11 Best Guitar Capo Options 2023 (Reviewed and Rated) 

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Guitar capos are an essential tool for both professional and amateur guitarists. From making difficult keys more accessible, to brightening up the tone of your instrument or changing the key of a song effortlessly, guitar capos offer both practical and creative possibilities. Some of the most iconic songs ever played on guitar such as Hotel California, Here Comes The Sun, Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, and Wonderwall to name a few, were created with the aid of a guitar capo.

In the first part of this guide, we reviewed the best guitar capos so that you can choose the most suitable to your taste, playing, and budget. In the second part of the article, you will find out more about how guitar capos work, a detailed description of guitar capo types, and how to use them effectively in functional and creative ways.

What Are The Best Guitar Capos?

The Grover GP750 Ultra Capo

Grover GP750 Ultra Capo


The Grover GP750 Ultra Capo is a distinctive capo that offers an offset design, providing extra room for the thumb on the back of the neck. Manufactured from lightweight aluminum, it offers a no-slip, comfortable grip due to its matte finish.

It stands out for its ease of use—easy to put on and take off, easy to position on the neck of the guitar, and easy to remove. This capo also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, underscoring the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability and quality.

Key Benefits

  • Unique offset design allows more room for the thumb on the back of the neck.
  • Manufactured from lightweight aluminum for durability.
  • Matte finish provides a comfortable grip.
  • Easy to position and remove.
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty.


The Grover GP750 Ultra Capo is available for roughly $13 USD, offering excellent value for its quality and features. Some retailers offer  a 45-day satisfaction guarantee, allowing for a refund or exchange if unopened. Should the capo be damaged upon delivery, it can be replaced at no cost, emphasizing the company’s customer-focused approach.

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Pros & Cons

The GP750 Ultra Capo is globally recognized as the first offset capo. It provides ample room for your thumb while playing chords in the first position. The matte finish also offers an easy grip, making it a pleasure to use. One can easily position it on various parts of the guitar neck, making for quick changes when needed. This capo offers perfect spring tension that prevents buzzing, and it does a great job of maintaining tuning stability.

Lightweight and modern in design, the capo is indeed professional equipment. It’s suitable for various neck shapes, promising to be a reliable and high-quality choice for musicians.

However, on guitars with a prominent V-neck, the capo may not clamp down properly beyond the 4th fret. The latch can be a bit tricky to use at times, which may lead to over-tightening and can affect tuning. Despite these minor issues, the capo is still capable of capoing the guitar effectively and is an overall impressive product.

Despite being the cheapest option in the Grover range, it doesn’t skimp on quality or functionality. Still, it’s worth noting that it is slightly more expensive compared to some other options on the market. Regardless, its ease of use and reliability make it worth the price, particularly for gig musicians who can rely on it during live performances.

Overall, the Grover GP750 Ultra Capo is an excellent choice for those seeking a high-performing capo that combines ease of use, robust design, and reliable functionality.


The D'Addario NS Pro Guitar Capo

D’Addario NS Pro Guitar Capo


The D’Addario NS Pro Guitar Capo is lauded for its sleek, ergonomic design and smooth, easy-to-use mechanism. It’s made from high-quality materials to ensure durability and long-lasting performance.

It is designed to provide even pressure across the strings, resulting in clear, consistent sound. This capo can be used on both acoustic and electric guitars and can be easily adjusted on the neck of the guitar to accommodate different chord shapes and keys.

Key Benefits

  • Made from high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum.
  • Designed for use on both acoustic and electric guitars with radiused fretboards.
  • Features a micrometer tension adjustment mechanism for buzz-free, in-tune performance at any fret.
  • Constructed in collaboration with renowned instrument designer Ned Steinberger.
  • Endorsed by professional musicians such as Graham Sharp, Elliot Easton, and Keith Urban.


The D’Addario NS Pro Guitar Capo is available for purchase at various retailers for roughly $ 18 USD. Despite its high-quality design and durable construction, it is competitively priced and offers excellent value for money.

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Pros & Cons

The D’Addario NS Pro Guitar Capo does offer a number of advantages. A key benefit is the micrometer tension adjustment mechanism, which allows guitarists to dial in the exact tension needed for clear ringing notes without excessive force. This feature is particularly important as applying too much pressure can cause the strings to go out of tune and produce buzzing sounds. The capo’s ability to mimic the amount of pressure applied by the fingers is a notable advantage over other capos with fixed tension.

