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  1. #1

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    OK, I don't often use a capo - and certainly not for Jazz. But I still like to have one in each instrument case just in case. I like Shubb capos for guitar, but on 4-string instruments (tenor ukes and plectrum banjo), I prefer the lower profile of the D'Addario NS Pro. In both instances, they have a screw-type tension adjuster for fine-tuning the pressure; I don't like spring-loaded ones. And no, I don't have a capo for my bass, though in college there was a guy who used to use one on a stand-up bass!

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  3. #2

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    I have a pal who is a piano tuner. I respect his ear. He says a capo always messes up tuning, both during its use and afterwards.

  4. #3

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    A capo is useful for checking relief. Capo at the first fret, fret the string at the body join, and check for string height at the center of those points. It can be done without a capo, but it's easier with one. I really don't have any other use for one.

  5. #4

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    I do bits and pieces of different acoustic fingerstyle blues, slide, open and standard tunings. Capos are essential for that.

    John

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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    I don’t use one never did but I have enough trouble dealing with 9 fingers and 2
    thumbs. A capo would just confuse me more and like Herb Ellis said......I would have to practice.

  8. #7

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    albert collins style



    cheers

  9. #8

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    Got a capo from a company called Thalia because it’s pretty and matched the guitar. Can’t use it. I just get confused whenever I try.

  10. #9

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    I have no quarrel with anyone who uses a capo. I'm not qualified to criticize anyone else's playing or methods. But personally I can't use one.

  11. #10

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    Not me. Never used one. Not even sure I'd know how. Never wanted to learn. Guess I put the "old" in Old School...

  12. #11

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    Amen to that.

  13. #12

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    Here is a story about my capo experience. It happened 10-12 years ago and I posted it somewhere when it happened, but I hate to miss an opportunity to laugh at myself again.

    Living here in retirement central, one gets pretty used to age-related memory lapses. Pretty much any time someone does something really dumb, we say “senior moment” and have a good laugh. So when I did the mother of these once, it was just another perfect day in paradise.

    I’d been subbing in a rock band for a few gigs, and one of the tunes was Honky Tonk in the original key of F. The first few gigs I just played it through, but it really did a job on my left hand. I have fairly severe tendinitis, and playing stuff like that doesn’t help. If I were a member of the band I’d lobby for playing it in E, which I’m sure wouldn’t thrill the horn player, but since I was just filling in that wasn't an option. I’m certain that their regular guitarist just played a shuffle rhythm rather than the actual riff because when I played it at rehearsal everyone said “Whoa--that’s great.”

    I had a brilliant idea to save myself from further pain--use a capo at the first fret. I’ve owned a cheap elastic capo for years, which I keep in my guitar tool box to use when I restring, but I’d never used one to play with. I tried it quickly at home, and noted that a few of the strings went slightly out of tune, but other than that it seemed workable. All I had to do between songs was get the capo in place, re-tune, and remember to play it in E. What could go wrong?

    I told the singer to give me a bit of time to get ready between songs. I was able to get the capo on without shooting it across the dance floor like a rubber band. I had my Boss GT-8 set up for muted tuning; when I checked, the tuning was way off. I started tuning frantically, but the more I tuned, the worse things seemed to get. The singer had run out of patter and everyone was looking at me. I hoped I had it close enough, and kicked off the tune, only to hear a horrible cacophony ensue when the bass and other guitarist joined in. I told the horn player to pick it up, hit the tuner on the pedal, ripped off the capo, and even more frantically re-tuned, getting it back just in time to limp through my solo.

    I had no idea what had caused the problem, other than thinking maybe the Bigsby had had a tiff with the capo. The gig got better after that, and I soon put it out of my mind. I was too tired when I got home to check anything out, but next morning after my workout I was standing at my locker getting dressed when the answer hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks and I gave myself a well-deserved senior moment dope slap.

    In the heat of the moment trying to get the capo on and checking the tuning before the singer exhausted his bit of of shtick (and simply out of years of habit) I had retuned the guitar strings to EADGBE instead of FBbEbAbCF! What an idjut! Of course, dropping the tension a half-step with a Bigsby-equipped guitar would be asking for trouble in any case, and kicking the tune off in E when I thought I was in F really made for some “interesting” tonalities, especially with the bass player, keyboard and the other guitarist playing in F.

    I told the band what had happened and they all had a good laugh on me. We had another gig a few days later with Honky Tonk on the list, so I decided to try the capo again. This time I put it on during the previous song, which didn’t really need me anyway, and made sure that the tuning was correct--it only needed a minor touchup on two strings. When the singer announced the tune, I was off and running and it sounded great.

    I've never used it since for its intended purpose.

    Danny W.
    Last edited by Danny W.; 07-21-2020 at 07:15 PM.

