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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Can I get away with using a capo on a bass? Do they even make them for bass?

    Sorry to drag an old topic I can't search on up. But my band want to raise Celebrity Skin from A to A#, I learned it in A and of the 3 choices available to me, capoing the bass is the easiest :D

    Tuning up half a step is a hassle.
    Transposing it half a step is a hassle.

    And either way those fills lose their sleaze factor over F and G :(
  2. ireidt


    Mar 6, 2005
    I have used a capo on my bass many times, but I don't think they make bass-only capos. Also, Wooten does use a capo on his bass sometimes.
  3. peterpalmieri

    peterpalmieri Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Babylon, NY
    Learning to transpose the tune could be a valuable lesson and will be much simpler to execute in the long run.

  4. Cheers for that I'll see about borrowing one then.

    Yeah probably. And if I had time, I would.
  5. Markus Bender

    Markus Bender

    Dec 15, 2005
    I use a G7th Performance 12-String capo, fits great on my Lakland 55-94 5 string...
  6. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    If you use a capo on the 5th fret of a fiver, you'll get a fiver, tuned EADGC :)

    - Dave
  7. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I can't say I have ever used a capo on a bass.

    I pretty much play position 4 fingers covering a 4 fret span. I seldom use open strings.
  8. mystichaze


    Jun 15, 2007
    Pitcairn, PA
    If it works and sounds good why not.
  9. There's "nothing TO get away with".

    It works, use it. A capo is a capo. I use a Kyser. I've used Shubbs. No biggie.

    But, learn how to transpose. It's only a half step man, should take you 15 seconds.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Transposing isn't hard. All you have to do is shift everything up a fret. Unless you're doing some drone thing where you want open notes to be different than the standard ones, I see no need to use a capo on bass. But whatever...
  11. Thanks guys!

    We played it Friday night, in A#. I didn't have a capo and was too lazy to tune up, so did my best to remember it was just a fret up, most of the song worked ok but some parts sucked.

    Being self taught from tab, my main problem is when playing songs from memory my brain thinks in numbers.

    So for Celebrity Skin the intro is "five five rest, four four rest, two two rest. Five five rest, four four rest, two two rest and fill". Obviously trying to remember a fret up as well threw me way off sometimes.

    Today during my own practice, I transposed some stuff I've written and I didn't need to remember anything at all the songs flowed...so as usual the less I rely on tabs and rote memory the easier changing things around is!
  12. joelyb


    Feb 1, 2007
    sydney australia
    hey man i think that it would dfinately be worth you learnin the notes on the bass at least. thinking in numbers is a great help when you are transposing to different keys but the numbers used in that situation refer to the chord. not the fret.

    good luck man
  13. Tenma4


    Jan 26, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    I'll go for this. I think in scale degrees of the chord that is being played usually. I learned that from the very beginning because the main guitarist in my band at the time often put a capo on the wrong fret. That was good motivation! :bassist:
  14. zazz


    Feb 27, 2004
    its not quite a simple as that...i have never used a capo but i think i will...it just never occured to me before.

    if you use a capo you must change the whole nature of the instrument.

    suddenly open strings become something else and this is something that simply transposing will not do...its a different instrument.....very interesting and definitely worth persuing.

    ps..for me those ghost notes that open strings can easily provide is the step that took my whole game up a notch.
  15. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    there is a a YouTube of Richard Bona with Bobby McFerrin and Bona uses the biggest capo I've ever seen. He has it up the neck I think around the 10th fret so he can do a guitar-like accompaniment for McFerrin.
  16. Thanks guys. Celebrity Skin is easy to play a fret up as there are no open strings the way I play it, I just need to remember to play it that way with the band :)

    And the other day I caught myself playing Lives "All Over You" fine on a standard tuned bass (it's recorded a step lower). Only problem was the Eb on the bridge, which was easy just play it higher and it still fits...

    And by avoiding open notes, I learned that the key change is just 2 steps up...whereas before I struggled to remember to play the open A on the key change.

    Like I said in a previous post you guys are starting to get into my head and I like it! I even have my first bass lesson today, after ten years of self teaching. 3pm can't come quick enough (11AM atm).

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