What is the Best Guitar Capo?

Posted by Harry Potter on

Ask any experienced guitarist and they will tell you that a guitar capo is an absolutely essential bit of kit for any guitarist from novice to a professional. Without one youll soon find that there are loads of your favourite songs, from Wonderwall to The Chain and Hotel California to Here Comes the Sun, that you simply wont be able to play!


But what does a capo actually do?

A guitar capo is a device that clamps across the strings on your guitar fret board, shortening the length of the strings, meaning that you can play standard open chord shapes in a different pitch. So if you have a singer who can not reach the lowest note(s) in a song you are playing you can simply put a capo a few frets up and this will raise the singers lowest notes up a few tones so they can sing it comfortably - you can then play the same chord shapes on your guitar as before without the need to learn new chords/progressions. Guitar capos come in slightly different sizes for classical, acoustic and electric guitars, due to the variation in neck width and curvature of the fret board. The very first capos were around as early as the 1700s and the very first guitar capo was patented in 1850; since then there have been many technological innovations that have led to the guitar capo that you will find in every guitarists kit today.

What makes a good capo?

As well as the variation in the size and shape of capos to suit a variety of styles and preferences, there is also a great diversity in the quality of capos available and it can be hard to work out what really represents value for money. The most important job a guitar capo does, and the most common fault in a cheap capo, is to apply pressure on all the strings across the fret board evenly if a capo depresses the strings unevenly it will result in some of the strings buzzing or being out of sync with the rest of the guitar. The other problems that commonly occur with a poorly made capo are more due to bad construction than design, such as the capo slipping off and losing grip when youre playing, or the trigger mechanism tightening up making it harder to take the capo on and off.

Different types of capo - which is best?

So what actually is the best guitar capo? Well there isnt actually one type of capo that will suit every single guitarist, but weve put together a handy guide to a few different capos that will suit a range of budgets and preferences to help you choose the one thats right for you:


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