Now that's thinking outside the case!
Fifth String Capo Trick
© Frank Ford, 2005; Photos by FF

Just when I was beginning to think I'd seen every possible variant of the banjo fifth capo, along comes Bob Skluzacek of Hayward, California. For sure, this isn't the best fifth string capo from the standpoint of utility, but it is a mighty cool rethink of the fifth string capo dilemma. I doubt we'll see a cheaper or less invasive solution to the problem of capoing the fifth string.

Here's the raw material for our do-it-yourself capo:

Or should I say, "cap-o?"

A quick trim with a razor saw to cut the end short:

A little off the end of the clip, and a tiny nick on the top corner, and the capo is complete:


The underside of the clip was originally hollowed out so it fits nicely right on top of the frets:

The capo lifts the string a bit and does the job remarkably well. Naturally, banjos vary in action, fret height and string spacing, so you'll need to experiment a bit to get the right combination. These cheap ballpoint pens come in a wide variety of clip configurations, so there are plenty of options.


When the capo is not in use, it can stick right on top of a tuner post, and the protruding bit of string will hold it nicely:

Or, it can slip right under the second or third string:

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