Capo throws guitar out of tune


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swarley
08-07-2010, 03:05 PM
My guitar is intonated fine. I can play notes high up on the frets in tune without the capo, but as soon as I put the capo on, nothing is in tune. It's a fairly cheap capo so I'm assuming that's the problem. I always see these G7 capos being advertised but they are like $40. If it really works then it would be worth the money...

So basically, will buying a better capo keep my guitar in tune when I use it?

FenderMayer
08-07-2010, 03:11 PM
Mabye buying a better capo would help. However, it sounds like an intonation problem. Hmmm.... check your intonation make sure it is near perfect, then try the capo. If the intonation's fine already, then yeah, probably get a new capo. Good luck!
Happy Playing
Brandon-Richard

Bikewer
08-07-2010, 03:26 PM
This is an age-old problem. The capo puts more pressure on the strings (in most cases) than do your finger, and the strings are thus "stretched" a bit more than if you were just fretting the note.
As a result, the guitar goes slightly out of tune, and more so on the bass strings as they are thicker and receive more pressure.
There have been attempts to make capos that press the string down directly at the fret, thus becoming a "zero fret", but they interfere with fingering.

Experiment.... "rubber band" type capos are pretty severe. The type that lets you adjust the amount of pressure are better. Try adjusting the thing just to the point where you get a clear tone. You may still have to adjust tuning slightly.

BlueGreen
08-07-2010, 03:47 PM
Capos can put so much pressure on the strings that it pushes them down farther than necessary--lower than the frets and down onto the fingerboard. As a result, all of the strings will be sharper. Thing is, this is a problem I've only ever had with electrics...

This generally happens with the spring-loaded capos. If it turns out that this actually is your problem, then you could try buying a C-clamp capo, the kind that screws to tighten. Dunlop sells cheap C-clamps (about $8), and Shubb sells nice ones that are a bit more expensive ($15-$20).

I also think that buying a $40 capo is utter nonsense... You could achieve almost the same exact thing with a pencil and some rubber bands.

Delboyuk_01
08-08-2010, 05:24 PM
Why don't you just re tune your guitar after fitting the capo? I've got one on my 12 string permanently, I tune it with it on all the time.

Delboy

martwest
08-08-2010, 06:50 PM
Planet Waves have 2 adjustable models. Great, and not expensive either.

clayonfire
08-08-2010, 08:22 PM
I just felt like posting this without reading other responses but...if putting on the capo puts the guitar out of tune...then put on the capo, and retune. Takes a little more time, but it's pretty effective.

This problem is pretty common, nothing severe; it happens. Not necessarily your guitars fault, usually the capo's. It's bound to happen.

swarley
08-09-2010, 12:14 AM
Right. Generally I do that. I was just wondering if buying a better capo would eliminate the need to retune.

LeftyDave
08-09-2010, 07:31 AM
@swarley, yes, buying a better capo will eliminate the need to retune with the capo in place, which is a no-no by the way, irregardless of what others have already said on the matter. By tuning with a capo in place, you're placing too much stress on aspects of the guitar that aren't necessarily meant to handle those stresses, or rather in the manner dictated by having a capo in place. The G7th is superior to all other capo's in that it is held in place by the amount of clamping force YOU place on it when putting it on, not by the pre-determined spring clamping force. I own one, have for about 3 years now and love it. It's the last one I'll ever need to buy. It's built extremely rugged and is very simple to operate and fast to change/remove. I highly recommend it. I've also never needed to retune any of my guitars after clamping it on, it's that accurate.

captivate
08-09-2010, 09:11 AM
You could try a Shubb capo. The tension on these are adjustable and they don't cost more than the average capo. You can adjust the height with the little screw you see underneath.

http://www.shubb.com/capos.html

The trigger type capos will often pull guitars out of tune. You have to put it right behind the fret to get the best results. If you put it in between the fret, it will most likely pull your guitar sharp/

AshManAcoustic
08-09-2010, 05:11 PM
You could try a Shubb capo. The tension on these are adjustable and they don't cost more than the average capo. You can adjust the height with the little screw you see underneath.

http://www.shubb.com/capos.html

/

i agree

swarley
08-12-2010, 04:05 PM
Hey guys, I just wanted to tell you that I bought a capo where you can adjust the tension and it helped a lot. I forgot the brand and don't have the package next to me. It's one that you can slide up and down the neck and you store it on the nut when not in use. Pretty handy.

|Long|
08-13-2010, 07:15 PM
@swarley, yes, buying a better capo will eliminate the need to retune with the capo in place, which is a no-no by the way, irregardless of what others have already said on the matter. By tuning with a capo in place, you're placing too much stress on aspects of the guitar that aren't necessarily meant to handle those stresses, or rather in the manner dictated by having a capo in place. The G7th is superior to all other capo's in that it is held in place by the amount of clamping force YOU place on it when putting it on, not by the pre-determined spring clamping force. I own one, have for about 3 years now and love it. It's the last one I'll ever need to buy. It's built extremely rugged and is very simple to operate and fast to change/remove. I highly recommend it. I've also never needed to retune any of my guitars after clamping it on, it's that accurate.

