I’m sure most of you are painfully aware that many guitarists suffer FROM GAS attacks. “GAS” stands for “gear acquisition syndrome” and HAVING GAS can be devastating to one’s health. Fatal, if you happened to be married…
Guitarists (especially those who are songwriters) can also suffer FROM a slightly different form of GAS. They constantly seek new ways to create sounds FROM their instruments. As a GASaholic (notice I didn’t say “recovering GASaholic”), I have found that there is as much delight to be found in the little things in life as there is in buying that $5,000 guitar.
Case in point: the Third Hand Capo, made by the Third Hand Capo Company in Madison, Wisconsin. If you are old enough, you’d say that this little gadget looks like the “old” capos – a hard cylinder of plastic that you clamp onto your guitar with a thick band of elastic. But if you look closely, you’ll see that someone has chopped the cylinder INTO six bits, one for each string. This allows you the option of NOT capoing a string or any number of strings. Doing the math (or simply reading the package), I have sixty-three different ways to capo any given fret.
What exactly does this mean? If you’re a songwriter or someone who loves alternate tunings, I don’t really have to tell you. HAVING a capo that you can turn INTO a “partial” capo will open worlds of tuning possibilities for you. Songs that may have given you fits (for me, Willie Porter’s Angry Words comes immediately to mind) are now songs you can play. Used in conjunction with a regular capo or a device like Woodie’s G-Band (or both!), you can truly go wild!
If you’re a parent of a young child who wants to play guitar, the Third Hand Capo can help you teach at an earlier age. Think about it – the hardest thing for a child is to get a full grip across the entire neck of a guitar. So how about this: place the Third Hand Capo so it covers second fret, but only on the G, D and A strings. Placed like this, the E, A (okay, Aadd9) and B7 (sus) are played with one finger each!
You’ll have to excuse me for the fact that this is a review in progress. A friend of mine got me one for the holidays and the fact is that I am still coming up with ways of using this!
Check out the Third Hand Capo at their site:
And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just got a new idea for a tuning!