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Wondering if using a guitar capo can help your playing? Thinking about buying one of these popular guitar accessories?
As we’ve mentioned before in a previous post, a guitar capo is one of the must-have acoustic guitar accessories that can really influence your playing in some great ways. However, you may not quite understand yet just how important using a capo can be and exactly what it can offer you.
For some people using a capo even feels like it’s “cheating”. However, nothing can be further from the truth. A capo is a great tool that can expand your playing in a lot of ways and is definitely worth the purchase.
So what does a guitar capo do? Below we’ll tell you how a capo works and will look at the 5 big benefits of using a capo when playing guitar.
1. You’ll Be Able to Play More Songs
One of the great things about using a guitar capo, especially for beginners who are just starting to learn guitar, is that you’ll be able to instantly play more songs. You’ll be able to use whatever chord shapes you already know and instantly start playing in a different key without needing to learn brand-new chords.
For example, you can play a C chord shape with your capo on the 4th fret and it instantly becomes an E chord. The shapes are the same but the sound is different. When there is a song you want to learn how to play in the key of E, just put your capo on the 4th fret and you’re good to go.
Keep in mind that many popular songs were also written and recorded using a capo so in many cases using a capo will also allow you to play a cover song with a more authentic sound.
2. A Guitar Capo Will Give You New Tones
One of the best things about using a guitar capo is that it opens up new possibilities for the sounds that you can get out of your guitar, and that is always a good thing.
Just like a guitar effects pedal can help bring out new tones and sounds from your instrument, a capo can do the same. When you play when using a capo on a higher fret you can get a brighter sound.
You’ll also be able to achieve more open tones than you can usually achieve. While some chords are only playable on an open guitar when using barre chords, by using a capo you’ll be able to play chords that are typically barred with an open string sound instead.
3. It Will Open Up More Creative Possibilities
Another great reason to start using a capo is that it will allow you to be more creative when playing. The new, bright tones that you can get when using a capo can help you lose your writer’s block if you’re a songwriter or can give you new options for a song arrangement. A capo can give you a lot of options for playing with a band or arranging a song.
You’ll also be able to do other creative tricks with your guitar as well such as only using your capo on a few of the strings to create interesting alternate tunings without actually re-tuning your guitar. There are a lot of ways to be creative on the guitar, but there are even more ways available when you use a capo.
4. You’ll Work Better With Singers and Other Musicians
When you’re playing with other musicians, a capo often becomes a crucial tool that can make your job much easier. An advantage of a guitar capo is that you’ll be able to easily change the key to play with someone else or to accommodate a singer with a lower or higher-pitched voice.
If a song is too low for the singer when playing on guitar, for example, you’ll be able to place a capo on the guitar at a higher fret. While you’ll still be playing the song in the same way the singer will instantly feel the difference and will be able to sing in a range that works better for them.
Another great thing about using a guitar capo is that it can help if you’re playing with more than one guitarist in a band or jam setting. If another guitar player is playing their guitar open, you’ll be able to add another dimension and a better overall sound by playing the same chords with a capo on.
5. The Guitar Will Feel Easier to Play
Another great benefit for beginner players is that playing the guitar with a capo is easier. As the capo is placed higher up the guitar neck the strings become closer together. For people whose fingers aren’t yet great at stretching to form a chord or anyone with smaller hands, this can be a huge help.
Using a capo can allow the chords and notes to feel easier to play and the strings won’t be as hard on the fingers. Strings that are pressed down with a capo will also feel easier on the fingers and players will typically feel less sore afterward as opposed to a guitar that is completely open.
Ready to Experience the Benefits of Using a Guitar Capo?
While there are other benefits of guitar capos, the ones above should be giving you a good idea of how a guitar capo can influence your playing and make your job easier in more than one way.
If you’re ready to get your hands on one of these must-have guitar accessories here are a few of the main ones we recommend that you may want to check out:
It takes a lot to become a proficient and versatile guitar player but a capo can help set you on the right path and can be a great asset in your guitar-playing journey.
Looking for more great guitar accessories? Check out our must-have guitar accessories list now for more suggestions.
Hi, I’m Harrison! I created this website to help musicians navigate the ins and outs of their craft and to help them choose new instruments and gear to add to their collection. I have 15 years of experience as a guitarist and singer and have also played many other instruments throughout the years including the bass guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica.