Sailing To Philadelphia

Got a question on a lesson? Don't quite understand what or how or why? Just want some company as you learn? Come join the gang in the lesson forum
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: September 19th, 2009, 1:06 pm

Sailing To Philadelphia

Post by hstupi » February 19th, 2010, 5:56 am


In your "Sailing to Philadelphia" lesson, you make these comments about to last two measures of the full introduction - Example 2: "I also want to note here that these two measures are the only place in the whole arrangement of the song that I'm still a little unhappy with. Repeated listening to the original recording convinces me that someone is playing what would be a low D note (actually E taking the capo into account) but there's just no way of doing it without using “double Drop D” tuning, but then I have to have longer fingers than I do to make the other chords. But that's okay."

I thought about that some and realized that a Spider Capo on the second fret would work quite nicely to allow you to quickly switch back and forth between the high D note "Drop D" tuning and a high D AND low D note "double Drop D" tuning. For those not familiar with a Spider Capo, it provides the ability to capo individual strings. It has six 'legs' that can be adjusted individually, meaning you can choose exactly which string(s) you want depressed. So, for "Sailing To Philadelphia", leave the guitar in standard tuning, put a Spider Capo on the second fret and release the 'leg' on the high E string and you've got the high E string tuned 2 frets lower than the other strings (that's exactly the same as lowering the high E string two frets and then using a standard capo on the second fret). If you want to drop the sixth string 2 frets ("double Drop D" tuning), simply release the 'leg on the sixth string and you've got it. It's then a matter of locking the sixth string again to quickly revert to the original tuning. Nifty, huh? I might have to put one of these on my birthday list next month.

Hank Stupi

Musically Insane
Posts: 5733
Joined: June 15th, 2002, 8:21 am

Re: Sailing To Philadelphia

Post by dhodge » February 19th, 2010, 6:33 am

Hi Hank

Sound like the Spider Capo is kind of like the Third Hand Capo (review: in terms of function. And you are right in that one can use the capo this way to get the tuning.

The problem is, with the Third Hand Capo, at least (never having seen it, I can't vouch for the Spider) that you can set capo on the second fret and still free the low E note to remain at low E (instead of F# as it would be if the capo was functioning on that string) but one still can't finger the F# note because the body of the capo covers it up and doesn't allow the finger a place to fret the note.

As I said, this may not be the case with the Spider, but it is usually a problem with capos of this type. One way around it would be to use a "partial capo" that only fits over five strings, but it's still a bit of finger/thumb gymnastics to comfortably and quickly get that particular note in the bass.

Somethings one just has to live with, I guess. Good idea, though.


Post Reply