I've recently started using a capo a lot more recently and I'm getting frustrated with the capo I'm using which is a Kyser quick release sprung capo.

The problem is that when I place it on a tuned guitar the tuning goes out. I can then tune it but because the strings are running under the capo the tuning action is a bit sticky and then can jump out of tune as presumably the string tension is higher or lower above the capo to the played part of the strings.

Is this something that everyone has to deal with or a product of this kind of sprung capo? If the latter can anyone recommend a capo that would apply less pressure to the strings which doesn't throw out the tuning?


It's not enough information to give a complete, definite explanation. Are the tuners high quality? Because, if they are just decent, problems hidden while using the guitar without a capo might arise after putting the capo on. If this case, you either cease to use the capo, or replace the tuning pegs.
Second, not all of us are used to the Kyser products, and information on the Internet is pretty confusing. What is the shape of capo's surface which comes directly on the strings? Is it rounded like a guitar's fretboard, or is it flat? If it's flat, the presure doesn't apply in an uniform way on the strings: lower and higher strings get a different pressure than the middle ones. If the capo was "roughly" tuned, middle strings get too much pressure, while if it has a "gentle" tuning, the lower and higher strings don't get enough pressure.
If the surface is rounded like a fretboard, either the guitar's tuning pegs aren't good enough (a I've already mentioned), or the capo is made from cheap materials, whose friction affect the tuning.
You gotta check whether your guitar is OK. If it is, then you must replace the capo by a more expensive, professional one.
You should know that friction plays a huge role in de-tuning a guitar, hence the capo must have the right pressure settings and its contact surface must be made in an appropriate material. As in all the other fields of activity, more expensive usually means better. Unfortunately for us.
Good luck!
I have used this sort of capo before, and they can be pretty difficult. Unlike a lot of capos, there is nothing to adjust how much pressure is being put on the strings. It only has one pressure, and that's HARD. You may have noticed that, if you press to heavily on a fret, the notes become sharp. I think this might be what is happening here.

Ideally, the capo should press down with just enough pressure to make sure the strings sound correctly. However, the capo has to work for all string tensions and there are a lot of different tunings and string gauges that people use. So I guess they've made it a bit stronger than most people need. Better too hard too soft and have buzzing strings, no?

It could be that your intonation is off too, but if you've never noticed this problem when playing higher up the fretboard without a capo, I would suspect your capo is just a bit heavy handed.

You could either buy a more adjustable capo or save some money and get used to re-tuning the strings whilst the capo is in place.

I hope this helps!
Thanks very much for all the information.

The intonation is as close to spot on as I can make it I think. I have a strat that I've set up myself and a telecaster and an acoustic that have both been setup by my local shop and they all seem pretty much spot on in terms on intonation but this capo causes an issue with them all.

The tuning pegs on the tele and the acoustic are pretty good I think. At least they work smoothly and don't bind at all. The strat's pegs aren't great and are something I want to replace at some point.

The capo I have has a rubber piece which presses down on the strings which is flat, not rounded. Also the spring is very hard indeed and definitely sharpens up all the strings and you can see the string pressed down way further than they need to be. Both the tele and the strat are set up with 9's but you can see on the acoustic that the strings are pressed down way more than they need to be to stop buzzing.

I did a search on capos after I posted the original question (obviously the wrong way round ) and found a style of capo that enabled you to apply as much pressure as you need to the springs rather than apply a constant large pressure which mine does. The one I was looking at specifically was the g7th performance (or newport) which looks like a better solution. I'll pick up one of those and see how I get on with it.

Many thanks,

And what of the rubber part that makes contact with the bottom of the neck, where your palm/thumb make contact? The rubber that presses down on the strings should be mostly straight, but the part that's on the more dramatic curvature on the back should be contoured. Picture your hand when you make, say, an F barre chord - flattened index finger, curved palm/thumb. Listen to phoenix and whiteman. Get a capo with an adjustable pressure, a curved bottom, or both.
I am a fake mountain.
Picked up a g7th performance today... miles better, very pleased with it.

Thanks all.