Imagine being in standard tuning. Now imagine yourself putting a capo on your guitar’s second fret and automatically being in open A tuning. That’s right, instead of having every string be a whole step higher (F#, B, E, A, C#, E), only the D, G and B strings have changed so that your guitar is now at E, A, E, A, C# E, which is indeed open A tuning. That’s either magic or quite a capo.
It’s definitely the capo, or rather the Spider Capo from Creative Tunings, Inc. It looks like this:
As you can see, this capo is made up of six individual units, clamped together onto a single bar. Since each of the six segments has its own “string hammer,” if you will, you can set this capo so that it clamps down on one single string or any combination of strings you desire.
For guitarists who like to experiment and create new and interesting arrangements, this capo is like having a portable muse of tuning that you can call upon whenever you like. If you like DADGAD, for instance, but don’t like to mess with the tuning of your guitar, particularly when performing, placing the Spider Capo on the second fret and connecting on only the A, D and G strings will give you EBEABE, which is DADGAD up one full step. No need to bring a second guitar or bore the audience while you’re retuning.
In many ways, the Spider Capo is much like the Third Hand Capo we reviewed here at Guitar Noise ages ago. But the folks at Creative Tunings have definitely improved upon that idea quite a bit. First off, the capo fits the guitar a lot better. Second, both the clamp and the individual string segments are adustable. You can use the Spider Capo on any guitar you own, whether it’s a classical, acoustic, electric or twelve string. Setting up the Spider Capo initially takes a little patience, but after working with it for less than an hour, you’ll be able to place it on and adjust it without any effort at all.
If you enjoy creating new tunings and playing around all up and down the neck of the guitar, you’ll probably enjoy the Spider Capo a lot. They’ve also got a “Mini-Spider” capo that fits banjos, mandolins, ukuleles and other small necked instruments. And one of those is next on my “wish list!”