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Whats the best Capo?


Zen
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I've mostly used Terry McCafferty's capos for the reasons you mention. They're well built and easy to take on and off. I've never had to fuss with them to get them to hold, they just work.

I've also heard a lot of good things about Ron Ewing's capos, but I haven't had the chance to try one yet.

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Thanks.  I have a Ron Ewing and its nice but not the efficiency of a Bradley.  He has plastic at top instead of something softer pressing on the strings.  Couldnt get it to sit right.

But Ron's dulcimers are outstanding.

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Like almost everything in the world of dulcimers, there really is no Best anything. let alone capes.  It's always a case of experimentation and what works best for you and your instruments. 

I've got 8 dulcimers right now and it would take probably 6 different capoes to make them work that way.  That's more than just a couple bucks, plus the hassle of remembering which capo works with with instrument, and remembering to take the appropriate capoes with me when I go playing out.

Truth be told, I just don't use capoes.  I tried, and it was more hassle than just  learning to retune one melody string in less than 30 seconds.

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I've used both Ron Ewing's and Terry McCafferty's capos.  I actually prefer a brass one, The Walworth Mountain Dulcimer Capo,  I found at The Dulcimer Shoppe (which sells McSpadden dulcimers).  (Don't think the Bradley is available any longer.)  Here's the link:  https://www.mcspaddendulcimers.com/product/walworth-mountain-dulcimer-capo/

It costs a bit more but it stays tight and snug without any wrestling or fiddling with its adjustment. 

Edited by Nuthin Nu
Misspelling and needed another comment
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  • 5 months later...
Posted (edited)

After using (and selling) some less expensive capos, I now use only the Walworth brass capo or Terry McCafferty's capo. Both are made well and work great.

Edited by Susie
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  • 1 month later...

Jean and Lee Schilling's capo let you choose which strings to capo by rotating a rubber disk either down to the string, or up to leave the string free. This design was inspired by the "extra hand" guitar capo.

This is a capo that I use a lot, instead of retuning. I play a four-course instrument tuned CGBc. The B-string gives me the missing chromatic notes, and with the Shillings' capo I can capo the open B to c while still keeping all those chromatic B-string notes (this trick requires an extra fret to play the half-step between the nut and the traditional first fret).

Here's a photo of the Schillings' capo: 

http://www.sternercapo.se/capomuseum/Special/Dulcimer/dulcimer.htm

Edited by ChristianCrowley
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  • 1 month later...

I use the Dudley Quick Release brass capo. It is  waaaaay superior to all the usual wooden style dulcimer capos.

On my chromatic dulcimer I can change the pitch of any tune in a matter of seconds with my capo. I can play in all keys,  and in all modes in all keys.

A good, workable capo on a chromatic fretboard is a superb tool and adds great, instant versatility. It also enables you to instantly match any tune, regardless of where the melody fits within a key or mode, to your vocal range (as long as you use a chromatic dulcimer).... you merely move the capo to a position where the melody is easiest for you to sing.

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