Capos are an easy way to change your key in a flash. You clamp them on, bingo. New key.
Really experienced players with well developed hands can avoid capos. They just play what they need to play.
Even so, capos can be helpful, even to experienced players. I, for one, prefer top chords to barre chords. A capo lets me play in top chords keys that would be totally barred. I like that.
Keep in mind how and where you will use a capo. If you’re on a crowded stage, a capo that clips to a headstock can be a handy thing—unless you whip your guitar around a lot. If you’re playing at home, pretty much any capo will do.
As with anything, there are super high-end capos for super high-end guitars. If you’re interested in discussing them, shoot me a message and we’ll chat.
In the meantime, here are three highly-rated capos.
Ned Steinberger, a designer of really cool, futuristic and generally badass guitars, helped D’Addario Planet Waves design this patent-pending capo.
It’s made of aerospace aluminum, so it’s strong, light and won’t weigh down your neck. It can handle both 6- and 12-strings.
The NS capo comes with a smooth micrometer screw that allows you to adjust the tension. With capos, apply the Goldilocks rule: Not too strong, not too weak, just right. That’ll keep your instrument in tune and avoid fret buzz,
D’Addario Planet Waves says this capo is easy to operate with one hand. A video shows how. Seems pretty simple to me.
72 reviewers gave this D’Addario Planet Waves capo 4.8 stars.
2. Dunlop Trigger Flat Guitar Capo $12.95
The Dunlop Trigger Flat Capo uses a gripping motion to open, move and set the capo.
It too is made of aerospace aluminum, so it’s light. The strong spring action gives you plenty of grip to set your capo so it stays in key and doesn’t buzz. The padded grips keep your fretboard and neck safe and secure for both 6- and 12-strings.
It comes in gold, silver and black.
A lot of players keep their trigger-style capos on the headstock for easy access. That’s fine, but be sure to set it tight. If you move around a lot, a flying capo can leave a mark.
42 reviewers gave this Dunlop Trigger capo 4.7 stars.
3. Shubb Deluxe S Series Steel String Capo $21.95
This Shubb capo is made of stainless steel and improves on an earlier design. In seller’s words, it features a “new roller design that resists wear and opens and closes more smoothly that the original Shubb capo.”
Shubb also restyled the lever to make its action easier to work.
Shubbs have been beloved since they first came on the scene in 1974. My first capo was a Shubb and I use it still.
78 reviewers gave the Shubb Deluxe S capo 4.8 stars.