#1
Partial capos seem to be getting more popular, and I'm wondering who uses them, and for what.

I have made and use what I call a Dm (actually Eb) capo that stops the strings to 111011, so that open D major is converted to open Ebm. I usually use it with a full capo behind it to get 222122, open Em. Handy for slide renditions of minor keys that have a lot of major chords, like "House of the rising sun", ""Hotel California" and "Scarborough fair".

For those interested, Harvey Reid has done many recordings using different partial capos.
#2
It seems to be aimed at guitarists who use a great deal of intricate fingerpicking in their playing - people like James Taylor come to mind. It essentially allows you to play your guitar in ways that would be nearly impossible due to a lack of the requisite number of fingers, or the ridiculous finger yoga that would be needed without such a device. Harvey Reid likes the things so much; he has a website devoted to them. I have seen about a dozen song and method books dedicated to their use, so there must be a real following for those things.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#3
The only time I ever saw partial capos was when I saw Steve Earl on Later... with Jools Holland. He seems to have a 355555 power chord barred so he can do finger picking stuff up the neck and still have a base chord to hit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNJPjGVahow
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#4
Quote by FatalGear41
It seems to be aimed at guitarists who use a great deal of intricate fingerpicking in their playing - people like James Taylor come to mind. It essentially allows you to play your guitar in ways that would be nearly impossible due to a lack of the requisite number of fingers, or the ridiculous finger yoga that would be needed without such a device. Harvey Reid likes the things so much; he has a website devoted to them. I have seen about a dozen song and method books dedicated to their use, so there must be a real following for those things.


I'm sure the fingerpicking bit is right - I'm a fingerpicker. For slide my version allows a more convincing minor chord voice. It's surprising how much difference it makes to the feel of an arrangement, much darker sounding.
#5
Quote by TheStig1214
The only time I ever saw partial capos was when I saw Steve Earl on Later... with Jools Holland. He seems to have a 355555 power chord barred so he can do finger picking stuff up the neck and still have a base chord to hit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNJPjGVahow


I'm guessing that's drop D capo (actually drop E), capoed up to G with the second capo.
Last edited by Tony Done at May 13, 2014,
#6
I friggin hate capos. I use one of these to get different tunings on my slide guitar.

http://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=9


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Last edited by Cathbard at May 13, 2014,
#7
Quote by Cathbard
I friggin hate capos. I use one of these to get different tunings on my slide guitar.

http://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=9




I've thought about those, but I'm really more interested in the voicings you can get with partial capos. Or individual string benders like the Duesenberg Multibender that would drop an open major to open minor like a whammy.
#8
You do realise that with the Trilogy you can change the tuning of each string independently of the others by flicking a lever don't you? I use it to go between open E, open G and occasionally standard. Open E to open G is a massive change in tuning, only one string stays the same.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
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#9
Quote by Cathbard
You do realise that with the Trilogy you can change the tuning of each string independently of the others by flicking a lever don't you? I use it to go between open E, open G and occasionally standard. Open E to open G is a massive change in tuning, only one string stays the same.


They've been on my "maybe" list for a long time, and I might yet get one. However, since I'm no longer gigging, I don't have much need for quick tuning changes. A palm lever system like the Duesenberg Multibender would be more fun for trying new sounds.
#10
I think we're talking two different things, here -- any kind of bender is used to change a string's sound while it's ringing. Palm benders work just fine, but demand placement of your picking hand, while the strap mount, pedal mount and belt mount benders leave your picking hand free.

I've found partial capos a bit of a PIA because while they leave an open string, you can't get to that open string below the capo very easily. Can't change things very quickly in the middle of a song, of course. Might want to find a Variax or Variax acoustic. Their pitch replacement alternate tuning makes this child's play. Especially nice for slide because all the strings stay at one height.
#11
Quote by Cathbard
I friggin hate capos. I use one of these to get different tunings on my slide guitar.

http://store.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=9




The Zon Hyperbass was designed with that thinking in mind. A three-octave fretless fingerboard, and a de-tuner lever at both the bridge and at the tuning machine for each string. That's 81 possible tunings just by throwing (or not throwing) those levers:



I just wish that they were not so damned expensive!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#12
Quote by dspellman
I think we're talking two different things, here -- any kind of bender is used to change a string's sound while it's ringing. Palm benders work just fine, but demand placement of your picking hand, while the strap mount, pedal mount and belt mount benders leave your picking hand free.

I've found partial capos a bit of a PIA because while they leave an open string, you can't get to that open string below the capo very easily. Can't change things very quickly in the middle of a song, of course. Might want to find a Variax or Variax acoustic. Their pitch replacement alternate tuning makes this child's play. Especially nice for slide because all the strings stay at one height.


Can you alter the tuning on the fly on a Variax? For the style I play, fingerpicked slide blues, something that would bend the major 3rd down to minor 3rd, or the tonic down to dom7 could be interesting. With mechanical ones, bending up is easier to organise than bending down, but I can't see how I would use it for blues with an open tuning.

I don't use partial capos on a regular basis, but I try that one of mine occasionally. Like altered tunings, I think it is easy to allow the system/tuning to undesirably dominate the music.
Last edited by Tony Done at May 14, 2014,
#13
Quote by FatalGear41
The Zon Hyperbass was designed with that thinking in mind. A three-octave fretless fingerboard, and a de-tuner lever at both the bridge and at the tuning machine for each string. That's 81 possible tunings just by throwing (or not throwing) those levers.

I just wish that they were not so damned expensive!

Yeah, similar idea, just done at the bridge. With the Trilogy you can change the tuning of each string to three positions. You can get pretty big jumps. Well, going between open G and open E, the 5th string has to get from G to B and I have A in the middle position. It's a slide guitarist's wet dream. Here's mine:



The string height is unchanged because it changes the tension of the string over a fixed bridge. Another reason I hate capos. I spent a fair bit of time getting the action just right for slide, a capo ****s that up. They're pretty much useless to me.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band