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Thread: Tuning up

  1. #26
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuning up

    Going back to the OP, Ed made clear that his reasons for not using capo did not have to do with "rules" or "cheating." He doesn't like using capos.

    "Aside from the perceived shunning of 'real mandolin players don't use capos', neither he nor I like using a capo on the mando for multiple reasons that only have to do with playing."
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  2. #27
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuning up

    the capo type was made for Banjos, the 4 of 5 or a tenor. they tend to have flat fingerboards..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  3. #28
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuning up

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    For some reason, no one seems to take exception to a picker using a capo on a mandola, octave mandolin, bouzouki, or mandocello.

    Yet, I'd assume that the same "you oughta learn to play melody and chords in every key" admonishment, should apply equally to other instruments in the mando family.

    Further, no one seems to criticize if you put a capo on your banjo, guitar, resonator guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, baritone uke, etc. I've seen regular ukulele players use capos, as well.

    Yet whenever someone starts one of these threads, the same critique emerges. Yes, a truly expert, virtuosic mandolinist will be able to play fluidly in E flat, melody and chords, without considering using a "cheater," as one of my guitarist friends insisted on calling his capo. Fifty years after I first took up mandolin, I'm still not that mandolinist, and will never be.

    I seldom find I need to capo a mandolin, but when I do, I attach my capo with a clear conscience. It's just another tool, no opprobrium involved for using it. Check your tuning with the capo on, don't over-tighten it and force your strings sharp, remember the fretboard dots are in different places, play-don't-worry!
    As usual I agree with you Allen, but when I put a capo on my mandolin I just canít play it. It interferes with my fretting hand. I have a banjo capo. Is there some other kind that wonít impede my left hand?

  4. #29
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuning up

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ostrander View Post
    As usual I agree with you Allen, but when I put a capo on my mandolin I just can’t play it. It interferes with my fretting hand. I have a banjo capo. Is there some other kind that won’t impede my left hand?
    There are mandolin/ukelele capos, but I find them uncomfortable for my fretting hand. They would be smaller than banjo capos though.I bought one of the shelf at Long & McQuade, the big music chain in Canada, but they probably come from an American company.

    Added: My capo says "D'Addario" so it shouldn't be hard to find a similar one.
    Last edited by Ranald; Nov-23-2020 at 7:21pm. Reason: additional info
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  5. #30
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tuning up

    Here's the D'Addario mandolin/ukelele capo:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here, I'm playing a two-finger G chord, raised to an A by the capo, with no problem:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here, I'm playing a two-finger D chord, raised to E by the capo. This one is awkward, as I have to work my hand around the protruding screw (see picture 1):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    However, I have arthritic hands and a plate in my wrist, so my problem may not be your problem.

    They're inexpensive, about twenty bucks. If anyone buys one to experiment with, and it doesn't work out, you won't spend the rest of your life regretting the purchase.
    Last edited by Ranald; Nov-23-2020 at 11:52pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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