tore the bejesus out of my fingernails. I don't recommend it.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:57 PM

Frank, I reiterate what I said above. I have no problem singing "Bonnie Dundee" in the key of C, but because of the chord voicings, I can get a better accompaniment in A. So I capo on the third fret and play as if I were in A. I don't think that's quite the same thing as "cheating." If I couldn't managed a C, F, and G7 and had to play the A chords, that would be fudging.

The song is the important thing, and whatever it takes in the way of accompaniment techniques to support and complement the song, I regard as fair game. It's a matter of options.   

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Scrump
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:59 AM

If I couldn't managed a C, F, and G7 and had to play the A chords, that would be fudging.

Ah, but who would know you couldn't play those chords? ;-)

It was interesting to hear Don's earlier comment about capos being regarded as "cheating".

I suppose I can imagine when the capo was first invented, players who had taken the trouble to learn to play all the chords without one, would have seen a less competent guitarist suddenly 'improve' by using one, and regard it as sort of cheating.

But as I think several people have said now (including me) there isn't (or shouldn't be) any reason to frown upon their use.

I admit I use it to play 'easier' chords for me - what's wrong with that? For example, I couldn't as easily play a piece in C# without using the capo on the 1st fret and playing as if I'm in C.

And many of the top artists use them - what's good enough for them is good enough for me.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Shaneo
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 05:24 PM

Absolutely amazing amount of information in one tread on the use of a capo , this place never stops amazing me. what a huge knowledge base there is here , if I had of discovered mudcat years ago I'd be playing in Carnigie hall or some other bloody hall besides the one's I'm playing now. Brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Bee
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:11 PM

Got that right, Shaneo. I think my year old guitar would be in a closet if I hadn't found this place. I've almost wore out the search button, I'm sure. And every time I look for something, other good stuff lures me aside.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Jim Lad
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 06:54 PM

I've watched with envy as some players run up and down the neck, with their left hand, without even a sideward glance at where they're going.
However; when you're playing for four hours a night and trying to keep track of everything else in the room, you can't be constantly trying to remember chords and words.
The capo is, as one of you already said, a tool and an indispensable one at that.
It allows me to play mainly in Dm, G & C configurations which I find easier on the ears and fingers. Easier on the ears because I can better anticipate the changes.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 02:00 PM

This seems to be the newest capo thread, although I thought I'd seen one about a capo museum and the "Bird" capo too.

Anyway, I'm looking for yet another answer to the capo problem. For most simple purposes the standard Shubb does OK but I am a bugger for partial capos, and I do some stuff on 12-strings.

First problem with Shubb and a 12-string is pulling the fatter strings more out of tune than the thinner ones. The Shubb is not good for the "Fielding" capo placement solution because the flat surface to the rubber is very hard to place close enough to the fret to avoid pulling the strings yet far enough back to avoid damping the strings. It would be better with a rounded profile to the rubber - but there is still problem 2.

It's easy to make a Shubb too tight. This WILL pull some strings sharp and some more so than others. It will also be aggravated if the camber on the guitar does not match the capo (a problem for all capos, not just the Shubbs). It's a particular problem on 12-strings because guitar fettlers WILL set the tops of the strings level and they should set the bottoms of the strings a constant distance from the frets. AND they will roll the outer edges of the frets too much - so the top top E and the thin bottom E buzz unless you pack the very ends of the rubbers - or as far too many guitarists do, over tighten the Shubb and pull ALL The middle 10 strings out of tune some more than others.

One way to reduce the amount a 12-string goes out of tune is to file grooves in the rubber to relieve the fatter strings - but then you need at least 3 capos because the string spacing varies as you go up the neck!

Next Shubb problem is the overcentre mechanism. Some 12 strings have necks like baseball bats to reduce neck problems. And then when you try to clamp the Shubb it does not quite get over-centre, you play two chords and off it flies to hit a person in the front row in the eye. Why don't they make ones for fat necks?

Final Shubb problem is the curve in the rear arm. There is only one place on a given guitar (with a V or C neck) that it fits. Of it you want to pull the Shubb to one side to vary the strings it's covering the nose of the rear arm pokes a dent in the neck and the capo is precariously balanced on a pivot-point. It is a particular nuisance with partial capos that cover 3 or 5 strings.

Why do they not make one with a flat rear bar (like the Kyser) controlled by the same overcentre mechanism, but an adjustable or shimmable thickness away from the overcentre mechanism - and a rounded rubber? Next - Kyser


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 02:06 PM

Kyser - and Spring-dunlop

First problem - that spring is TOUGH - particularly for feeble old men and wimpy people of gender and the 12-string ones are tougher still.

Second problem - the springs break.

Third problem - the sticky-up-arm gets in the way particularly if you want to fret one of the uncapoed strings when using a partial capo

Fourth - the flat rubber surface (like the Shubb in that respect)

Fifth - fretboard camber - like the Shubb too

Sixth - no control of strength of grip to limit the amount things get pulled out of tune.


