Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

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Tom, what is the background on the capo? I like the looks of it. Do you make them? I have never used a capo on a banjo.
Capos were in use throughout the 1800s. But probably not very much on banjos until the era of classic banjo music. They were a more common device for guitars. This design is centuries old and only used today by very traditional flamenco guitarists. I have no affiliation with the manufacture or sales of these. This capo may be purchased from: https://www.stringsbymail.com/21st-century-cejilla-for-6-string-cla.... Best Wishes, Tom
What a lovely capo!

HI Tom,  I think there is one photo of a guy holding a weird early banjo with what looks like one of these on it.

As far as capo use in the "classic" era-- nada.  All of the instruction books teach playing in all keys without the aid of a capo.  They are not even mentioned.  The only mention have found is in the intro to Converse's Banjo Songs where he recommends using one for matching the voice.  Over 200 books and only one mention!

James Buckley mentions them but he was shilling for Ashborne and they held a patent for one, so.. selling goods.

There is no evidence that they were even used by amateurs.

OK then! I stand corrected! I mainly use it for my 19th century style guitar and as you mentioned, just for ease of changing the key to accommodate voice sometimes. Thanks Joel. FYI, I removed the nylon cord on this capo and replaced it with a gut cord. Works better and looks better.

Nice! Well there you go ... a capo on an early banjo! Thank you Joel!!! But as you hypothesised, probably not too common a device on early banjos ... certainly when compared to modern usage (in which they are a common device).

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