Capo Problem
K1R
Feb 9 2013, 03:51 PM
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I've recently bought a capo and noticed that when I put it on my acoustic guitar, it sharpens the notes. Sure, as long as I don't do concerts I can tune the guitar when the capo is on, but it would take too many time during a concert. As far as I understand the problem is caused by excessive tightness of the capo. Is there any way to fix the problem?

P.S. the notes are not sharpened when I don't use the capo.

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sammetal92
Feb 9 2013, 04:34 PM
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Well, since you said the notes aren't sharpened without the capo, I don't think its an intonation problem. And capos, well, I don't use the ones which you have to manually set up the tension for. But I've seen some people do it.

Have you tried changing the position of the capo on the fret you are trying to catch? Like move it a bit away or towards the actual fret? Have you tried using a clip on capo which doesn't require you to change the tension of the capo?

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This post has been edited by sammetal92: Feb 9 2013, 05:21 PM


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klasaine
Feb 9 2013, 04:53 PM
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As Sammetal suggests, try placing it closer to the fret wire that is towards the guitar's body. If you have high action putting on a capo will always 'sharpen' the pitch. You can also angle the capo if if the problem is primarily the high strings or the low strings.

What brand/type of capo?
Can you adjust the tension on it?

Can you take and post a picture of it both on and off the guitar?

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Gabriel Leopardi
Feb 9 2013, 05:54 PM
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I'm not a big user of capo but I think that what Sam and K1R say is very reasonable. Try it and let us know if that was the problem. I think that it also depends on the quality of the capo, maybe some of them make more tension than other and that finally means that you have tuning issues. However experimenting with the position is the way to go... I did some search and found this funny quote by a master of guitar:

John McLaughlin is credited with saying, "Guitarists spend half their time tuning, and the other half playing out of tune." Tuning your guitar is something you'll have to get used to doing, whether you use a capo or not.

tongue.gif

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K1R
Feb 9 2013, 06:23 PM
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This is the capo I use, it's Dunlop maple capo and it's not adjustable. I tried to move it left and rigth, up and down but it deosn't seem to help. The action on my guitar is very low, so it is not the cause as well.

QUOTE (sammetal92)
Have you tried using a clip on capo which doesn't require you to change the tension of the capo?


How do I use a clip on capo?

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klasaine
Feb 9 2013, 06:53 PM
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I've never used that exact capo but it's supposed to be a good one - ? I've used one similar (the G7 capo)
It sounds like you're doing all the right things to try to alleviate the problem.
Gabriel's right though - tuning and re-tuning is pretty much what we do.

In one band I play with I capo 90% of the time at the 1st fret and a little at the 3rd.
I usually have to tweak my low E and the G string when I take it off and put it back on.
*(I usually have two guitars with me on that gig - one capo'd the other not)

My capo of choice is a Shubb's capo ... http://www.shubb.com/

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jstcrsn
Feb 9 2013, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE (K1R @ Feb 9 2013, 06:23 PM) *

This is the capo I use, it's Dunlop maple capo and it's not adjustable. I tried to move it left and rigth, up and down but it deosn't seem to help. The action on my guitar is very low, so it is not the cause as well.



How do I use a clip on capo?

try it on a electric , if it doesn't change the tuning , the problem lies in the acoustic
check to see if the neck is straight, also try using a bar chord as if it is a capo to see if the same things happen might be an intonation issue
if the capo moves while snugging it up it will pull the strings sharp

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sammetal92
Feb 9 2013, 07:07 PM
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QUOTE (K1R @ Feb 9 2013, 05:23 PM) *
How do I use a clip on capo?


That's the kind of capo I meant when I said that, the one you showed in the picture. Try it on an electric and try barre chords and check the tuning, as jstcrsn said, but I don't think its an intonation problem, really.

A solution would be to figure out how much the capo sharpens the notes and then tune them down that much when you want to use the capo. You'd have to do loads of re-tuning, but that's what we guitarists do, right? wink.gif

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This post has been edited by sammetal92: Feb 9 2013, 07:08 PM


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Sinisa Cekic
Feb 9 2013, 11:37 PM
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Capo is not a kind of "plug and play" things (although it should be) and if you're not persistent in finding the sweet spot, it is better to give it up smile.gif ! I have one and it causes me a lot of problems and nerves all the time to adjust it correctly,coz each guitar react differently :/ . Except updownleftright , try to experimenting with diagonal positions, a slight shift of one side may help !

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K1R
Feb 12 2013, 08:48 PM
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The problem is fixed by bending the spring in the capo, so it is more compressed now smile.gif

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klasaine
Feb 12 2013, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE (K1R @ Feb 12 2013, 07:48 PM) *
The problem is fixed by bending the spring in the capo, so it is more compressed now smile.gif


That's awesome! Explain exactly what you did. I'm sure it's problematic for a lot of folks.

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K1R
Feb 12 2013, 10:08 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 12 2013, 10:14 PM) *
That's awesome! Explain exactly what you did. I'm sure it's problematic for a lot of folks.

I just took both ends of the spring and pushed the closer to each other. Be carefull not to push too hard, so the capo wouldn't become too weak.

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"You have a whole collection of musical ideas and thoughts that you’ve accumulated through your musical history plus all the musical history of the whole world and it’s all in your subconscious and you draw upon it when you play” ~ Joe Pass
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