I always loved the freedom that capos provide, and that goes double for partial capos. So when I saw the Third Hand Capo I was immediately intrigued as it takes the partial capo concept to a different level. The basic concept of the Third Hand Capo is the ability to capo each string individually rather than a singular bar crossing the fretboard which allows a wide variety of partial capo options.
The Third Hand capo is basically a double strap style capo with a metal bar which crosses the fretboard with six individual rubber feet which can be rotated to clamp down different combinations of your strings. Additionally, there is a plastic support which rests on the edge of your fretboard to keep more balanced pressure when capoing half the fretboard. Construction is solid, however the metal inserts into the elastic strap will likely fail eventually, a common flaw of the strap based capo design. Hopefully, the company will come out with a clamp based version at some point.
In usages, this isn’t the quickest device to set up. Getting the spacing of the rubber feet to match your string spacing takes a little time and changing settings, some of which require reversing the capo to ensure the plastic support is on the correct side of the neck, take a little time and I must admit I got a bit frustrated when trying to make quick changes. Hopefully, the company will come out with a clamp based version at some point.
That being said; once set up the Third Hand Capo delivers just as promised. First, I tried some of the suggestions in the instruction pamphlet which were very nice and included several open chord settings; though the real fun came from experimenting with different capoed string combinations and extreme settings. For example, setting the capo only on the high E and B string at various positions up the neck and playing behind the capo resulted in allowing me to move chordal shapes behind pedal tones in an extremely cool way. Even cooler was setting an open shape a little up the neck and switching from playing behind the capo to in front of it allowing an awesome mixture of pedal tones and chordal figures which just can’t be achieved any other way. Combined with a traditional capo or half capo and the possibilies become totally mind allowing you to practically transform your guitar into a different instrument.
Players looking for ways to experiment with partial capos will find the Third Hand Capo tons of fun. Though a bit tedious to set up; once you’re up and running it offers some very cool and innovative possibilities which, to my knowledge, aren’t offered by any other product on the market today.
Price: $12.95 USD
Pros: Innovative product design
Cons: Strap based design susceptible to failure over time