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  1. #1

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    Just wondering if there are any jazz players who are known to use capos?

    I've been taking lessons with Derek Gripper who uses alternate tunings and a capo in really interesting ways. It seems probably not that useful in playing fast stuff (although it could be) but for playing ballads and slow things, it would be cool to be able to maximize open string use.

    Just wondering...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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  4. #3

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    I used to be opposed to capo use. I learned in all twelve keys!!!! Then as a folkie I used a capo.

    I now think they are one of the many tools of good music.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #4

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    Check out Eric Skye.

  6. #5
    Wow that Martin Taylor piece is amazing. Thanks!

  7. #6

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    Martin Taylor don't need no stinkin' looper!

  8. #7

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    I saw a guy just the other night on "The Voice"(?) using 2 capos in different positions. Looked like one was full across, the other farther up on only a few of the bass strings. Kinda complicated but it worked for his song.

  9. #8

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    That's a fun tune! Sounds less like jazz and more like something Chris Proctor would cook up. Good music is good music.

  10. #9

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    I'm not strictly a Jazz player.

    My current madness is big band. I couldn't really use one if I had one.

    In my 50+ years playing I never felt the need for one.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    I saw a guy just the other night on "The Voice"(?) using 2 capos in different positions. Looked like one was full across, the other farther up on only a few of the bass strings. Kinda complicated but it worked for his song.
    I didn't see that show but I used to do that all the time. Wrote a lot of songs that way. One capo (for me) was a Shubb, which I could set to cover just four strings, D-E. The other one (a Kyser) would cover all 6 strings some distance back but would only capo the low E and A (because the other 4 were capoed further up the neck.

    I did it to create a droning sound. When I was playing all by myself, it gave more, um, ring to simple things.

    Sometimes I would not use the second capo and would have the low E and A open with everything else capoed at the 7th fret (usually; I experimented). Not sure I'll ever do much of that anymore but it got two songs into my rep that I still play from time to time, so it was worth it for me.

  12. #11

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    I never liked Kyser capos (I'm partial to Elliott and Showcase capos – perfect for bluegrass), but they make quite an assortment of partial capos, which can be used together with a full capo for interesting tuning changes without having to retune the guitar:

    Partial Capos | Kyser Musical Products

  13. #12

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    Depending on whether you think if her music as jazz, Joni Mitchell.

    I sometimes use one for slide and and open fingerstyle acoustic playing (especially open tunings), but not for jazz (at least not so far).

    John

  14. #13

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    Capo at the fifth fret


  15. #14

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    Joe Pass used to advise against playing lots of open string stuff. He claimed that it sounds pretty but bores the audience.

    I agree.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I didn't see that show but I used to do that all the time. Wrote a lot of songs that way. One capo (for me) was a Shubb, which I could set to cover just four strings, D-E. The other one (a Kyser) would cover all 6 strings some distance back but would only capo the low E and A (because the other 4 were capoed further up the neck.

    I did it to create a droning sound. When I was playing all by myself, it gave more, um, ring to simple things.
    My wife watches it all the time, when she saw that she called me over to see.

    Any jazz players use a capo?-thunderstorm-finals-jpg

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukena
    I've heard him play that tune live a few times - I always thought it was a strip of metal,

    he can get the sound of steel pans out of it when he wants.

  18. #17

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    My daughter gave me a spider capo about a year ago. These allow you to choose which of the strings you want to stop/capo. I have had nothing but disdain for capos until I got this thing. It allows voicings that would be impossible without it. It is fun to use the spider capo to produce music you never heard from a guitar before.

    Access to this page has been denied.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Joe Pass used to advise against playing lots of open string stuff. He claimed that it sounds pretty but bores the audience.

    I agree.
    I don't know that open strings are necessarily "pretty" or anything in particular. They just sound like open strings.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Joe Pass used to advise against playing lots of open string stuff. He claimed that it sounds pretty but bores the audience.

    I agree.
    I thought he said don't play too many songs in a row in open keys. But as my dad used to say, "I've been wrong before..."

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    My wife watches it all the time, when she saw that she called me over to see.

    Any jazz players use a capo?-thunderstorm-finals-jpg
    Hey, thanks for the pic!
    That's not the way I did it, so I'm psyched to see this. It never occurred to me to do it that way. Though I guess it's the only way you can if you're only using that kind of capo.

    One of mine is a Shubb:
    Any jazz players use a capo?-shubb-capo-jpg
    It's an excellent capo. You can set it to various amounts of tension and this is what allows you to clamp it down firm if only covering four strings. The downside is that if you do this a lot---as I did on my old Strat--it put some nicks in the back of the neck. It didn't effect the re-sale any, though. (The Shubb is a helluva capo. I remember the guy who sold it to me back in the '80s said, "You'll be able to give this to a grandkid someday--they don't wear out or break down." I've had it at least 30 years.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I thought he said don't play too many songs in a row in open keys. But as my dad used to say, "I've been wrong before..."
    Mark,

    You are correct...but Joe was stream of consciousness riffing in the video and he went on to say, "avoid the keys of D, A, G, and E with the open strings. They are pretty sounding but they will put your audience to sleep," or some such like.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I thought he said don't play too many songs in a row in open keys. But as my dad used to say, "I've been wrong before..."
    I watched that video recently. Yes he basically said stay out of those keys (e.g. E, A, D) because you’ll start to rely on open-string sounds in your chords too much.

  24. #23

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    I'm with Joe about too many songs in a row with lots of open strings boring an audience.

    I think 'ear fatigue' would be a better term---if you do anything drone-y for a while you need to stop it and do something else because otherwise the drone becomes like the hum of a fan or a fridge: you stop noticing it, meaning it loses its musical value.


    But this doesn't mean one should not do it at all. Just not too much and not too many times in a row. One shouldn't play too many ballads in a row either, or too many rhythm changes tunes or too many bossa novas. (Unless that is one's shtick...)

  25. #24

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    I don’t look down at people who use capos where appropriate. For folk styles the open strings are often essential, and the capo allows you to maintain that while accompanying vocalists with various ranges. I rarely play that style, but I keep my Shubb in the gear bag just in case.

    And if you’ve ever wanted to try a short scale guitar (with a zero fret), put on a capo and you basically have one. I’ve only goofed around with it on jazz tunes, but it might be a way to make a guitar duo seem less muddy.

  26. #25

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    Okay, a two-capo experiment revisited. I wrote the song excerpted here back in the '80s on a Korean acoustic guitar my older brother sent me from Japan. I wanted an "Oriental feel" and think I got one.

    Hadn't played this song in decades. Can't recall all the words off the top of my head. But I think it an example of something a capo (or two) can give you that's worth experimenting with. Especially if you write songs.

    My lazy-morning strum hits too many strings at times. If I ever start to play this song again, I'll tighten that up.


  27. #26

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    What bores me is an hour of solo guitar with the same tone on every tune.