About Capos

Murphy Henry

Question: I have been a Murphy Method Student for 19 years. I have a Kyser capo. When playing in C it tends to get in the way of my fingering. Could you tell me what kind you are using in Slow Jam 1 playing "Bury me Beneath the Willow" in the key of C, and where it can be gotten? Thanks. Calvin

Hey Calvin,

First of all, many thanks for hanging in there with The Murphy Method. That's always nice to hear!

Now about capos:

After trying many capos down through the years including the Scruggs Capo, the Tom McKinney Capo, the Sabine Capo, and the Kyser, I have finally landed on the Shubb Capo, with which I am well pleased. I'm pretty sure that's what I am using in the first Slow Jam DVD. (Unless I was having a Bad Capo day and lost mine!)

The Shubb Capos are small enough to not get in the way of my left hand, they snap on and off the banjo with no trouble, can easily be carried in my pants' pocket, and don't seem to cause too many tuning problems. (Although when you use any capo you almost always have to retouch your tuning.) Also, when I'm on stage and am not using the capo at the moment, I can keep it handy by sticking the end of it into one of the holes in my Stelling flange.

And even with long term use, I've not ever had the rubber part deteriorate. (Of course that MIGHT be because I often lose my capo and have to buy a new one...That sometimes comes from lending capos at a jam session! I did have a lawyer friend who absconded---accidentally of course---with my capo replace it with a brand new one!)

And for those of us with arched fingerboards (which for some strange reason we are now called "radiused" fingerboards) on our banjos, the Shubb comes in a slightly curved version, which makes for fewer tuning problems.

I think you can find the Shubb Capo at many music stores, locally and online. I'll shout out to three of my faves: First Quality Music, Janet Davis Music, and Elderly Instruments.

Hope this helps!!!!

[Casey here...I use a Showcase capo, which handily slides up above my nut when not in use, so I never have to take it off the neck, thereby greatly reducing the chances of it being lost!]