Even people with G7's, shubbs and the like still retune after the capo. Fine tuning, but it's still done. Amateurs and professionals alike.

If the guitar goes that far out of tune that it is going to put an unnecessary amount of stress on the neck, you have issues.

Hey guys, I just wanted to tell you that I bought a capo where you can adjust the tension and it helped a lot. I forgot the brand and don't have the package next to me. It's one that you can slide up and down the neck and you store it on the nut when not in use. Pretty handy.

Could be the Paige. I've heard good things.
---

I've had great luck with the PW NS lite. Cost 10$ and adjustable, just takes a little longer to set up than the dual NS.

swarley
08-13-2010, 09:56 PM
Yes, it is the Paige. Thanks for the help everyone.

LeftyDave
08-13-2010, 10:15 PM
Even people with G7's, shubbs and the like still retune after the capo. Fine tuning, but it's still done. Amateurs and professionals alike.

If the guitar goes that far out of tune that it is going to put an unnecessary amount of stress on the neck, you have issues.



Could be the Paige. I've heard good things.
---

I've had great luck with the PW NS lite. Cost 10$ and adjustable, just takes a little longer to set up than the dual NS.

The stresses I'm referring to aren't necessarily the neck itself. The nut slots, frets and strings all take a bit of a beating from using a beast of a capo that has high spring tension. I own an old timer, and I might add, retired, capo made by Hamilton. It's truely a beast and clamps down the strings so hard they kink right at the fret contact point. I've not tried it, but I'd be willing to bet I could detune at the tuners and still play the guitar it holds them that tight. It's these kinds of capo's that I'm referring to here. At any rate, the ones to get are obviously the ones that give the user a bit of control over the clamping force exerted on the strings, rather than relying solely on a spring. I say this because not all guitars are all set up the same with the same action, string gauge, fretboard relief and so on.

|Long|
08-13-2010, 10:26 PM
The stresses I'm referring to aren't necessarily the neck itself. The nut slots, frets and strings all take a bit of a beating from using a beast of a capo that has high spring tension. I own an old timer, and I might add, retired, capo made by Hamilton. It's truely a beast and clamps down the strings so hard they kink right at the fret contact point. I've not tried it, but I'd be willing to bet I could detune at the tuners and still play the guitar it holds them that tight. It's these kinds of capo's that I'm referring to here. At any rate, the ones to get are obviously the ones that give the user a bit of control over the clamping force exerted on the strings, rather than relying solely on a spring. I say this because not all guitars are all set up the same with the same action, string gauge, fretboard relief and so on.
Well I'm just saying that the amount the guitars go out of tune isn't that much. Even with my spring loaded capos, they go sharp a tad then I detune it a bit to get it back.

Maybe it's just my luck, but I've never seen a capo that took a guitar that far sharp to require issues.

All in all, I love the NS lite :) Tried the G7th today, and it was pretty unique in how you clamp it.

R.Christie
08-14-2010, 03:05 AM
+1 on Planet Waves capo, I've recently shifted to using them.
The PW model I use is compact as well, you hardly know it's there, unlike the Shubbs and many other types.

http://www.google.co.nz/imgres?imgurl=http://www.drumza.com/images/PlanetWavesNS612StringGuitarCapo.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.drumza.com/category/Guitar-Capos/Planet-Waves/&h=356&w=520&sz=11&tbnid=Cv6qNgjJyhVjFM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dplanet%2Bwaves%2Bcapo&hl=en&usg=__w74pebXZeEob0oQVd6DKkbeUNr0=&sa=X&ei=EEBmTJ76NI7EsAPYqP3RDQ&ved=0CCsQ9QEwBQ

Guitar Hack
08-14-2010, 10:40 AM
If your action is too high this can occur. If the action is too high the string has to have more stress on it to get it too the fret. This will throw it out of intonation. Get you guitar set up and it may take care of your problem.

pdawson
08-14-2010, 11:12 AM
I use Kyser capos, and never have a problem with tuning (Gibson songwriter, perfect intonation) unless I am using a cut capo and a full capo. Then, my G string goes a little sharp. But when I use the Kyser cut capo and that G7 capo, I have no tuning problems. I also have a friend who made his own cut capos out of the Planet Waves capo, and he never has tuning problems when using multiple capos.

Notes_Norton
08-14-2010, 12:00 PM
All capos affect the tuning of the guitar.

My advice. Learn to play without it. Learn barre and other movable chords.

Capos are convenient, but not really necessary.

Sorry if that's a bit harsh.

Notes ♫

|Long|
08-14-2010, 12:17 PM
All capos affect the tuning of the guitar.

My advice. Learn to play without it. Learn barre and other movable chords.

Capos are convenient, but not really necessary.

Sorry if that's a bit harsh.

Notes ♫
...They are necessary for many applications. Wow, just wow.