How to Use a Capo? – Beginners Guide to Capo Use

Capos are amazing if you know the right use. This is an incredible tool for both beginners and professionals. Capo makes hard chords easier for beginners and professionals can try different varieties and depths. Plus, capo’s are extremely affordable, it doesn’t cost much, though there are different varieties and price increases accordingly. But even the most ordinary one will work just fine.

However, if you are a beginner and want to learn how to use a capo, this flawless guide is for you. In this guide, we have discussed everything about capo’s and you would learn a lot of stuff for sure. So miss it at your own risk!


What’s a Capo? 

If you have just started playing the guitar, there is a high chance that you wouldn’t know much about it. If you already know, you can skip it. Capo is like a very simple tool and is used to change the guitar sound. It is like a clip and you are supposed to place that on different frets. Clamping the clip into different frets will produce different sounds and you can shift the clamp up down pretty easily.

Guitar Capo

In case you don’t know how actually capo works, let me give you an example! If you clamp the capo on 2nd fret and then if you hold C chord and play, that would sound like D chord. Magic? No! Capo!

I know it is a little complex, I mean the capo thing. But once you start using and play clamping it, it will get a hang on this thing. The capo makes it easier for you to play songs but how? There are some bar chords which are really tough to hold, especially for beginners. With the capo, you can pull out the same sound without holding the bar chord. Not only capo makes playing easier but it also makes the guitar sound extremely good.

Have you heard “Here comes the sun” song by Beatles? That sounded really unique, right? The unique sound came because there was a capo placed at the 7th fret of the guitar.

And lastly, you can quickly change the song key. For example, if you are finding it difficult to sing a song, then you can try to sing that on a different key. If you cannot sing in a high key, then lower the key. And if you cannot sing low, increases the key, simple. That being said, you have to know the proper way of using the capo, that’s extremely important.


How to Put on a Capo properly?

Most beginners make mistake when pulling on a capo, they do it incorrectly. What most beginners do is, they nicely press the capo’s handle but when releasing they don’t do that with care and that makes the capo attached to the guitar fret in an unbalanced way. And when the capo is attached unbalanced that can make the guitar tone pretty bad. Pay close when you are releasing the handle, make sure the capo is aligned nicely even before you release the handle.


Capo Chart 

 Let’s say, you want to play a song which requires very tough chords, capo will definitely help you there. But for that, you need to where exactly you should place the capo and which chord you should hold. Because with a capo in the 2nd fret if you play C chord that will sound like D. You get it? So without knowing the fret number and chord, you cannot use a capo. So how do you figure that out?

Don’t worry, I am here for that! Below, I have provided a capo chart, where there is all kind of chords name and fret numbers, so that you will be able to find out require fret number and chord pretty easily. That being said, you might not understand the chart now, I am explaining below, it will become very easy. Have a look.

Capo Chart

Does it look complex? Well, don’t be afraid. Just go through below instruction, it will become as smooth as water.

Okay, let’s have a look at the very first row on your left. At the top left, do you see a word written “Chord”? There is a C under that. I hope you got it. And then take a look at the right, there is a column which is labeled with “0”, below the “0” there is written, “With no Capo”. You see all of them, right? here starts the game!

If you start playing C chord at position 0, that is an open chord and that would sound like C, no difference. But when you shift to after two columns, there is “D”, right? And what is labeled above D? 2nd fret! If you put the capo on the second fret and hold normal C chord, that would sound like D chord.

You get it now? It should become easy if you have gone through the above instruction. Let me make it more clear. Let’s say, you want to play F# and Bm chords, these are really hard chords for beginners. In that case, you can set the capo on the second fret which will do the work of your index finger and then you just play normal easy E and Em, you get the F# and Bm sound, isn’t that easy?



By now you have known how to use a capo properly. It is extremely helpful, no doubt about that. But if you are a beginner, I would suggest learning bar chords, they will help you immensely if you want to take the guitar as your carrier. Do not rely on a capo. Use it for versatility and uniqueness but not for bar chords. Hope you understand what I have tried to tell!

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