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Single-String Capo

Play chords that are humanly impossible!
  [vote for,

For those of you not blessed enough to have a guitar in your lives, a capo is a device that you put on the neck of the guitar so it puts the strings in a different key. This idea takes that and twists it into urecognizable shapes. The single-string capo will consist of two parts: 1. a small plug, just large enough to cover one string, with a heavy-duty magnet attached to the bottom. 2. a heavy-duty magnet of the opposite charge. What you do is this: place the plug on one string, whichever one you choose. Then, place the magnet directly opposite the plug on the other side of the guitar neck, fixing the plug in place. Do this as many times, using as many demi-capoes as you want, then invent a chord that uses more fingers than a human possesses. Oh, the possibilities...
igirl, Apr 17 2003

(?) The Hipshot range of bridges and tuners. http://www.hipshotp...cts.com/Default.htm
Select 'Trilogy' from left menu. [angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

(?) Capo Museum http://w1.865.telia...eum/Above/above.htm
See the bottom of the linked page for the PinPoint capo, a successful implementation. (I would give you the makers' website, but it's down for rebuilding these days.) These capos are used to good effect (on mandola) by Ale Moller of the Swedish group Frifot. [broadsidetom, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Fully adjustable Capo http://www.halfbake...20Adjustable_20Capo
Read my anno, then read my idea if interested. [JackandJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) abacus capo http://www.abacuscapo.com
single stringed capo [abacus, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Single String Capoing http://www.leiferich.com
Leif Erich has been using a fully functional single string capoing system since the late 80's. He was the first person to ever be awarded a U.S. patent on such a system. His system ingeniously locks any string to any fret. No magnets or capo straps. [art999, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       The magical promise of magnets, rarely realized.
Sounds like you just want six fingers. I have three hands, want to trade?
roby, Apr 17 2003

       If you take a C-clamp from your tool box and put a little rubber plug on the foot, you have a do-it-your- elf, single-string capo, which I like to call the "capo di tutti capi". Is that baked enough for you?
Canuck, Apr 18 2003

       Rather good thought, but I'm not sure it would work very well; the magnets at the back would interfere with left hand positioning.
Many G-banjoes have a little hook on the bass side of the neck which can be twisted around over the G-string (pause for smutty giggles to subside) to tune it to A, C or D depending on where in the neck it is. Of course, that would only work on the top or bottom strings.
For a different way of going about it, try the Hipshot Trilogy (linky) which offers 729 different tunings.
angel, Apr 18 2003

       Better not use steel strings if you're going to have magnets all over the neck.
snarfyguy, Apr 18 2003

       + Good idea if you can make it work, but not even neodymium magnets would be strong enough to stick with sufficient force through the thickness of a guitar neck.
AO, Apr 18 2003

       I've just realised, fool that I am, that this would only work as long as the capo-ed string is being played open. As soon as you fret the string, the capo effectively disappears, and you're back in your base tuning again. B-major played as a barre chord on the seventh fret is still B-major if you have a standard capo on the second fret. This device could not be used to simulate de-tuning.
angel, Apr 18 2003

       Maybe you should get an Islander Visual Chordmaster.
thumbwax, Apr 18 2003

       Sorry, have to go against you, simply because the magnets would never work.   

       I've already designed something similar (Though I have not posted it yet).   

       A partial/adjustable Capo.   

       First of all, I thought of the smashing success of the partial capo (basically a standard spring-clip capo, but with enough space for 2-3 srings not to be capo'd (3/4 the length of a standard))   

       Secondly, my idea was to make a capo that straps on, howeverthe trick is that it has 6 thumbscrews as opposed to a flat arm - each screw has a rubber (or other) flat section on the bottom. When the screw is screwed in, the string is capo'd. when not; not.   

       This could work very well with a switch-type button - depress once, it is capo'd, depress twice, the capo is lifted again.   

       [link forthcoming]
JackandJohn, Apr 18 2003

bungston, Apr 18 2003

       [JackandJohn] Though your idea has its merits, it does not allow that same fret to also be played n a different string with a finger. You might not think you need that, but it's really very strange what ends up feeling right when you play a guitar.

If high-strength magnets won't work, what would? anyone have any ideas? remember, i don't want to obstruct the other strings on that fret.
igirl, Apr 19 2003

       I acctually think I know what /would/ work for this idea.. Just came to me;   

       put 1 small hole on either side of each string on each fret..   

       If you wanted to capo one string, you would pop in a U shaped pece which would lock in somehow.   

       Then, any string can be capo'd at any point, no problem
JackandJohn, Apr 21 2003

       But as soon as you fret a capo-ed string, it *still* wouldn't make any difference. Does someone here not understand that?
angel, Apr 21 2003

       [ angel ] We understand. If you want drop-tuning; drop tune. This is a different thing.   

       The benefit, as an example, would be to partially capo the bottom 4 stings on, say, the second fret.. ou can play as regular, but when played open, or any of the bottom strings are played open, they are higher.   

       If up-tuned, playing the bottom strings would require funky hand positions for standard chords.
JackandJohn, Apr 21 2003

       [JackandJohn] i'm not sure about this, but would drilling holes interfere with the sound of the string or with depressing it?
igirl, Apr 24 2003

       Hey guys, Good to see so much conversation about this. We've been working on a very similar idea. Check out abacuscapo.com and let us know what you think. Jonathan and Chris
abacus, May 26 2003

       Well, I for one am satisfied enough with my piano and saxes and clarinet (which is kinda like a sax...) but a good idea nonetheless, but wouldnt it be really confusing to have only certain straings in different keys? i mean the guitar is confusing enough...
Seafris, Dec 30 2003

       This is not a new idea at all. A guitarist named Leif Erich has been using this idea for years and playing it all over the country. Abacus obviously borrowed the idea from him but because it's patented they had to use magnets to accomplish what Erich achieves by locking the strings indvidually to the frets with sleek little miniature capo thingys, (no steel fretboard!) If you go to www.leiferich.com you can see it on his guitars, he also recently posted a history and time line of how he devaloped it. Someone told me that Leif Erich's design was experimented with in the 90's by Micheal Hedges and Reeves Gabrels.
art999, May 31 2004


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