Poly Capo :(

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
25,741
My new gig is going to require me to change tuning from Standard to Drop D to Eb tuning to drop C# and even Capo 1st fret for F.
What are my options?
Right now I'm learning Drop C# in standard tuning and Dropping the low E string, playing the riffs "relatively close" to the original.
Drop D I'm doing manual and hope these guys are willing to put like tuning songs in close proximity.
Capo 1st just not using open chords from the album, barring chords.
Maybe tune to Eb and CAPO1 for standard? Then Drop D might be a bitch.
But clearly this is going to get old quick.
Is the answer the damn FM9???
Or could the HXFX or Stomp do it if Poly Capo was it's main job?

Lead singer / acoustic player tunes to D and moves the CAPO around.
 
Last edited:

JasonE

Member
Messages
707
You are probably going to notice some lag and possibly some artifacts with drop C#. It may not be too drastic. My experience with doing it with a device is that it is a compromise. In the mix you won't ever be able to tell. As a player you may feel it. I had the tuning nightmares in one band I was in. I preferred to have a guitar set in that tuning. I was dragging 5 guitars to every gig. It was not a lot of fun with all of those guitar changes but the sound was where I wanted it and it sounded like it should.

I am also not a fan of a capo on an electric guitar. You have to get them placed just right. The thinner strings on an electric are easier to slightly bend out of tune if the capo isn't on exactly right. If you are doing it in a hurry, it can be a huge pain to adjust tuning if needed.

EDIT: For me trying multiple electronic devices, the farthest I could stand going down in tune was a whole step. Anything beyond that had just enough latency that I didn't like it.
 

dronerstone

Member
Messages
710
Drop D, not D Standard, right? That's really easy to achieve, even with an E Standard guitar, without any pitch shift.

I'd probably use a Digitech Drop to save DSP, depending on the situation, but it's doable by Poly Capo.

Eb -> shift from E Standard

Drop C# -> shift from Drop D

F -> either Poly Capo half a step up from E Standard, or use the Digitech Drop to go to C Standard, and the A string becomes F.

Fwiw, the Poly Capo sounds better when shifting down, for some reason. It even retains the pickup/guitar characteristics quite well, especially in a band mix.
 

sleewell2

Member
Messages
1,311
wow that's nuts. hope you are getting paid enough to bring a lot of guitars lol.

have you considered a variax with a helix product? i believe you can set presets with tunings for each string but am not sure how good it sounds or feels.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
25,741
You are probably going to notice some lag and possibly some artifacts with drop C#. It may not be too drastic. My experience with doing it with a device is that it is a compromise. In the mix you won't ever be able to tell. As a player you may feel it. I had the tuning nightmares in one band I was in. I preferred to have a guitar set in that tuning. I was dragging 5 guitars to every gig. It was not a lot of fun with all of those guitar changes but the sound was where I wanted it and it sounded like it should.

I am also not a fan of a capo on an electric guitar. You have to get them placed just right. The thinner strings on an electric are easier to slightly bend out of tune if the capo isn't on exactly right. If you are doing it in a hurry, it can be a huge pain to adjust tuning if needed.

Yea, I've CAPO'd electric quite a bit and it's a PITA. For a few tunes I don't have a choice and members recommended the G7th CAPO so I have one on order to test. Also my Tele's have FAT necks 1"-1" and my current CAPO is stretched to the limit.
I usually bring two guitars to gigs, I guess I could do one standard and one Eb. Then any Drop D (or C#) of course manually drop them... but I'll have to quick!
And hope I don't actually need a backup / break a string.
My overall concern is fully comitting to a process -- learning a Drop C# tune with guitar tuned to Eb and then for some reason have to change my approach.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
25,741
Does it involve open strings? If not, why not just transpose your key on guitar and play the chords/licks in the new key?