  14. #13

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    I have a capo in my guitar case.

    I don’t know how it got there.

  15. #14

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    We do Peter Gunn Theme in F. No way I‘m playing that riff without a capo.


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  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    Got a capo from a company called Thalia because it’s pretty and matched the guitar. Can’t use it. I just get confused whenever I try.
    I've tried a bunch of the famous capos over the years, and the Thalia is my favorite. Because it allows you to match the fretboard radius, which keeps things in better tune. NO capo works 100% for me, because I like my action a little high, so anytime I use a capo, the low E is out and I have to re-tune it at least. But I do like the Thalias, and and have a few for different guitars, because they have different fretboard radiuses.

    I never use it for jazz, only sparingly for rock/pop/blues. Mostly used on my acoustics when doing singer/songwriter tunes, because quite of few of those are capo'ed as written. And you NEED the big open cowboy chords for those songs to sound right.

  17. #16

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    Schubb is for the people. G7th heritage capo if you're fancy (or don't want to lose out).

    So many guys without capos! How do you restring your bigsby without one?

    I'm pretty reliant on mine. I do more with them than without them. Good capos with the proper amount of tension on a well set up guitar with big fat strings have never really presented an issue for me. I never get the tuning wrong because I tune first, then capo, then adjust from there.

  18. #17
    I have one and it's always with me. For situations where I'm playing a prepared guitar, it gives me a shorter string length, different resonances. And the truth is, if I just played jazz, I wouldn't even be able to afford a capo. I teach other styles and when a student wants to learn a tune where the recording's done with a capo'ed guitar... gotta learn it that way.
    I've seen Bill Frisell use a capo unabashedly and regularly. Of course he dips into Americana in his repertoire but it's just another tool in the tool box. Just another option when you make music.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    Schubb is for the people. G7th heritage capo if you're fancy (or don't want to lose out).
    .
    Ha! Actually- yes, those were my previous favorites: first Schubb. Then I got a G7th. Then I discovered Thalia. All good.

  20. #19
    They're really for dealing with very specific open string riffs or with other pure acoustic styles. You just don't need one unless you actually need one. If you're not utilizing open string -type language in playing acoustic styles like bluegrass or fingerstyle, then of course , they aren't going to be particularly useful.

    I keep one serious beater of an acoustic, which works well in my hot, humid climate. I don't have to worry about sand, heat, kids or it getting stepped on/stolen. The sweet spot on that cheapo instrument is tuned down a whole step. It really opens up and almost sounds like a real instrument. The capo is essential for singing, which is my primary "instrument" anyway. Again, if you want to utilize open strings...

    If you're not a singer in acoustic style or don't play with one, you might never have use for a capo.

  21. #20

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    Okay. What's the consensus on how these things are pronounced?

    Cappo?
    Caypo?
    I just heard Martin Taylor pronounce it cappo while I've always called it a caypo.

  22. #21

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    You have to remember that Martin Taylor is from England, so his pronunciation of anything is likely to be different from standard here. I've always used the long a pronunciation, never heard anything else, but UK speakers often use a short a sound in almost any word. England and the US are two countries divided by a common language. And that goes for Scotland as well.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    You have to remember that Martin Taylor is from England, so his pronunciation of anything is likely to be different from standard here. I've always used the long a pronunciation, never heard anything else, but UK speakers often use a short a sound in almost any word. England and the US are two countries divided by a common language. And that goes for Scotland as well.
    Yeah I remember Graham Kerr used to say "pasta" in the funniest way, like we're going "past-a" something.

  24. #23

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    I say Kay but assume it’s from some Italian music term and should be Capp.

  25. #24

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    I have a large pile of capos for different fretboard radius and nut widths.
    I have found that schubb usually works satisfactory and kyser rarely is satisfactory.

  26. #25

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    According to the dictionaries I checked, the proper name is capo tasto, and the words are pronounced as rhyming, the a being short as in father or cart. The etymology is from Italian, capo meaning head and tasto meaning key (at least originally). So capo would be pronounced like the slang word for policeman, cop-o. I knew I should have made a list of thing to do today, so I would have made better use of my time, but unfortunately I had little else to do.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet

    So many guys without capos! How do you restring your bigsby without one?
    That's exactly the reason I have one in my guitar toolbox, but since getting a power winder I found I don't need it any more. I don't even need it for playing Honky Tonk, because my modeler has a virtual capo feature that works perfectly for that.

    Danny W.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Yeah I remember Graham Kerr used to say "pasta" in the funniest way, like we're going "past-a" something.
    New Zealand pronunciation.

  29. #28

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    George Harrison says "caypo":




    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    According to the dictionaries I checked, the proper name is capo tasto, and the words are pronounced as rhyming, the a being short as in father or cart.
    Father and cart don't really have a short a sound but it's certainly closer to Italian than the British a sound in "capo".