Dunlop with the trigger underneath - ditto. Many a chord I cannot get with that lump underneath.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 02:08 PM

The expensive Dunlops and Planet Waves

Do partial ones exist?

Curved bottom arms.

Hard to get tension right by squeezing.

Inadequate gape.

Camber


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 02:09 PM

Bird - I have never used a more useless thing and eventually it snapped in half.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 02:11 PM

Hamilton Quick Action

NLA, need soft rubber, no access to unfretted strings, past their sell-by date.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 02:12 PM

Scott, Third Hand, and Spyder

Camber almost always wrong and no access to unfretted strings.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 02:13 PM

So what capoes ARE any use? Bah.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 04:48 PM

"Next Shubb problem is the overcentre mechanism. Some 12 strings have necks like baseball bats to reduce neck problems. And then when you try to clamp the Shubb it does not quite get over-centre, you play two chords and off it flies to hit a person in the front row in the eye. Why don't they make ones for fat necks?"

They do - the S3V

I have one which I use on my Lowden and Martin OM-28 Marquis (1-3/4" Mod-V neck profile) - works fine on those, but I do not have a 12-er, so I can't comment on its suitability for one of those.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Alex S
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 06:39 PM

Try the Paige 12 string capo. I've no problem with my Tak 12 string.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 09:58 PM

I use the Glider rolling capo on my 12-strings. It's wide enough to do the job, it doesn't affect the intonation, and it doesn't produce string buzz. What more can you ask?


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 03:27 AM

There's a very expensive capo made in the US called the Thalia, which can come with a set of rubber grips/inserts, allowing the capo to be used on 6-strings, mandolins, 12-strings, etc. They look good but are very expensive.

However, as far as 12-string playing is concerned, you could try fitting or adding a cutout rubber strip to your capo so that it would sink on to the strings to a greater degree.

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Bloke in Groucho mask
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 04:32 AM

Capos serve two very good purposes; allowing easier playing alongside other instruments and finding a comfortable range for your voice.

When I was a teenager with a very cheap acoustic guitar and no knowledge of setting a guitar up, let alone realise they could be, a capo also came in handy to lower the action and make the *^%!! thing playable.

Interestingly, and with a large guitar collection to play around with, I notice the drop off in good intonation as you get further up the neck more with some than others. One of my favourite guitars isn't really good with the capo beyond the 4th whilst another is still holding good tone and resonance way beyond a practical fret.

Lately, and with my "changing" voice in mind, I play a baritone guitar all the more. The principle, as a friend advised me at the time of purchase, is a backward capo..,,

I also tune a Rainsong I have to D to D. The carbon fibre neck keeps it in check.

One bit of advice from experience; Always have them just slightly tighter than buzzing.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 04:36 AM

Thank you fellas.

The Paige (screw fitting not click fitting) cannot be cut down to make a partial capo - but it might work as a general 12-string capo. I'll try one! The Tak is a VERY slim (front to back) and narrow neck though so there may be other problems.

John Barden used to use a glider on his Fylde. It DID affect tuning (but he was an approximate tuner at the best of times - his magnificent voice was his greatest strength).

The Thalia is very pretty but it appears to combine ALL the design defects I've been on about, other than the centering back bar, in one overpriced showoff package. Camber - non-adjustable. Gape - limited. Spring tensioned (as far as I can see) and flat fronted pads so very likely to bugger up tuning. When used as a partial capo - no access to the un-fretted strings.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Bloke in Groucho mask
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 04:46 AM

Interesting M'Unlearned friend.

Good luck with trying. Regarding partial capos, I've always been lucky with a shubb, hacksaw, small blowtorch, hammer and sundry anglo Saxon till it worked. (Thinking on, over half my "set" is five string second fret.

Mind you, my mate Brian gave me a factory issue three string shubb capo and I love some of the fun you can have with buggering about with it.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST, DTM
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 05:10 AM

My favourite capo is the shubb.
I don't like the G7 - expensive & dodgy in my experience although many top guys use one.
Beware - once I bought a cheaper copy of a shubb and it was a total waste of money.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 05:16 AM

I'm also enamoured of the Shubb 5-string and 3-string partial-capos. And I like their 'FineTune' stirrup-type capo too, even more than my Elliott-McKinney (which, being hand-built, cost twice as much). I've got the F1 (standard) FineTune, and I've just ordered the new F3 (wider) FineTune) which will suit my 1-3/4" nut-width necks better.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 05:20 AM

Thank you Primitive Tribesman! I'll get two of those and assault one like the man formerly known as Mither. I have successfully truncated Kyser copies before but getting clearance for the bottom E string on a modified shubb may be tricky - although if it's a big enough gape I might be able to pad the rubber as well as removing part of it.

