Frequently Asked Questions
About Acoustic Guitar
What Types of Capos are Available?
The capo is a device that lets you
change the key to which your instrument is tuned, without
retuning. Simply slap it into place, and voila, you're ready to
go. Capos are often used to allow you to change keys, but still
utilize open strings. For example, you can play the chords F#,
B, and C#7 simply by placing the capo on the second fret and playing
the basic E, A, and B7 chords.
Capos come in 3 basic types. Each has
its advantages and disadvantages. They are outlined below, and makers
of each type are given.
These are the least expensive capos you can
buy, but also have the shortest expected lifespan. They are
basically a piece of rubber-coated metal rod with a piece of elastic
attached. Simply put the rod at the fret you want, and pull the
elastic band as tight as you need. If you are going to use one
of these, make sure it has a heavy elastic band, so it will hold firm,
and last longer. Some makers of elastic capos include: Bill
Russell, Jim Dunlop, and Third Hand.
This type of capo clamps onto the fretboard
and has an adjustable "thumb screw" that allows you to
select the proper tension more precisely than an elastic capo.
This type of capo also allows you to do partial tunings, by only
clamping it across the strings you want capoed. For example you
can achieve dropped-D tuning from standard tuning by capoing the 2-6
strings at the second fret and leaving the 1 string uncapoed.
This capo is a little slower to get into place than an elastic capo,
but is more versatile. Makers of clamp style capos include:
Shubb, Saga Golden Gate, Victor, and Kyser.
This type of capo is a flat rubber-coated
surface with a U-shaped metal bar that hinges around your guitar neck,
and is adjusted using a thumb- screw. It has the advantage of
applying even pressure across the whole neck, but is slower to get
into position than the elastic or clamp style capos. Makers of
U-shaped capos include: Picker's Pal, Paige, Baldy Brothers, and
Golden Gate. Here's a link to more information.
out the Sterner Capo Museum for more.
Check Musician's Friend for their list of available Capos