This question pops up a lot online and can be confusing for beginners.
In this weeks episode, I will answer this question as well as others such as what a capo does, the different types, why you would use one and what songs use a capo.
What Is A Capo?
A capo short for Capotasto Italian for "head" is a small device that clamps onto the guitar neck and raises the pitch.
The earliest known use of a capo is by Giovanni Battista Doni in 1640. The first patented capo was designed by James Ashborn of Connecticut in 1850.
Most commercial capos consist of a rubber-covered bar that clamps to the instrument's neck to hold down the strings. Capos come in different sizes and shapes for different instruments and fretboard curvatures.
Different Types Of Capo
There are primarily three different types of capo, wrap-around/strap, adjustable screw and trigger.
wrap-around/strap by Jim Dunlop https://amzn.to/2WJy8rx
adjustable screw by Shubb https://amzn.to/3gYBr51
In 1980 Milton Kyser establishes an East Texas guitar accessory company known as Kyser Musical Products.
In 1985 Milton invented a trigger mechanism for guitar capos that eventually became Kyser's signature Quick-Change functionality and remains remarkably unchanged to this day.
founded in 2004 by Nick Campling G7th released Their first "Performance" capo in April 2004. The capos have won numerous awards for the design of the capo such as the Players' Award by Acoustic Guitar magazine and many other accolades. In 2009, the Company won the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise and the founders were invited to Buckingham Palace, London, to meet the Queen.
The concept of thalia was thought up in 2010 by 8-year old Thalia Bradley who was playing the guitar, and after gazing up at the poster of Taylor Swift on her bedroom wall thought that Taylor should have a beautiful capo that fits her beautiful Koa Taylor guitar.
Luckily Thalia's dad Chris was an inventor and guitar player and he loved Thalia's idea. Fast forward four years and 70 prototypes later Thalia launched on Kickstarter and gained 4,252 backers.
How To Put One On
A capo should be applied after tuning the guitar by laying the rubber covered bar across the strings directly behind the fret so that all of the strings have a uniform position and pressure. Make sure the strings are not bent or mispositioned, as this will make the guitar sound out of tune.
Why You Would Use A Capo?
Choose the chords for any song you want to play and the capo calculator will show you where to place your Capo. Click the link below to use the Capo Calculator.
Famous Songs That Use A Capo
Fast Car by Tracy Chapmen
Wonderwall by Oasis
Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles
Let Here Go by Passenger
Bigmouth Strikes Again by The Smiths
Perfect by Ed Sheeran