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Thread: Capo for an octave

  1. #1

    Default Capo for an octave

    When I began playing mandolin a while back (wow - a decade ago based on my join date at the cafe) my wife wanted to support my new hobby so on some subsequent gift-giving day like my birthday or Father’s Day, she bought me this capo based on a recommendation from someone somewhere. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was unlikely to ever get any use out of it and simply thanked her profusely, and tucked it away for what I thought was the duration. Fast forward to today, with my Eastman MDO305 in hand I began working on the first tune in Joe K. Walsh’s octave mandolin course at Peghead Nation, which requires - you guessed it, a capo. Darned if I wasn’t able to locate that Kyser banjo capo (tucked in the storage compartment of a ukulele case) and additionally darned if it didn’t work just right! I don’t think it will go on very far up the neck, but then I am not sure I would ever need it to.

    What do others use as capos for their octaves?

    Here’s a pic with a standard Kyser for size comparison:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

  2. #2

    Default Re: Capo for an octave

    I use Paige capos that store on the neck…for no particular reason other than they store on the neck and I don't have to search around for one. They work well for me and I dont get any fret buzz with them. I also have a Schubb for my guitar that I really like…when I can find it…
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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  4. #3
    Mandolin Player trodgers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capo for an octave

    I use a capo quite a bit on my octave. Some keys are just finger busters on the longer scale octave, so I use it to get myself into more friendly positions. I enjoy the opportunities to utilize open strings as drones in keys that would otherwise be closed up in 3 and 4 finger chords.

    And of course, I use a capo to take good advantage of the free mandola that comes shipped within every octave mandolin. Seems like lately I've been playing a lot of my secret mandola.
    “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.” -- Aldo Leopold

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  6. #4
    Registered User Drew Egerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capo for an octave

    I picked up a Shub capo from Northfield for use on my flat top octave. I never capo on mandolin but for the octave I do think it makes sense depending on the song and what you're going for.
    https://www.northfieldinstruments.co...hubb-c1-capo-1
    Drew
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  8. #5
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capo for an octave

    I use a D'Addario Planet Waves NS (I think they call it the "Pro Capo" now?) on my octave. I also use it on my acoustic guitars, so there is a little overhang on the OM's narrower neck but it doesn't bother me.

    What I like about the design is that it's small and out of the way. I don't hit it with my hand. It's slow to attach and remove, so not good if you need a fast switch for different keys in a set of tunes. I only use my OM at home for the slower tunes as a solo instrument, not for sessions, so for me that's not an issue.

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Capo for an octave

    The more I use that little Kyser the more I like it. I used Kysers on my guitars for ages. Then a couple of years ago I discovered the new Shubb fine tune capos and have used them ever since (but I still kept my Kysers as backups). The Kyser banjo capo has just the right amount of spring force to hold the strings down on the octave without buzzing and without pulling it out of tune. I’ve tried it up to the 5th fret and it works fine, so I’ve discovered the free mandola that was shipped with my octave, trogers!
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

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  12. #7
    Registered User zoukboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capo for an octave

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskygirl View Post
    I use Paige capos that store on the neck…for no particular reason other than they store on the neck and I don't have to search around for one. They work well for me and I dont get any fret buzz with them. I also have a Schubb for my guitar that I really like…when I can find it…
    D'Addario Planet Waves Tri-Action capo:

    https://www.daddario.com/products/ac...i-action-capo/
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  14. #8
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capo for an octave

    My favourite capo is a very cheap guitar capo that I cut to the width of the 8th fret of my octave, then removed the spring and cut that to 2/3 before replacing it again. Then I cut down the two levers as well. Right size, right pressure, I love it.

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