Can You Tune A Guitar With A Capo On?


guitar_capo

A capo is a clamp that fits over the neck of your guitar.

The device raises all of the strings on your instrument so you can play in different keys without having to change chord shapes or fingerings.

A question people often ask is: can you tune a guitar with a capo on?

The answer is Yes. With a good Capo in place, your strings will be in tune after you’ve finished playing, with no extra pressure that might harm them. If you find the guitar is out of tune after utilizing the Capo, move the Capo to a different position as well as use the appropriate quality Capo.

In this article, I’ll explain how to use a capo and how to tune a guitar with the capo on.

Let’s get started!

Do You Tune Guitar Before or After Putting Capo?

Before placing a Capo on the guitar, it’s important to have it tuned. In fact, regardless of what you do next, your guitar should be in tune.

Any other advice telling you to tune a half step higher should be disregarded.

With a decent Capo, your strings will stay in tune after you’ve put the Capo on, and there won’t be any extra pressure that might harm them.

If you believe your guitar is out of tune after putting the Capo, adjusting the position of the Capo as well as using high-quality Capos may help you get it

When it comes to tuning your guitar before or after utilizing a capo, keep in mind that you may adjust the sound of your chord shapes and lines without changing their arrangement.

If you tune up while applying the Capo:

You’ll need an electronic tuner (or any other device) to play each note through exactly how it sounds, rather than how it looks on paper.

If you tune up after applying the Capo:

You’ll be able to hear each note exactly as written, therefore tuning your guitar with an electronic tuner is simple and straightforward.

People often ask if they need a special type of capo for open tunings or alternative arrangements – the answer is no.

If your chord shapes, lines, and sounds are staying the same, you can use any kind of Capo for different tuning styles.

As is standard procedure, I usually tune my guitar before placing a Capo.

I adjust the tuning of each string on the guitar to the precise Pitch E B G D A E, using the best tuner possible.

I tune the guitar a second time after the first, just to be sure that each string is in tune and that I do some fine-tuning during this pass.

It’s after the guitar is properly tuned that I use the capo. If you put a capo on and then discover your guitar feels out of tune, moving it closer to, or further from, the fretboard may solve this problem.

Why Does my Guitar go out of Tune when I Put a Capo on?

When using an acoustic guitar without a Capo, you will almost never get an out of tune sound.

When utilizing the incorrect sort of Capo that puts undue strain on the strings, you can hear out of tune notes.

When you press down on the Capo, bear in mind that this pressure should be equal to or greater than that of your finger.

The position of the Capo on the fretboard is also critical.

You get the proper chord when you adjust the Capo to its optimum position, which is a smack dab in the middle.

While utilizing the electric guitar, on the other hand, you will have to utilize a Capo that puts minimal strain on the strings.

If you apply more force to the guitar’s strings, it will become out of tune.

How do you tune a guitar with a capo down one step?

You will have to tune your guitar a half step down when utilizing the capo.

In order for this tuning to work, you’ll have to utilize an electronic tuner that has been calibrated in accordance with the standard pitch of 440 Hz.

If you don’t know how much force is necessary on top of placing a Capo, you’ll get an out-of-tune guitar.

This happens because the strings are put under unnecessary pressure when utilizing a Capo that isn’t designed for certain types of guitars, particularly electric ones.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to use high-quality capos if applying them often and in different tunings.

That being said, here’s how to tune a guitar with a capo down one step:

  1. Place a capo at the 2nd fret (if you don’t have one, make sure you’re plucking the second fret each time)
  2. Tuning should be as straightforward as usual, with the capo (or finger) in place.
  3. Remove capo (or finger) and you’re done.

It’s important to re-tune your guitar after you apply a Capo, simply because it can change the sound of certain chords and notes.

The more expensive the capo though, the less likely this issue will be present – as it is made with high-quality materials that protect against any sort of damage or pressure put on your strings.

 

Read Also: My Gear Recommendations

How to tune a guitar with a capo on the first fret

Before you start making chords and playing, remember to re-tune your guitar after putting a Capo on it.

Why? As I mentioned earlier, applying more force onto the strings will cause them to go out of tune. If you’re using an electric guitar without an electronic tuner, you’ll need to remember the open strings.

Place your capo on the first fret of your guitar (or if using an acoustic one, place it directly over the soundhole).

Now that you’ve placed a Capo onto your electric or acoustic guitar, here’s how to tune it:

Pluck each string, one by one.

If the note is sharp or flat when compared to standard tuning, adjust it accordingly with your tuner.

You can now play chords and notes without any problems.

How To Tune A Guitar With A Capo On The Third Fret?

I would recommend using a capo that has been designed with a standard tuning in mind.

If you’re using an electric guitar, the capo should be placed on the third fret to get a sound that is close enough to standard tuning.

To further ensure this quality of sound, I would recommend purchasing a high-quality capo for your instrument. This will lessen any risk of additional pressure being placed on the strings.

First, place your capo at the third fret of your guitar (or if using an acoustic one, place it directly over the soundhole).

If you don’t have a high-quality capo and want to use what you already own: make sure that there is very little pressure exerted onto your strings.

Now that you’ve placed a Capo onto your electric or acoustic guitar, here’s how to tune it:

Pluck each string, one by one.

If the note is sharp or flat when compared to standard tuning, adjust it accordingly with your tuner.

You can now play chords and notes without any problems.

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