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Will a Paige capo help to avoid sharp notes?

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Jul 6, 2020 - 7:16:51 AM

Jelle

Netherlands

224 posts since 5/28/2012

Quick question; would a paige capo like this one avoid sharp notes better than a regular (adjustable) shubbs?

eaglemusicshop.com/prod/banjo-...scription

The shubbs constantly pulls my fourth string sharp, I think because it applies more pressure on that side due to the mechanism. The paige seems to apply equal pressure to all strings, because it's pulling from the middle. Is this correct?

Jul 6, 2020 - 7:27:07 AM
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3385 posts since 7/12/2006

In my travels down the capo road,the fretpaw capo does the best job of keeping the strings in tune . as long as your banjo is in tune from the start ,and your neck is decent, it will be a rare thing to have to retune after capoing. They aren't sleek looking and may take getting used to moving it around, but its well worth the effort.

Edited by - stanleytone on 07/06/2020 07:27:54

Jul 6, 2020 - 7:39:22 AM
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13108 posts since 10/30/2008

You can't really tell until you try one. The screw method IS easier/quicker to "fine tune" how tight it is. But once it's "tight enough" I don't think a Paige is all that different from a Shubb. I use mostly Shubbs, by far. As close to the fret as possible without being on top of the fret. To minimize stretching the string down.

What is your banjo? Have you measured the 4th string action height above the 1st and 4th frets? The first thing I suspect is the 4th string nut slot might not be deep enough.

Most of my Mastertones, whether factory 5 string or conversions, go a "little" sharp on the 4th and 3rd strings when capoed. Some worse than others. You learn to squash down on them a bit over the head to flatten them. And you learn to use the minimum capo pressure that gives you a clear ringing note -- no more. One thing I learned from a Bill Evans class, DON'T retune with your tuning peg when you have a capo on. It just starts a vicious circle of adjusting.

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:21:33 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24632 posts since 8/3/2003

I have tried both Paige and Shubb and I think they both do a good job, but I prefer the Shubb because you can capo up to the 5th fret to play in C. I sing a lot in C.

Part of the problem may be your banjo. As Dick asked: what kind do you have? An entry level banjo will be much more difficult to capo up and stay in tune than an intermediate and a high end banjo will be easier to capo up and stay in tune than either the entry or intermediate level banjos. That's just a general idea of what is normal. Some banjos stay in tune better than others.

When I capo, I put my finger across the strings below where I'm going to capo and apply just a little pressure as I put the capo on. That will sometimes stop it from being sharp. Again, according to the banjo.

And lastly, I almost always end up tweeking just a tiny bit where it sounds the best to me.

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:21:56 AM

beegee

USA

21758 posts since 7/6/2005

I use Paige capos on most of my banjos. I have no problems with them pulling notes sharp.

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:37:29 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

12183 posts since 6/30/2015
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I have a Rickard, which has a thicker neck than most banjos, and certainly thicker than my Deering. The Shub does pull my 4th, and sometimes 3rd sharp and the Paige does not. Using the Paige above the 3rd fret becomes more of a challenge, and it cannot be used above the 5th. Your mileage may vary.

I also like that the tension on the Paige is adjustable, so like your fingers, you only need to apply as much pressure as needed to get a clear tone. This also helps keep you from pulling sharp. Spring loaded capos put a lot of pressure on the strings, those, and 5th string spikes all seem to pull slightly sharp for me.

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:51:05 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

12183 posts since 6/30/2015
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quote:
Originally posted by The Old Timer



Most of my Mastertones, whether factory 5 string or conversions, go a "little" sharp on the 4th and 3rd strings when capoed. Some worse than others. You learn to squash down on them a bit over the head to flatten them. And you learn to use the minimum capo pressure that gives you a clear ringing note -- no more. One thing I learned from a Bill Evans class, DON'T retune with your tuning peg when you have a capo on. It just starts a vicious circle of adjusting.


Dick, can you explain what you mean by "squash down on them". 

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:55:23 AM

3192 posts since 5/29/2011

I use both Shubb and Paige with good results. The advantage to the Paige is that you have to adjust the tension each time you put it on the neck whereas the Shubb is set for one neck. If you change banjos with a Shubb you have to readjust the setting, then adjust it back when you put it on the original banjo, and so forth. Kind of like using Keith tuners, but that's another story.
I don't store my Paige capos above the nut like most people do. When I put it on the neck I place it halfway between the frets, tighten it down firmly, but not completely tight, then slide it up to the fret where I am capoing to. I hope that made sense.
I find that using this technique I don't have to retune as much. With a Shubb I tend to retune a little more.

Jul 6, 2020 - 10:10:03 AM

1984 posts since 1/10/2004

There's little difference. Shubb is a bit more fiddly and may pull the strings laterally if carelessly applied. Sharp notes depends more on the specific banjo's setup and proper placement of the capo.

