Can You Use Capo on Electric Guitar?


Capos are usually used to change the key on a guitar. They also helped in transposing advanced chords into basic ones. With these advantages, can you use a capo on electric guitar?

You can use a capo on electric guitar in particular instances. Make sure the capo provides an appropriate amount of tension and pressure. It allows you to find a new approach in terms of tone and style.

In this article, we will help you answer the associated inquiries on this topic:

  • Can you use a capo on electric guitar?
  • What does a capo do on an electric guitar?
  • Will a capo damage an electric guitar neck?
  • When to use a capo on an electric guitar?
  • Disadvantages of capos
  • Creative advantages of using a capo
  • How to choose the best capo for an electric guitar?

Can You Use Capo on Electric Guitar?

Generally, yes you can use a capo on electric guitar. Most guitarists don’t often use a capo on electric guitar since it is played differently. It brings versatility in the tone, chords, and keys.

Using Capo on Electric Guitar

Capos are commonly used in acoustic guitars before they play. It allows guitarists to transpose advanced chord shapes into basic chords. Using capo also depends on the song flow or the style and the comfortability of the guitarist.

What Does A Capo Do On An Electric Guitar?

Capos have numerous functions. They are mostly perceived as a tool to change or increase the keys of a guitar. In this way, you can transpose certain chords to make them easier to play.

Electric guitars are usually played without capos. It helps most guitarists to feel more natural since it has more frets than acoustic. Guitar solos are one technique that guitarists may prefer to play without a capo.

Solos in acoustic guitars may produce a different charisma compared to electric guitars. Electric guitars are capable of providing ample frets to play for higher notes.

Playing barre chords on an electric guitar is easier to adopt. The capos in an acoustic help in changing the chord shapes. This is why electric guitars may not necessarily need a capo.

Will a Capo Damage An Electric Guitar Neck?

Using a capo on an electric guitar will not damage its neck. As long as you use it appropriately, it is fine to use it on this guitar.

Avoid adjusting the capo in a super tight manner. These can affect the strings and overly bend them. Always remove them from the guitar after playing or when not in use.

There are various types of capos and they are attached in different methods. It’s important to determine the particular style of the first. By the time you use it, you can prevent damage to the neck of the guitar.

Types of CaposUses
1. Trigger CapoClamp in the guitar fret and maneuvered by a spring-loaded mechanism.
2. G7th CapoUses pressure through squeezing on the fret
3. Shubb CapoClamp on the fret with a lever mechanism
4. Screw CapoClamp on the fretboard and uses screws to adjust the tension
5. Toggle CapoUses a strap to adjust the pressure on the strings.
6. Strap CapoAttached to the fretboard using a flexible strap
7. Cradle CapoUses a screw mechanism to adjust the tension on fretboard
8. Roller CapoAttached to the guitar and tolled on different frets.
9. Spider CapoUses a tension bar to attach with individual control to each string
10. Partial CapoSimilar to Shubb capo, but only covers three strings

When to Use a Capo On An Electric Guitar?

You can use a capo on an electric guitar depending on the key, arrangements, and chord shapes. This tool is a great aid for beginners with limited knowledge. Barre chords are vital in this guitar in which it is recommended to play it without a capo.

Capos works in several styles of songs. If you want to know when to use it, consider these things:

  • Is the song played with a capo on the electric guitar?
  • Do you find barre chords difficult?
  • Do you want to adjust the key of the song?
  • Are you seeking ways to play the song in different tuning?

One of the tremendous help that a capo can do is transpose the key of the song. Male keys are mostly in low registers. Transposing the chords with the use of capo can make the key higher that fit the female voice.

Advantages Of Using a Capo

Capos can expand the creativity of a guitarist. They are useful for beginners when used appropriately. Capos can also help in seeking ways to find your tone and style.

Open Tunings Can Create New Sounds

Standard tuning is when the strings are tuned into EADGBE. Open tunings have different tunes but the open strings harmonize the sound of the chord. Using a capo can prevent you from fretting all of the needed strings to achieve the chord.

The frequently used open tunings used by most guitarists are:

  • Open G: GGDGBD
  • Open C: CEGCEG
  • Open D: DADF#AD

Other than the tunings mentioned, Open F which is FCCCCF and A tuning with EAEAAE are also possible.

Shortens the Strings & Action

Using a capo can shorten the strings making the notes accessible in numerous ways. Jazz guitarists mostly use capos due to this possibility. It allows you to widen your perspective by playing the song in several approaches.

Capos make playing guitar more versatile. Several guitarists experiment with different styles and in various keys. This allows them to apply a new approach to the songs they want to play.

Disadvantages of Capos

Capos are helpful in many ways. Although they are a great aid for guitarists, these can also result in drawbacks.

Using Capo on Electric Guitar 2

Not Learning To Play Correctly

Beginners can take advantage of the key transposal of the chords using a capo. This means you can change the barre chords into basic chords. The disadvantage is limiting the learning of chord shapes.

The development of your skills is slow once you are used to playing the basic chords with a capo. Barre chords take time for your hands and fingers to adapt. While you’re starting, it’s best to train yourself naturally.

Once you learn how to play advanced chords, you don’t need to transpose them. You are not going to rely on the capo if you encounter songs with a bunch of barre chords.

Wear & Tear of the Guitar Neck

Guitar capos will not damage your guitar neck to a certain extent. Guitar necks are built with wood material. Over time, frequent use of capo can wear and tear the guitar neck.

The wearing and tearing of the guitar neck will not occur fast. Electric guitars are durable and it will take time before their quality diminishes. Always ensure that you are correctly using capos and don’t leave them clamped or strapped when idle.

How to Choose the Best Capo for An Electric Guitar?

High-quality capos provide a good amount of tension to the guitar strings. Low-grade capos may produce buzzing of strings. It is due to lesser pressure or loose hold of the strings.

Choose capos that you can easily move in the guitar neck. Some capos are difficult to transfer in the frets.

Kyser Quick-Change Capo for electric guitars, Black, KGEB

 out of stock
as of May 23, 2023 5:19 am

Buying a top-quality capo can prevent the guitar neck sustain damages in its finish. This can prolong the quality of your guitar even with regular capo use.


Electric guitars allow guitarists to widen their styles and tone. Using capos in this provides more creativity and approach while playing. It can bring massive advantages when used appropriately, especially for beginners.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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