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Bending with a capo on

dancehall

Member
Messages
1,992
I play very often with a capo. On whole-step or above bends, especially lower on the fretboard, strings tend to get caught up by the capo and not return to their original position. Is there an easy solution that I haven't figured out yet? Luckily I don't solo much, but it would be nice to add in a bit...
 

sfletch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
555
The first thing you might consider is the type of capo you're using. For an electric guitar, I think that you want an adjustable tension capo (like a Shubb or a Planet waves NS - my favorite, or a G7 capo). You obviously don't want to pull the guitar sharp when capo'ing it. I am not a fan of Kyser-type capos on electric guitar - as they just want to clamp down pretty hard. Also some capos are made with more of a radius to match electric guitar necks which are often 7"-10" radii, etc. The advantage of a radiused capo is that it may grip all the strings across the neck more evenly, which might prevent some of the slippage you're talking about.

As far as just going with it on the gig, it's always going to be a compromise. Even with a capo that you think is perfect, there are going to be times when you bend up and the string kind of stays there. In those cases, you just kind of quickly have to bend it back in place and hope it's still in tune. You can always give the sting a quick pull with your right hand in case there's any stored tension or slack behind the capo.

It's kind of like what guys deal with with tremolo bridges....but way less of a headache.

Hope some of that is useful. Albert Collins seems to have done fine with a capo wayyy up the neck and bending strings a lot. I think he wrapped his with electrical tape to help with that problem. Something like that.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,077
Didn't Albert Collins use the old style with the bungee cord?

I've seen Clapton do it with the bungee style. I think they both clamped them hard and tuned after setting the capo...so a dedicated guitar is best. Look for a live version of Holy Mother.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,997
Joe B has dedicated capoed guitars with Planet Waves NS.
Capoing the fret wire helps as compared to placing the capo between frets.
 

tulk1

Member
Messages
490
Capoing the fret wire helps as compared to placing the capo between frets.
We capo a lot!! Female singer, odd keys, transposed licks. :nuts And after way too many years of playing I just figured out the capo on the fret thing. So, a bit slow on my part, maybe. :bong And yeah, there is no perfect solution to bending when using a capo. Just compromises.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,997
We capo a lot!! Female singer, odd keys, transposed licks. :nuts And after way too many years of playing I just figured out the capo on the fret thing. So, a bit slow on my part, maybe. :bong And yeah, there is no perfect solution to bending when using a capo. Just compromises.
Same boat. Female lead country. So, capo 4 on a tele is common.
Whenever I start a gig, I have up to 4 shubbs in my left back pocket.
I try to work our guitar swaps where the first song with a new guitar I the set starts with a capo and have it clamped and tuned at the start of the set.
 

vibrasonic

Member
Messages
1,869
I use the shub. When I put the capo on I pull the strings up one at a time then retune. Works for me
 

BBSuggs

Member
Messages
1,129
No guarantees, but reach back on the tuning key side of the nut and press down on the string (preferably while muted). This may help reset back to the original position.
 

dancehall

Member
Messages
1,992
The first thing you might consider is the type of capo you're using. For an electric guitar, I think that you want an adjustable tension capo (like a Shubb or a Planet waves NS - my favorite, or a G7 capo). You obviously don't want to pull the guitar sharp when capo'ing it. I am not a fan of Kyser-type capos on electric guitar - as they just want to clamp down pretty hard.
Yeah, I use the Shubb, not a fan of the hard clamping ones but sometimes I think those would hold the strings in place better.

I'll try the capo-on-fret thing!
 






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