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Old 06-25-2007, 05:48 AM   #1
o b s
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Can any guitar capo be used on a bass?

I have to play a lot in F, a capo would free up my fingers. Can any guitar capo do the job, or do I need to buy a specialist bass one?

Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:06 AM   #2
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The guitar capo I used to have worked on a 4 string bass, but I guess you'd have to try it. A bass one might be a better idea.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:24 AM   #3
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I have never seen a bass capo, I strongly doubt they exist. Just use a guitar capo. I use one of the standard Dunlop spring clamp capos. Awesome for guitar and bass.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:41 AM   #4
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I have never seen a bass capo, I strongly doubt they exist. Just use a guitar capo. I use one of the standard Dunlop spring clamp capos. Awesome for guitar and bass.
Cheers, this is the answer answer I wanted.

Last edited by o b s; 06-25-2007 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:53 AM   #5
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They dont all work. Ive tried several that didnt fit.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:16 AM   #6
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I have never seen a bass capo, I strongly doubt they exist. Just use a guitar capo. I use one of the standard Dunlop spring clamp capos. Awesome for guitar and bass.


You lose kthxbai.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:35 AM   #7
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I'll fight you kthxbai.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:37 AM   #8
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I'll fight you kthxbai.
I strongly doubt Ted exists.


<_<

>_>
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:38 AM   #9
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I strongly doubt Ted exists.


<_<

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True fact.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:47 AM   #10
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aw mang.

I have no proof.

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Old 06-25-2007, 12:47 PM   #11
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just tune your bass F-Bb-Eb-Ab
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:48 PM   #12
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Using a capo would make so much more sense.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:10 PM   #13
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just tune your bass F-Bb-Eb-Ab
So much flawed logic in one post..
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:30 PM   #14
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Why would using a capo when playing in F free up your fingers?

Stick a capo on the first fret and just chug on the open F?

Reminds me of a funny story from my days of playing in a church worship band though. The guitar player slapped a capo on after handing me the chord sheets and said "Oh..wait...how good is your transposing?" so I grinned at him and said "Pretty good, pretty good" and slapped a capo on my bass.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:57 AM   #15
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Why would using a capo when playing in F free up your fingers?

Stick a capo on the first fret and just chug on the open F?
I get fed up of jumping up and down the neck just to hit that low F, with a capo I can use the opens and leave my fingers free to loiter around the 8th fret F area.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:28 AM   #16
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So much flawed logic in one post..
but its plausible. people downtune, why cant they uptune? a friend of mine does that because no capo fits his bass.

Last edited by wicked_child; 06-26-2007 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:36 AM   #17
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but its plausible. people downtune, why cant they uptune?
So you propose I completely retune mid set, unnecessarily stretching my strings and undermining years of fretboard intuition every time a song in F comes up?
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:54 AM   #18
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but its plausible. people downtune, why cant they uptune? a friend of mine does that because no capo fits his bass.
It's also completely asinine. Why waste all that time retuning when you could just slap a capo on so much easier?
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:18 AM   #19
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It's also completely asinine. Why waste all that time retuning when you could just slap a capo on so much easier?
if he needs to play in that tuning for a long time, (like a whole set) its worth it. also, im just suggesting that he does that if he cant find a capo that will fit his bass.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:22 AM   #20
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For a whole set sure, but otherwise it seems overly complicated. It changes up all of his note positions by a half step.
The neck is the smallest at the first fret. He will find a capo.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:37 AM   #21
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if he needs to play in that tuning for a long time, (like a whole set) its worth it. also, im just suggesting that he does that if he cant find a capo that will fit his bass.
I appreciate the suggestion, but its not really viable. Plus I can't stand altered tunings in general.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:14 AM   #22
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This will soun elitist and lame... and maybe patronising.

But jsut practice with yoru fretboard and get better with playing in F! I'm sure you are already competent with your fretboard and I'm not suggesting you are awful.


I think just working on ti will bebetter fo ryou in the long run, no gadgets required!

Good luck :d!!
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:31 AM   #23
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That actually sounds like the best idea, but if he needs to hit that low F and not a lot of other notes, I don't think a capo would be too bad.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:33 AM   #24
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That actually sounds like the best idea, but if he needs to hit that low F and not a lot of other notes, I don't think a capo would be too bad.
Yeah but I think it was you who were syaing about the tuning up would be waste of time and such. Well, in comaprison to just playing on your fretboard, using a capo is a big waste of time too.


If he jsut has to hit Low F then I still say jsut play the fretboard. No gadgets required and it's probably more fun fretting a note instead of jsut hitting an open string
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:59 AM   #25
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Yeah but I think it was you who were syaing about the tuning up would be waste of time and such. Well, in comaprison to just playing on your fretboard, using a capo is a big waste of time too.


