I guess the trick is to want to use a capo, but not to need to.
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Flatiron 3K OM
It looks like some of the capo-haters just aren't bothering to have the same discussion yet again.
I think it's unfair to use a term lie "capo-haters" is a loaded term to use for people who have reservations about capo use.
My capon was cheating .... A little further investigation would tell you that capons are physically incapable of cheating.
You need a capo when singers insist on using weird keys like Bb or Eb These are not weird keys.
"Take me back to 1953."
Gibson A Jr.
But...but...it's so gosh darned fun to look the guitar players in the eye and say, "Capos are for sissies", and then play an A-flat chord progression in closed position.
Gibson Jam Master F Standard #12
Gibson Model A #67336 ca. 1921
Trinity College TM-325 Octave Mandolin
keys in popular music. They sit very nicely on the mando in standard
(violin) positions. Capoing (or just moving your closed G and C positions 3 frets up the neck) deprives you of a lot of nice possibilties. Bb is probably my favorite key next to F.
I have a Shubb capo. I find I use it mostly when I change my strings, to keep the tail end tight while I wind.
I have a small Kyser that I love to put on my head stock, with my tuner, and a clothes pin, to make fun of my guitar playing friend who keeps two capos and a tuner up there.
I am absolutely astounded that you guys don't know the REAL reason for a mandolin capo. Its for checking the innotation down the neck !
And here I thought it was for holding the strings on the tailpiece while changing strings.
I never even thought of capoing my mandolin until I heard the spectacular guitarist Duke Levine use one on his mandolin. It was very nice and chimey sounding. I figured that if an uber musician like him could capo a mandolin without angst, I could, too. I guess that using a capo if you're a jazz guitarist is cheating, at least until a cool player like Bill Frisell or John Scofield does it and makes it okay for us to do it, too.
Your problem is, you think you have enough time.
If John McGann could win the Winfield mandolin competition playing with a capo on, I don't see how anyone can say it's a sin.
Nah, it's not cheating. It's a tradeoff. You pay the price of having a shorter range of notes to play in. And by shortening the scale your instrument was designed to have, you cut down its tone, resonance, and volume. There is no free lunch.
Doc Watson referred to his capo as "the little cheater bar", which I had always thought was the tavern where wee played occasionally.
There is life beyond pentatonic scales.
If they attach themselves to another mandolin, they are cheating. Otherwise, if they are true to you and accommodate your wishes, be grateful for their faithfulness and eagerness to please.
But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller
Furthering Mandolin Consciousness
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Rundgren and Rothberg occupying nearly one point in the space-time continuum; this on the occasion of her birthday 5/4
possibilities in open position, they also allow for some nice combinations of first and second positions. Recently I transcribed Slow Poke from a YouTube video with Pee Wee King. He sang it in G. I didn't like the range so I transposed it to Bb. Towards the end I play a descending sequence of Maj7 and m7 forms ending with a G9 form: b-f-a. I could never do that if I were to cut off the first two ore three frets. I really wish some people would get away from the notion of "strange" or "weird" keys. As Paul Anastasio once said, there are no hard keys, only unfamiliar ones.
As for jazz I've explained this a number of times before. The reason mainstream, i.e., essentially, bebop, guitarists don't use capos is that their use is absolutely pointless - it just cuts off that many frets from the fretboard. The thing with Frisell is that he sometimes does stuff that is very far removed from mainstream jazz, with drones and little or no harmonic motion, for which a capo provides the desired range. Using a capo consistently to reduce to a few keys is at any rate limiting. Unfortunately the OP
didn't really explain what the role of the acoustic guitars was and he never answered my question on a very puzzling point.
And, really, his post was not about mandolins.
Also consider this..If you are on a session with an artist, the producer wants to hear different timbers on a track..and then says to one of us.."how about capo up and change the timbre"...
What do we say.."no way dude, that's a sin"... ??
A capo is a tool, just like a hammer, if you use a hammer to knock in a screw, well...just like if you use a capo because you "can't play the chords"... Making music is never a sin, there are no rules. If I am using a capo and someone approaches me and tells me I am cheating or committing a sin , my response would be..." Thanks for the nice comments, glad you like the music"...
I carry Capo's ,Electronic tuners..all sorts of stuff to every gig...even a spare amp is in the van all the time...
I've been playing mando about 2 years. I am still, and will be for some time to come, struggling to put it all together in G, A, D, C and sometimes F. Tone, chord variants, riffs, breaks, Monroe style vs modern arpeggios-plenty here to work on and master. For me its just asking too much to cope with B, B flat and E as well. I'll get to those when I have the other keys under control. Meanwhile, I like to have fun at jams and make a contribution. I'm too old to be embarrassed by whipping out the capo and jumping into the fray. Beats shaking my head when the break comes around in a rockin' Monroe classic in B flat.
I guess I'm just high strung.
'94 Gibson F5-L
'11 Northfield Big Mon
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'78 Dobro Mandolin