The capo is also highly versatile and is suitable for both electric and acoustic guitars. The capo’s sleek construction adds very little additional weight or obstruction to the instrument, making it comfortable to use during performances.

However, it does have a few potential drawbacks. For some, the capo’s design may seem a bit too similar to other models on the market. Some guitarists have also noted that while the capo does provide clear notes without much need for tuning adjustment, it is not completely immune to affecting tuning, which is typical of any capo.

Overall, the D’Addario NS Pro Guitar Capo is a reliable and versatile tool that promises to enhance the playing experience for guitarists of all skill levels. It offers a blend of high-quality materials, thoughtful design, and precise tension adjustment that helps to maintain clear, in-tune performance at any fret.


The Dunlop 83CS Trigger Guitar Capo

Dunlop 83C Trigger Guitar Capo


The Dunlop 83C Trigger Guitar Capo is a reliable and high-quality capo designed to maintain the integrity of your guitar’s sound. It’s constructed from aircraft-quality aluminum with a distinctive smoked finish, lending it durability and a sleek aesthetic appeal.

This capo features a strong, padded, spring-action grip that can be quickly and easily adjusted by squeezing. Suitable for both 6- and 12-string guitars, the Dunlop 83C has a unique pressure pad that fits snugly to the fingerboard and frets, ensuring buzz-free fretting. The capo is compatible with a variety of instruments, including acoustic, electric, and classical guitars, and has been tried on a bass and ukulele with positive results.

Key Benefits

  • High-quality aircraft aluminum construction ensures durability
  • Strong, padded, and spring-action grip for easy adjustment
  • Suitable for both 6- and 12-string guitars
  • Unique pressure pad allows buzz-free fretting
  • Versatile and can be used with a variety of string instruments

The Dunlop 83C Trigger Guitar Capo is an affordable capo option, priced at approximately $20. Although cheaper than other trigger capos on the market, it offers superior durability and quality.

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Pros & Cons

The Dunlop 83CS Trigger Guitar Capo is easy to use and simply requires squeezing the trigger-like mechanism to open and position it on the desired fret. It provides a firm grip on the strings, preventing unwanted vibrations and ensuring a clean sound, which is a significant advantage. It also has visual appeal with its unique shape and the clamp located at the back, which also makes it easier to use while playing.

Nevertheless, the design of the capo can cause the guitar strings to go out of tune owing to its clamp style nature and lack of tension adjustment. This might require occasional fine-tuning to achieve perfect pitch. Additionally, the two pads at the back of the capo can potentially come off, necessitating careful handling to prevent metal-on-wood contact which could damage your instrument.

The Dunlop 83CS Trigger Guitar Capo is a robust and reliable option that can withstand being dropped or mishandled. It is suitable for a variety of 6-string and 12-string instruments, offering versatility. Despite the few minor drawbacks, the Dunlop 83CS Trigger Guitar Capo remains a reliable, affordable, and efficient option for both beginners and professional guitar players.


The Ernie Ball Axis Guitar Capo

Ernie Ball Axis Guitar Capo


The Ernie Ball Axis Guitar Capo is a uniquely designed guitar accessory that shines in its simplicity and efficiency. With a dual-radius design, this capo can adapt to any fretboard making it a versatile tool for guitarists. It’s compatible with both electric and acoustic guitars and is even suitable for seven-string guitars. Additionally, the Axis capo is available in four colors: black, silver, bronze, and gold, and has a sturdy rubber coating to protect the guitar’s neck finish.

Key Benefits

  • Versatile compatibility with both electric and acoustic guitars, including seven-string guitars.
  • Easy-to-use design, with a spring-controlled, single-handed operation.
  • Dual-radius design that adapts to any fretboard.
  • It provides a flawless performance with no buzzing or dead notes across different fretboard radii.
  • Available in four different colors: black, silver, bronze, and gold.
  • Sturdy rubber coating to protect the guitar’s neck finish.


The price for the Ernie Ball Axis Guitar Capo sits at roughly $15 USD, depending on the retailer.

