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Partial Capo Basics

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Remembering Jeff Hickey


Who We Are

Most of this site has been moved to to www.partialcapo.com, where you will find much more complete information, ideas, and a secure web store that carries many partial capo products.

Welcome to the home page of the Third Hand Capo, the original partial capo, made in the USA and sold world-wide from 1980 to 2015. The Third Hand Capo is now discontinued, and we are not planning to make more. Here is why.

From 1980 to 2015 we manufactured and distributed the Third Hand Capo, the first and still the most universally useful device that could clamp any combination of strings at any fret on any guitar. (There are a number of single-purpose partial capos that you can buy also that do many valuable things.) This creates open-string effects similar to those achieved by non-standard tunings of the guitar. Changing the length of an open string with a partial capo is fundamentally different than retuning the guitar, since the geometry of the scales and chords does not change, and you can play many things just as you would in standard tuning, but still achieve the sound of an open tuning. (There are also many interesting and very useful effects that can be achieved through the use of a partial capo and an altered tuning simultaneously.)

For a careful discussion and comparison of the Third Hand Capo and the new SpiderCapo, click here.

A partial capo allows you to play things on your guitar that are not possible any other way, and it is equally useful to the total beginner, the recreational player and songwriter, and to the serious guitarist and composer. It allows drone-string resonances and chord voicings that are very useful and desirable, and opens up a new world of guitar sounds to be explored by both serious guitarists and songwriters. It is also an extremely useful tool for teaching guitar, and allows young children and those with learning disabilities to have a very successful guitar experience. It may be the best way ever devised for teaching fingerpicking.

Click here for a more detailed explanation of the theory of the partial capo and how it differs from altered tunings.

We have worked for nearly 35 years exploring the possibilities of the partially capo-ed guitar, and we have only become more convinced that it is an idea of tremendous importance, and one that will eventually become universal. There are many useful ways to partially capo a guitar, and there are often many different uses for particular configurations. The same Esus configuration that makes guitar very easy for beginners is also the one most widely used for composing and arranging by some of the world's most accomplished fingerstyle guitarists.

A list of Harvey Reid tracks on iTunes that use a partial capo.

We now sell the Liberty FLIP capos retail & wholesale, and write and publish books of arrangements for partially capo-ed guitar. We also have been selling the popular partial capos made by Shubb Capos, as well as all models by Kyser and G-Band, Planet Waves, SpiderCapo and Harmonic Capo. Unfortunately, we have now discontinued selling Third Hand Capos wholesale, and will in 2015 cease selling other capos except the new Liberty FLIP Model 43 and Model 65. These are the new generation of partial capos that look better, operate more easily, fit more instruments and do more things than most other partial capos.

You can order those products from us, or we can help you find a source in your area.

We hope you enjoy your visit. We invite you to email your questions, comments or suggestions. Send inquiries or PayPal payments for products to:

Woodpecker Multimedia
PO Box 815
York - ME - 03909
Phone: 207-363-1886