What is guitar capo?
Capo is a device used on the guitar neck and fretboard to raise the pitch of open strings of the guitar. The main purpose of the guitar capo is the help the beginners to play a song with the chords they are familiar with. As the capo holds down the strings, it creates a new nut which pitch is higher than the guitar’s real nut. A good capo should be easy to use, be able to hold down the strings firmly and the most important is without change the tuning of the guitar.
Type of capo
A strap-on capo is a simple and cheap capo. A rubber covered bar on the fretboard and a strap wrapped around the neck and attached to the end of the bar. The strap could be fabric or plastic, and is adjustable by a ratchet system. This kind of capo is not used by most guitarists today. The downsides are: not easy to use to change the capo’s position quickly and are easy to be worn out.
Trigger-style capo is the most common type of capo today. There are two bars in a Trigger-style capo. One bar is rubber covered and placed on the fretboard. The other is at the back of the neck to press the front bar and neck together by a spring. At the end of the two bars, there are two grips attached to each bar. To release the capo from the guitar neck, you just need to squeeze the two grips and change the position of the capo quickly and just use the left hand. Many capo makers provide this kind of capo in various styles and colors. The common brands of capo include Kyser, Jim Dunlop and G7th. Click here to check out the most popular capos at Amazon.
Unlike most capos that are designed for beginners to change the key, the partial capo is designed to only capo some strings of the guitar. For example, a partial capo may only capo the first five strings and leaves the low E string uncopoed to generate a drop D tuning effect. The partial capo is mostly used by some experienced guitarists to create alternative sound.
How to use capo
It is very easy to use capo. If you want to play a song from your song book and find the key of the song is too low for you, you just put the capo on the high pitch fretboard and play according the song book. For example, if the song is in key of C and you put the capo on the second fret, then you can play D chord with the fingering of C chord which you are familiar with.