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Pros & Cons

My time with the Ernie Ball Axis Guitar Capo has been quite a journey. Being a versatile capo, I found it works well for both my 6 and 7 string guitars, be they acoustic or electric. Its design is specially made for one-handed operation, making it an easy-to-use tool even when I’m in the middle of a song. I admired its sleek and stylish design, with a unique shape that makes it stand out from traditional capos.

When it comes to performance, the capo provides quick and smooth changes allowing for seamless transitions while playing. I was impressed by its durability, suggesting that it’s built to last and withstand regular use. The Ernie Ball Axis Guitar Capo delivers excellent sound quality and has a comfortable feel on the strings.

Interestingly, apart from using it for guitars, I also found that it comes in handy for picking up small objects.

In terms of downsides, some might struggle with which color to choose, given the capo comes in black, silver, bronze, and gold. However, this is a minor inconvenience and actually adds a personal touch to the capo.

Overall, the Ernie Ball Axis Guitar Capo is a reliable and practical accessory, beneficial for musicians at any skill level.


The G7th Performance 3 Guitar Capo

G7th Performance 3 Guitar Capo


The G7th Performance 3 Capo is a groundbreaking capo that boasts Adaptive Radius Technology (ART). This technology enables the capo to conform to the radius of any guitar’s fretboard, which guarantees even pressure application and eradicates buzzing or sharp notes.

The capo is sleek and lightweight, with no handles or triggers sticking out, making it effortless to use and swiftly movable with just one hand.

Key Benefits

  • Utilizes Adaptive Radius Technology (ART) for even pressure and minimized tuning problems
  • Lightweight and compact design for easy portability
  • Durable construction that offers a balance between strength and weight
  • One-handed operation for quick and easy adjustments
  • Accommodates a wide range of neck profiles for versatility
  • Award-winning tension control system for optimal string vibrations
  • Can be stored behind the nut or headstock of the guitar


While the Performance 3 Capo may not be the most affordable capo available, it provides considerable value for its price. Given its unique features and top-notch performance, it is worth every penny for those who can afford it. We Have it priced at roughly $61 USD.

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Pros & Cons

In my observation, the G7th Performance 3 Capo proves to be a superior option for guitarists who demand a high-quality capo. It works remarkably well on any fretboard radius, thanks to its Adaptive Radius Technology. This ensures a perfect fit, leading to minimized tuning issues and providing excellent tuning stability and intonation.

It’s fantastic that the capo can be clamped on from above or below the neck and works equally well in either position. I’m also impressed with how easy it is to release using the black release lever. The one-handed operation feature enhances the capo’s overall user-friendliness and makes it a valuable tool for live musicians.

However, I noticed that it’s not quite wide enough to fit 7-string guitars, which can be a drawback for some guitarists. Additionally, the capo is slightly thicker behind the pressure pad due to the ART mechanism, which might be a concern for some, though it didn’t affect my playing.

Despite these minor drawbacks, G7th Performance 3 Capo stands as an exceptional tool in enhancing a guitarist’s playing experience. Sporting a useful combination of innovative features and a durable, lightweight design, it indeed provides great value for its price. I find it highly effective, easy to use, and it maintains an excellent tuning stability, making it a preferred choice for many.


The Shubb C1 Guitar Capo

Shubb C1 Guitar Capo


The Shubb C1 Guitar Capo is a reputable capo choice for steel string guitars. Constructed from alloy steel with a polished nickel finish, it boasts a stylish and sleek design.

The capo is known for its long-lasting performance and durability. It provides a precise grip on the guitar neck and can be quickly adjusted to different fret positions, making it suitable for both acoustic and electric guitars. Highly rated by customers, the Shubb C1 Capo is lauded for its quality construction and reliable performance, making it a versatile choice for various playing styles and genres.

Key Benefits

  • Made of alloy steel with a nickel finish for durability
  • Lightweight design, weighing only 2.4 ounces
  • Easy to use with quick adjustment to different fret positions
  • Maintains guitar’s intonation and tuning
  • Suitable for both acoustic and electric guitars
  • Highly rated by customers for reliable performance


The Shubb C1 Capo is available for purchase from various online retailers, including Amazon for roughly $20 USD. While pricing may vary based on the retailer, the Shubb C1 Capo is known for offering exceptional value and quality at its price point.

