Left: Woodie’s G-Band and G-Band II Right: Shubb
have a very nifty addition they call a K-Lever,
which lets you catch the low D-string with your
index finger should you want to play an F#m
chord, which you probably will (though it takes
a little planning to make sure you hit it right,
and yes, with a little practice you can get a
lovely hammer-on/pull-off effect with it). All
four models are lightning quick to put on and
take off, too.
Quality Top notch, nothing to be desired.
Ease of use Ridiculously easy and quick, and
the K-Lever is pure genius.
Usefulness I could see these becoming a
regular part of somebody’s stage rig.
The Shubb is a DADGAD capo, covering the
A, D and G strings at the second fret, but
it can go upside-down and catch the D, G
and B strings, too, which gives you an Open
G sound. It’s quick and easy to use, and
depresses the strings quite solidly. It will work
anywhere on the fretboard if you want to use
a conventional capo and then capo with the
Shubb two frets higher. You can’t catch the Em
chord by wrapping your thumb over as you
would in DADGAD, but with a bit of a stretch
you can reach over the Shubb to play it. For
many fingerstylists, rhythm guitarists and
singer-songwriters it would be a great flavor to
sprinkle into a set.
Quality Shubb’s stuff is always great, and this
does not disappoint.
Ease of use Adjust for your guitar’s neck
and snap it into place at the second fret;
nice low profile allows for “reaching over”
with a little practice.
Usefulness A useful tool that gives you
two voices, it has a solid place in a
Woodie’s G-Band and G-Band II
The G-Band is like a clip that you clench on to
either side of the fretboard to cover the bass
or treble side only. The G-Band covers one
string, and the G-band II covers two. I played
with these a bit and didn’t really get a whole lot
from them, so I surfed around on their web site
and watched their video demo, and I got what
they’re going for. If you want a high drone in
the key you’re playing in, sort of like a 5-string
banjo, then you can set a G-Band up for that
kind of feel (depending on your guitar, you
may even want to use metal fingerpicks and
pick way down toward the bridge for a really
twangy banjo-like sound). You can tune your
low E and A strings down to D and G and put
the G-Band II on the treble side at the third fret
for some terrifically funky DGDGDG pickin’.
Quality They seem solid and sturdy enough,
but I had a little trouble getting the G-Band II
to fret clean on my 1-3/4" wide fingerboard.
Ease of use Easy as pie on a
Usefulness I could see this come in handy as
a flavoring, sprinkled judiciously on a CD or
in a set, but I don’t see it as a workhorse.
Creative Tunes Spider Capo
If you’re going to get serious with partial
capoing it would make sense to get one
single unit that can give you all the variations
you need. The Spider capo does that, and it
seems to be a sturdy little thing. With its seriously hefty bolt and clever “finger handles”
it is a versatile and intuitive capo. However,
I found it a little awkward to put on—you
really have to get it positioned exactly right
and then screw it down—and it took a lot of
adjusting and changing in order to get it to
cover all the strings with equal pressure so it
didn’t sound mushy. I also had to spend a lot
of time just getting the finger handles lined
up over the strings, and then readjusting the
pressure to make sure each string sounded
clear when I engaged the finger handles.
Quality The components seem high quality,
and it is well made.
Ease of use It takes a little doing to get it
just right, but once it’s on it works well. The
pointy finger handles do not allow you to