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With great talent comes great responsibility. The fast pacing competition in all fields demands versatility from competitors to be on top. In guitar playing the introduction of capo has made it possible to experiment with a variety of tunes and keys and become a dynamic musician. This tool comes in handy when it comes to being a quality guitarist. A capo helps to raise the tuning of an electric or acoustic guitar, depending on the fret you place it on. It works by attaching to the neck of a guitar and pressing across the frets in the desired location. The natural and consistent pressure it provides ensures good sound quality with convenience for quick key changes.
In this article, we have covered the 10 best guitar capo for you to choose from. We have discussed the capos in detail with the pros and cons of each for your quick assessment.

1. Kyser Quick-Change Capo for 6-string acoustic guitars

D’Addario Prelude Violin Strings is a solid steel core string that comes in various scales. They provide durability that is unparalleled in its price range, with a warm tone and adjustable tension. It has a quick bow response, which makes it an ideal fit for students and beginners. As far as violin string names go, D’Addario is very well known because of being the Educator’s Choice. It is highly stable when it comes to pitches and tuning, and brings in a unique blend of warm tone with affordability and durability. Moreover, pitch stability makes it easier for users to tune their violins conveniently without any hassles. These strings are an ideal choice for both, beginners, and professionals.

PROS

  • Solid steel core makes it durable and provides a warm tone.

  • Comes in multiple scales- ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/16, ¾, and 4/4 scale.

  • Has earned the honor of being awarded the Educator’s choice, making it reliable and go-to option for students and professionals alike.

CONS

  • The tension can not be adjusted over medium.
  • Isn’t as consistent as synthetic strings.

2. Nordic Essentials Aluminum Metal Guitar Capo

The Nordic essentials capo is universal and easy to use with acoustic, classical & electric guitar, ukulele, bass, banjo, and mandolin. It can quickly and easily be released and repositioned without disturbing the tunes of the guitar. It is suitable for most 6-strings and 12-strings instruments. It has a protective silicone padding that works well with all the musical instruments. It weighs 3.2 ounces and the product dimension is 4.7 x 3.5 x 1.3 inches. 

PROS

  • It firmly clamps on the strings.
  • It is ultra-portable and can easily fit in a carry on luggage. 
  • The manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty and guarantee.

CONS

  • The rubber pads can break easily.

  • It is fragile and strong use can ruin it. 

3. Dunlop Acoustic Trigger, Black Guitar Capo (83CB)

The Dunlop Trigger Capo allows you to quickly and easily change key with one hand. It has a strong spring-action clamp that keeps it firmly in place. The slim profile ensures unhindered up and down maneuver of Jim Dunlop capo. It is designed with special padding that protects your instrument from scratches. It is made from lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum. It has a high rating in the amazon guitar capo ranking. The item weighs 2.24 ounces and the product dimension is 3 x 3 x 1 inch.

PROS

  • The Ergonomic shape and padded handle make fret positioning easy
  • It is easy to use for 6-string and 12-string guitar
  • It is available in multiple styles and innovative designs.

 

CONS

  • It is not easy to use with acoustic guitars. 

  • Players need to be careful as the spring action can get loose at times.

4. Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo for Acoustic

The Donner DC-2 Capo, with its quick adaptability, can be easily applied and adjusted with one hand. Its design is suitable for all types of guitars. The capo DC can be conveniently parked on the headstock when not in use. Simple and easy to use, the guitar stays in tune with great intonation. It has a quality silicone padding that avoids scratching on the guitar clamp. It fits perfectly on electric and acoustic guitars, ukulele, banjo, folk guitars, and mandolin. 

 

PROS

  • The Donner DC capo is built of lightweight high-quality zinc alloy.
  • Guitarists can quickly change positions between frets with one hand.

CONS

    • It pulls the strings sharp by almost ¼ of the guitar’s tone.
    • Sometimes it can get stiff and difficult to use.

5. GUITARX X3 – Guitar Capo for Electric Guitars

The Guitarx-X3 is a heavy-duty capo with a high performance and easy maneuver. It stays in tune with a great intonation in all frets. It fits perfectly in electric and acoustic guitars, ukulele, banjo, folk guitars, and mandolin. The silicone padding makes this capo damage resistant. It is made of lightweight aircraft-grade zinc alloy metal with a chrome finish. With the mechanical steel spring, you can enjoy an acoustic guitar buzzing free experience. 