Jul 6, 2020 - 10:10:26 AM

Jelle

Netherlands

224 posts since 5/28/2012

Interesting! My banjo is an Ome Tupelo, bought it two weeks ago. I found that using the capo upside-down works, since it doesn't apply as much pressure on the fourth string that way. I'll take a look at the slot in the nut and deepen if it's necessary!

Jul 6, 2020 - 10:43:48 AM

KCJones

USA

797 posts since 8/30/2012
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I've used a Shubb, Paige, and Planet Waves capo. The Shubb is a spare, the Paige is a spare. The Shubb sharpens notes, the Paige is bulky. I keep a Planet Waves in all my cases and replace them when lost. In my experience, the Planet Waves capo is the best because they're the lowest profile and don't sharpen notes. They can be fine tuned very easily. If you haven't tried one yet, pick one up and I bet you don't go back.

Edited by - KCJones on 07/06/2020 10:45:57

Jul 6, 2020 - 10:52:41 AM
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379 posts since 5/30/2016

I agree with Gary Bates. I love my FretPaw capo.

Jul 6, 2020 - 11:06:09 AM

beegee

USA

21758 posts since 7/6/2005

I have 2 Scruggs-Reuben capos that I prefer over all others. I just can't remember which banjos they are on. I seldom use a capo anymore. I find it easier to play barefoot.

Jul 6, 2020 - 11:19:07 AM

10 posts since 2/6/2018

Another fan of the Fretpaw. Not that hard to get used to, and performs as advertised.

Jul 6, 2020 - 12:02:54 PM
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13108 posts since 10/30/2008

DCS, the preferred way to adjust a sharp 4th or 3rd string when you're capoed in A, Bflat or B (for bluegrass) is to take the tip or pad of your index finger, in about the middle of the head, and push the string in question down quickly maybe halfway toward the surface of the head. This pulls the sharpness out of the string, without touching your tuning peg. With a little experience and familiarity you'll develop a feel for how much to "squash" the string down so you don't over-do it.

IF you over-do it, again, don't touch the tuning peg. With your left hand index or middle finger, reach up to the peghead and push down (gently) on the portion of the string in question that's between the nut and the tuning peg. This will pull a flat string up "slightly".

It works!

All you're really doing with this method is pulling out some of the tension that's built up between the capo and either the bridge or the nut. You don't change the tension/tuning of the open (un capoed) string. So when you take the capo off, your open G should still be in tune. Should be. Don't be violent about any of these "squashes".

Bill Evans explained this at a Banjo Camp, and said Sonny Osborne taught it to him. NEVER TOUCH THE TUNING PEGS or you're doomed.

Jul 6, 2020 - 12:16:04 PM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

12183 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

Thanks The Old Timer , That's what I get for only going to the Clawhammer sessions at BCN. Same should work for clawhammer, so I'll give it a try. Hate constantly tuning and re-tuning every time I put on or take off a capo.

Jul 6, 2020 - 12:27:14 PM

Jelle

Netherlands

224 posts since 5/28/2012

Some excellent advice The Old Timer ! Never heard of that technique before. If it works I will save some money, those paige capo's sure are expensive..

Jul 7, 2020 - 8:26:24 PM
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166 posts since 6/24/2019

I'm just starting out on banjo but have used a Paige capo since around 2002 on my guitars. I love mine. Never an issue with tuning. And being able to store it behind the nut is great imo. It's the original low profile model.

The design has a long history
.. sternercapo.se/Capomuseum/Yoke...e_scr.htm

Jul 9, 2020 - 4:03:02 PM
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1221 posts since 2/9/2007

I like Paige and Shubb capos about equally-- on guitar, but definitely favor the Paige (or other direct-screw-tension type like the old Scruggs-Reuben) on banjo.

I think it's mostly due to the lower string tension on a banjo, though neck shape may play a part, too. If I get a Shubb capo positioned and tensioned just right so it frets clearly but doesn't stretch the strings sharp, sometimes it is so precariously fastened that an inadvertent touch of my left hand will make the capo flip open and detach itself from the banjo.

Jul 9, 2020 - 5:27:30 PM

10793 posts since 10/27/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Jelle

Quick question; would a paige capo like this one avoid sharp notes better than a regular (adjustable) shubbs?

eaglemusicshop.com/prod/banjo-...scription

The shubbs constantly pulls my fourth string sharp, I think because it applies more pressure on that side due to the mechanism. The paige seems to apply equal pressure to all strings, because it's pulling from the middle. Is this correct?


Absolutely not. It's an interesting blend of marketing and nonsense.

Proper placement, however, will.

The correct placement for any capo is over the fret as close as you can get to the crown — without going over the middle. You will find it's impossible to pull a string sharp when it's placed there. With a Shubb, it takes a bit of practice to get it there one-handed while looking at the audience and giving a song introduction but once you get the knack, it becomes second nature.

Besides better intonation, you lessen fret wear caused by the sideways motion of the string when vibrating (that's the reason that string wear is always divots).

 

Try it. You'll see.

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