Best guitar capos reviewed here. Find helpful chart and learn how to use the Guitar Capo. Here’s a definitive guide to guitar capos. A capo helps raise the pitch of a fretted instrument (like guitar) so you can play in a different key using the same fingerings. These accessories are commonly used on guitars, banjos, mandolins and other fretted instruments to create a new nut at a higher note. Skip to the best capo on Amazon.
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Popular Guitar Capos
Ultra Lightweight by xGuitarx
The Ultra Lightweight by xGuitarx can be used to adjust pitch on a variety of stringed instruments, while also eliminating the resonant buzz that can be heard while strumming chords after applying a poorly-made clasp.
Easy to put on and off within seconds, adjusts to any neck, Weight: 1.6 ounces
Shubb C1A Steel String Capo
The Shubb C1A Steel String Capo is a professional capo and is designed for most acoustic guitars with metal strings and is available in various colors – Brass, Nickel, Black Chrome, Bronze. It comes with built-in tension adjustment, which is quite handy as you know that you’re not applying too much pressure on the frets. Though it doesn’t just clip to the headstock, and usually takes two hands to put it on, it doesn’t make your guitar go out of tune so easily.
- PROS: Professional, strong and stays in place, more compact in size compared to other popular capos
- CONS: Not clamp style so you cannot clamp it to the head of the guitar when not in use
This capo applies force vertically on the strings, unlike some other capos that apply force at an angle (causing the strings to be subtly bent making the instrument slightly out of tune). This particular capo is not your typical clamp style capo, which means you cannot clamp it to the head of the guitar when you’re not using it. It means you have to be careful where you keep it, else you may just lose it, especially if you’re performing outdoors.
Planet Waves NS Artist Guitar Capo
The Planet Waves NS Artist Capo has an adjustable tension, works with most stringed instruments (acoustic as well as electric), and can be used just by one hand. Its made of aircraft-grade aluminum and is suitable for use with most 6-string electric and acoustic guitars. The Micrometer tension adjustment assures buzz-free in-tune performance at every fret, Its easy to use and provides even clamping tension. It comes with an integrated pick holder
The Planet Waves NS Artist Capo is inexpensive, well constructed, and does the job quite well. The strings are held securely so there’s no distortion, the adjustable tension spring allows for easy one-handed operation, and its quick too.
Kyser Classical Capo
The Kyser Classical Capo is easy to use, easy to move and remove, and clamps on the headstock when not in use. This one is only for nylon-stringed classical guitar, if you want one for a regular steel-stringed acoustic, get the ‘Kyser 6-String Capo’. It clearly stays out of the way while you’re playing the guitar. Easily raises the pitch of the guitar (without changing fingering) allowing you to play in a different key.
Keyser is a well-known brand, this capo is strongly built, is durable. Its a functional & reasonable capo that gets the job done, though its not a professional grade one.
Kyser KG6B 6-String Capo
The Kyser KG6B 6-String Capo is easy to move and take off, is durable, and comes with various color options. Its one of the more popular quick-release capo for steel string guitars (6-string). Easy to use and can be re-positioned just with one hand, without disturbing the tuning. It also clearly stays out of the way while you’re playing the guitar, won’t spoil your guitar finish.
Although its not a professional grade capo, its strongly built, the spring tension clamps maintain intonation, the Quick-Change action allows re-positioning the capo with just only one hand. It clamps on the head-stock when not in use.
What is a Capo?
If you have started playing the guitar, then sooner or later you will definitely come across this word – the capo! So what is it and how to use it?
Do you wish sometimes that you had something easier to fret the higher chords of the guitar than using your fingers?
If the answer is yes, then what you really need is a capo which is similar to what your fingers would do for fretting the chords and will also produce great sounds and mileage for the chords and keys you use.
A Capo is clamp like device used on the neck of the guitar or even any other stringed instrument other than the guitar. It is used to make the neck shorter and to create a new nut or a new fret.
Because the pitch is raised, the player find its easy to play a musical piece in a different key while still using the same fingerings (that they would normally use).
If you wish to play a song in certain key using different fingerings then you can use the capo. It is used to raise the pitch of an instrument.
