Capos - Buying guide
What to look for when you buy a capo?
1 – For what instrument?
Capos are designed for different instruments. 12-strings guitar need wider capo than 6-strings, nylon guitars go with a flat fretboard while steel string guitars generally go with a radius one. There is no universal capo and you need to get one for each instrument. Generally a steel string capo will work both for acoustic and electric.
Your capo needs to be adapted to:
- the width of the neck (beware for some fingerstyle guitars that your capo does not come short of a ¼ inch);
- the radius of the fretboard.
2 – For what use?
Using a capo on stage is not exactly the same thing as using a capo at home or in a studio. On stage, you’ll need something to put as quick as possible, even with a small impact on intonation At home or in studio, you can use a capo asking for a little more time to be arranged and you can get a better intonation. Some capos try to satisfy both words, such as the G7 capo. It’s not far from it but it comes with a price.
3 – Experiment?
Capos are great way to experiment. On top of usual capos, which allows you to progress on the scale, you can experiment with several types of capos”
- partial capos: cover only part of the fret board and allows Drop-D style open tunings;
- harmonic capo: placed on 5th, 7th or 12th fret, allows to put soe harmonics in your mix;
- spider capo: allows to press only desired strings on a given fret and results in new open tunings without ruining your strings with constant change in tension.
4 – For what price?
The main driver in price is the design. You don’t pay much for the material, except if you want to go with diamonds and gold on your capo, but with exclusive patents: capos take a long time to be designed and it has a cost. Of course, older designs are cheaper, but they can be hard to install and/or degrade the intonation quite a bit.
Check our selection of capos