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Key of F? Capo? c'mon!!!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Brado, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Brado


    Oct 19, 2005
    Buda, TX.
    I just saw a band on the David Letterman show called, "The Virgins." Their bassist was using a capo on the first fret. :scowl:They were playing a tune in the key of F. Now......I have the utmost respect for players who use capos on the bass in a solo setting (Yves Carbone, Richard Bonna, Michael Manring....just to name a few). But, what about in a BAND situation, playing a 4 string bass in the key of F. I think he had great tone. His playing was just fine....I don't understand why the capo........???? Just put your finger on that first fret & PLAY THAT F. The last note of the tune was a big, fat F. Why the capo? C'mon! :confused::meh:
    I have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt.....maybe the nut was WAY too high & fretting the F with the index finger was just too hard....maybe he played some harmonics in there that demanded the first fret be capo'ed...(just tune the bass up a half step). Can somebody shed some light on this? :help:
  2. wow without knowing all the details, like u mentioned about the nut it does seem a little pedantic and pointless! surely there must be a perfectly good explanation for this! ...*waits patiently*
  3. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    well tuning up a half step would work in that setting as they only played the one song but chances are on tour he's not in practice doing that and a capo is faster than switching basses....

    also maybe he was doing some licks that need open strings... or he likes the tone better... or he's lazy (yet his band is on letterman so who are we to judge)... you said yourself his tone and playing were great
  4. Although I'd never use a capo, when I'm in appropriate keys I do like to incorporate open strings sometimes against what I'm playing up at the dusty end of the neck.
  5. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    I guess you're just a better bass player than him. Meanwhile, his capo on the first fret of his bass has him on Letterman. When are you scheduled to appear?
  6. tapp01


    Apr 10, 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    Saw the performance as well. The bassist had good tone and was really a standout amongst his bandmates. I enjoyed his playing and felt the groove on the song. IMO once those two requisites are met, I don't question what technique was employed to get there.
  7. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Yeah i saw that tonight.. I liked the guys tone and groove... Why the Capo? who knows.. I didnt notice him droning a low F at all..
  8. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL

    Who gives a god damn? Play your low F the way you want and this guy will do it how he wants. :rolleyes:
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I bet it was like this:

    "No way dude, you're playing Letterman?"
    "No way!"
    "Bet you won't play with a capo on the first fret!"
    "You're on!"
  10. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    I think they must be on the episode after Danger Danger appear. But really what we need is to lynch the guy for using a capo. Next thing you know the world will be overrun with capo playing zombies eating everyone's brains as they murmur, "F maaaaaajoooor".
  11. I'm wearing a capo right now- but it's not on my bass...;)
  12. kaybass1952


    Mar 12, 2004
    I only caught the last minute of the band ( remote flipping to catch the concurrent music acts on Letterman & Leno is a PIA).Missed the capo but really liked the bass playing .He seemed to play a shorter scale fender and used a pick & had a sort of Average White Band groove thing going.
  13. derelicte


    Dec 25, 2007
    ^ hahah i LOL'd very much at that comment. well done!
  14. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    Maybe he has some licks that required him to jump from either F, Bb, Eb, or Ab to an upper register quickly and this was the easiest way for him to do it cleanly?

    I can't really say, I didn't see the performance...
  15. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    clearly FTW
  16. robgo


    Jan 25, 2008
    I did something very similar the other day, I'd learnt a song in E, the singer wanted to sing it in F. It was easier to slap a capo on than try and work out another way of fingering it, my riff was rather reliant on open strings. I did have to try and pretend the dots weren't there though.:oops:
  17. Brado


    Oct 19, 2005
    Buda, TX.
    Dang Cletus!!! Wez'a' gott us a' smart 'un heer!
    I'm pretty sure I'll be on Letterman....hmm, let's see...November 14th of 2009, Sept. 22 in 2011, Conan O'Brian the next night there after.(these dates may change. my booking agent is on it, though.) I'll bring my capo. I was thinking about playing in 3....I mean, G. :D
  18. This sounds like the old "why would you tune to D or C when you could just play a five-string?" argument. The answer is that sometimes you have to bounce off of that low note, and jumping back and forth over 8 or 10 frets isn't really an option.
  19. TheDarkReaver

    TheDarkReaver Banned

    Mar 20, 2006
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Why would you want to tune your bass up when you have the option of capoing, which is quick and easy and doesn't mean adding extra tension to your strings.
  20. I don't think that kid has a strong shoulder/arm/forearm/wrist/hand/fingers.

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