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  • Enjoy more versatility in the way you play guitar with these Guitar Capos

    The capo has been around for centuries and is still one of the most popular accessory utilized by guitarists and players of other stringed instruments alike. With a capo it is possible to play your guitar in virtually any key without having to retune your instrument or transpose your fingering. Always having a guitar capo on hand is a necessity for nearly any guitar player—especially those who sing or play with singers who have a preferred musical key.

    What is a guitar capo?

    A guitar capo is a clamping device that is placed somewhere along the neck of the guitar in order to shorten the length of the strings. In doing so, the pitch of the instrument is raised. The most common reason for guitarists to do this is to allow them to play a piece of music in a different key while keeping the same fingering, as opposed to transposing the fingering to compensate for the key desired. Essentially the capo replaces the actual nut of the guitar by creating a new nut at a position of higher pitch.

    Capo design

    While there are a few different types of capos, the most common style of guitar capo is the spring clamp design. Spring clamp capos feature a rubber strip that is applied to the fret of a guitar in a clamping motion, almost like that of a spring clothes pin as an example. Other styles of guitar capos include screw nut designs as well as capos with a fabric band that wrap around the neck of the guitar. Spring clamp guitar capos are generally the most popular style however, particularly because they are so easy to use and can be placed or adjusted very quickly.

    Capos may also come in different shapes, sizes, and curvatures depending on the specific instrument they are designed for. In addition to the standard guitar capo there are also specialty capos for similar stringed instruments such as the banjo, mandolin, or ukulele for example.

    Electric vs. acoustic capos

    Most guitar capos are roughly the same shape, and as such a capo such as a spring clamp guitar capo can technically work for both an acoustic guitar and electric guitar. However, many guitar capos are still designed specifically for either acoustic or electric instruments.

    They key difference between acoustic and electric capos is tension. An electric guitar typically requires less tension than an acoustic guitar to depress the strings, therefore an electric capo requires less tension than an acoustic. If a capo does not provide enough tension, it may not be strong enough to properly depress the guitar strings. Conversely, if a capo provides too much tension, there is a risk that it could damage the neck of the guitar.

    Different neck shapes and sizes also necessitate differently-sized capos if you desire a perfectly proper fit. Classical guitars often feature a flat radius neck as opposed to the curved radius of a typical acoustic or electric guitar, which will affect the way a capo sits. That said, so long as you are comfortable with the tension and fit, you can certainly use a single capo on more than one type or style of guitar.

    Can I leave the capo on my guitar?

    Leaving a capo on your guitar likely won’t cause any short-term issues, however it does put unnecessary stress on both the capo and the guitar. Leaving your capo on in between short breaks or song performances is normal, but once you are done playing it is generally a good idea to remove it. Like any object both a capo and a guitar will eventually experience wear over use, so there is really no good reason to keep the tension on either one when you aren’t playing.