Three Keys to Choosing A Guitar Capo

If you need to adjust the key you play your guitar in, a capo can help you do it in an instant.

Guitar capo
A capo clips on the guitar neck and changes the length of the strings to change keys, but can clip at the end of the neck, off the strings, when not in use.Kyser

When the only way you know how to play “Amazing Grace” is in G, and your singer can only sing it in C, a capo will save your life (and your marriage if the singer happens to be your spouse). In fact, with a good capo you can play everything in G-based chords even when the rest of the band and singers are performing in whatever key they want. All you need to do is move the capo up or down the guitar’s neck to match the key. This is the guitarist’s best-kept secret and it just cost you nothing! When choosing a capo for your guitar look for ease of use, fit, and how it attaches to your neck.

Ease of Use

WINGO Guitar Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitars
This capo is spring-loaded for tension, and quick release for ease of re-positioning.WINGO

Capos should be easy to attach and move up and down the guitar neck, and they should have enough tensile strength to fully clamp across all strings. Some guitars require more tensile strength than others, and some capos offer adjustable tensioning.

Fit

Kyser Quick-Change Capo for 6-string acoustic guitars
These popular quick-change capos come in a variety of widths for guitars and other stringed instruments. They include a “short-cut” capo that clamps only three strings to vary a guitar’s tuning without having to re-tune each string.Kyser

These popular quick-change capos come in a variety of widths for guitars and other stringed instruments. They include a “short-cut” capo that clamps only three strings to vary a guitar’s tuning without having to re-tune each string. Not all guitar fretboards are the same width. For example, a 12-string guitar will have a wider fretboard than a standard six-string. Be sure the pad of your capo extends beyond the outermost strings and clamps them solidly to the fretboard to avoid buzz.

Attachment

G7th Performance 3 Capo with ART
These popular quick-change capos come in a variety of widths for guitars and other stringed instruments. They include a “short-cut” capo that clamps only three strings to vary a guitar’s tuning without having to re-tune each string.G7th

The types of capo attachment can include spring lever, elastic band, clip on, or clutch. Some offer tension adjustments, which are helpful for both keeping the guitar in tune and achieving full string compression, which eliminates buzz. Spring lever capos are typically easier to change quickly but may not hold the tuning as well as one that clips on and tightens.