See Current Pricing Here

Pros & Cons

The Shubb C1 Guitar Capo offers numerous advantages such as its adjustable tension that helps to keep the guitar in tune, ease of use, and high-quality performance. Its sleek design is lauded, making it less noticeable on the guitar. The capo is also praised for its ability to handle different fretboard radii.

One of the standout features is the Shubb C1 capo’s ability to deliver even pressure on the strings without pulling them sideways. This prevents tuning and intonation issues that can sometimes occur with other capos. Despite having fewer rubber contact points compared to other capos, it still performs effectively.

The Shubb C1 is also noted for its versatility, being suitable for different guitars and capable of fitting most acoustic steel string and electric guitars. It is also praised for its low profile and ease of use, making it a reliable option for guitar players.

However, the capo comes with its own set of caveats. For instance, it requires minor adjustments when moved further up or down the neck, and it might take a bit more effort to clamp on the headstock. Some players have noted that leaving it on for extended periods might cause damage to the headstock. It’s also recommended to not leave the capo on the guitar for too long to avoid the foam getting permanently stuck.

Despite these minor issues, the Shubb C1 Guitar Capo is widely appreciated for its top-level performance, quality, and adjustable design, making it a highly recommended guitar accessory.


The Kyser Quick Change Guitar Capo

Kyser Quick Change Guitar Capo


The Kyser Quick Change Guitar Capo, introduced in 1978, has remained a popular accessory for guitarists over the decades. Handmade in Texas with domestic components, the capo has only undergone minor tweaks throughout the years, retaining its reputation for quality and functionality.

The Low-Tension Quick-Change capo, a new iteration of the original design, stands out with its matte black finish and spring tension reduced by 25 percent. Specifically designed for modern guitars with smaller necks and low action, this version of the capo requires less force, making it noticeably easier to operate.

Key Benefits

  • Designed for modern guitars requiring less force from the capo.
  • 25 percent reduced spring tension compared to the original design.
  • Easier operation and advantageous for frequent capo position changes.
  • Subtle effect on guitar tone.
  • Handmade using domestic components.
  • Affordable and suitable for all guitarists.


The Kyser Quick Change Guitar Capo is affordably priced and available from various retailers for roughly $21.95.

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Pros & Cons

The Kyser Quick Change Guitar Capo is favored for its ease of use and ability to hold strings in tune. Distinct from many capos that clamp onto the neck, this capo clamps onto the headstock, reducing the risk of being misplaced or forgotten. The operation is simple – place it on the desired fret, secure the strings, and release the capo to lock it in place. For proper tension and tuning, the capo is designed to align parallelly to the fret.

Available in different models, the Kyser capo even offers a Rose version that complements the color of the guitar. Moreover, its trigger-type design includes a spring mechanism and rubber padding on both ends, ensuring protection for the neck and fretboard. True to its name, it allows quick change along the fretboard and is built to endure rough handling.

However, there are a few minor downsides. For instance, the capo does not offer adjustable tension, which could influence tuning depending on the capo’s placement. Visually, when attached to the guitar, it can be slightly distracting as it protrudes from the side. Yet, these minor drawbacks do not outweigh the overall positives of the Kyser Quick Change Guitar Capo, marking it as a reliable and affordable option for those seeking quick and easy key changes.


The Dunlop Pivot Guitar Capo

Dunlop Pivot Guitar Capo


The Dunlop Pivot Guitar Capo is a versatile capo with a modern design that delivers balanced tension and top-notch intonation across the neck of your guitar.
It features a screwing mechanism that is smooth and allows for precise adjustment, making it an ideal choice for guitars with jumbo or tall frets. The capo is crafted with dense rubber pads that enhance sustain and tone clarity, and a self-centering neck system that ensures consistent pressure and tuning stability on a variety of neck types.
Key Benefits
  • Offers balanced tension and great intonation across the neck of your guitar.
  • Features a smooth screwing mechanism that allows for precise adjustments.
  • Enhances sustain and tone clarity with its dense rubber pads.
  • Self-centering neck system ensures consistent pressure and tuning stability on a variety of neck types.
  • Suitable for guitars with jumbo or tall frets.
  • Minimal and elegant design available in Satin Chrome, Gun Metal, and Black.


