If you are able to install or have them installed these 5th string banjo spikes called Railroad Spikes, nails, hooks or tacks is a great way to go.
Most pickers use the 5th string capo spikes like these to capo up the 5th string on their banjos.
5th String Sliding Capos have been seldom used since someone came up with this idea of using these HO model Railroad Spikes to slip the 5th string under, when using a banjo capo.
On a guitar you can simply put the capo over all six strings but with the banjo, because the 5th string is shorter, you must capo the 5th string separately.
Capo spikes at the 7th and 9th frets is the most common
7th Fret is for the Key of A, when putting the banjo capo on the second fret, or when wanting to raise the 5th string to A when playing in D without a capo.
9th Fret is for the Key of B, when putting the banjo capo on the fourth fret, or when wanting to raise the 5th string to B when playing in E without a capo.
8th Fret is for the Key of Bb, when putting the banjo capo on the third fret.
10th Fret is for the Key of C when putting the banjo capo on the fifth fret.
Most players now a days prefer playing in C out of open G tuning and not capoing that high up. By capoing up for C you lose a lot of the rich notes in the first 5 frets. When teaching banjo I recommend playing in C out of open G tuning. That would be personal a preference though and I'm sure a lot of folks use the 5th string spike on the 10th fret for capoing to C.
These are the best 5th String Capo Banjo Railroad Spikes you can buy, American made and reasonably priced at 15 for $4.99
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Mar 29, 2018
Spikes are my prefered method for a 5th string capo.
Earl Scruggs used these spikes on his banjo to capo up the 5th string too. I like to use this same method. IF you order a banjo, have these installed at the the time of purchase. WHY? Because you may want to play in other keys besides G in standard tuning. You can install these fairly easy. watch a couple how to videos first so you don't destroy your banjo. It is not rocket science to install these but you need to know a few things to do it right. You will need a few simple tools and supplies to do a first class job. Once properly installed, you will be ready for any jam session. I use spikes at the 7th to 10th frets and go all the way to the 12th fret. on one banjo and another banjo I have spikes from the 6th to the 12th frets. I did that to give me options of keys to play in. Just put the 5th string under the desired spike and use the other capo for the other 4 strings and yo check tuning and get ready to play, Spikes and banjos were meant to be together.
Recommended to buy: Yes