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 Playing Advice: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Bending/Choking strings while playing with a capo


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/361386

jmanjet - Posted - 02/21/2020:  08:03:29


I found this old topic banjohangout.org/archive/215924 about bending/choking strings while playing with a capo and the strings slipping under the capo. I would like some opinions on this if anyone has experienced this with different capos and what you have done to solve it. I'm using a kat-eyz brass capo with some real soft surgical latex tubing and I'm having the problem of strings moving under the capo when bending the strings a whole step. I know capos have been discussed quite a bit here, but I'm really looking for info on this particular topic. Thanks!

Texasbanjo - Posted - 02/21/2020:  08:49:30


I've never had a problem with the strings slipping under the capo. Maybe because when I am choking the strings, it's on up the neck far enough to not impact the strings close to the capo. I use a Shubb capo.

Lew H - Posted - 02/21/2020:  09:30:22


With the capo at the 2nd fret, I do some bending on the 3rd fret, 3rd and 4th strings. I haven't had the strings move sideways under the capo. However, if I don't bend the strings first to get the tension balanced above and below the capo, they will go flat. My capo is a D'Adarrio / Planet Waves, which I screw down pretty tight.

monstertone - Posted - 02/21/2020:  09:31:29


Sonny Osborne would be the one to ask, as he was most always capoed. You can reach him on the "I ordered the Osborne Chief" thread in the Shopping Advice section.

kat eyz - Posted - 02/21/2020:  10:42:39


You mention using some "real soft" tubing ....the original tubing on a kat eyz capo is not what i would consider real soft ....is your capo sleeve different from what the capo came with? ..if so this maybe the problem .....also placing the capo real close behind the fret usually helps with traction.

Mooooo - Posted - 02/21/2020:  10:56:47


I just did an experiment with 4 capos. I pre-stressed all of them before attaching the capos by pushing down on the strings and then releasing them after locking (tightening) the capos.

1. Shubb Fine-Tune Banjo Capo - stayed in tune, no movement of strings after choking each of them repeatedly on the 2nd fret (in relation to the capo).

2. Keyser Spring-loaded Mandolin Capo - stayed in tune, no movement of strings....etc.

3. Keyser Spring-loaded Guitar Capo - stayed in tune...etc...

4. Planet Waves NS - came slightly out of tune, string closest to the open side of capo remained bent after release (I tried attaching it both ways with the same results).



I only use the Shubb and the Planet Waves on my banjo, and the results don't bother me. I don't choke the strings so close to the capo on the 1st and 4th strings anyway, and the 3rd string returned to position and didn't fall out of tune on the Planet Waves (or any of the others). I only use the planet waves very rarely on the 5th and maybe once a year on the 7th fret.



The Keyser Capos did surprise me, both staying in tune when they were attached and for the bending experiment.


Edited by - Mooooo on 02/21/2020 11:03:47

jmanjet - Posted - 02/21/2020:  11:55:40


Thanks everyone for your replies!

Mike, no I don't have the original tubing as I used it up a while back. Can I buy more from you?

jmanjet - Posted - 02/21/2020:  11:58:11


quote:Originally posted by MoooooI just did an experiment with 4 capos. I pre-stressed all of them before attaching the capos by pushing down on the strings and then releasing them after locking (tightening) the capos.

1. Shubb Fine-Tune Banjo Capo - stayed in tune, no movement of strings after choking each of them repeatedly on the 2nd fret (in relation to the capo).

2. Keyser Spring-loaded Mandolin Capo - stayed in tune, no movement of strings....etc.

3. Keyser Spring-loaded Guitar Capo - stayed in tune...etc...

4. Planet Waves NS - came slightly out of tune, string closest to the open side of capo remained bent after release (I tried attaching it both ways with the same results).



I only use the Shubb and the Planet Waves on my banjo, and the results don't bother me. I don't choke the strings so close to the capo on the 1st and 4th strings anyway, and the 3rd string returned to position and didn't fall out of tune on the Planet Waves (or any of the others). I only use the planet waves very rarely on the 5th and maybe once a year on the 7th fret.



The Keyser Capos did surprise me, both staying in tune when they were attached and for the bending experiment.



How are you prebending the strings?

Mooooo - Posted - 02/21/2020:  12:08:55


quote:

Originally posted by jmanjet

blah blah blah...



How are you prebending the strings?






I push all the strings down with my right hand while attaching the capo with my left, then I release the strings when I have the capo on. It's a good habit to get into because your strings won't pull sharp when you put on your capo. Just make sure you only tighten it enough to get a nice tone on all the strings and not so tight that they go sharp. This pre-stressing helps keep your banjo in tune when you bend the strings and when you put the capo on because you are essentially taking out the slack.


Edited by - Mooooo on 02/21/2020 12:12:13

jmanjet - Posted - 02/21/2020:  13:06:46


quote:

Originally posted by Mooooo

quote:

Originally posted by jmanjet

blah blah blah...



How are you prebending the strings?






I push all the strings down with my right hand while attaching the capo with my left, then I release the strings when I have the capo on. It's a good habit to get into because your strings won't pull sharp when you put on your capo. Just make sure you only tighten it enough to get a nice tone on all the strings and not so tight that they go sharp. This pre-stressing helps keep your banjo in tune when you bend the strings and when you put the capo on because you are essentially taking out the slack.






You push them down at the neck below the capo or at the head?

stanleytone - Posted - 02/22/2020:  09:49:52


the fretpaw capo seems to me to make my banjo feel most like it doesnt have a capo on it soundwise.

monstertone - Posted - 02/26/2020:  12:21:19


There is a lot more to using a capo than meets the eye. Capos have come a long way since the days of wooden pencils & rubber bands. And now that we have digital tuners that are super accurate, strings that are "slightly" out of tune become much more noticeable. There is a thread on the use of capo's in one of the forums, it's quite long & I'm sure this is covered somewhere in it. If not, you may get more opinions from all the people who have posted on that thread. It's the one where Sonny O adds his comments. Speaking of Sonny, and bending strings while capoed, have a listen to Sonny's work on Old Flames Cant Hold a Candle to You on the Hillbilly Fever album.

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