Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Cripple Creek

Ok…Mr. Stupid here.

Downloaded Cripple Creek from here and have learned it. I found the words to the song (one version anyway) and when I try to sing it, not suited for my voice. I have to sing pretty low. I’m guessing it’s in the key of G? (told ya, Mr. Stupid). If I wanted to sing it in a higher key, I’m guessing I’d have to capo my neck. If so, what do I do with eh 5th string? Tune it different for the song as it’s used a lot in the song.

Any help appreciated as always.

You can tune up the 5th string a step or so but after that you risk breaking it.

When you capo a banjo, you usually have 2 choices. You can install a 5th string capo which is a sliding capo that installs on the neck and capos only the 5th string.

You can install spikes, which are HO model railway spikes. These are hammered into the fretboard and used to hold down the 5th string, usually on frets 7, 8, 9 and 10. If you do this by yourself, do your research. The spikes have to placed in the right place and you have to drill the neck if you don’t want to split the fretboard.

A quick fix is to use the cap from a Bic pen. Cut the ‘clip’ end a bit and then jam it in between the 5th string and the fret.