How to put a banjo capo on
I spent yesterday at a oldtime music jamboree with about ten different bands playing. I noticed the guitar players when they moved their capos they didn't retune, when I put mine on the banjo it doesn't sound right and appears to be out of tune. Your book (banjo encyclopedia) says I may have to retune with the capo on. My question is if I put the capo on the 2nd fret (key of A) what do I tune the strings to?? I guess this question would be the same for any placement of the capo.
Retuning when you put a capo on means that you have to fine tune, not change the notes you tune too. Review the part about putting the capo on in the Banjo Encyclopedia for more information. Basically, place the capo right behind the fret and do not tighten it too much, guitars stay in tune better when you put a capo on, that's a fact.
Practice taking the capo on and off while checking it with the tuner to see how the strings react, experiment so you know what to expect when you put the capo on and take it off, I have to check my tuning and fine tune some when I put a capo on, if I put it on carefully and don't tighten too much that helps. I think there may be some more details or tips in the Banjo E.
Also another tip, after you put the capo on, then place the fifth string in the spike and tune that first, and then take the palm of my hand and push all the strings down once, this gets rid of some binding that happens when you put the capo on, that may help too.