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Opinions on different kinds of partial capos

Good Soldier Schweik 13 Nov 10 - 08:58 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Nov 10 - 11:31 AM
PHJim 13 Nov 10 - 11:41 AM
Good Soldier Schweik 13 Nov 10 - 12:36 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Nov 10 - 01:01 PM
Singing Referee 13 Nov 10 - 06:11 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Nov 10 - 06:20 PM
Singing Referee 14 Nov 10 - 05:41 AM
banjoman 14 Nov 10 - 06:16 AM
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Subject: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 08:58 AM

opinions on different kinds of partial capos and recommendations thanks


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 11:31 AM

The Shubb C7 frets three inside strings - usually the A D and G strings at the second fret to give a mock DADGAD one tone up. I am not aware of a Kyser equivalent. Used with another capo you can cover a range of keys but you need to be very careful about your intonation and how you apply the capos or you can pull the guitar out of tune. I find it invaluable.   On 12-strings you may need to modify the rubber on the lever (not the rubber on the bar) to get the capo to close. Also if you are on a 12 string it may be helpful to groove the rubber on the bar of the ordinary capo to reduce the effect of tension pulling the fatter strings sharp. You can add bits to a Jim Dunlop to do the mock DADGAD but you can't get at the F#s.

If you use teh Shubb in a mock DADGAD there is a nice-sounding run or two for "You Can't Always get what you Want" but getting it into the original key of C is hard, and the D shape (relative to C) is more than a bit tricky.

There are several ways to miss either the top or the bottom (to give mock drop-D) string with a capo - I usually use a shubb banjo (or mandolin) capo but it works best with one with camber (if your fretboard is cambered) and it can be tricky getting the lever into the middle of the back of the neck. If you put the shubb on from the bottom it's usually easy enough to get the thumb round the top of the neck when you want an F# not an E on the bottom string. There are Kyser dropD capos but then it's impossible to get that F#.

There are but I have never used things that will get either the outside string or the two outside strings - useful I think for playing a sort of G based tuning but it's different from the usual open G.

The English Scott tuning Capo has little plastic blocks that turn through 180 degrees on a round bar and interlock. THey are pushed to gether by a sprong so the range of neck widths you can use it on is theoretically limited but the only guitar I ever found too wide was a MONSTROUS 12-string with a neck like a cricket bat - blade not handle - (but a lovely sound).   Then it is attached by a stout elastic round the back of the neck. It has three snags. First, the plastic is rigid so your first job after finding one (and that is hard too, sometimes PJ has them) is to cut up some stout rubber (I find the replacement elastic bands for frame tents good) and superglue the right shaped pieces to the right edges of the plastic blocks. With care it is possible to avoid making an integrated brick and having to start again. Second, the little round bar is curved so you can rotate it to use on a flat fretboard or a cambered one - but there is no mark to indicate the position (you can make one with a file) so mark one eyeball has to be accurate enough - not that hard in good light but very hard in some gloomy folk clubs. Ideally you take the whole thing to bits and with a non-flat surface and a Birmingham screwdriver increase the curve of the round bar.
Third there is no way to get that F# on either the bottom or top fret. Of course in theory you can fret ANY strings on the same fret - but in practice unless it's one of the inside three combinations, or an outside combination using both outer strings (or the next ones in) the capo does not stay upright so the possibility of an Em based set of chords does not work. But you can get a sort of G/D.

Then there is the US made Third Hand. This is somewhat similar to the Scott - but the blocks you rotate are entirely rubber and sort of oval wheels. So getting them "up" or "down" is imprecise and they don't lock in place (but you don't have to add bits of rubber to reduce the risk of pulling things out of tune). It has two straps to go round the neck - and if you need both then your action is far too high or you are playing 17-72 strings and you are going to pull the guitar out of tune anyway. At the end that the straps are permanently attached, there is a sort of shoulder on a nylon block. This is I think supposed to line up with the edge of the fretboard but I found it kept mis-locating and buzzing on the bottom E string so I removed it with a Stanley knife. Because the rubber oval wheels are not pushed together by a spring you can in theory position them for any fretboard width, but they are fairly narrow to accommodate narrow-neck guitars and on a 12 string it is very easy to miss half a course. The bar is not (as far as I can see) curved so it really only works on flat fingerboards. It has the F# problem. I find it far less useful than the Scott.

None of the above let you fret more than one string on different frets.


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: PHJim
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 11:41 AM

Great info from Richard!

I've had no trouble using my Shubb for a drop D (actually drop E) tuning. The Keyser works better if you apply it with the lever on the treble side of the board. Although I've never tried it, it seems like this would make thumb fretting the second fret possible.


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 12:36 PM

thanks, is it not possible to use a mock drop d by putting an ordinary capo over the 12345 strings but not 6. mind you retuning to drop d is not normally[ for me] a problem.
I suppose I will be asking santa for a shubb c7 capo then


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 01:01 PM

I find using the Kyser upside down it tends to get in the way of my left wrist, and tweaking a standard shubb to miss the bottom string results in uneven pressure across the neck hence more tuning problems or the risk of muted strings, but if you only do it every so often it's a possible.

The advantage of using the capo to make the "Drop D" is that you don't then need hands like Tania Opland to hit one of the passing notes - the A on the bottom string. She tunes to drop d, holds a D chord, and flips out her little finger to the 7th fret for that passing A - the duplication with the next string gives a nice drone. Mere mortals stand aghast. I simply couldn't believe it the first time I saw it. But with the capo doing the work for you it's only the equivalent of getting to an A on the bottom string on a short-scale guitar, and mere mortals CAN do it with a bit of practice.

Dick - everyone has an old jim dunlop lying around. To see if you get on with the altered tuning references, just slice up a schoolboy rubber and glue it in theright place on the JD to experiment a bit. Or you can use beermats!


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: Singing Referee
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 06:11 PM

I play mainly in single "Drop D" with just the base E tuned down to D. I've chopped the end off a Shubb, so that it doesn't cover the top two strings. That gives me DADGAD equivalent in E on the open strings. The fingering for DADGAD on the top two strings is of course non-standard, you have to finger two frets down from where you would in real DADGAD tuning. But the real bonus is that as well as getting the DADGAD sound you can play your chords over it, just as you would in Drop D, so long as you cover the top two strings.

Because losing the end of the bar unbalances the pressure between the bar and the pad at the back of the neck I do have to position the capo carefully on the back of the neck and perhaps have it a bit tighter than normal to stop the bottom D buzzing, but by keeping it as close a possible to the fret I avoid intonation problems.


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 06:20 PM

If I may suggest, Ref, try a Shubb C7 and lift your D to E. Now you have standard chords up the neck - but if you want the open ringing, there is not only the usual one finger D (well E) but another bunch up the neck taking the E to G# or B etc, several nice Gshapes (As), a deadly Bminor (lovely in Dives and Lazarus), a B major with two open strings using the thumb over at the 7th fret and another 4 middle stringer in root.


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: Singing Referee
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 05:41 AM

Just ordered it!


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Subject: RE: Opinions on different kinds of partial capos
From: banjoman
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 06:16 AM

Just recently got into the world of partial capos, so thanks to all for lots of really useful info. I have bought a Spider Capo which after a bit of fiddling seems to work well but I find it a bit cumbersome.


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