You might have seen many people using a capo on their fretboard while playing the guitar. Capo is one of the most important guitar accessories that everyone should include in their arsenal.
But, have you noticed that capos are of different sizes and structures? How some can be easily rolled on the fretboard while others are too hard to adjust?
This is what we’re going to talk about in this article. You will be learning some basic things about the different types of capos for guitars. We will discuss the pros and cons of each type of capo, along with some top product recommendations as well.
What Is a Capo?
First of all, some of you might not even know what a capo is.
A capo is a small device that is placed on the fretboard to increase the pitch of the notes played on the guitar. This is usually done by shortening the length of the strings by pressing all 6 strings together on the fretboard using a capo.
Want a One-Liner? You can play open strings in different keys using a capo.
A capo is used when a guitarist wants to play the exact tune on a different key. This can help them in quickly adjusting the guitar sound so that’s it is compatible with the singer’s voice. Again, placing a capo on the guitar frets increases the pitch of the notes.
Some users might say that using a capo is cheating. That’s definitely not the case. Many professional guitarists use capo while playing as it enhances the sound of their guitars.
The 8 Guitar Capo Types Explained!
As already mentioned above, there are various guitar capo types to choose from. All of them have varying advantages and disadvantages associated with them.
Generally, the good ones are easily adjustable and do not damage your fretboard and strings, while the bad ones are too hard to maintain. Here, the term ‘adjusted’ is used to denote the tension that is applied to the fretboard.
Below are the 8 different types of capos that you can buy for your guitar.
1. Trigger/Spring Capo
The first and the most popular capo design is the Trigger or Spring Capo. These capos work using a spring clamp that applies tension to the strings.
The major issue with trigger capos is that the tension applied cannot be adjusted by the player. If the capo is too tight, it can bend the strings and damage the fretboard. If it’s too low, the notes that you play will start buzzing.
The good thing about them is – they are cheap, popular, and easy to use.
Here are some of the top trigger capos available in the market.
2. Screw Capo
As the name suggests, these types of capos have a screw mechanism that can be tightened manually in order to increase tension on the fretboard. You can adjust the capo according to your playing needs.
Screw capos have a semi or complete loop that is placed on the neck of the guitar. The screw then needs to be rotated by hand to increase the tension. Since the capo is adjustable, it will take more time to fit in with your guitar.
Also, repositioning the capo on the guitar neck takes a lot of time. You will have to unscrew the capo, reposition, then screw it again.
Here are some of the best screw capos available in the market.
3. Roller Capo
Roller capos might not be as popular as the other types, but they do get the work done. Only the guitarists who have tried a roller capo know its true potential.
About the working of a roller capo, you just place it on your guitar neck. and roll it up and down to the fret you want. You can easily remove it by sliding it over the nut.
However, the one major drawback of roller capos is quite similar to that of a trigger capo. You won’t be able to adjust the tension on the strings. Since the capo is made up of metal, there are chances that you can get scratches on your fretboard.
The Glider GL-1 is one of the most recommended roller capos in the market.
4. G7th Capo
G7th was introduced in the year 2004. Since then, it has been known for its uniquely designed capos. These capos are gentle on your guitar and can be adjusted with ease.
The G7th capos can be easily repositioned on the guitar neck. All you need to do is flip the lever, reposition the capo, and squeeze it down to the fret. G7th manufactures expensive guitar capos but if you don’t want to compromise on the quality, they’re your best choice.
Below are the best capos by the brand G7th.
5. Shubb Capo
Shubb capos were introduced in the market in the year 1980. The design of these capos was heavily inspired by trigger and screw capos. Shubb capos have the speed of a trigger capo and the precision of a screw capo. They have manufactured some of the best capos for acoustic guitars.
These capos consist of a simple lever that can be used to place the capo on the guitar neck. The screw can then be tightened in order to increase the tension on the strings.
The downside to Shubb capos is that they are quite expensive when compared to the other types in this list.
Some top products by the Shubb brand are mentioned below.
6. Strap Capo
As you might have already guessed, strap capos are nothing but a strap that is attached to the guitar’s neck. These capos are easy to use and affordable. You can also make one at your home with an elastic material. However, the disadvantage of this capo is that it wears out quickly.
You can go for the Dunlop 70F Strap Capo if you want a temporary capo for your guitar.
7. Toggle Capo
Inspired by the design of a strap capo, the toggle capo has an additional latch that ensures that it is firmly attached to the neck of a guitar. This capo is easy to use, as all you have to do is place the capo on the neck, tighten it with your hands, and hook the strap to the notches in the back.
Toggle capos are cheap and lightweight. You won’t even notice them while playing your favorite songs.
The major downside to this type of capo is that the tension is not precise. In some situations, one strap might be loose on the strings, while the other might be too tight. The sweet spot lies somewhere in between, but sadly, you can’t reach it.
Here are some of the best toggle capos available in the market.
8. Partial Capo
There are very low chances that you’ll run into a partial capo. And there’s a reason why. These capos are not that popular because of their unique application.
Partial capos are small-sized capos that only cover around half of the strings on your fretboard. Although, these capos are used by ‘ultra professional guitarists’, it doesn’t mean that you can’t buy one. Only buy it if you want to have fun playing new and weird chords on your guitar.
Here are some of the best partial capos in the market right now.
Which One Should You Choose?
To be honest, it doesn’t matter which capo you choose. All of them have the same application when placed on a guitar. If you’re still confused about which one to buy, refer to the list below.
- High-quality – G7th and Shubb Capos
- Average – Trigger Capos
- Low Budget – Strap and Toggle Capos
- Try Something New – Partial Capo
- Want Quick Repositioning? – Roller Capos
Choosing a Capo for Your Guitar
So that was our take on the different types of capos that you can add to your guitar arsenal. We discussed the various types of guitar capos. To recap:
- Trigger Capo
- Shubb Capo
- G7th Capo
- Toggle Capo
- Partial Capo
- Roller Capo
- Strap Capo
- Screw Capo
Each capo has some pros and cons associated with it, and it’s important to be aware of it before choosing a capo for your guitar.