Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

A small trick to make playing easier in the standard key

tune the guitar down a full step and capo on the second fret and you will be playing in the standard tuning . a capo makes it easier to play (lowers the action ) plus the tension is not as much so two ways it helps you . Old age has got me by the fingers so it helps me play better . Lonnie Mack did that because he liked the softer touch … May not be of interest to all but it will help if you have finger problems like I do . Don’t quit playing try everything to make it better for you .

Great suggestion Ken. Glad you found something to help those aching fingers!


which leads me to think the 35 or forty bucks it would take to convert to a zero fret would be worth doing . Scoring of the fret would be another item you would want to watch so when not playing take the capo off. It works for me so that is good , but if it would help any one that would make it great .

Flatt and Scruggs routinely tuned down a step as I understand, could be wrong.
Of course this is also good practice for a twelve string…unless you like a folding guitar :laughing:

Lonnie Mack the one I learned so much from tuned down a step he said he got tired of slicing the ends off his finger callouses. he did a lot of bending on his flatop . “Memphis” I love that tune .