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Old 11-16-2010, 02:03 PM
bobframe bobframe is offline
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Default 12 String Capo

I've been using a capo for many moons...but have always struggled with how to use one on an acoustic 12 string. Here's my dilemma...

I've always thought the best technique when attaching a capo (I use a Schubb) was to "sneak up" on the proper tightness...you don't want to over tighten it because that would tend to pull the strings sharp...you don't want to under tighten it because the strings will buzz. You want to tighten it "just so"...

However, with a 12 string, one has the problem of (on the low E, A and D strings in particular) a thickly wound string and a very narrow string next to each other. So how to I apply the capo in a way that "capo's" the thick strings AND the narrow strings without pulling the whole shebang way out of tune?

Maybe its not possible?

Is there a specially designed 12 string capo that addresses this?

Thanks in advance for your expert help.

Bob
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2010, 02:10 PM
Bingoccc Bingoccc is offline
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A G7 Performance capo works fine for me. They have 6 and 12 string versions of it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:25 PM
bobframe bobframe is offline
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Default well duh......

What an idiot I am.

Just took a close look at my Schubb capo and realized that the rubber sleeve that actually does the string clamping had rotated 180 degrees leaving only a very thin piece of rubber to do the clamping. It was insufficient to do the job...rotated it back 180 degrees and suddenly it works just fine on my 12 string.


Never mind.....
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Last edited by bobframe; 11-16-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:04 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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Good that you saw the problem.
However, I do adjust the low E strings after placing a capo on the neck.
I lower the pitch of the large string to match the smaller string.
I do this almost every time that I use a capo on a 12 string.
They just sound better when in tune.
Best invention "EVER" for the 12 string is an electronic tuner.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:27 PM
Coke_zero Coke_zero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingoccc View Post
A G7 Performance capo works fine for me. They have 6 and 12 string versions of it.
Same here. A normal 6 string G7th works up to the 8th fret on my Taylor 12 string.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:52 PM
ac ac is offline
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Paige makes a capo especially for 12 strings with compensation for the unwound:

http://paigecapo.com/buytheclik
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  #7  
Old 11-16-2010, 04:31 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I use a Shubb 12-string capo and tighten it up until all strings vibrate without significant damping. For me, this means that the capo throws the strings out of tune. Any 12-string I ever used in performance was pre-tuned with the capo on if the song needed a capo.

It's probably just me and my old Guild F212 12-string, but the G7 capo never worked for me; it simply cannot hold the strings down hard enough to keep from damping the strings. I have played other 12-strings (eg, Taylor and Martin) and found them harder to play than my old Guild, so I don't think the problem is my Guild's playability.

I find that many people are content with a capo that damps the sounds of their strings somewhat in exchange for not having their strings thrown out of tune. I go the other way and accept retuning in exchange for better sustain.

I really like the sound of a 12-string with a capo on it, but the tuning issues are a pain during a performance.

Regards, Glenn
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:56 PM
bobframe bobframe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
It's probably just me and my old Guild F212 12-string, but the G7 capo never worked for me; it simply cannot hold the strings down hard enough to keep from damping the strings. I have played other 12-strings (eg, Taylor and Martin) and found them harder to play than my old Guild, so I don't think the problem is my Guild's playability.
I've been tempted to buy one of these...but have worried about the ability of these to exert just the right amount of downward pressure on the strings. Again, too much and we've got strings being pulled sharp...too little and we've got buzzy strings. Is there any ability to tweak the amount of pressure that this exerts on the strings?
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:07 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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I use a Planet Waves NS classical capo on my 1964 Guild F-212 because it has a flat fingerboard.

I place the leading edge of the capo directly down the middle of the fret wire and squeeze tight. The rubber gives enough to grab all the strings and because it's not in between the frets there is very little tuning distortion because the pressure is directly on the fret and not in between.

HE
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:43 PM
bobframe bobframe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
I place the leading edge of the capo directly down the middle of the fret wire and squeeze tight. The rubber gives enough to grab all the strings and because it's not in between the frets there is very little tuning distortion because the pressure is directly on the fret and not in between.

HE
I tried this and it seems to work well. Thanks!

I think the key to this is that the rubber on the capo has to be supple enough to cover both the "big" string and the "little" string. My older Schubb capo seems to have dried out and is too hard to compress enough to do this. My newer Schubb however, is much softer...works better.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2010, 06:21 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Bob,
Glad it worked out for you.

Many people ignore even trying this method as they assume that the rubber will somehow mute the open strings as it's so close to the fulcrum point.

The truth is that it's so close it doesn't affect it.

Regards,
Howard
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:32 PM
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For what it's worth at this point, Paige's 12-string capo solves the problem with mousetrap-like simplicity. I have one, and it works perfectly.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:47 PM
stevekolt stevekolt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingoccc View Post
A G7 Performance capo works fine for me. They have 6 and 12 string versions of it.
Truth here...best capos I've ever used
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2010, 09:38 AM
stonebridgian stonebridgian is offline
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You can use almost any capo on a 12. And tighten it just to the point where it is sending the bass E sharp. Once on, you then give the string a good tug and miraculously, you will find it goes into tune, and you don't have to retune when you take the capo off. Saw this on a Tommy Emmanuel workshop video once and it really works. Brilliant tip from the master!

cheers
Ian
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:09 PM
steamfurnace steamfurnace is offline
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I use a Planet Waves NS on my Takamine EF381SC, and haven't had an out of tune or buzzing problem yet. I even capo at the third fret for Tom Petty's "Free Falling," without an issue.
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