If he jsut has to hit Low F then I still say jsut play the fretboard. No gadgets required and it's probably more fun fretting a note instead of jsut hitting an open string
I use a lot of open string transition notes in my playing, having the root and fourth on the E and A strings is a lot more useful in the highly diatonic music I want this for than having the open maj7th and third. Note choice is extremely limited (basically, just the root and fifth and the songs are 90% 1-4-5 with the occasional relevant minor) so having those notes on the opens frees me of unneeded movement and allows me to add interest in other ways rather than just hopping up and down the neck finding notes. A lot of the songs are unfamiliar to me too, so I have to watch the guitarist and follow his chords, regardless of how much I practice I'll still be more accurate and better on the quick changes when using a capo. It basically frees me of unnecessary technical complication and lets me concentrate on playing.

That took way too many words to explain.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:30 PM   #26
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Reminds me of a funny story from my days of playing in a church worship band though. The guitar player slapped a capo on after handing me the chord sheets and said "Oh..wait...how good is your transposing?" so I grinned at him and said "Pretty good, pretty good" and slapped a capo on my bass.
Haha! Amazing.

Quote:
I use a lot of open string transition notes in my playing, having the root and fourth on the E and A strings is a lot more useful in the highly diatonic music I want this for than having the open maj7th and third. Note choice is extremely limited (basically, just the root and fifth and the songs are 90% 1-4-5 with the occasional relevant minor) so having those notes on the opens frees me of unneeded movement and allows me to add interest in other ways rather than just hopping up and down the neck finding notes. A lot of the songs are unfamiliar to me too, so I have to watch the guitarist and follow his chords, regardless of how much I practice I'll still be more accurate and better on the quick changes when using a capo. It basically frees me of unnecessary technical complication and lets me concentrate on playing.
You hit on the main utility of a capo/tuning up - the open strings. This is what old school solo bassists basically did when they tuned up to F#BEA, the "solo" tuning for many double bass concerto's/concert work. The higher tension and open string possibilities that became open allowed for a much different sound than standard tuning allowed. Much of the talented composer's composition for strings lies in his understanding of how string players play open string's and their particular sound. This is why a lot of music written for string orchestra is in G, D and A - good keys for string players.

How does this translate to electric bass? Well, you might notice that a lot of contemporary music/jazz is written in the keys of F, Bb and Eb, mainly since they're good keys for horns...but unfortunately terrible keys for bass. This, however, is a blessing in disguise, because most contemporary players have spent lots of time shedding in those keys, exploring the techical requirements of the specific keys, and learning how to overcome them.

My point is that although using a capo is good for open strings, which are important maneuverability points in certain keys, you're just shooting yourself in the foot by relying on a capo. From what you just said, it seems like you're going to be using it as a crutch to not practicing in the key of F (having to "find" notes rather than just knowing already where they are). Theres a difference between knowing how to use open strings and NEEDING the open strings in order to play. You shouldn't rely on them by any means.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:36 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by HaVIC5 View Post
Haha! Amazing.



You hit on the main utility of a capo/tuning up - the open strings. This is what old school solo bassists basically did when they tuned up to F#BEA, the "solo" tuning for many double bass concerto's/concert work. The higher tension and open string possibilities that became open allowed for a much different sound than standard tuning allowed. Much of the talented composer's composition for strings lies in his understanding of how string players play open string's and their particular sound. This is why a lot of music written for string orchestra is in G, D and A - good keys for string players.

How does this translate to electric bass? Well, you might notice that a lot of contemporary music/jazz is written in the keys of F, Bb and Eb, mainly since they're good keys for horns...but unfortunately terrible keys for bass. This, however, is a blessing in disguise, because most contemporary players have spent lots of time shedding in those keys, exploring the techical requirements of the specific keys, and learning how to overcome them.

My point is that although using a capo is good for open strings, which are important maneuverability points in certain keys, you're just shooting yourself in the foot by relying on a capo. From what you just said, it seems like you're going to be using it as a crutch to not practicing in the key of F (having to "find" notes rather than just knowing already where they are). Theres a difference between knowing how to use open strings and NEEDING the open strings in order to play. You shouldn't rely on them by any means.

Absolutely.

There is no reason for you to tell me you NEED a capo! It will be better for you in the long run if you learn how to play in F. This will "free" up your fingers around your whoel fretboard in the key of F and hopefully any other key.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:00 PM   #28
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No matter how hard I practice, I'll never be able to play an open F or Bb in standard tuning.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:10 PM   #29
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No matter how hard I practice, I'll never be able to play an open F or Bb in standard tuning.
True, but from your own admitance in your post, that wasn't the real reason you wanted a capo.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:49 AM   #30
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yes...yes they can be.
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