Guitars With Capos: Everything You Need To Know (For Beginners)

If you’re new to the guitar, then you may not know how to use capos or play in different positions.  Capos are the tools that guitar players use to change the pitch of their guitars. They are used to raise or lower the strings of the guitar to create new notes.

Guitarists often use capos to create new sounds or add new complexity to their playing. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of capos, how they work, and how you can use them to improve your guitar playing.

Capos are a great tool for guitarists who want to play music with a variety of styles. Most capos are designed to hold the guitar strings at specific angles, which can help you play in different keys.

A capo is an attachment that you can use on your guitar to change the pitch of the strings. Capos are generally used to play songs with a different key than your current tuning.

For example, if you are playing a song in the key of C major, you would put the capo on the third fret so that the E string is tuned to G. You would then be able to play the song in the key of G major.

Some people also use capos to play songs that are written in a different key than their current tuning. This is called transposing a song. 

Do You Tune A Guitar After Putting A Capo On?

The best practice for tuning your guitar is to tune it before putting on a capo.  Once you put the capo on, you should tune your guitar again.  Affixing a capo to the strings of a guitar will increase the tension on the strings.  A second tuning will resolve that issue.

Is It Bad To Tune A Guitar With A Capo On?

There is nothing wrong with tuning a guitar with a capo on. However, it’s best to make sure your guitar is in tune before you tune with the capo on.

What Does A Capo Do To Tuning?

The additional pressure on guitar strings caused by capos can negatively impact the tuning of the instrument. This problem is more noticeable on thicker strings because they receive more pressure from capos.

Can You Tune With A Capo?

Yes, you can tune your guitar with a capo on. Check out the video below to see exactly how to do it.

How To Tune A Guitar With A Capo [Video]

Reasons Why You Should Not Use A Capo

Some of the downsides of using the capo are that it can cause finger and hand cramps and injuries, and it can damage your guitar. If you use the capo often, it can wear down your guitar’s frets.

The capo can also affect the tone of your guitar. If you are using the capo and your guitar is not properly set up, you could have some distortion in your sound. The capo can also make it more difficult to play some songs. For example, the capo could make it harder to strum the chords. This is because you would have to press your fingers down on the strings more than usual.

You might also have trouble with your rhythm. It could be hard to keep the beat if you are using the capo. You can get better at using the capo if you practice with it.

Some other reasons guitarists choose not to use capos include:

  • Capos are not necessary because guitar players are trained to play without them.
  • Using a capo can reduce your ability to reach the frets below it while playing.
  • The capo makes playing the guitar feel clumsy and awkward for many guitar players.
  • Capos can shift the orientation of the guitar’s fretboard.
  • Playing with a capo takes practice and many guitarists don’t want to take the time to learn to play using one.

Are Capos Bad For Guitars?

Capos can have a negative impact on guitars.

One of the downsides of using the capo is if you use the capo often, it can wear down your guitar’s frets.

A capo can also cause the guitar strings to break. If a capo is put on the wrong fret, then it could make the guitar string snap. This can also happen if you place the capo on a string too tightly. In order to prevent this problem from happening, it is important to place the capo on the correct fret and on the right string.

Just remember that it can be a good thing as well as a bad thing. Use it only when you know what you are doing.

Can Bass Guitars Use Capos?

Although they are not commonly used by bass guitarists, it is possible to use capos on bass guitars.

If you decide to use a capo on your bass guitar, be mindful of the fact that capos are rarely needed to play bass. Despite this lack of necessity, there is a good chance that capos will not be able to provide enough tension to depress four bass strings, and you could risk damaging the back of the guitar’s neck.

Can You Use A Capo On An Electric Guitar?

You can use a capo on an electric guitar. Here are a few pros and cons of doing so:


  • Capos are cheap.
  • You can adjust the pitch of the guitar with the capo.
  • Capos work with any type of guitar.
  • Capos are easy to put on and take off.


  • Capos can damage the fretboard.
  • Capos don’t fit all guitars.
  • Capos affect the neck of the guitar.
  • Capos can get in the way of your playing.

Do Capos Damage Electric Guitars?

There is always the potential for damage to any guitar if a capo is not used properly (such as being over-tightened). However, if applied to the guitar correctly, the capo should not damage your electric guitar.

Do Good Guitarists Use Capos?

Some of the best guitarists use capos. Artists such as Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Keith Richards, to name a few, have been known to play with capos.