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Aug 1, 2020 - 1:39:55 PM
2 posts since 11/23/2017

What is the simplest capo to use, and please provide a link. I'm on my last high G string. (Newbee Mike)

thanks as always.  

Aug 1, 2020 - 1:43:49 PM



52 posts since 7/10/2017

This product looks to be the simplest answer. My 76 Gibson RB250 has a sliding 5th string capo though so I have to admit I don't own one of these.

Aug 1, 2020 - 1:52:02 PM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)


24645 posts since 8/3/2003

I'd install rr spikes or have someone who knows how do it for me if I didn't think I had the expertise. May not be the simplest, but is definitely the best.

Other than that, what cwatt22 said above would probably work.

Aug 1, 2020 - 1:54:44 PM
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180 posts since 8/11/2015

If you are handy with tools you can put in some railroad spikes:
They are definitely easy to use as they are always on your fretboard and you simply slide the string under one of them. The string is then fretted at the fret and not at the capo which makes the sound match the other strings. But obviously, while extremely easy to use, they are a lot less easy to install.

I was skeptical at first and didn’t like the idea of nailing something into the fretboard but after buying an expensive 5th string capo that sounds awful on all of my banjos and then attempting to make a different one out of hardwood (it sounded even worse) I took the railroad spike plunge and they are great!

Aug 1, 2020 - 2:29:02 PM

13117 posts since 10/30/2008

I have an old Vega open back and I didn't want to fuss around installing RR spikes myself. All my other banjos have spikes put in by a pro luthier, but with no travel during the pandemic I didn't want to mar up this nick old banjo while learning to do it myself.

So I got Strum Hollow capo as mentioned above, mail order. It's cheap, it works. A little bulkier than I would like, but there you go. I store it clamped on the 3rd string up on the peghead.

Aug 1, 2020 - 2:49:08 PM
Players Union Member



24 posts since 9/30/2016

Originally posted by cwatt22

This product looks to be the simplest answer. My 76 Gibson RB250 has a sliding 5th string capo though so I have to admit I don't own one of these.

I own one of these and I like it. You just don't want to over-tighten it so you won't break the string. Works well.

Aug 1, 2020 - 3:04:54 PM

976 posts since 1/9/2012

The "Strum Hollow' sold for years as the "Reagan 5th String Capo" (pat. 355,668, 1993). You can use that name to find many more reviews. Loosing it is one common complaint. You can attach it to your 2nd string in the middle of the peg head, and it won't go anywhere.

Aug 1, 2020 - 3:33:25 PM



299 posts since 1/29/2006

This works surprisingly well until you get a permanent solution:

Aug 1, 2020 - 7:23:14 PM

609 posts since 11/21/2018

the "strum hollow" worked for me until I got spikes. It can still be used between the spikes if need be so can remain a useful tool for jams.

Aug 2, 2020 - 3:29:48 AM

Bill H


1329 posts since 11/7/2010

I can't get that darn clamp-on capo to work on any of my banjos. As a mostly old time player I never need to tune the fifth string above A. I have spikes on steel string banjos and just tune up on nylon string instruments.

Aug 2, 2020 - 5:54:48 AM

94 posts since 4/28/2019

I've nothing new to add, but just wanted to say I own the same one mentioned by cwatt22 and agree it's about as easy to use as it gets! It works as advertised, and I store it out of the way on a string above the nut on my open back.

Aug 6, 2020 - 5:40:05 PM

156 posts since 10/4/2018

If you have regular sized hands, you might like a sliding capo. If you have undersized hands, you might not like them. I got rid of the spikes on my banjo and never looked back. I'm not going to sell my banjo, so the screw holes in the neck for the sliding capo don't bother me a bit. Spikes work fine, but if I didn't have the Shubb sliding capo, I would probably use the Strum Holler capo though, because I don't at all like the feel of spikes while I'm fretting the 5th with my thumb or fingers, and the sliding tuner allows you to capo up to all the frets along the length of the slider.

Edited by - Good Buddy on 08/06/2020 17:44:29

Aug 6, 2020 - 6:22:10 PM

56 posts since 12/5/2015

Spikes 100%.

They are effective, cost efficient, easy to fix if they bust loose. This way you don't have to keep track of and carry an extra SMALL piece of equipment.

I have installed them on several of my banjos. I bought H/O railroad spikes and 3 drill bits to fit their size. **I had to also buy a special chuck for my Dremel to fit the super small diameter of the drill bits. I put the drill bit in the chuck in the Dremel and pre-drilled the hole using my hand to spin the Dremel. I put tape on the bit to tell me when to stop drilling. Once I had a pilot hole, I turned the Dremel on low.

I now pay to have this done.

I have installed about 20-30 and have only drilled through the neck on one banjo....fortunately it was my banjo.

Aug 6, 2020 - 8:13:37 PM

13117 posts since 10/30/2008

Paul Perkins, yup, I drilled through the fingerboard and neck of my banjo the first time I tried to put spikes in myself!

Aug 6, 2020 - 8:50:48 PM

55095 posts since 12/14/2005

No need for a POWER drill for a spike hole.

Tape is good for marking the depth, but if you drill through a little scrap of wood, so that just enough of the bit protrudes, it is physically impossible to drill too far.

PM me your address, and I'll mail you half a dozen spikes.

Aug 12, 2020 - 1:04:27 PM

22 posts since 8/4/2018

Yep, get the spikes. Mike G. graciously sent me some spikes, and I installed my own, first practicing on a scrap piece of cherry I had laying around. I put one on my first banjo I still had/have, an el cheapo model, and it went fine. Then I put them on my Goldtone. They work great! Watch a few videos and have at it.

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