So what is the best capo in the world?
For those who don’t know what a capo is or what exactly a capo does, here’s the rundown…
What exactly is a capo?
A capo is a like a little guitar clamp, that’s it.
What is a capo used for?
There are two reasons for using a capo:
- To change the key of the song you’re playing without learning new chords.
- To make it easier to press down the strings.
To change the key of the song you’re playing without learning new chords.
This is probably the most popular application of a capo.
Here’s what I mean:
Let’s say you’re playing a song in the key of G.
Let’s say you’re using a the G, D, Em, C chord progression.
Now lets say you’re singing along with the song.
But, for you, it’s hard to sing in the key of G… you just can’t hit the notes.
If the song were a little bit higher it would be so much easier.
Use a capo!
Clamp that capo down on the 2nd or 3rd fret.
Now play it using your G, D, Em, C chord progression.
I realize that explaining how a capo can fix your singing can be tricky. You can check out this video (to access the video scroll down to “Section 4, Lecture 20 ‘Using a capo to fix your voice‘”, just click on the preview button to watch the whole video).
To make it easier to press down the strings.
This is one of my favorite applications for a capo.
Using a capo around the 4th or 5th fret can make it easier to press down the strings.
This is particularly helpful if you are just starting out on the guitar.
Now only will it lower the action, but the frets are closer together as you get further down the neck.
This means that chords will easier to reach (less finger stretch).
This is especially true for kids.
If you want to read more about this, check out this article on guitar finger pain.
Are there different type of capos?
Here are the three most popular types:
Most capos are spring loaded: you squeeze them to open, then you release to have them clamp down on your guitar.
These are probably the most popular type of capo.
They’re easy to use.
They last forever.
They come in a wide variety of styles.
If you’re getting a capo, I’d probably go with this style.
Other capos use a tiny screw to loosen and tighten the clamp.
These are also pretty good.
They take longer to attach (obviously since you’re screwing them to tighten).
They get the job done (maybe better than the clamp style)
But I still prefer the clamp style because they’re so fast and easy to use.
If you’re looking for the screw style, I’d go with this kind.
Old school capos use strings or straps to loosen and tighten the device.
Not as popular as the previously mentioned capos, but still effective.
These were popular with singer-songwriters way back in the day… they were really the only capos available.
Nothing beats the old pencil-and-rubber-band do-it-yourself capo.
Pretty self explanatory.
It will do in a pinch.
My New Favorite Capo
This clamp kind of capo.
It’s cheap (less than $5.00).
What else do you need.
Most other clamp capos cost between $11-$15.
This one does the same job for over half the cost.
Some of the reviews on Amazon have indicated that these capos don’t hold the strings down very well.
I have a few of these capos and have never run into any issue on any of my guitars.
For most electric and steel string acoustic guitars, these capos will work.
Classical Guitar Capo
Classical guitars are a little different when in comes to capos.
If you have a classical guitar… you’ll need a classical guitar capo. Just keep that in mind.
Classical guitar capos are straight (rather than slightly curved).
This done to account for the slight curve in the neck/fretboard of most electric and acoustic guitars.
Classical guitars on the other hand, have a straight neck/fretboard (no curvature).
That’s it! If you have any capo suggestions, please let me know in the comments below!
(Jake Posko does Online Guitar Lessons and Coaching as well as in-home lessons in the Annapolis, Maryland area including: Annapolis, Edgewater, Severna Park, Pasadena, Crownsville, Arnold and Kent Island, inquire about lessons by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org).