Yea, most of the modern country stuff showcases the riffs in Eb or more likely Drop C#.
Just like more traditional country used Drop D quite a bit.
Then something like Tyler Childers "Feathered Indians" is clearly CAPO5.
 

metropolis_4

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,670
My new gig is going to require me to change tuning from Standard to Drop D to Eb tuning to drop C# and even Capo 1st fret for F.
What are my options?
Right now I'm learning Drop C# in standard tuning and Dropping the low E string, playing the riffs "relatively close" to the original.
Drop D I'm doing manual and hope these guys are willing to put like tuning songs in close proximity.
Capo 1st just not using open chords from the album, barring chords.
Maybe tune to Eb and CAPO1 for standard? Then Drop D might be a bitch.
But clearly this is going to get old quick.
Is the answer the damn FM9???
Or could the HXFX or Stomp do it if Poly Capo was it's main job?

Lead singer / acoustic player tunes to D and moves the CAPO around.

I've been there before.

Honestly, I think your best bet is either a Variax or a guitar with a Roland GK pickup.

They're not perfect, but they will work WAY better than any of the pitch shifters out there.
 

KHAN

Member
Messages
4,520
If I get you right. You're saying:

Standard tuning with Drop D sometimes.

Eb Tuning with Drop C# sometimes.

Capo, which is obvious.

If I HAD to, I'd bring 2 guitars with Hipshot D tuners. 1 at std. One in Eb.

But what we did was tune all guitars to Eb, and just play everything the way the original was played.

So for SRV Crossfire, it will be in the original key of the record.

For things that are in A440, they will be a half step down from the original key.

The benefit is that it makes it easier for the singer. And it reduces the complexity.

Personally, I would have no interest in playing in a band that feels the need to play tuning hopscotch like that, unless it was a national act that had the budget to do it right. (Techs etc).

Using a capo on some songs wouldn't be an issue IMO.
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
24,852
I'm not bagging on you Gasp. Seriously. This whole mentality people have where we have to have 12 virtual capos and 37 alt tuning for a GD cover band is just ridiculous. If you are making that much GOOD money; get some extra guitars and learn how to pick songs in tunings that make sense to whittle down the rest of the "needs". You've been at this for a long time. Tell these jugband-wtf-ever-bumpkins what time it is!
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
24,852
no band is worth it. i thought we just tell ourselves this so we can buy new gear.
I mean; I wear stupid crap, rap using an Ipad as a teleprompter and play stupid trumpet crap on a flying V. So I get making "concessions" for things. But this whole mentality of "you guys are the roving karaoke machine; just tune to whereever my song muse takes me" is straight up dumb. Transpose, bring a curated "stable of guitars, pick other songs that make the most tuning sense or gtfo.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
25,741
I guess I didn't see where the Digitech Drop can actually drop a single string?
So it can drop me from E standard to drop D?
And it could drop another guitar from Eb standard to drop C#?
But it can't drop an E standard to Eb standard?
Or are you saying the opposite? Use it to drop from E standard to Eb standard and then if I have Drop D or Drop C# manually tune?
I would be willing to bring two guitars only because I always bring a backup. But if I need the backup in a pinch I'd have to choose the approach.
  • I just got the gig on Sunday and it was an audition / first rehearsal. They wanted me to learn 5, I learned the sh*t out of 10 and already new another 5.
  • Yes, the singer's pretty ****ing good! He probably does at least 125+ solo shows a year and now is building a band because he wants to do the full band thing.
  • We are already booked in the best venues, now I just need to learn everything and get tight with these guys.
  • I'm sure we can discuss some key changes, set list formation, etc. but I'm in no standing to start barking around orders LOL!
  • The whole reason I'm doing this is to PLAY GUITAR (and sing backing vocals). No more 'leading', booking, song choices, gear hauling, etc... I show up with my parts learned cold and play.
  • Standard pay is almost double what I paid myself booking my own gigs and has a lot of potential to be more.
  • I quit my own band about two hours ago to commit to this gig so I'm already "all-in"
 

rumbletone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,029
The most I’ve ever accommodated for live shows is one drop tuning that I can’t practically do on the fly (like Eb or ‘drop D plus Eb’, especially on a floating bridge…). If I need more than two 6-string electrics because they want it exactly like the original artist does it live, then they can supply a tech like the original artist does live :)

This is why there are no Sonic Youth cover bands.

All that said, I just joined a new band (haven’t had a first gig yet, due to COVID restrictions) and I’m already up to two 6-string electrics, mandolin, alto sax, likely acoustic guitar (though may share with singer or keyboardist), and possibly lap or pedal steel. Maybe I should ask for a raise …
 




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