The Dunlop Pivot Guitar Capo is valued at roughly $30 USD. It is available in three finishings; black, chrome, and gunmetal.
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Pros & Cons

The Dunlop Pivot Guitar Capo is a reliable and versatile accessory that provides excellent performance and ease of use. The capo’s unique pivot design allows for quick and effortless placement on the guitar neck without the need for readjustments or repositioning. Made from high-quality materials, this capo guarantees durability and longevity. Its sleek and compact design makes it easy to carry and store, and it’s suitable for both acoustic and electric guitars.
The capo provides a strong and secure grip on the strings, ensuring accurate and consistent tuning. It exerts just the right amount of pressure on the strings, permitting a clear and crisp sound. The capo can be easily attached and removed, making it convenient for quick changes during performances or practice sessions.
However, a few considerations need to be noted. While it improves the grip and intonation of the strings, particularly on heavy 6th strings, it slightly raises the pitch. This is inconsequential for most users, but it’s worth noting. The capo may also cause discomfort when used at higher positions as the top bar point and tensioning wheel can come into contact with the finger and thumb joints. The tension wheel isn’t an issue at lower positions, but it may become a problem when capoing higher up the neck.
Despite these minor issues, the Dunlop Pivot Guitar Capo is a popular choice among professional guitarists and musicians, thanks to its reliable performance and ease of use. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, this capo is a great addition to your guitar accessories.

The Paige Clik Guitar Capo

Paige Clik Guitar Capo


The Paige Clik Guitar Capo is a high-quality accessory known for its ease of use, durability, and enhanced tone capabilities. Specifically designed for acoustic and electric guitars with wider necks, this capo boosts a unique ETI design that applies minimal pressure on the strings, reducing the need for frequent retuning. Made in the USA by a family-owned business, the capo is lightweight, compact, and easy to carry around.

Key Benefits

  • Designed for wider necks on acoustic and electric guitars
  • Controlled tension capabilities, ensuring that it stays in tune
  • Enhanced Tone Innovation (ETI) feature enhances the tone of the instrument
  • Quick-release button and a fine-tuned tension wheel for easy adjustments
  • Compact and lightweight, convenient for travel
  • High-quality construction for durability and longevity


The Paige Clik Guitar Capo is priced at roughly $70.00. It comes with the option of free returns, providing customers with peace of mind. It’s available online and can be shipped with free delivery.
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Pros & Cons

The Paige Clik Guitar Capo, lauded for its easy one-handed operation and quick-release mechanism, allows seamless transitions between songs or chords. Its spring-loaded mechanism securely holds the strings in place, providing clear sound. Being adjustable, it easily changes position on the guitar neck to achieve different chord voicings or keys. It’s versatility is another commendable trait, catering to both acoustic and electric guitars.
However, some may find issues such as the capo’s limitation to certain neck sizes, potentially not fitting larger necks effectively. The locking mechanism can also be a concern, with it possibly popping open under pressure. Also, while the Paige capo allows for parking at the base of the headstock, some find it less reliable than other options, such as Shubb and Kyser.
Despite mixed opinions, the Paige Clik Guitar Capo stands as a reliable and user-friendly option that offers convenience and versatility to guitar players of all skill levels. Its quick-release mechanism, adjustable design, and durable construction make it a quality choice for musicians.
The Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo

Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo


The Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo is an indispensable accessory for both beginner and seasoned guitarists. Made from high-quality zinc alloy, it boasts a durable construction that can withstand the rigors of constant use.
The capo is designed for versatility, fitting acoustic, electric, and ukulele guitars. It features a silicone pad that not only ensures a firm grip on the strings but also protects the neck and strings of the instrument. This compact and lightweight capo is easy to adjust to varying fret positions, offering musicians the flexibility they need to deliver stellar performances.

