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  • Leaving a CAPO on for too long...

    I have been leaving my capo on my taylor 410 for extended periods of time (overnight) b/c ill put my guitar down thinking im coming right back but then i get caught up in some **************** and dont pick it up til later on....i restrung the beast today and realized that the fret where i had it capoed had unusual fret wear....ive been doing this for a while now and just noticed it....sucks ass...no buzzing there yet but definite wear...anyone else have this problem??

    oh yeah, the strings were 14's...a bluegrass set made for tuning down a whole step
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  • #2
    If the wear is across the entire fret, it's probably the capo - my top three strings tend to wear the frets more than the bottom three, since those are the ones I bend. 14s are pretty stout, too, so that's probably a factor. I've never had this happen, but I did notice a series of six slight indentations in a perfectly straight line across my fretboard just above the second fret of my Martin where I often capo. Maybe lighten up the capo's tension a bit, too.
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    • #3
      I've often thought that could indeed happen, so I'd never dream of leaving a capo on longer than is absolutely necessary.
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      • #4
        I have no facts to support my aversion to leaving a capo on any longer than the time I am holding that guitar. Actually I worry as much about the back of the neck as I do the frets; maybe more.
        But no empirical data to back this up.

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        • #5
          so it got me to thinking...
          and I found these links:
          http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-22121.html

          http://www.maurysmusic.com/g7th_capo___todd_s_review

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          • #6
            Leaving a capo on will not hurt the guitar in my opinion. Playing with a capo constantly can cause the frets to wear down quicker near the capo, much like they do near the nut.

            Fret wear is normal. Heavy gage strings will wear out frets quicker. 14's are very heavy.

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            • #7
              I used to use one of these:
              until one time I left it on for a few days only to find that rubber padding on the lower claw reacted with and damaged the finish on the neck of the guitar.

              It's a good capo, though. I like the design and will replace the rubber padding with something non-reactive some day.
              Last edited by Fred Fartboski : Today at...

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              • #8
                Here is an interesting link that talk about this:

                These frets are are worn under all the strings all the way across: ... That's because the guitarist was a heavy capo user. Bluegrassers, among others, find themselves using a capo quite often. The capo holds the string down against the fret powerfully, and the string tends to vibrate a lot in the "open capoed" position. Under this circumstance, the fret will wear rather quickly under the wound strings. It's not all that unusual to see more wear under the bass strings than the treble, particularly if the player really "drives" the guitar hard.


                The issue may be the heavy use of a capo rather than just leaving it on.
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                • #9
                  I use capos a lot. Most of the time in fact. Sometimes I use more than one. I leave them on often and have been playing the same instrument for years and have seen no issues at all.

                  They are taken off when the guitar is in its case, but if it would fit with them on I might just leave them on there.
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                  • #10
                    They scare me, Like Queequeg said. I agree.. As much as I would like to use one I won't.

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                    • #11
                      I've had a friend who ruined his capo by leaving it on overnight---left indentations in the rubber so the capo didn't press the strings all the way down---but I've never heard of a capo ruining the frets. 14s are pretty doggone heavy strings, so perhaps that had something to do with it as well.
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                      • #12
                        But would 14's tuned down a whole step be harder on the frets than 13's (which are pretty common) that are tuned to regular pitch? My guess would be on the negative.

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                        • #13
                          But would 14's tuned down a whole step be harder on the strings than 13's (which are pretty common) that are tuned to regular pitch? My guess would be on the negative.


                          The tension on 14s tuned a whole step down is slightly less than 13s tuned to standard.
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                          • #14
                            Emphasis added in the following quote:

                            Here is an interesting link that talk about this:

                            These frets are are worn under all the strings all the way across: ... That's because the guitarist was a heavy capo user. Bluegrassers, among others, find themselves using a capo quite often. The capo holds the string down against the fret powerfully, and the string tends to vibrate a lot in the "open capoed" position. Under this circumstance, the fret will wear rather quickly under the wound strings. It's not all that unusual to see more wear under the bass strings than the treble, particularly if the player really "drives" the guitar hard.

                            The issue may be the heavy use of a capo rather than just leaving it on.

                            This leads me to believe that a capo that is too tight may be the culprit. What kind of capo do you have? Is it adjustable? If not, go out and get one that is, like a Shubb. Then tighten it just enough that it holds the strings down without buzzing. Alternately, switch to .013 strings and tune to standard pitch; then you won't need a capo--or at least you won't need one as often.
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