I keep a capo in my case just for folkie singers!
I keep a capo in my case just for folkie singers!
I don't use a capo, but I have six mandolins and keep each of them in a different tuning. If you know four chords, you can play bluegrass on each instrument in two keys.
I understand why in some circles (bluegrass, jazz etc) it would be frowned upon given our intstrument's four finger closed chord capabilities. I do think however a shorter scale can impart a pleasing tone, and therefore perfectly acceptable especially when one is as Jake suggests after particular voicings of chords.
I would imagine trying to pull off something like Girl You Want by Devo out in it's original key (E) on a mandolin would become much more troublesome without the aid of a capo.
Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.
The capo said to the neck:
Are you ready to go all to Heck?
The neck, she just smiled
And said, a bit mild:
You sure aint no Jeff Beck.
Use em if you got em
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Paul Newson Single Cutaway Custom "The Yiddish Mandolin"
Grandmom's solid mahogany teen's no-name bent top
I am self taught, Mandolin is my primary instrument. I have always refused to play guitar, everyone plays guitar. I never use a CAPO on Mandolin.
I bought a Tenor banjo which I play in limited keys, since I don't like to stretch much beyond what I need to for mandolin. I also have a tenor guitar. I consider these instruments to be an extension of my mandolin playing.
I was given a Kayser Banjo CAPO and have liked using it. For the first time I can play in D.
I don't use one, but the only way I judge other folks music is with my ears.
If someone uses one to create good music, what's the problem?
Like I said, I prefer not to use one on my mando--in part because I'm still trying to learn all the permutations of playing up the fretboard, and I think a capo would lead me to take shortcuts. That said, I'm using a capo more than ever on my guitar (which I'm not very good at), and I'm finding it opens up a whole world of possibilities for me as a slide it up the neck.
"Are capos cheating?"
That's kinda like asking, "is playing in tune cheating?" If it is, I wish some folks would cheat a little bit and tune up!
Guitar is my main axe, and I have many capos and I use them. Can I play without them? Yep, but I use them because I want to, not to please or displease someone else.
I don't use one on the mandolin because I think I need to become a better player before using a capo. You don't see many of the pros using one, but if it floats your boat, cranks your tractor, etc., by all means use one.
2005 Rigel G5 #2196
2005 Phoenix Jazz #400
1988 Jeff Traugott Acoustic #4
2012 Eastman 905 Archtop Guitar, BLOND!
Remember to grin while you pick, it throws folks off!
I played with a mandolin capo for the first time last week; weird experience. I'd have rather just found the right note to start with and figured it out on the fly, but the singer (a guitarist) insisted that I use a capo and found one for me, so I was kind of honor-bound to use it -- for melody, of all things. I'm not rushing out to find one anytime soon.
That being said, I do have issues with the whole "cheating" kind of thing, as if there is a single standard ordained by a higher power and any deviation is a sin or something. I don't see music as a "game" that you can "cheat" on to "win." I admit to being horribly non-competitive, so the whole "win" thing isn't a driving focus for my life, though. Not that I see my music as a competition that needs to be won, come to think of it.
1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
2011 Eastman MD305
I play a long-neck "Pete Seeger style" banjo a lot of the time (well, it's an old Regal tenor "pot" with a home-made neck, not a Vega or Gibson), and the capo's almost never off the neck. On mandolin, I use a capo once in a blue moon, but it is a part of my arsenal. On mandola, Octofone and mandocello, I use capos regularly. To me it's not an ethical or competency issue, just one of specific musical choice in a particular situation.
Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
Natl Triolian Dobro mando
Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
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Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
Flatiron 3K OM
I've never felt the need to capo my guitar; if necessary I'll use barre chords or "trick" chords. I had a couple books on open chords up the neck on guitar; Guitar Tricks and More Guitar Tricks. These show how to play many standard chords in multiple positions up the neck, while using open strings. Gives that open, ringing sound without the stigma and disgrace of a capo. I loaned those books to the kid across the street when I took up with mando over guitar (who's cheating now?)
That said, I keep a capo in every mando case, for those jams when the guitar player insists on playing with a capo; sometimes I'm too lazy to mentally transpose his capo and chord shape to mandolese, so I just capo as well and try to cope-o with the shorter scale length. I don't really like the sound of a capo'ed mando, but I do it anyway when lazy.
The Sterner Capo Museum illustrates the long history of the capo.
5 frets--that's a lot of capo on Gillian's neck. And Ricky's.
My gtr player sometimes wants to capo because he claims it's easier for him to sing in F#. Makes it a pain for me, but I guess that's my deficiency as a player.
Strange how Gillian taps her foot. Kind of a circular, cross-tapping style...in granny shoes.
Anybody know how WSM tapped?
I've never used one on the mandolin. I very rarely use them on the guitar.
However, three weeks ago I showed up at a guitar gig where the singer presented me a notebook full of tunes (many of which I'd never heard). Then she informed me that she doesn't sing any of the songs in the key they're written in.
That night I was happy to have a capo!
It's just that there ain't much neck left when you capo up . [like at the 5th fret],
and the damn thing is in the way to play the 1st fret on the E string with your index finger..
writing about music
is like dancing,
"Babe, I got you babe......"
"Wake up, campers.......it's COLD OUTSIDE.........!"
I stepped up on the platform, the man gave me the news;
He said: "You must be joking son, where did you get those shoes...."
"Your man doesn't sound so good!!"
Miles Davis to his drummer (ignoring guitarist John Scofield, who he had just brought in for an audition)
I saw a bluegrass group play once. The guitar player at one point held up his capo to the audience and said: "See this little doohickey folks? This thing saves YEARS of music lessons!".
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