Shubb Partial Capo C7b
Shubb Partial Capo C7b
It skips the outside string and covers the next three, either 2-3-4 or 5-4-3 (emulating DADGAD tuning)
I was introduced to the concept of partial capoing many years ago by the great acoustic guitarist Harvey Reid and by Jeff Hickey, who developed the Third Hand capo (an elastic capo designed exclusively for partial capoing). These guys both were users of Shubb capos for "regular" capoing, but were WAY into the possibilities of partial capoing. In addition to using a Third Hand, I noticed that Harvey had modified one of his Shubb capos by cutting it down so that it skipped the outside string and covered only the next three. He got some really wonderful sounds with this partial capo. Shortly thereafter I saw Chris Proctor using one he had customized, evidently inspired by Harvey.
A few years later I met Adrian Legg, who was introduced to me by John Pearse as "the best guitar player in Europe," which is no exaggeration. I noticed that he, too, was using a sawed-off Shubb capo quite a lot, as an integral part of his amazing guitar style.
Adrian, Harvey, Chris, and Jeff had urged me for quite some time to put an end to this wanton mutilation of Shubb capos, and to actually make one ourselves that would do the job. In 1995 we introduced our partial capo, and it has been growing in popularity ever since.
Partial capoing is NOT open tuning
When the partial capo is applied at the second fret from the bass side, we describe the effect as "emulating DADGAD" tuning. This means that when you play the capoed (but not fingered) strings, the notes are: EBEABE, which is the same relationship as DADGAD, but a full step higher. So isn't that the same as tuning into DADGAD and capoing up two frets? NO!
If you don't retune some strings, you are still in standard tuning.
For example, consider playing a barre chord above the capo. It's the same as if the capo were not there. And likewise, any notes fretted above the capo are not effected by the capo. Only notes that would have been open fifth, fouth, and third strings are effected.
So if you are looking for a shortcut into DADGAD, to have an open tuning without RE-tuning, sorry ...that's NOT what the partial capo does.
But if that's not the deal, what IS the deal? Well, that's for you to figure out. And enjoy the experimenting. We're not promoting a playing style, but responding to one that is already being developed by a number of guitar pioneers. There are some very nice sounds being produced with partial capos, and the rules still aren't finished being written. Join the fun.
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