What Is A Capo?

Guitar Capo


Instruments like the guitar simply work by holding a string down tightly inside one of the frets. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be done by your own fingers.

Introducing the CAPO!

This is simply a device that clamps down on the guitar neck and holds down the strings for you.

The Video Lesson:


How to use your capo:

  1. All you need to do is hold it like a gun.
  2. Squeeze like you’re pulling a trigger. This should open the capo up, like it’s a shark that’s about to eat something.
  3. Hold it over the neck of your guitar, making sure that it’s open enough to go over the neck and strings.
  4. Once it’s in place, simply let go.

Pro Tips:

  1. If you’re having trouble getting it on, then try putting it half way on and then letting your hand have a short rest. Then grab it again and adjust. Then have another rest. Then adjust again and repeat this process until it’s on properly.
  2. Try and get the capo straight and close to the front of the fret that it’s in. It should sit just behind the fret bar.
  3. Are the strings straight? If not, just squeeze to let the strings straighten up, then let go again.
    The capo pictured is usually called a “trigger capo”, however there are many other types. I recommend just getting any cheap one that’s strong.

There are generally three sizes for capos.

  • Electric Guitar Capos – These are small, skinny and often not overly strong. They usually only fit electric guitars because they have skinny neck. These are really only suitable for electric guitars.
  • Steel String Acoustic – These capos have a curved top, to match the fretboard on a steel string guitar. They’re bigger, wider and usually stronger than electric guitar capos. These will fit electric and steel string acoustic guitars.
  • Classical (Nylon String) Guitar Capos – These are usually the biggest, widest and strongest capos because they need to fit the thick neck of the classical guitar. Their top is flat, which suits the fretboard of the classical guitar, though they should work on just about any guitar because they’re the biggest.

What Capo Should I Buy?

Capos can range from $5 on eBay, to $40 for a brand-named one at a guitar store. If you’re on a budget, I recommend choosing a Classical capo for $15 or less. Brand names don’t really matter, there really are just two requirements: It must reach all strings and be strong enough o hold them down. That’s it. Classical capos should fit any guitar and should be strong.

It is a little difficult to know how strong a capo is when buying online, so eBay can be a little risky even though it’s only around $5. Online guitar stores may be able more reliable if they have a cheap one available.

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