PROS

  • It is highly durable.
  • It easily adapts to 6-strings guitar.

CONS

  • It is not suitable for 12-strigs guitar.
  • There is not enough tension in the spring to hold the strings down.

6. Planet Waves NS Guitar Capo Lite

The Planet Wave NS Capo Lite is lightweight and cost-effective as it uses a durable molded ABS thermoplastic construction. It is ideal to use on all types of acoustic and electric 6 string guitars. The Capo Lite can be adjusted to provide the exact tension need for your guitar. Once the capo is applied the need to retune the guitar is greatly reduced. The micrometer tension adjustment assures a buzz-free in-tune performance at every fret.

PROS

  • It prevents strings from being pulled on sharp by over tensioning.
  • It fits perfectly with all guitar types. 

CONS

  • It is not suitable for 12 strings guitar.
  • It is not suitable for classical guitars.

7. GUITARX X1 – Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitars

This Capo is designed to use with Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Ukulele, Banjo, and Mandolin. It increases the versatility of the player by providing great intonation at all frets. It fits perfectly and is super easy to change between frets without disturbing the tune. The steel spring with internal memory prevents fret buzz. The silicone padding avoids damage to the guitar. It is extremely lightweight and weighs around 1.6 ounces only.

PROS

  • It helps make fast changes on stage as it is quickly applied and adjustable.
  • It can be conveniently parked on the guitar’s headstock when not in use.
  • It is highly recommended to beginners for it’s lightweight and comfortable application.

CONS

  • It is not suitable for 12 string guitars.
  • It can break with strong use due to its fragility. 

8. Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30 (S1) Acoustic Guitar Capo

The beautiful Shubb Deluxe Capo is created of solid stainless steel to prevent wear and tear. The capo functions smoothly with the specially designed rubber, rollerball, and thumb screw mechanism.  It applies just the right amount of pressure on the strings in the closed position resulting in the best tone. Shubb GC 30 works on an ‘over-center’ locking principle. The innovative design ensures a combination of power, speed, and accuracy in its use.

PROS

  • No need to reset pressure with every use. 
  • It has a simple locking and removal technique.
  • It is ranked as the best capo at eliminating the tuning problems.

CONS

  • The light capo pressure can sometimes result in fret buzz.

 

9. G7th Performance 2 Silver Capo 6-String, (G7C-P2SILV)

The G7 Performance 2 capo is an elegantly designed capo with a revolutionary new mechanism that allows ultra-precise placement and clamping. It prevents the strings of the guitar from being pulled out of tune. The simple design makes it easy to clamp it on and release when needed. It is created for both acoustic and electric guitars. The G7 capo has been acclaimed by many gold medal awards for the most innovative new product in the 2008 Players Choice Awards. 

PROS

  • The frequency response range of the subwoofer system is from 25 to 125 hertz.

  • MICA injected molded resin cone is another feature of the woofer.

  • It consists of a single 4-ohms voice coil design.

  • The speaker has a TMS of 300 watts and peak power of 1200 watts.

CONS

  • Since it doesn’t clamp completely, sometimes the capo produces fret buzz.

  • It doesn’t work effectively with all guitars.

10. KLIQ Capo for Acoustic and Electric 6-String Guitars

The K-PO is precisely manufactured with a machine and partly hand-crafted without any compromises to the quality. The balanced spring tension and silicone strip assure buzz-free, in-tune performance, and great tone at any fret. The ergonomic shape makes it easy to put the capo on the guitar. It can be comfortably put on and released from the guitar with its simple squeeze release technique. The 6 string guitar capo was specifically designed for the radiused fingerboards of steel-string guitars. The upgraded shape and styling of the K-PO protect the guitar neck with soft and resilient rubber and eliminates tone-deadening.

PROS

  • The capo produces no fret buzz.

  • The capo is created with aircraft-grade zinc alloy.

  • It offers a lifetime guarantee.

CONS

  • It does not provide enough grip on the instrument.

  • It does not work with 12-string guitars.

 

BUYING GUIDE

Before investing in a capo for your guitar, it is essential to know what it is, how it works, and the different types of capos available in the market. Once you are informed of the necessary details, it makes it easier to choose the one that best suits your needs.

