Because Jesse is a wonderful
singer, I end up playing a lot of guitar, and in weird keys, so a capo
is a must. I've recently come across this style from Planet Waves
and can thoroughly recommend it. The pressure is adjustable and
the lever action snappy, unlike the heavy capos of the past.
But I still had an issue - the middle strings of my
guitar would buzz unless I had the capo pressure up quite high, while
the outside strings only needed the lightest pressure. As you can
see in the image, the capo is curved, but clearly my Yamaha steel string
guitar's fingerboard is not quite so curved.
It occurred to me that it
shouldn't be a big deal to straighten the clamping surface a little so
that it fitted the guitar more naturally. Then I could get away
with less clamping pressure which would probably be better for
maintaining the intonation as the capo was moved up the neck.
I quickly put aside any
thoughts of straightening the metal part, as I suspect the capo is made
from cast aluminium, and that stuff can be very brittle. I could
be wrong, but I wasn't prepared to gamble!
I did Google searches like
"straighten bent capo" but didn't find any useful advice, so hence this
note in case it helps you. Again I could be wrong, but duplication
is better than abrogation!
So that left the rubber, and
I opted for sanding it lightly on a linisher (belt sander). Hand
sanding with coarse paper wrapped around a block or file would probably
work too, or even very careful carving with a very sharp knife. I
think the thing is to go very lightly, testing often, and being careful
to take only the bits you want off. You can always do a little
more later if you decide you didn't take off enough. It's hard to
The whole job took just a few
seconds, and now I can run the capo at just a bit above minimum tension
and it clamps all strings securely. The capo doesn't really look
any different, which shows how little I took off, and therefore how
critical it is that the curve of the clamping rubber approximates the
curve of the fingerboard. One of those many jobs in life that take
only a few seconds, but leave you wondering: "why did I wait so long
before doing that?"!
Hope that helps!