I can stick to one Kyser pro-am and a modified pro-am for the D-neck profile Hagstroms.

Is this the Mudcat coming up trumps again? Maybe I will start coming here again.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 05:46 AM

I was talking about the SV3. The F3 appears to be an astronomical price and only available from the USA (not from Thomann or Amazon).

Off to check the prices of the Paige now.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: gillymor
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 05:47 AM

I used to use a Third Hand Capo which Harvey Reid apparently quit making last year. It worked pretty well but was a bit fussy. Now he's selling other
partial capos.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Gilly
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 05:59 AM

Can't use a capo on 7th fret ?
Only for cheaters ?
Little known amateur guitarist G.Harrison? Part of a popular combo in the last century ? 'Here comes the Sun '?
And he was a barre chord wizard to boot...


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 06:06 AM

I use a small Shubb capo on my tenor, and occasionally on a 6-string to allow the bass E to float. I use a G7 for all other guitars. The G7 I've found to be easy and reliable - wouldn't swap it for anything else - just my personal experience.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 06:45 AM

I preferred the Scott tuning capo to the Third Hand but it needed you to add your own rubbers and could have done with a greater range of camber adjustment and an indicator to show how much had been applied.

Those "flip" capos (Gillymor's link) look interesting. But since my ebay shopping basket (including a Paige 12-string special) now stands at over £100 I'd better slow down.

The banjo size Shubb digs the nose of its back bar into middle of the back of a guitar neck and so is unstable.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 08:46 AM

Guess what?   Ordered many tings on ebay. Then found the missing tin of capos in a Volvo!


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 11:55 AM

They're probably worth more than the Volvo. 😜😄


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST,Bloke in Groucho mask
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 03:47 PM

Put a capo on the Volvo. You never know, the change in pitch may be a couple of cylinders firing for the first time in years. 🚗💨

The five string Shubb seems to be more expensive than a normal shubb and five mins with a hacksaw does the same job. Although on a serious note, the more expensive roller ones snap whilst the rubber tip end ones saw evenly.

Mind you, I went for years winging it with a normal shubb perched on the edge of the neck. Only flew off a few times and only once landed in someone's beer.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 09:12 AM

Paige capo P12E assessment

Clearly some thought has been given to the needs of the 12-string player, but the execution could be better.

1.        The latch for the bar is both tight and fiddly. The groove on the old Hamilton Quick Action works better.
2.        The screw does not withdraw far enough. There are many old C-neck 12-strings still in use. The back bar appears to have been specifically shaped for V-necks which further reduces clearance for C-necks. On my Mugen THE 78-12 and THE80W twin-neck the P12E can be forced on at the first fret and then slid up the neck to the fourth fret – but it then pulls the guitar badly out of tune.
3.        The rubber is too thin – so one cannot file grooves into it for the fat strings to ease fit and get round the inadequate sleeves (see below).
4.        The sleeves to reduce the risk of string rattle on the thin E A D and G courses are a good idea in principle but:
a.        The pack that came to me said it contained transparent sleeves. They were black – this may simply indicate a lack of oversight but it looks like amateurishness.
b.        They were a VERY tight fit over the bar – needing washing-up liquid and a lot of force to get them on –and the tightness also made it very hard accurately to locate them.
c.        They were sloppily cut. It looked as if somebody had cut them off a bit of tube with a craft knife.   
d.        They were too wide – making it very hard indeed to avoid interfering with the thicker strings on each course.   



Suggestions.

1.         Make the frame deeper so that large-neck 12s could be catered for. I deal below with catering for slimmer necks without making a further design.
2.        Use a flat bar, not a round bar (again, like the Hamilton Quick-Action) with a slot for the bar in the rubber (like the cheap and nasty Chinese Shubb copies that have not really worked out how the Shubb over-centre lever works)         
3.         The rubber can then be eccentric, with more rubber on one side than the other (just like the worst Shubb copies) and a rounded profile to face the frets. If the rubber were slid off and returned with the thicker side towards the frets this would reduce the need to screw the screw tight in (which might lead to poor stability) for slimmer necks.
4.         Make the slide-on pieces to hold the thin strings narrower with a groove round the circumference. This would ease centring those pieces on the slimmer strings.
5.         Have another wide thin slide on piece for the B and to E courses so that the bar sits flat to the neck.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 09:59 AM

Or learn how to play up the dusty end....


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 02:14 PM

i don't see why you should be offended by someone like James Blunt using a capo in a certain way. Don't be offended....

'you're beautiful...'


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 03:13 PM

Oh dear, capo snobbery again. The stuff I do with partial capos cannot be done with different fingerings.

Colonel Blount, on the other hand, indeed offends every time he squeaks.


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Subject: RE: Yet another capo thread
From: Andy7
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 05:07 PM

I'm still waiting for someone to invent a 'backward' capo, which you can put on the guitar to LOWER the pitch! :-)


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