A Capo is a small external device that is used to facilitate guitar playing. Capo, aka Capodastro (Italian), is a small tool that clamps down the fret of a guitar and raises the pitch tone on a different level.
Capos are used on guitars pretty often. However, a lot of users feel a bit reserved towards using capos on classical guitars – since they come with soft nylon strings.
But don’t fret! We have gone out of the way and decided to find out the answer for you!
So, can you use a capo on a classical guitar?
Well, you can definitely use a capo on a classical guitar. However, you need to make sure you buy quality material so it doesn’t damage the neck of your guitar.
Although capos are usually harmless to a guitar, they can sometimes affect the playability of a user. Therefore, it is essential to know how to properly use the capo on a classical guitar.
We’ll be covering this topic in this article.
Using the Capo on a Classical Guitar
Capos come in handy when a guitar player wishes to play chords or progressions on a different keynote. While using a capo isn’t a complicated task, putting it in the wrong place can definitely harm your guitar.
Before learning how to use the capo on a classical guitar, make sure you buy a capo made specifically for classical guitars. Otherwise, they won’t be as effective!
Generally, it doesn’t take more than a couple of seconds to put on or remove the capo. Most capos come with clamps and two points.
When you’ve decided which fret you’d like to put your capo on, gently push the two levers with your fingers and expand the space between them.
Then, put the longer part on your selected fret.
The most common mistake people make is putting the capo unevenly on the fretboard. As a result, you might hear buzzing sounds when you strum.
On the other, make sure to never put the capo on the fret bars. We’ve seen some people recommending it, but it’s just plain wrong. Moreover, it can harm your precious guitar!
The Best Position for A Capo
The most ideal position for a capo would be to put it on the lower end of the fret. For instance, if you wish to capo the 2nd fret – then put the capo right above the 3rd fret for best results. Otherwise, the chords might sound a bit disoriented.
Also, don’t forget to make sure the strings are pressed evenly on the fretboard!
The Effectiveness of Capos
One of the most effective uses of Capos is that they make it really easy to hold the necessary bar chords.
Just imagine, you’re playing your sweet classical tune and someone is clamping down the strings on the 2nd fret so you can play your bar chords or just play the generic chords on B-Flat keynote.
Since you can’t find someone so generous, Capos are the next best thing! They can improve your playability as well as bring variations to the music.
Let’s take a look at how using a capo can affect your guitar playing.
Raises the Sound Pitch
One of the main reasons behind using a capo is to raise the pitch of the tune and make the guitar sound brighter & sharper.
Playing the guitar – even the basic chords in a different key progression adds a different punch to the guitar.
On the other hand, guitarists who play flamenco music prefer to play by clamping down the first or second fret. As flamenco music is playing among all the dancing, tapping, and clapping- a higher pitch tone helps the music to stand out!
Can Create Specific Sounds
Another reason behind using capos is that it can make a guitar sound different. By using a capo, one can produce similar sounds like a mandolin or ukulele. Even more, there are some capos that clamp only some of the strings.
For instance, you can only use the capo on the 4 high strings and create a unique combination of tunes while pertaining to the base of the lower 2.
A capo can add variations to the sound of the classical guitar. As a result, whether you’re just casually playing or trying to come up with a new tune for something- the variation in tunes can really open up a lot of different perspectives.
Shortens the Guitar Length
A capo not only raises the tonal pitch of a guitar but also shortens the fret length. Kids and people with small hands sometimes find it quite difficult to play a standard-size guitar.
Instead of custom ordering or some other solution, using a capo can reduce space between frets and act as a miniature guitar!
How to Avoid Damaging Your Guitar from Capos
Similar to other accessories, you need to be careful while buying a capo. A capo doesn’t generally cost much and can be pretty much found in any physical or online store.
However, using a cheap capo can have adverse effects on your guitar. As they are not well constructed, the pressure on the neck and fretboard can harm them. These capos have the capability of vitiating the smoothness of the fretboard – making it really uncomfortable to play.
So, make sure to stay away from cheap products and get branded ones. The G7th Performance 3 can be a viable option for classical guitars.
In addition, make sure you never do the following with the Capo on!
Tune the Guitar while the Strings are Clamped
Although this should be a no-brainer, some users have tried tuning the guitar while having the capo on!
It’s really easy to just put it on or off, yet we succumb to our lazy self and end up breaking our strings. Tuning a guitar while the capo is one will never work, so make sure to avoid that even though you feel the urge not to!
Leaving the Capo on for too Long
This is a very frequent problem among a lot of musicians. While practicing and playing with a capo on, they tend to get used to it and leave the guitar as it is after the session.
This is a very bad practice and can lead to the neck getting warped – when the neck gets bent due to uneven pressure on different points. Moreover, leaving the capo on for too long can ruin the finishing of the guitar – making it rough.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Capo Essential for a Classical Guitar?
Well, by essential if you mean that whether you can play without it – then a capo is definitely not essential for a classical guitar.
Just as we’ve mentioned before, a capo can help you make the Barr chords easily as well as increase the pitch tone- which in turn facilitates your playability.
Can you use Acoustic Guitar Capos on a Classical Guitar?
In case you don’t know this, Acoustic guitar & Classical guitars are pretty similar. Acoustic Guitar uses steel strings while classical guitar uses nylon strings.
Therefore, while an acoustic guitar capo won’t harm your classical guitar, it won’t work flawlessly either.
The shapes of acoustic and classical capos are different. Using an acoustic capo on a classical guitar will result in sound buzzing. So, we’d advise you to buy capos made for classical guitars.
There are a lot of accessories for all kinds of guitar. Even though the capo is not as common as a pick, equalizer, or tuner – it is quite a useful tool and really effective for its purpose.
Now you know that you can use a capo on a classical guitar as well as the relevant information that can make your playing experience even better!
We hope this article helped you and do give us a knock if you have any further questions.