  30. #29

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    I have a couple, used 'em mostly for teaching a song that features a capoed guitar. On the gig I use one occasionally to change up the keys for spanish/latin flavored stuff that use open chords.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny W.;[URL="[URL
    tel:1049649[/URL]"]1049649[/URL]]That's exactly the reason I have one in my guitar toolbox, but since getting a power winder I found I don't need it any more. I don't even need it for playing Honky Tonk, because my modeler has a virtual capo feature that works perfectly for that.

    Danny W.
    that was mainly a poke at all the bigsby aficionados here, but tell me more about this power winder business.

    I once considered a detuning pedal but I figure my tunings and voicings would be a huge nightmare to track digitally. How well does yours work?

    And for those wondering, I capo because:
    - i keep my open chord and string relationships
    - I don't have to learn how to transpose or play the guitar properly
    - a new position is a new headspace that produces new discoveries (ditto the new limitations)
    - capoing up high opens up the low end for the bass, baritone, guitar, piano, etc
    - I tune down anyway, so it's nice to instantly be in standard or higher to play along with others or recordings

    And so on.

    And I think I finally say cay-po, just to be understood, though cah-po is closer to my romance language upbringing. Had a buddy who always said clap-o and it bugged me.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    that was mainly a poke at all the bigsby aficionados here, but tell me more about this power winder business.

    I once considered a detuning pedal but I figure my tunings and voicings would be a huge nightmare to track digitally. How well does yours work?
    Mine is an older winder made by Ernie Ball that I paid about $10 for with a coupon and sale price. The current version is called a "Power Peg."
    Some people use an adapter in a standard drill. I have one of those too, but my big drill is too heavy and my smaller ones don't run at a good speed or have enough torque. The EB is light, runs at a good speed, has appropriate torque and works for years on a set of batteries. I bend the string at the ball end, put that on the Bigsby with a wedge of foam to hold it, thread the other end into the tuner, keep tension on the string with one hand and wield the winder with the other. It's easier to do than to describe.

    The "virtual capo" in my Fractal Audio Axe-Fx III works well enough that I can play Honky Tonk in E transposed to F. I don't really do much with the all the other pitch shift options available on the III, except for adding an octave up to fake Wes or Roger McGuinn. I know people do lots of custom tunings on it.

    Danny W.

  33. #32

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    I have never used a capo, but my experience is that when someone has a capo on their guitar you must not believe anything they say concerning tuning, chord names, note names, or keys of tunes.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Karol
    OK, I don't often use a capo - and certainly not for Jazz. But I still like to have one in each instrument case just in case. I like Shubb capos for guitar, but on 4-string instruments (tenor ukes and plectrum banjo), I prefer the lower profile of the D'Addario NS Pro. In both instances, they have a screw-type tension adjuster for fine-tuning the pressure; I don't like spring-loaded ones. And no, I don't have a capo for my bass, though in college there was a guy who used to use one on a stand-up bass!
    D'Addario Planet Waves NS Pro is the best capo I've ever owned in 45 years. Even some Shubb owners I know converted after trying out my Steinberger.

  35. #34

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    Wow, those Thalia capos are gorgeous but are at least $75. And I imagine some folks who can spend so much on a capo will also be buying a number of them to match the looks of different guitars!

  36. #35

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    Thalia for a Taylor 814
    Attached Images Attached Images Capos-163dc284-f5b1-473d-855d-9883f6be01aa-jpg 

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBPhx
    Thalia for a Taylor 814
    If you rely at all on the top fret markets that could get quite confusing unless placed directly on 3,5, etc.

  38. #37

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    Capos confuse the hell out of me if I try to think about what I’m actually playing anyway.

  39. #38

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    I own Schubb capos and use them on both my acoustic and flamenco guitars. I'm currently working on the Jonathan Kreisberg's arrangement of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Capo on the 5th fret.


  40. #39

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    Liked the shubb more than the kyser. Have loved it almost 25 years. But got an ns capo and much better than the shubb.

  41. #40

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    What about those market value damaging capo bite marks on the neck of your guitar or the equally damaging capo dents on the top?

    That is why I never capo...

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub
    Wow, those Thalia capos are gorgeous but are at least $75. And I imagine some folks who can spend so much on a capo will also be buying a number of them to match the looks of different guitars!
    Guilty as charged. But I DID wait for sales... I think I got all mine during a clearance event, like 50% of regular price? Don't remember for sure.

    It wasn't so much to match the LOOK of the guitars (altho I DID do that), it was to have a capo RADIUS that matched the radius of it's assigned guitar. The Thalias come with several different radius inserts, but when I reach for a capo I don't want to be fiddling with that, so each Thalia is designated to a certain guitar, and it's radius matches the guitars.