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Capo on a bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Wooly John, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Wooly John

    Wooly John

    May 16, 2014
    Capo on a bass?

    Here are two clips of Eddie Cochran from 1959 where the bass player uses a capo – on Money Honey you can see it at 0:51 and after – on Don’t Blame it on Me it’s visible at 0:19

    I’ve never seen a capo on a bass before.

  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I do on a couple songs - mostly because I tune DGCF and some songs are a beach to finger without capoing back to EADG.
    Johnny Crab and Wooly John like this.
  3. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I've seen it real close and in person done by a few players for reasons above OR to use open strings on a tune not in E/A/D/G or whatever they were tuned to.
  4. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I would use a vise grip. My P bass's neck is too thick for a capo.
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  5. I do that too sometimes, if I want to use my Fender, tuned to C#, on a E standard song.
  6. Capo_on_white3.
    Aberdumbie, TJ2000 and Jazz Ad like this.
  7. They also make these old fashioned capos that would fit any neck:


    I've only ever seen one like it once. It was in a case with an acoustic.
  8. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I've never used a capo on bass and only used one on a guitar twice (years ago)--they mess me up--but if it does the job you need it too--why not?
  9. winterburn69


    Jan 27, 2008
    Mark Hoppus of blink-182 uses one on "I Miss You"

  10. I started using one recently, mainly when the chord sheet is in one key and the singer decides to play it in another key. If the guitarist can use a capo so can I.
    The bass also plays easier. Bonus!

    Prior to that, I only used a capo when checking my bass's relief.
  11. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    That's probably because you haven't had the nut slots filed properly yet - on most basses they are WAY too tall which requires a LOT of pressure to fret. When fretted at the third fret a business card should just slip under the string at the first fret.
  12. My nut slots are actually good. I think the capo makes it easier because I'm playing higher up the neck where the frets are closer together and because the string response to my right hand is different due to the shortened string length. But you make a good point. I have a couple of parts basses where I worked on the nut to get the clearance at the first fret just right. I'd like to try a zero fret bass sometime to see how the playability is.
  13. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Then you need a short scale ;) .
  14. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Not buying any of your used basses. ;)
    twinjet likes this.

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