notes by Rick Shubb
Tom is best known for singing and playing mandolin with longtime partner Laurie Lewis, and he’s one of the most solid and tasteful bluegrass mandolin players in the business. I don’t think he’ uses a capo on mandolin, although some players do. But as you can see from this picture, he quickly makes up for that when he plays the guitar.
Here he is playing in the key of F by capoing all six strings at the first fret, and capoing all but the bass string at the third fret, then playing out of a D fingering. This gives him a root note on the bass, much like a “drop D” tuning. It sounds great; give it a try some time.
We make a special capo for leaving the sixth string open, (C8) although I think in this picture Tom is using a standard capo for the job. He has been know to use his Shubb capo on the mandola, too, so I guess we can forgive him for not using one on mandolin. Now Tom, if you’d please talk to Laurie about that fiddle capo I sent her…