Do You Tune Guitar Before or After Putting Capo?

Many guitarists use capos in their playing. A capo comes in handy in your playing, especially when you want to play and sing thus use a more comfortable chord pattern. However, there has been a discussion of when should you tune the guitar on whether before or after putting the capo.

While there are those who advocate for tuning after putting the Capo, others support for tuning before putting the capo. The best method applied enables for more comfortable use of the capo thus better results.

Do You Tune Guitar Before or After Putting Capo?

A Guitar should be tuned before putting a Capo on. In fact, your guitar should be in tune regardless of what you will do afterwards. Please disregard any other advice telling you to tune a half step higher. With a good Capo, your strings will be in tune after putting the Capo, with no increased pressure that might damage them. If you feel the guitar is out of tune after putting the Capo, adjusting the position of the Capo in addition to using the right quality Capo will give you the correct tune.

Do You Tune a Guitar After Putting a Capo on?                       

As is the recommended practice, I usually tune my guitar before putting a Capo. Using the best tuner, I Tune every string of the guitar to the proper Pitch Whether E B G D A E. After the first tuning; I do a second pass tuning just to ensure that every string corresponds to its tuning and in this, I do fine-tuning. It is after the guitar is well-tuned that I apply the capo. If the guitar feels out of tune while the capo is on, adjusting the position to the Capo helps in solving the problem.

While there are different types of Caspos in the market, these come in different qualities. A Capo that presses the strings too hard on the fretboard damages the strings thus distorting the sound. This distortion of music is more while using the electric guitar than when using

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

When using the acoustic guitar, the Capo will rarely give you an out of tune sound. However, when using the wrong type of Capo that gives undue pressure on the strings, then you get out of tune sound. The pressure of the Capo should be just as your finger presses on the fretboard. Furthermore, the position of the Capo on the fret matters a lot. Adjusting the Capo to the right position, at the centre, gives you the right tune.

On the other hand, while using the electric guitar, you will have to use a Capo that applies minimum pressure on the strings. The electric guitar goes out of tune if increased pressure is used. More often than not, the lead guitarists do not have to use a Capo for their playing. They leave that to Acoustic guitar players like me.

Can You Tune a Guitar with the Capo on?

Many will tell you that it is ok to tune a guitar with the Capo on, but I disagree. It is very wrong as well as unprofessional to tune your guitar while your Capo is on as this only damage your strings. Furthermore, tuning a guitar while the Capo is on fixes you to only use the guitar at that tuning only. When you tune the guitar while the Capo is off, you can play while putting the capo in different positions you would like.

What Tuning is a Capo on 1st Fret?

While using the Capo, you can place the Capo at any fret. This raises the tuning of the guitar in addition to making the playing distance of the guitar shorter. Placing you capo at any position away from the nut shifts the notes of the strings to a different note. Moving the capo one step higher allows you to raise the pitch of all the strings by a half step. For instance, open strings are tuned to E A D G B E. Putting the Capo on the first fret raises the string with a half step to F A# D# G# C F.

Therefore, for each position, you place the capo, shift the tone of the strings, a number of half steps similar to the number of frets from the nut. As such, knowing the key you are in is easy. That is you count the number of frets to the capo, then shifting the open string notes of the guitar with the number of half steps counted to the Capo

How do you Tune a Guitar down a Half Step with a Capo?

Moving the Capo up the fretboard of your guitar tunes your guitar up in half steps for each fret. Consequently, moving the Capo down the frets lowers the tone of the strings. For instance, if the Capo is placed on the 3rd fret, which corresponds to note G on the 6th string, moving a half step is shifting the Capo one fret behind to fret number 2, which corresponds to F# on the 6th string.

How to Fix a Capo on Guitar

There are different types of Capos available in the market. These different types offer different clamping mechanisms. However, the process of fixing your Capo on the guitar remains the same

Step 1: Positioning the guitar

Place your guitar on your lap at the most comfortable position then wear the strap adjusting it to this position. This sorts you out, whether standing or when sitting. Remember, you should have your capo with you. This position allows you to play confidently and with no stress.

Step 2: Determining the position you desire your capo on

The next point is determining the position you want your capo on. As stated earlier, moving the capo up or down each fret cause a shift of the tones of the guitar in half steps. For instance, putting the Capo on the 3rd fret means the tuning of the guitar strings to G C F A# D G.

Step 3: Clamping the capo

Depending on the clamping mechanism of your guitar, open the capo and place it on the desired fret. The pressure of the capo must be just as your finger could press on the strings; otherwise, you get out of tune notes as well as destroy your strings.

Step 4: Proper adjustment of the capo

The proper placement of your Capo matters a lot. As such, never place the capo directly on the fret bar as well as too far from the fret bar as this may give out of tune tones.

Is Keeping Unused Capo on the Headstock bad?

Where you put your capo has been a story of discussion. Personally I put my capo on the headstock and haven’t had to complain about a less grip from the capo. If putting your capo on the headstock would have effects then you would notice the many complaints from the different guitarists all over who place their capos on the headstock.

Currently, I am using the Planet Waves NS Dual Action Guitar Capo and haven’t had any issues with it. With the right grip on your strings, you are sure of a quality sound. Furthermore, the capo offers an easy mechanism that helps in fast-changing of songs in addition


It is very critical that every guitar player observe how they tune their guitar when using a capo. Do not ever tune a guitar after putting on a capo. Tuning beforehand helps in ensuring that the guitar gives you the right sound as well as the perfect one. You are now

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