  1. What is a capo?
    The word capo is short for “capotasto” which in Italian means “head of the fretboard.” A capo is a small clamp-like object that is meant to be clipped onto any fret of the guitar.  It shortens the length of the strings, which increases the intonation of the sounds made. They mimic a bar chord finger press across the guitar strings. The best ones ensure you use the same chord fingerings while raising the pitch of your instrument without the necessity to retune. Capos are not only used for guitars, but they also work on the lute, mandolin, mandola, ukulele, banjo, and many other instruments. This versatile product is handy if you are a dynamic player and have a large collection to play on.
  2. Evolution of Capos over time. Necessity is the mother of invention. Soon after fretted instruments like guitar, banjo, violin, etc were introduced, people felt the necessity to use a device that could fret all the strings at the same time. This gave rise to the introduction of the very first capo that was invented in the mid-1700s.

    The yoke capo with screw and the wooden Spanish capo cejilla were invented in the late 1700s. The yoke capo is still designed the same way. The first capo patent was applied for in 1850 by James Ashborn of Wolcottville, Connecticut. His capo was tightened by an eccentric roll on the back of the neck. Since then, about 130 capo patents have been granted but very few seem to be practical.

    Perhaps the greatest capo invention was the elastic capo, patented by W. H. Russel in 1931. It is still famous and almost every capo user has had one. The first plastic capo was invented by H. Bauerfeind in 1973. In 1978, R.Shubb improvised the C-clamp capo making it more adjustable by adding a screw to a lever-type capo.

  3. Types of Capos. There are a few different types of capos available in the market. Each has its own design and functionality. You can choose according to your requirements and style.
  • Adjustable Clamp Capo: This type of capo is the most common style seen around. They are so-called because they are squeezed at one end and clamped onto the desired fret position. The built-in spring assures that it stays clamped to the neck of the guitar and strings. A huge benefit with adjustable capo style is that you can set it to your need to eliminate string buzz while also not throwing your guitar out of tune. The best thing about this capo is it’s easy to maneuver around the neck. The downside to the clamp style capos is that the majority of pressure is applied at the top side which can sometimes throw off the intonation. For this reason, it is essential to check if the capo has been pressure balanced or not.
  • Screw Style Capo: Screw type capos are another well-known family of capo that was brought in style by the Shubb company. The screw design helps to distribute pressure evenly along the width of the guitar’s neck to help preserve your intonation. To place on the guitar, you put the capo on your chosen fret and begin to twist the screw knob until it tightens. This, however, is a downside to the capo because they are a bit harder to adjust, and you will need both hands to do so. It makes changing the keys on the fly difficult.
  • Yoke Style Capo: Yoke-style is considered the best in terms of maintaining intonation and tuning. This is because they completely wrap around the guitar’s neck and use a rear-centered screw to apply pressure. The screw design of this style does not hinder its movement. They can be shifted up or down with one hand without difficulty. The only issue with this type is that it can be a bit expensive and is challenging to take on and off your guitar.
  • Strap Style Capo: Strap style capos are the most affordable of the lot available. They tighten around the neck of the guitar using an elastic strap. They’re extremely manageable to use and perfect for guitarists on the go. There is a wider variety of designs in this type of capo due to the fabric material used. The disadvantage with this style is that the strap wears out over time. This causes it to slip around and can interfere with the intonation of the instrument.
  • Partial Capo: This style of the capo is not commonly used by guitarists. It is more of an experimental style and design. Mostly players with an intricate fingerstyle use a partial capo. They help explore open tunings with its unique mechanism. It covers three strings on your guitar instead of six and slides around the neck with ease. 
  1. Padding: To protect your guitar’s neck from scratches and nicks, choose a capo that has proper padding on the inside. Rubber is the most common substance for padding on capos. It is inexpensive to manufacture and the hard texture applies pressure on the strings without damaging them. Expensive products use silicone. The pressure is almost similar to that of rubber but without ruining the intonation of the instrument.

CONCLUSION

There are a lot of factors that help determine the right capo you can choose for your guitar. Your requirement and technique of playing is a major constituent. Once you recognize that, it is easier to select a capo for your guitar. Gaining proper knowledge about capos makes it easier to choose from the overwhelming list of recommendations and reviews.
The ability to change keys quickly and easily is an incredible asset for a musician. Capos can make this happen in a flash of a second without needing to retune your guitar. The best capos are lightweight, and easy to use with a single-handed. They adjust perfectly on the guitar clamp and do not interfere with the intonation and are buzz-free.
Go through our list and buying guide for optimum selection of capos for guitars when you choose to buy one yourself next.