Do You Use a Capo?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by P Thought, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    If the guitar's intonation is set up correctly, you should not have to fine tune with the capo on. One thing to note: place the capo directly on the fret. Yes, you read that correctly. I have been placing the capo right on the fret - basically splitting the fret with the edge of the capo's rubber part for over ten years.. There are certain capos which cannot be used this way, due to the way they are made, but one with a straight, sharp leading edge will work perfectly. I can prove that it works. Kysers, Planet Waves, Fender pressure type (no screws,) most Dunlops, Shubbs - all work.

    As for the OP - yes, I use capos all the time. Standard capos, cut capos, both together - whatever it takes to get the sound of open strings I'm going for.
     
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  2. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    One thing does not follow from the other.
     
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  3. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This is nonsense.
     
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  4. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    What do you mean? It certainly does. If your nut slots are not cut correctly, your guitar will not intonate properly in the low positions, 1st - 5th frets, and each string's intonation is off by a different degree, thus requiring fine tuning. My guitars' intonation are pretty much right on, and I never need to fine tune a capo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    A guitar can intonate perfectly (ok, as perfectly as the instrument can) but notes can still be pushed out of tune by excess fretting hand pressure. Same with a capo.
     
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  6. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The capos I own now are Dunlop Victors. As I said before, I don't use capos very often, but I've found that if I put them on carefully, the tuning stays good and the strings still ring. Also they're relatively inexpensive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  7. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Not if you put in on the fret. I edited my first response to you, please re-read.
     
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  8. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I've wondered about these. . .I guess you have to cut them yourself. . .alternate tunings without retuning?
     
  9. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Rory Gallagher sometimes used capos. therefore, capos are OK.
     
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  10. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    No, they are made. I'm sure one could cut one's own capo, but I've never done it. My cut capos are Kysers. The ones I use are for the 3rd, 4th and 5th strings, two frets ups from the nut or a full capo, in standard tuning. Gives you Drop D in other keys.
     
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  11. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yes, a lot. To suit my voice.
    Easy to capo my guitar, hard to capo my voice.
     
  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    In my old cover band there was a running joke about whether it was easier to capo all our guitars, or to, err, have the singer apply one to a certain region instead.
     
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  13. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I think I use a capo for most of the reasons given here already. Some personal examples:
    • Alternate voicings — for instance I play Paint It Black and Jumpin Jack Flash with a capo on VII, the acoustic guitarist with a capo on II and the lead guitarist plays open. Helps declutter the sound space. And Tele with capo on VII = instant Keef approximation (without all that Open G tuning botheration).
    • Making the chords easier, especially for acoustic: songs in Gm or Cm are so much easier with a capo on III.
    • Changing key for the singer: the Summer Of ‘69 riff is a dog to play without open strings, for instance.
    • Changing the timbre: especially on acoustic and on 12-string. Here Comes The Sun wants a capo on VII to get as near Harrison’s bright ringing arpeggios as you can: or we do Losing My Religion with a 12-string capo’d at V for a fair rendering of the mandolin part.
    A capo is a tool, not a crutch, and I am happy to use one on any guitar.
     
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  14. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ordinarily, I sort of let the whole "capo is a crutch" thing slide, because, jimmy crack corn, really.

    ...but, c'mon, Albert Collins, Bo Diddley, Keith Urban, Gatemouth Brown, David Lindley, John Hartford, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Norman Blake, Ry Cooder, Tony Rice...even B. B. King (ok, at a very early age) and on, and on, all "cheaters", poseurs, false-prophets. Yeah?

    No.

    Ok, have your opinions, but really, who cares? I get the jazz players and anyone else who doesn't want to be fenced in. And yeah, we all gots a capo built into our own hands. It's an index finger, but everyone has to make their own choices and that's the good news, really.

    the photos are out there, if you are that much of a student, you'd have already seen this.

    <rant accompli>
     
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  15. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a capo a fair amount, for the same usual situations:

    - to adjust pitch to my voice, or using one as I'm covering a tune if one was used by original artist ( Bob Dylan, early solo stuff as an example, ,John Prine too!)

    - use one in bluegrass playing where the songs' real pitches are say D or E but you 'play C position' with capo;
    or similarly, songs whose pitch is A or Bb or B, but you 'play in G' position, with capo-
    It's a traditional thing...

    - when doing a duo gig with another acoustic guitar player; one of us may use a capo just to change up chord voicing!

    Capos are cool!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  16. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Holic

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    Only when I'm setting up my guitars and checking the neck relief.
     
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  17. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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    Situation dictates. I use it on Mr. Bojangles. We do it in Bm and the riff requires it. On another song in Cm the singer capos but I play it open. Same on Troubadour. I play it in open B.
     
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  18. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Holic

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    I use a capo whenever the song was written with a capo, or when I need to change the key to my range without making the song more complex.
     
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  19. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    I rarely write music & so I've never written anything needing a capo.

    I use them when it becomes obvious that song I'm trying to play was written using a capo.

    Otherwise no. Nothing against them just almost never needed for what I do.
     
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  20. mfguitar

    mfguitar Tele-Holic

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    In modern country you almost have to, a lot of bands tune 1/2 step lower so I tune a 1/2 lower but then sometimes you need the open string sound in a traditional key and I capo up ( in addition to all the reasons above) And, when did capos start costing $25 and more?
     
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