Best Capo for Acoustic Guitar

A capo is a common accessory that every guitar player needs. You want to have the best capo for acoustic guitar you can find. But picking the right one is harder than it looks: different designs affect the tone and tune of your instrument. Furthermore, there are several different style and design choices available.

We’re here to help. Our buyer’s guide will walk you through some things you want to look for, and we compare some available options.

Picking the best capo for acoustic guitar is relatively easy once you look at your options and think about how you’re going to use it. If you’ve never used one, you’ll love experimenting with this handy device that adds variety and breadth to your music.

Choosing the Best Acoustic Guitar Capo

Two primary considerations for picking the best capo for acoustic are the style you want and your own budget. There are many available, in every shape and color imaginable. Generally, as long as it is made by a trustworthy brand and uses sturdy materials, it will perform very well for many years, so you shouldn’t worry about durability or longevity.

Types

Capos are a guitar clamp thing that places pressure at a particular fret on your fingerboard. This results in instantly changing the key of your guitar to suit different songs or performers. Which type of capo used will have a significant effect on your experience using it. Some designs are fast and easy to use, while others require more time and care to place correctly. No matter which design you choose, it must deliver even clamping pressure to all string on the instrument. If it presses too hard, the instrument’s tune can be negatively affected.

There are three main types of acoustic guitar clamps. Spring-loaded, c-clamp style, and partial capos are all commonly used by musicians on all kinds of stringed instruments, from six- and 12-string guitars to banjos and ukuleles.

Spring loaded capo for acoustic guitarSpring-loaded designs have a strong spring that puts pressure on the strings of your guitar. Squeezing the grip opens the clamp, allowing it to be moved wherever you need. This design is pretty basic. Many feature a trigger style grip, which makes grabbing it and moving frets easy. These capos are usually slim, lightweight, and are easily stored on your headboard when not in use.

 

c-clamp capo for acoustic guitarThe c-clamp style features adjustable tension. As you twist the knob, more or less pressure is exerted on the strings. Because of their clamp design, you must use both hands to use or move the c-clamp style, making it a slower option when compared to spring-loaded models. The results, however, are generally better since you can select precisely the right tension for your instrument. C-clamp designs tend to render the best sound qualities.

 

partial capo for acoustic guitarPartial capos are used to cover only some strings. These are useful for playing in certain keys and tunings. Partials open up new ways of playing and give you greater flexibility in choosing the keys and chords you want to use in your music. Partials are also great if you are just learning to play guitar and can be used to simplify chord progressions. If you’re interested in learning more about partials and how they are used, check out this great tutorial from Theortically Correct.

Think About Your Budget

Capos come in a range of shapes, sizes, and prices. If you want to pick one up to try out, or if you are low on funds, the best cheap capo is a great tool to help you learn. Many musicians wind up with a few different versions in their gig bags. Nearly all of the most popular units are made of metal and carry lifetime warranties.

Keep in mind that if you play several different instruments, it may be hard to find one design that works well on all of them. You might want to choose several less expensive options instead of purchasing just one very expensive capo.

Another consideration is that the difference between an inexpensive and expensive capo may not be enough to notice. Pricier choices may have fewer tuning issues with better intonation, but chances are you would never notice it unless you are a demanding user in a studio environment.


Kyser Quick-Change – Best Capo for Acoustic Guitar 

Kyser Quick-Change capoKyser’s Quick-Change is designed to be a musician’s favorite. It goes on and moves frets fast with one hand. It produces even clamping pressure, making it the best acoustic capo on the market. It is built ruggedly and is small enough to store out of the way on your headstock.

Kyser has been building instrument accessories in their United States Texas factory for over 20 years. Built to exacting quality standards each product is hand finished. They are sure to provide decades of dependable service.

Key Features and Benefits 
• Type: spring-loaded

Pros

• One hand, quick-change operation
• Lightweight, sturdy aluminum with steel spring
• 22 colors to choose from
• Made specifically for six-string acoustics

Cons

• Less clamping pressure than c-clamp style
• May not be appropriate for 12-strings, electrics, or ukuleles
• Tension is not adjustable

If you’re looking for one that is easy to use and that can be taken on and off easily, Kyser’s Quick-Change is the best acoustic capo out there.

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Dunlop 37083002001 83CB – Best Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitar

Dunlop guitar capoDunlop’s 83CB Trigger is a spring-loaded, curved design with an easy to use trigger grip. Like the Kyser, this Dunlop is easy to place with one hand, and it has a slim design. Unlike the Kyser, it works equally well on a range of instruments, making is the best capo for guitar players with multiple instruments.

Dunlop Manufacturing was started as a small, family-owned business in California in 1965. Dunlop is now a leading manufacturer of accessories including picks, slides, and stings. They make a full line of capos in every style.

