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Do Professional Guitarists Use Capos Or Not? (Pros, Cons, And 10 God Of Guitars With Capos)

Learn do professional guitarists use capos or not with everything packed in this article including 10 guitar gods with capos, 10 reasons to use them, and 5 reasons to avoid them!

Guitar capos are very commonly used yet rarely seen in guitar playing equipment. You will notice many guitarists using it frequently, and some are trying hard to avoid it. But, do professional guitarists use capos?

Professional guitarists use capos. However, not all professional guitarists use them. Using capos depends on need, choice, and tuning.

There are more reasons why professional guitarists do or don’t use capos while playing guitar. Let’s go ahead and go through the article to know more about the myths and needs of using capos.

Do Professional Guitarists Use Capos?

The newbies often want to know one thing: do professional guitarists use capos? The truth is, not all of them use capos.

Many well-known and famous guitarists use capos. In fact, many popular songs have been composed with capos.

Songs like Hotel California by The Eagles, Here Comes The Sun, Norwegian Wood by The Beatles, and Don’t Think Twice by Bob Dylan are some of many.

Why Do Professional Guitarists Do/Don’t Use Capos?

Some professional guitarists use capos regularly, while others avoid them at any cost. There are several reasons and issues for that.

Using a capo on guitar strings shortens the string length. It allows the guitarists to compose tunes with a higher pitch. Also, it allows the guitarists from playing guitars for a long time without tiring their hands.

However, some guitarists avoid using capos. Some of them believe that using capos throws off the tuning sometimes. And fixing it can be a tough job.

Why Do These Ten God Of Guitars Use Capos?

When a professional guitarist uses a guitar capo, all the arguments seem invalid. Let’s find out why these gods of guitars use capos in this infographic below!

Actual Reasons Behind Using Capos Of These 10 Guitar Gods

Is Capo Good For Beginners?

It is both good and bad for beginners. Using a guitar capo is often considered a handy tool for beginners. Guitar playing becomes more comfortable with capos. You get to use fewer chords to play any songs you want.

However, I would say that beginners should avoid using a guitar capo. When a starter, you are meant to learn. That means learning with difficulties.

Beginners need to learn how to hold the guitar and the chord progressions. A person needs lots of practice and memorization to do. So, using a capo is a shortcut that they must avoid to learn guitar playing better.

10 Reasons Why You Should Use A Capo

The biggest myth about using capos is that it is cheating. And many guitar players feel discouraged when someone refers to it as cheating. Another common myth is: there’s no need of using capo when you already know how to play the barre chords. But little do they know that there are plenty of reasons to use capos, and I’ll tell you why.

1. Brightens Guitar Sound

Capos are known for enhancing sound as you play. You will get sound with a higher pitch as you play with the capo. As a result, the sound of the guitar will be brightening.

2. Play More Songs Using A Few Chords

Without a capo, there are lots of chords to learn. A beginner guitar player can go crazy while trying to learn and memorize lots of chords. With capo, you can play a wide number of chord shapes in a variety of keys. For example, using it on the 2nd fret, Am chord shape becomes Bbm.

You can give any song more texture by this alternate chord voicing formula using a capo.

That’s why they are often recommended to use capos. With a capo and only five chords, you can play thousands of songs.

Though if you only play barre chords, you don’t need one, let’s say one of the guitar parts relies on an open string. In this case, using a capo may help.

3. Allows You To Change Tone Instantly

Professional guitarists pick up different tones instantly. Most of these people do this miraculous thing simply with the help of capos. Maybe it is not the same case for everyone. But capos play a vital role when the singers or the guitarists need to change the tone out of the blue.

4. Less To No Sore Fingers

Playing guitars means you need to stretch your fingers as they will keep going up and down the frets. Sometimes you need to add pressure to fret notes. Playing like this can be painful, and your fingers will end up sore.

5. No More Sore Hand

Playing non-stop for a long time can give you a sore hand. Using capo can relieve you of some of it. Having a capo on your guitar is like having a helping hand to play the guitar while your hand rests.

6. Write And Compose Your Own Songs

Every music lover dreams of writing and composing their own songs. Things can change when you use a capo. With its ability to change the tone and play with ease, you can compose music like a well-experienced guitarist.

7. Playing With One Key

With a capo, you can play songs using one key whether or not you need a higher-pitch sound. There are plenty of songs that were played in this way. For example, Fire and Rain by James Taylor.

8. Comfortable Playing Is Encouraging

Once you experience the difference between playing with a capo and without it, there’s no need to say more about what you will feel afterward. Once playing becomes easier, it will encourage you to keep on playing.

9. More Open Strings

Capos don’t just shorten the string length. It also makes the strings more open and creates the amount of vibration your song requires. You might be capable of creating the string vibration with your fingers. But if the capos can do it, why not let it?

10. You Get Different Tones

As I have said already, using capos changes everything. Capos are meant to use with acoustic guitars and folk music. When you try playing the guitar with or without it, you will notice plenty of differences in intones. The sound created with capos will be different, and it is something many musicians prefer.

Read Also

5 Reasons To Avoid Capos

Capos indeed come with more advantages than disadvantages. But we cannot deny that we need to avoid these disadvantages. For your benefit, here are five reasons to avoid capos:

1. Challenging to Fix Tuning

The number one reason why many people avoid using capos is the difficulty of fixing tunes. Sometimes they end up throwing off the tune completely. And fixing it can be a painful experience.

2. Limits Your Knowledge

I’ve often seen that young people tend to avoid learning more chords once they get used to playing with fixed chords. This is a huge disadvantage when you are a learner, and it limits your knowledge.

3. Not Ideal For Beginners

I know I have said how useful it is for beginners. But useful does not mean you should use it. Beginners are meant to learn and expand their skills. So, it would be best if you stopped going for it all the time.

4. Prevents You From Using Your Skill

If you are skilled at something, why not put it out there and show it? If you are an experienced guitarist, it means you know the A to Z of playing it. But using capos can prevent you from doing that.

5. It Wears Out The Strings

Whatever you do, never leave the capos on the strings when not in use. This is why many professional guitarists will tell you to avoid capos. It can wear out the strings faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is It OK To Use A Capo On An Electric Guitar?

Capos are very suitable for electric and acoustic guitars, even on ukuleles. So, any guitar you use will be a good fit. Professional guitarists tend to use capos on electric guitars too.

Read Also

Q. Do Classical Guitarists Use Capos?

Classical Guitarists use them less frequently because often there’s no use of a capo for a classical guitar.

Q. What Type Of Capo Is Best For Your Guitar?

Choosing capos for your guitar is more of a personal choice. There are different style capos available including Adjustable-Clamp style capo, Trigger-style capo, Yoke-style capo, and so on. Depending on design and materials, the price also varies. So, the one you pick is up to your preferences but do not go for capos which are lower in quality because they cause intonation issues very often.

Final Verdict

Do professional guitarists use capos? Now you know the answer to that. Capos have more reasons to be used than not to use. So, don’t be ashamed to try it out if you want to.

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Author | Acoustic and Classical Guitar Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

James B. Laskowski was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He has been working as an acoustic and classical guitar expert at Instrument Insight for over 5 years. In this time, he has gained a great understanding of acoustic and classical guitars and gears, their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. James also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of many acoustic and classical guitar brands.

Author | Electric Guitar and Gear Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

Cornell K. Benson is from Mansfield, OH. He is 30 years old and has expertise in electric guitars and gears. Cornell has a great understanding of electric guitars and their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. He also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of various electric guitar brands.

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