Key Benefits

  • High-quality zinc alloy construction for durability
  • Silicone pad for secure grip and protection of instrument
  • Suitable for acoustic, electric, and ukulele guitars
  • Easy and quick adjustment to different fret positions
  • Compact and lightweight for easy portability


At the time of posting, the Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo is affordably priced at $7.99, which includes free pickup for orders over $35 from Amazon. The listed price of the capo is $11.99, indicating a competitive markdown.
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Pros & Cons

From a guitarist’s perspective, the Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo can be a worthy addition to your music toolkit. It’s a product that deserves the 4.7 out of 5-star rating it has received. The zinc alloy construction lends it a robustness that exudes reliability. With the silicone pad, the capo safeguards my guitar strings and neck from any undue pressure or damage. Its compatibility with various types of guitars, including acoustic, electric, and ukulele, speaks volumes about its versatility.
The capo’s compact and lightweight design makes it a breeze to carry around and store, which I find incredibly convenient. The fact that it’s easy to adjust to different fret positions allows me to experiment with my music without the usual hassle that comes with capo adjustments.
However, it’s not all smooth sailing. The Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo’s strong clamping force has been known to cause notes to go sharp, especially on instruments with large frets and low action. This can be a potential hiccup for some musicians. Additionally, it has been reported that the capo might be challenging to open and apply for individuals with arthritic hands.
It’s worth noting that while the capo performs well on my guitar, it might appear bulky on certain guitar models, potentially affecting the overall aesthetic appeal. Despite these minor issues, the Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo remains a popular choice due to its quality construction, affordability, and reliable performance.
The Spider Capo

Spider Capo


The Spider Capo is a distinctive musical accessory that enables musicians to select which strings to fret and which ones to leave open.
It consists of six individual levers, each dedicated to a string, that can be independently set. The Spider Capo offers flexibility to be used on any six-string guitar, and even on banjos or mandolins. It is well-liked among fingerstyle acoustic players and offers new possibilities for songwriting and custom tunings.

Key Benefits

  • Six individual levers that can be adjusted separately.
  • Ability to fit any six-string guitar, banjos, or mandolins.
  • Individual tension adjustment on each string, thereby eliminating buzzing.
  • Facilitates easy tuning changes on the fly, enabling the switch between different tunings mid-song.
  • Opening up new possibilities for songwriting with the creation of custom tunings that emphasize specific notes in the right key.
  • A separate gadget from the traditional capo, it is a creative tool for singer/songwriters.
  • It allows for individual string stretches without the string sticking in a different position.


The Spider Capo is reasonably priced at around $30, offering more versatility and unique tuning options compared to standard capos.
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Pros & Cons

The Spider Capo is a brilliant advancement in the world of guitar capos. Its design lets you capo individual strings, paving the way for a host of different tunings and chord voicings. This is particularly helpful in creating open chords in different positions on the neck, adding more flexibility and creativity to your playing.
One of the standout features of the Spider Capo is its ability to create unique tunings. It lets you capo individual strings at different frets, leading to unconventional and interesting sounds. This versatility makes it an exceptional tool suitable for guitarists of all skill levels, from novices to professionals. Also, its application isn’t limited to a single genre but extends to a variety of musical categories, including folk, rock, blues, and more.
Owing to its durable materials, it securely holds the strings in place without causing any damage to the guitar. It is also lightweight with ease of adjustment to fit different neck widths and string gauges.
However, it’s worth mentioning that while the Spider Capo offers a new perspective on the guitar, it might take some time to get familiarized with all its features. Its popularity leans more towards fingerstyle acoustic players rather than electric guitarists, but it doesn’t reduce the potential it holds for all kinds of musicians. The capabilities it offers, right from interesting tunings to contributing to the sound of acoustic parts, make it a worthy addition to any guitarist’s toolkit, opening up a world of possibilities for creative playing and experimentation.

Our verdict

Choosing the very best guitar capo is quite a challenging task considering the variety of types and models available on the market as well as giving attention to their versatility, price range, and overall appearance. Therefore, we decided to offer you our three best picks based on capo types. 

Our best pick for a spring guitar capo is the Donner DC-2. It is a stylish and well-built device that delivers balanced force while being very easy and quick to put on your instrument. It does what a capo is supposed to do and it does it very well, thus making it one of the best deals on the market. We also liked that the Donner’s curved design fits different neck shapes thus making it a highly versatile tool. At such a low price, this guitar capo is an absolute steal!