Key Features and Benefits 
• Type: spring-loaded, trigger-grip

Pros

• Easy to place, one-handed operation
• Can be used with electric or acoustic instruments, including 12-strings, classical guitars, banjos, and ukuleles
• Five color choices
• Made from aircraft grade aluminum for durability

Cons

• Spring design may not place even pressure on all strings
• Tension is not adjustable

If you need a versatile one that can be used with both acoustic and electric instruments, Dunlop’s 83C is the best capo for your money.

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Nordic Essentials Universal – Best Capo for Electric Guitar

Nordic-Essentials-Universal-CapoThe best capo for electric guitar is arguably the Nordic Essentials. It comes in a set of two and features an easy to use trigger-grip. These are sturdy and easy to use, and they get the job done.

Nordic Essentials sells a variety of musical accessories and instrument stands. They offer a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty against any defects.

 

 

Key Features and Benefits 
• Type: spring-loaded, trigger-grip

Pros

• Universal design for most string instruments
• Aircraft-grade aluminum construction for durability
• Quick, one-handed operation
• Comes in a two-pack in a variety of colors, a great value

Cons

• Tension is not adjustable
• Unlike c-clamps, may produce uneven or inadequate clamp pressure

If you are an electric guitarist, take a look at the Nordic Essentials, the best capo for electric guitar.

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Donner DC-2 – Good Capo for Acoustic Guitar 

Donner DC-2 guitar capoDonner’s DC-2 is a good guitar capo that can be used with electrics, acoustics, ukuleles, banjos, and even mandolins. It is a spring-loaded, trigger-grip design that is also a great value.

Donner manufacturers musical instruments and accessories including peddle boards, cables, and more. Their products come with a lifetime warranty.

Key Features and Benefits 
• Type: spring-loaded

Pros
• For fast, one-handed changes on stage
• Great value, simple and easy to use
• Spring has internal memory

Cons
• Spring tension is not adjustable

If you’re looking for a good guitar capo that can work on a number of other instruments, including ukuleles and banjos, Donner’s DC-2 is the one for you.

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Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30 (S1) – Best Capo for Stratocaster 

Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30 guitar capoShubb’s Deluxe Series is a great hybrid design that combines the reliability and control of a c-clamp with the user convenience of a quick release spring-loaded design. If you want the best guitar capo out there, you’ve got to check out Shubb’s offering.

In 1974, Shubb Company was begun in California by a banjo player who was unhappy with the way existing capos performed on his five-string. He and a friend created an innovative design that was later expanded to include guitars. They have been making this innovative product for over 35 years.

 

Key Features and Benefits 
• Type: C-clamp style with a quick release mechanism

Pros

• Adjustable clamp pressure with the convenience of a spring-loaded design
• More reliable clamp pressure than spring or trigger style
• Rugged stainless steel design
• Provides the great tone and intonation, eliminates tuning problems present in other types

Cons

• Requires two hands to move

If you’re an audiophile looking to get the absolute optimum sound quality out of your instrument, Shubb’s Deluxe is a great choice.

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G7th Performance – Most Expensive Capo

G7th Performance guitar capoG7th’s Performance has received awards for having a great overall design and is the best capo brand in the business. The Performance’s easy to use design provides more reliable clamping pressure than other spring-loaded options while retaining the smooth, one-handed operation.

G7th produces many different types of clamp. They make ones specifically for different instruments including six-strings, classical guitars, banjos, and ukuleles. All products from G7th feature a lifetime warranty.

Key Features and Benefits 
• Type: spring-loaded

Pros

• Modern, sleek, and innovative design with a patented clutch mechanism
• One hand operation
• Sturdy zinc-alloy construction
• Lifetime warranty

Cons

• Made specifically for steel six-strings
• Pressure is not adjustable

G7th’s Performance is a thing of beauty. While it is the most expensive capo, it’s also one of the nicest.

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Most popular questions about guitar capos

While it is a simple device, picking the right kind for your playing will make all the difference in your enjoyment of it.

What’s the Best Guitar Capo?
Musicians can’t agree on what the best capo for acoustic guitar is. For studio recordings and home use, you may like the sound qualities given by one with an adjustable clamp. Most artists, however, prefer the ease of use and quick setting action of spring-loaded styles.

What is the Best Type of Capo for an Acoustic Guitar?
Choosing what the best guitar capo style is is a question of personal style. C-clamps produce unrivaled results and have adjustable clamp pressure, giving the users the most reliable tone and sound quality. However, if you need one that can be quickly switched between frets or taken on and off one-handed, then a high-quality, trigger-style, spring-loaded design would be ideal for your use.


The Best Guitar Capo 2018 – Our Winner

Our pick for the best acoustic guitar capo is Kyser’s Quick-Change. The Quick-Change is built well and produces an excellent tone. Its slim design easily stores on your headboard. It is easily placed quickly with one hand. It is available at a great price and comes in many colors to match your instrument.

Other great picks include Dunlop’s 83CB if you want a trigger-grip style , or Shubb’s Deluxe series if you need the absolute most reliable sound quality.