The capo is usually placed close to the desired fret, just behind it. What it really does is that it holds the strings down securely in a sharp angle so that it remains fretted.
Types of Guitar Capos
There are different types of guitar capos that are available:
A C-clamp capo has a screw which is used to tighten or apply pressure and hold the strings. It has a surface that presses against the back of the neck of the instrument to hold the bar intact against the strings. The C-Clamp is very sturdy, reliable, compact and has a lesser tendency to make the guitar out of tune. However, on the downside, screwing and unscrewing it is a hassle which makes it a bit difficult to remove or clamp it on a guitar.
Spring Loaded Capo:
The Spring loaded capo has a handle that is controlled by a spring. The common kind of spring capo has 2 bars , one made of a rubber surface that applies pressure to the strings and the other bar presses against the back of the guitar so as to hold the first bar. It is also called as the quick release capo because it can be quickly added and removed from the guitar, even with one hand.
The disadvantage is that the amount of pressure on the strings cannot be adjusted by the spring mechanism. The spring will apply maximum pressure on the strings which in turn will affect the tuning of the guitar if not applied properly. It is also a little bulky and not as compact as a c-clamp capo.
Elastic capos are among the cheapest in the market. It has an elastic strap which can be adjusted to control the pressure on the strings. The elastic also holds the capo to the neck of the guitar.
There are many thinner varieties which are available but they don’t last too long.
It is one of the most popular capos available in the market. A shubb capo has a lever attached to it which can be used to secure the capo on the strings. It also consists of a padded bar which is held by a mechanical fastener.
The best part of this capo is that the amount of pressure applied on the strings can be adjusted with precision and has the least impact on the tuning of the guitar. The disadvantage being that you need both your hands to remove it or to place it on the guitar.
How to Use a Capo?
If you are a beginner, you will have to move the capo around on the strings to figure out the right key to sing. A music sheet can also help you in this regard. Play the first note in the music sheet then find that tone in your voice and place the capo where the nut is in relation to the fretted nut.
Tips For Capo Use
Although a capo seems simple enough to use, here are a few dos and don’ts.
- Make sure your guitar is tuned before putting on the capo and after you remove it. It’s possible that the strings’ tension may change when adjusting the capo.
- Make sure you have placed the capo in the right place (to eliminate tuning issues). Most experienced players and guitar teachers agree that the best position for the capo is directly behind the fret, not on top of it or midway between two frets (it should mimic a good finger position).
- Remove the capo when you are done playing. Leaving the capo on the strings for extended periods of time could bend your strings or reduce a fret’s lifespan. Instead, you could clip the capo on the headstock so it’s easily available when you’re ready to play.
- Keep your capo clean and in good condition. Using a dirty or cracked capo could damage your guitar’s neck or strings.
History Of The Capo
Although most music historians agree that variants of capo devices were available as early as the 1600s, the first proper capo (as we know it) was patented in 1850 by James Ashborn. Born in England, Ashborn moved to the United States in the 1830s and set up a guitar-making shop.
That first capo patent paved the way for many others. One of the most important patents was granted in 1931 to W.H. Russel. This was the elastic capo, a model that guitar players still enjoy today. A second significant change to the capo market happened in the 1970s, when the Shubb side-clamp screw-adjustable capo became available (Shubb remains one of the top choices for capos even today).
Capos continue to evolve and have undergone lots of changes since the 1970s.
- You now get glider capos that can roll up and down the fret board
- You get novelty capos shaped like animals, clamp capos, deluxe capos, quick-change capos, and more.
- Another type that’s catching the fancy of experience musicians is the partial capo, which lets you shorten only a few strings (three, four, or five), instead of all six.
A Guitar Capo is like a clasp that is placed on the strings or on a particular fret of the instrument; it shortens the neck of the guitar and raises the pitch of the key on the guitar. Most stringed musical instrument players use this accessory. It works like how your fingers would on the frets. There are many kinds of capos available such as a C-Clamp, Shub, Elastic, Spring laded capo etc. Each has its own pros and cons but a Shubb capo is the most popular among all capos.