Secondly, we loved the D’Addario NS Pro. To put it simply, having the luxury of precise pressure calibration with its micro-meter mechanism is something extremely valuable. This will eliminate the risk of putting excessive force on the strings, which may cause unwanted intonation problems especially when the capo is fitted on electric guitars with light-gauged strings and classical guitars. The NS Pro is built with quality and durable materials and its small and unobtrusive design allows the player to move around it with ease. Its versatility allows its application to most acoustic and electric guitars and its moderate price makes it a great choice for any player.

Finally, we choose the G7th Performance 3 as it exemplifies innovation, versatility, ground-breaking technology, and quality construction. This beautiful tool is like the Ferrari of guitar capos. It is expensive but it allows such precise calibration of pressure on the strings while adapting to most guitars’ neck shapes thanks to its innovative ART technology. It is also easy on the eye thanks to its modern and sleek design and beautiful colour options.

Honourable Mentions

We truly encourage any intermediate and advanced guitar players to give the Spider Capo a try. This quirky little tool will surely make your guitar sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before. It is such a cool and mind-bending experience to simply be able to have an instrument where every chord shape, scale, and lick (and song for that matter) you know is not available anymore! Set up the Spider Capo anywhere, put a few levers down, and see what happens. It is the ultimate fun and refreshing experience.

We finally want to recognize the work of Thalia Capos in terms of their commitment to deliver extremely functional and versatile guitar capos that look like a work of art. Despite being expensive and being tailored to a specific neck radius, one can only admire the beauty, elegance, and uniqueness of their design and attention to details. After all, the guitar is a work of art, so why not complementing it with another piece of art? Thalia guitar capos would make the perfect gift for any guitar lover. Don’t blame us if you get addicted to them!

What is a guitar capo?

A capo, from the Italian word ‘capotasto’ meaning ‘head of the fretboard’, is a clamp-like device that is attached to the neck of various stringed instruments, such as guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukulele, and bouzoukis in order to raise the pitch of the instrument and shorten the playable length of the strings.

Using a capo allows musicians to play in a different key while using common chord shapes that are normally played in the open position (without the capo). Despite having many different shapes, sizes, and overall mechanical designs, all capos consist of a rubber-covered bar which applies pressure to the strings and holds them firmly pressed against the frets. In this section, we focus on describing the three main types of capo that we consider functional, reliable, and favoured by professional musicians.

Trigger Capos/Spring Capos

These two types of capos mainly consist of two components: one bar, which is covered by a rubber or silicon, applies pressure directly against the strings; another bar presses against the back of the instrument in order to hold the device in a steady position while maintaining pressure. The two bars are attached together at a pivot point and a spring presses the two together.

Each of the two bars has a gripping part: this allows the user to squeeze them together in order to release the pressure. The main benefit of this style of capos is that they can be applied and removed very quickly with a single hand. This is particularly valuable during live performances. Their main downside is that they do not allow you to calibrate how much pressure will be applied to the strings, thus causing intonation problems at times.

Our advice is to always check the tuning of your instrument after applying and removing a trigger or spring capo. Some trigger capos do have a dual-action design, which lets you fine-tune the pressure on the strings after installation.

Adjustable Screw Capos/Yoke-style Capos

The main improvement these capos offer is the control over the amount of pressure exerted on the strings by featuring a screwing mechanism at the back of the device.  This is particularly important if you want to have precise and adjustable pressure calibration in order to avoid clamping the strings too hard, which can cause tuning problems. Obviously, fitting the capo onto the guitar and then adjusting the pressure with precision requires more time.

Adjustable screw capos have a similar design to trigger or spring capos. They consist of two metal bars adhering to the string and the back of the instrument. The main difference is that the pressure is controlled by a screwing mechanism rather than a spring. Yoke-style capos have a slightly different design in that the device wraps itself around the entire neck of the instrument. Their minimal width ensures comfortable storage behind the nut when not in use. Moreover, the screw in Yoke-style capos is located right in the centre of the capo thus maximizing even distribution of pressure.

Unique Design

Among this category, we included the G7th Peformance and the Schubb models. The G7th features a mechanism which is essentially a wrap spring clutch. This sophisticated high-tech capo allows the player to squeeze it in the desired position and regulate the amount of pressure needed. A control lever located at the back releases the pressure and allows the capo to open. The G7th also features its revolutionary ART mechanism which evenly distributes the pressure on the strings by responding to the radius of the fretboard and the gauge of the strings used. This guarantees the best tuning stability while exerting the minimum amount of force.

Schubb models are similar to adjustable screw capos but they feature a roller-based mechanism located at the back of the device rather than a simple screw-based type of apparatus. As you close the capo, the roller design allows the force to gradually move off-centre, as the picture below illustrates. This increases functionality, smoothness of applications and reduces wear.
This detailed description will definitely help you clarify the functionality of different types of capos as well as giving you more clarity towards deciding which capo suits your needs the best. In the next section, we will discuss some of the musical implications of using a capo.

What are the benefits of using a capo?

As mentioned in the introduction, one of the most important features of using a capo is its ability to instantly transpose the key of a song. We are not encouraging guitar players to learn a few chords, buy a capo and then forget about continuing to develop their skills as a player. Rather, we suggest learning how to use a capo effectively so that you make it into a powerful tool at your disposals. This will particularly be beneficial at the beginning stages of learning the guitar in which executing barre chords up and down the neck seems like an impossible task.

The guitar’s standard tuning favours keys such as C, G, D, A, and E. In those five tonalities, it is possible to play the three major chords in the key (I, IV, and V) without the need of barre chords. These chords are the pillars of Western harmony, so you will encounter them in thousands of songs.

As soon as we shift to other keys such as B, F, Bb, and Eb, it is necessary to have a good grasp of barre shapes even to play simple chord progressions such as I, IV, and V. In these circumstances, the use of a capo will allow to turn those tricky barre chord shapes into the open chord shapes we have already mastered.

In order to understand how to position the capo to match a certain key, simply think that each fret of the guitar corresponds to one semitone or half-step. For example, if you are attempting to play a song in the key of Bb, you can simply place the capo on the 1st fret of the guitar and play an open A shape. Because the capo raises the pitch of all strings by one semitone, the A shape will actually sound as a Bb. Alternatively, you will get the same result by positioning the capo on the 3rd fret and play and open G chord because Bb is three semitone higher than G. Familiarize yourself with the chromatic scale and, with a bit of practice, this process will get easier and easier.

Another reason why you may need to transpose the key of a song may not be related to how difficult playing a song is at all. This is particularly relevant when a female singer attempts to sing a song originally sung by a male vocalist and vice versa. Male and female voices are naturally an octave apart from one another, therefore key changes are often necessary in order to avoid having to sing notes that are outside the natural range of your voice.

Another circumstance when capos are essential is when we need to change the key of a song that has a very specific guitar part. Even if you are a more advanced player who competently plays in every key without a capo, certain guitar parts are going to be affected by the key change and need to be completed rearranged. This will negatively affect the overall character and unique sonority of the song. If we take Blackbird by The Beatles as an example, we see that the guitar part features the repetition of a sustained open G string throughout, as the score below shows. The note G in this case is the root note of the key we are in, which is G major.

As soon as you transpose the song to another key without the use of the capo, it is impossible the sustain the root note while moving around the fingerboard as the guitar part requires. Notice how in bars 4, the left hand suddenly climbs up to the 10th while the open G string rings in the background. Similarly, the left hand gradually moves up from the 3rd to 7th position in bars 5 and 6 while the open G is still ringing throughout. It is impossible to play those chord shapes in higher positions of the fingerboard while keeping one note anchored at a much lower fret. With the use of the capo, you’d be able to play the exact same guitar part without the need of adjusting the guitar part and therefore maintain the essence of the guitar part intact.

Finally, capos offer you a variety of new keys that most beginners have no access to. Each key has a unique feel and sound, therefore putting the capo on will give familiar chords a fresh and interesting new sonority. Moreover, a capo allows you to have different pitches ringing thorough as open strings, which can be an interesting way of creating guitar parts and chords with a more distinctive sound.

The guitar has a lot of hidden beautiful sounds hidden in itself and capos can help bring out some incredibly interesting and innovative musical ideas. So, add a capo to your toolkit and have fun exploring and creating music!

Andrew Scrivens

Andrew Scrivens

I am a live musician and guitar teacher from Brisbane, Australia, with extensive experience playing live, in the studio and for TV shows. I play in many venues, studios, music shops and with my students and as such am exposed to a lot of different gear. I form my opinions based on my experiences playing instruments in these locations.

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