When we talk about capos, most of us picture a regular acoustic guitar with a capo clamped on the neck. But what about capos on electric guitars?
If you’re a guitar beginner, you may have asked yourself about whether you can use capo on an electric guitar.
Are capos used on electric guitar?
Yes, they are. Capos can be used on an electric guitar, although they are more common on an acoustic guitar.
What Does A Capo Do On An Electric Guitar?
Capos are used for various reasons. For example, if you want to play certain chord shapes, but the tonality of the song is too low to do it, capo can help.
It is far more common to see a capo on an acoustic guitar. Why is that so? It is due to nature of playing an electric guitar. Electric guitar has more frets than acoustic guitar. Therefore, an electric guitar is more suitable for soloing.
Of course, you can solo with an acoustic guitar, but electric guitar is suitable for soloing in higher registers, as it have more frets to play.
Why does that matter? Well, to play a solo, you really don’t need to use capo. Capos are used primarily when you have to play chords in particular shapes.
Also, electric guitars have narrower neck, so it’s much easier to play barre chords on an electric guitar. On acoustic guitar, playing barre chords is much more demanding.
That’s why capos are more useful for acoustic guitars. Still, there’s nothing wrong in putting a capo on an electric guitar!
Are Capos Bad For Guitars?
No, capos are definitely not bad for guitars. Still, it’s better not to leave your guitar with a capo clamped on the neck.
It can create unnecessary tension to your neck, as the strings get more tense. Also, it can wear the strings a bit more. It can also tarnish a fretboard finish if it’s left for too long on one particular fret.
And, by the way, it’s not that comfortable to see a capo left on a guitar. At least for me.
Do Professional Guitarists Use Capo?
A lot of professional guitarists use capo frequently. There’s this myth going on for a long time that “real“, pro guitarists do not need capo. It is often believed that capos are cheater tools for a guitar.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. How do we know it? Simply, just take a look. A lot of famous guitar players use capo on their guitar, both electric and acoustic. To name just a few examples: Keith Richards, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, Tommy Emmanuel, The Edge etc.
Those are all famous, professional guitar players who all have their authentic guitar sound. That should be enough to debunk that myth.
Also, capos are often used in studio sessions. Producers and mixing engineers often advise a guitar players to use a capo for some particular sequence. That makes sense, since capo provides a rich, full and warm sound of a chord in certain situations.
Do Capos Fit All Guitars?
Although different guitars have different neck widths, a standard capo fits every guitar neck.
Of course, when we talk about different guitars, keep in mind that some guitars have 7 strings.
On the 7 string guitar, a standard capo may not fit. But if we talk about a big majority of guitars, 6 string and 12 string guitars, then yes – capos fit most of them easily.
You don’t need to worry about that when you look for getting yourself one. In fact, for the most capos on the market it’s noted that they fit for all guitars. And all string instruments, in general.
Does Using A Capo Makes Guitar Easier?
Using a capo won’t make your guitar playing any better. If you’re a guitar beginner, it won’t help you much for that purpose.
However, capos are useful tools when it comes to playing certain chord shapes in certain keys. For example, let’s say you wrote a song in G major key. Still, you want that main G chord to sound a bit different.
Let’s say you want that chord in a D shape (D major without capo). In that case you’ll put a capo on a 5th fret of your guitar neck.
That way you’ll play that G major chord in D shape easily.
Why Is It Called A Capo?
The word capo is derived from the Italian word capodastro, or capo tasto (capotasto). Capo in Italian means head. Tasto means key. Put together, capotasto can be interpreted as a head of key, or a head of fretboard.
That makes sense, since capo acts like the head of fretboard, since the first playable notes come from the place where the capo is put.
What Is The Best Capo For An Electric Guitar? Here’s How To Choose
There are many great capos you can use on your electric guitar. Low quality capos don’t provide a right pressure to the guitar neck. That can cause a buzzing of strings.
Also, low quality capos are causing intonation issues, since they do not provide a suitable tension.
You want to have a capo that can be moved through the guitar neck with ease. Bad capos cannot be moved easily. With good quality capos, position change can be done with one hand.
And one more thing. Good quality capos don’t mess up the finish of the guitar neck.
So, what’s the best capo for an electric guitar?
In my opinion, WINGO Guitar Capo is the best one you can find. It is suitable for both acoustic and electric guitar.
It’s made out of rosewood. Also, it has a nice silicon rubber that perfectly adheres to the guitar neck. That’s important, since you don’t want to screw a guitar finish. Thick silicon pad is here to protect a guitar from scratches. Alluminium alloy provides an easy locking.
The tension is just right, and it’s easy to move along the neck. String buzz usually comes from the poor balanced pressure. This capo provides optimal balance of pressure. That’s why you won’t hear any buzz with this one.
Anyway, if you want to know more about this great capo, check it out on Amazon (above).
Are Kyser Capos Good?
Kyser capos are good, but not that good as WINGO capos. Also, a regular Kyer capo for an electric guitar is more than 2 times expensive than WINGO’s. At least if we look the prices on the Amazon.
However, Kyser capo is lighter and smaller than the most capos. Still, some people report they had a problem with intonation, since the tension this capo provides is too strong. (according to some)
If you want to compare this one to the WINGO Guitar capo, I recommend you to check it out for yourself on Amazon, here.
Capo On Electric Guitar – Few More Things To Keep In Mind
All right, now you know that capos indeed can be used on the electric guitar. Still, you may want to listen to few more tips about it.
First, keep in mind that strings on an electric guitar are lighter and have smaller gauges. That being said, you’ll want to make sure the capo you clamp on the neck don’t have too strong tension.
The lighter the string is, the more it is affected by the tension. Strong tension can screw the intonation of the string. Also, a standard electric guitar neck has a smaller radius than acoustic guitar neck.
That’s why you need to check out whether the capo you want to use is suitable for the electric guitar.
Again, most of the manufacturers will note if the capo is suitable for an electric guitar.
Anyway, if you find this article helpful, that’s great and I’m happy about it. Capos are great little devices that can help a lot.
Don’t forget to check out some other interesting articles I wrote on this site!
Cheers, and rock on!