A capo is a vital guitar accessory that, when put around a fret, shortens the string length. This directly increases the pitch produced by the strings. In layman terms, a capo actually amplifies the sound produced.
The importance of a capo in acoustic guitars can be judged by the fact that acoustic guitars do not have built-in amplifiers. Simply clipping a capo on any desired string and fret can scale up the pitch easily.
And if you’re trying to find a suitable capo for your acoustic guitar, we will help you in finding one. But before that, let us take you through our guide on the different types of capos available in the market.
This is an amazing professional quality capo with quick change one-hand operation. It opens and closes back onto the strings in one swift move. It is handmade and has a heavy-duty aluminum made body. Both its aluminum bars are held together by a spring that comes attached with a screw. Also, it has a rubber foam coating to protect your fingers.
It is wide and covers even the bottom part of the guitar, that’s the widest. Also, it is available in multiple colors to choose from.
Extremely strong and lasts almost forever
Controls buzzing sound created by the strings
Reduces friction around the strings
A bit Expensive
This is a professionals capo that is un-adjustable. Thus, avoid it at all costs if you’re a beginner. Beginners will find it hard to move the capo swiftly. But, it’s a pure beauty for people who’ve been playing guitar for a while. Also, it increases the life of strings, since the strings do not have to be re-tuned again and again.
This one of its kinds curved capo is made from aircraft quality aluminum. It can be used for both 6 strings guitars and 12 strings guitars. Since it has a curved build, it is very easy to move this capo between frets. The spring that holds both bars of this capo is very strong. It clamps hard on to the desired fret and does not loosen up even after hardcore strumming. Which is why, it is also a good choice for blues acoustic guitars.
Also, this professional quality capo can be used for banjos and ukuleles. Lastly, it is available in gold, black, smoked, maple, nickel, and chrome finish.
Bars are quite strong and resistant to scratching
Not a suitable option for beginners.
This is basically a professionals product. Certainly, avoid it if you’ve just begun your guitar lessons. Also, it is highly important to test the product before buying it. Despite it might feel a little tight initially, fingers adjust to a one-hand action in a while.
The NS Wave Capo is a suitable option for 6-strings acoustic guitars. It has a sturdy aircraft grade aluminum body with a built-in micrometer that minimizes tension between the strings and guitar’s neck. With a stunning polished body, this capo is designed for wide fretboards found in classical guitars that have wider necks.
It has a foam padding that actually works as a cushion between the guitar’s back and the capo’s bars. It omits the chances of scratching. Also, it is easy to slide this capo up and down the frets while playing the guitar.
Has a lever to adjust the pressure on the strings.
Reduces buzzing sounds created by strings.
Can easily glide from fret-to-fret while playing the guitar.
Is lightweight, affordable, and long-lasting.
Screw gets loose after an hour or so of constant strumming.
Have to press it hard with fingers for intonation change.
Not useful for lower frets on thinner side of the guitar’s neck.
This is a wonderfully low price capo with an adjustable high-quality screw. It can be used for studio recordings. But, avoid using it during live performances. The major drawback it has is its incompatibility with lower frets. But despite a few limitations, this is a best-selling capo that delivers high performance by not interfering with the open chords.
Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30 (S1) Acoustic Guitar Capo
With an impressive design, the shubb GC-30 capo has a stainless steel body. It has a rubber cushion that gives fingers a better grip and comfort while sliding the capo up and down. Also, it has rollers that make switching between frets easy and effortless. With a screw to increase and decrease pressure on the strings, this capo ensures that the strings do not go out-of-tune.
Further, this product does not rub the barred strings against the frets. Hence, it offers great intonation. The design is such, that the pressure bar does not come in the way while playing the guitar.
Reduces buzzing sound by the strings
Screw locks and opens with the thumb
Does not fit lower frets where the neck is thinnest.
Does not fit upper frets where the neck is thickest.
Not good enough to be used for studio recordings.
As long as you do not use this capo during stage performances or studio recordings, you will have no complaints. This one is specifically for beginners. The rubber caps it has are its major highlights. It is lightweight and strong as well. All in all, it is a good pick for the price that it comes at.
The Paige P6E guitar capo has an adjustable screw tightener that is used to increase and decrease the amount of pressure on strings. It is slim and sleek, and the bars have a high scratch resilience. With a 90-degree orientation, this capo completely removes all the buzzing noise.
In fact, it is easy on fingers and doesn’t need a lot of force to barre the strings with hands while playing. Lastly, this one-hand capo reduces tension from strings.
Bang for the buck
Easy to use
Reduces buzzing noise created by the strings
It takes a while to re-adjust the capo from fret-to-fret.
It is a little bulkier and cannot be used for recordings.
The tightening screw is fragile and loosens quickly.
Does not fit around lower frets around the slimmer neck area.
This is a purposeful capo for beginners. It minimizes the pressure exerted on the fingers and strings and easily moves between frets. But the spring and nut holding the bars aren’t very strong. Which is why this capo is not of much value for recording artists and stage performers.
Types Of Capos
Serving the basic purpose of acting like a new nut on an acoustic guitar, capos are of different kinds. The classification is basically done on the basis of their design.
Strap-On Capo – A strap-on capo has a rubber covered bar and an elastic strap. It is wrapped around the desired fret and is one of the most popular capos of all other kinds.
Semi-Flexible Capo – this capo is an upgraded version of strap-on capo. A strap-on capo is flexible, but it can derail while hardcore strumming. This con is overcome by a semi-flexible capo.
Spring-Clamp Capo – this capo, also popular by the name ‘Trigger Capo’, has bars attached to each other by a steel spring. One bar reduces the string length. The other bar supports the first one from the back side of the guitar.
Shubb Capo – the two bars of shubb capo are fitted together with a lever. The lever can be used to increase or decrease the amount of pressure exerted on the fret.
Thalia Capo – this capo is an innovative form of spring-clamp capo. Each piece of this capo is different from the other. This is because different pieces are built to fit different frets.
Screw-On Capo – the back bar of a screw-on capo is hard and strong. It supports the front surface. A screw, holding the two bars, can be adjusted to increase or decrease the pressure.
Roller Capo – as the name suggests, this capo has roller bars. And these can be rolled over from one fret to the other quickly while playing the guitar.
Fifth-String Capo – this one capo is used to specifically barre the fifth string of a banjo. It has spikes that clamp tightly on the surface of higher frets. Then it can be moved up and down with the help of its sliding back bar.
Partial Capo – Capos in general barre 5 strings, leaving the bass E string open. But the E string rubs against other strings while strumming. A partial capo comes in different sizes to overcome this drawback. Each piece is designed to barre only selective strings.
These are the most popular types of capos available in the market. While their type is determined by their design, but there are some features that you should know about. It is because these features determine if a capo is good or mediocre.
Features To Consider While Buying A Capo
Pressure Applied – a good capo is the one that lets you increase or decrease the pressure applied to the frets.
Easy To Use – ideally, a capo should be flexible enough to be operated by one hand while playing the guitar.
Barres Frets Correctly – a good capo is the one that does not interfere with the open strings and just focuses on the ones it barres.
Acoustic guitars are of different kinds. Thus, an ideal capo differs from guitar-to-guitar. Always look for the ones that are durable and have a one-hand action. Also, invest in a capo that you can handle, since capos for beginners are different from capos for professionals. And with our list of 5 best capos, you might be able to find the one that can fill in all your requirements.