The Kyser Capo
I remember it like it was yesterday. See, let me explain something first off, I’ve played or tried to play acoustic steel string guitars since I was either eleven or twelve years old. In that time, I’ve done highs and lows, spent years of playing for hours a day, to not even looking at a guitar for a year. I’m just that way, and only a different sort of mind filled with ego could judge.
A lot of the times in life, things just are what they are, and you too are what you are – and whether you assume yourself a success, or not, you can not much run from who and what you are.
THE KYSER CAPO!
I mean to tell you, if there is one thing definite I know about gear used in playing guitar, that one thing would be this: No matter where you are in this world, persons playing acoustic guitars use first and foremost the Kyser Capo. The thing is so simplistic, so perfect for what it was designed to do, and it is practically indestructible.
Literally, you could leave it in your yard, run over it a couple times with your riding lawn mower, or push mower, hit it with the weed eater too….still works fine, they’ll be some cosmetic defects due to abuse, but it’ll most likely at a high percentage of such instances….work just like it always did. The thing is simply a product that I can’t imagine being done any better than it already has been by Kyser.
I guess it behooves me at this point to bother with a “just what the heck is a ‘capo’ moment.”
Simply put, a guitar or mandolin or fiddle, or banjo…those things make sounds from strings and wood vibrating together, but you knew that. The strings on such instruments vibrate from the saddle on the bridge, to the nut where the neck ends, and the strings head on toward the tuning machines. Well, you can see THAT, right? So what is a capo? Simple, a capo is a movable nut.
The image above was taken from the following article:
Rather than go into great detail as to “just what” a capo is or does, I feel as though the visual demonstration above serves a lot of purpose, and in a lot of cases, solves my explanation issues, however, I shall also attempt to demonstrate just a tad more of the “how” and “why” and “what for.” However, before I get into all of that, and other bits of obscure things either known or unknown to a novice, let me provide another picture of what in my mind is a near to perfect product in regards to purpose served, sustainability, indestructibility, and ease of use.
The Kyser Capo – Available In All Colors!
Before I delve deeper into the ancient lore involving the use of a capo, it now behooves me to indulge my recessive bard gene. Ready?
Okay. See, as I previously stated, I’d played the guitar from a pre-teen age, and still do. I already owned a Kyser brand capo. Now, it is Christmas, but not a recent Christmas, a Christmas day about fifteen years ago, and it has come time to exchange Christmas gifts in the tradition and style most people are familiar with. Well, as it happened, John, who is a certified public accountant, who is married to my cousin Kelly, also a certified public accountant, has just started handing out these Kyser brand capos to the each and most every one of us in my Mother’s side of the family, as we nearly all play a guitar on some level or another.
So, this is nice, but ….as it turns out, John, who lives not far away from me here in Kaufman, Texas, is doing the accounting for the Kyser capo company. See, I had no idea the company was even remotely associated with my small Texas Town, but it is, in fact, located here, originated here, and is still here, in Kaufman, Texas.
It makes no difference that the Kyser capo is made in my hometown. If I lived in Galway Ireland, and had the same family of guitar players living there, we’d all have already had a Kyser capo, and we’d have all gladly taken another. If I was Japanese, or “fill in the nation of your choice here_____,” same thing, Kyser capos are used all over the world.
The Kyser Quick Change Capo
Now the Kyser capo is just the Kyser capo, and indeed, it is enough for anyone. It is also sometimes called the “quick change” capo for, well, its design’s inherent beauty and ease of use. Most other designs of capo involve tightening a screw, or something even worse or less effective. Shubb style capos are “screw type” capos, and they are very good capos. Some people just prefer the Shubb, but the Shubb style capo can’t be changed out so fast as can the Kyser. The Shubb can’t be moved or removed anywhere so easily or quickly as can the Kyser. The Kyser capo is just the most perfect design imaginable, but nevertheless, the Shubb Capo is a good capo.
The Shubb Capo
Now let me attempt to explain some things about guitar tuning and how the Kyser brand capo makes some things possible that other capo designs prohibit inadvertently. The guitar as presented to you in its standard tuning is a wonderful thing, and that tuning is as follows.
E – the largest string at top
A – second largest string, from the top
E – the smallest string, at bottom.
That, my friends, is the standard tuning for the guitar, but guess what? You don’t have to use that tuning, you can use any configuration of notes you wish as your standard tuning. The world is literally yours, you do not have to conform to anything, it is only most likely that you must first learn to work within the presented world (or guitar tuning) before venturing out into the wider world of your own mind, and your own creativity, capiche?
Okay, well, with the Kyser capo, attached to your guitar, there is absolutely NOTHING stopping you from using the thing on all the strings, or, you could only capo five of the strings, four of the strings. from the top, or from the bottom. I can not manage a Kyser capo as a movable nut on just three strings, but with a wider neck on say, an S series Martin guitar, then I could easily just capo half the strings in any tuning configuration or standard tuning I so desire.
My point is this, the Kyser capo and your imagination are not limited to standard applications. Also very popular in a lot of guitar circles, is a very simple alternate tuning described as follows:
The Drop D Tuning
The largest or top string, normally the E string – is de-tuned (string slacked down) to D, followed by standard tuning. Well, to simulate the EXACT same effect but instead as a “Drop E” tuning, the Kyser capo can be applied with the clamp grip from the bottom rather than from the top, on the second fret, and NOT clamping the large E string. Friends and neighbors, that is the simple “Drop E” tuning, and maybe it will be the first alternate tuning explored for the beginner.
You can’t do THAT with a Shubb style capo.
Now that you have your capo, get your strings and play your guitar!!!!!!
Kyser Capos are made in my hometown, and the town is small, so here is a small town story about a international product!