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Mar 1, 2021 - 8:55:20 AM
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742 posts since 7/4/2017

Just thought I'd post a picture of my fretless 'credit card' capo which I made to shorten the scale due to my small hands. It's made a world of difference for me, now the notes sort of 'fall under my fingers' without any awkward stretching or jumping my hand around.


 

Mar 1, 2021 - 9:03:37 AM

3674 posts since 5/29/2011

Interesting idea. I have seen Dobro capos that worked the same way.

Mar 1, 2021 - 9:12:38 AM
Players Union Member

janolov

Sweden

41000 posts since 3/7/2006

On this page there is a picture that shows an idea from 1887 how a fretless banjo capo should work http://www.sternercapo.se/Capomuseum/Special/5th_str_banjo/5th%20str%20banjo.htm

You need an ordinary capo and some kind of bar that would work as a a fret or mobile nut.

Edited by - janolov on 03/01/2021 09:12:55

Mar 1, 2021 - 11:05:03 AM

1735 posts since 6/2/2010

You could do the same thing by just moving the bridge the same distance (as the capo is from the nut) closer to the neck.

You would then have the same shorter scale length without using a capo.

Mar 1, 2021 - 11:15:16 AM

AndyW

UK

742 posts since 7/4/2017

quote:
Originally posted by maneckep

You could do the same thing by just moving the bridge the same distance (as the capo is from the nut) closer to the neck.

You would then have the same shorter scale length without using a capo.


I have moved the bridge closer to the centre.  The scale has gone from nominal 26.25 inches with the bridge in the 'normal' position to 23.5 inches.  Bridge is now about .75 inches from centre.  Even with the bridge bang centre the capo would be required.

Mar 1, 2021 - 11:17:03 AM
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AndyW

UK

742 posts since 7/4/2017

The idea wasn't my own I must admit. It's lurking in the depths of archived threads, but I can't remember the name of the person who suggested it.

I was a bit wary of buying a fretless with my small hands so had researched this before.  If I ever come into money I'll get a short scale instrument luthier made, that's the sort of difference the ease of playing is compared to without the capo.

Fretless are a bit difficult to source in the uk.

Edited by - AndyW on 03/01/2021 11:19:59

Mar 1, 2021 - 11:26:58 AM
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mbanza

USA

2319 posts since 9/16/2007

Something like this?


 

Mar 1, 2021 - 12:21:23 PM
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Oldtimian

Czech Republic

31 posts since 5/26/2019

Hey guys!

I play almost exclusively fretless banjos and found few working ways how to put capo on them. Inspired by dobro capo, here is my homemade capo that works well on fretless banjo. Distance between capo and "false nut" (as I call it) is optional, but longer is easier to put on, shorter got better press strings onto "false nut". No notches are needed strings hold on their place without problems...

"False nut" is made of brass, coated with plastic shrink wrap (could be done better) to prevent damage of fingerboard and gut strings.






Mar 1, 2021 - 12:29:23 PM
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Oldtimian

Czech Republic

31 posts since 5/26/2019

Even more simple is what I call "hobo capo style" is using normal capo with "false nut" made of common double-sided toothpick. You simply cut or break off pointy ends and put it on fingerboard. It it held purely by pressure of strings and works super well. You WILL loose that toothpick often, but you can always make another one in second....

On photo with my old Czechoslovakian guitar capo, couldn't find my banjo capo anywhere...


 

Mar 1, 2021 - 12:41:30 PM
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Oldtimian

Czech Republic

31 posts since 5/26/2019

For this banjo I even used same way to capo fifth string. Along the fingerboard I got few holes (for where I put capo most) reinforced with brass tube inside. Then I use this "thingy" made of brass to capo fifth string and use small pin to hold it on place. One side of "thingy" press string down, other side create "false pip". I cut off piece of shrink wrap for better sound of fifth string. It works great, do not obstruct left hand much and it never fell off during playing. Only issue is that "thingy" and pin is super easy to loose so I put it in small zip bag which is easier to find...

Over the years I use capo less and less and mostly go for different tuning to get to right key. But for jam sessions it is always easier to use capo...






 

Edited by - Oldtimian on 03/01/2021 12:48:46

Mar 2, 2021 - 7:11:42 AM
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52 posts since 8/31/2015

Here's a post from a while back about a capo/movable bone nut setup I made for my fretless Bart Reiter. I much prefer using this setup over tuning up to A/D

banjohangout.org/archive/350453


 

Mar 2, 2021 - 7:48:43 AM

3382 posts since 4/29/2012

This thread gave me an idea. I have a Perfect Pitch capo which I foolishly bought some years ago. Never use it as it's no better than a Shubb and harder to use. But I just tried it on my Nylgut strung Matthew fretless and it works fine. It has a plate that goes under the strings with a slight lip on the leading edge.

Mar 2, 2021 - 1:10:07 PM

AndyW

UK

742 posts since 7/4/2017

quote:
Originally posted by mbanza

Something like this?


If that's yours it's probably you I copied.  Thanks for the tip.

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