Do you use a capo? What kind do you use? How and how often do you use it?
I have always used a Shubb capo, but I almost never use it anymore. Initially I used mine for transposing.
I use a capo A LOT! Personally, I like the Kyser quick change capo. I like that it's fast, it can be clipped to the headstock when not in use, and it can be used right side up or upside down allowing for some interesting partial capo possibilities. My vocal range sits nicely around Bb, but playing in this key using open chord forms is not optimal. Enter the capo. Third fret, play out of G position, and voila! Key of Bb! Furthermore, I play mostly out of G and C position, as I find it easiest to flat pick and embellish my chords in these positions. Using the capo, I can change the key of any song while sticking to these positions to which I'm most comfortable.
On a related note, there's a common misconception that's discussed around the use of a capo that, I think, can really confuse beginning guitarists (and some intermediate ones as well). Many instructors will say things like "put your capo on the second fret and now play a G chord," when really s/he means to say "play a G shape." When the capo is on the second fret, the G shape is actually an A chord. While understanding this concept isn't so important while playing alone, it's crucial to understand when playing with other people. Thus, I think it's important to really understand your keys when using a capo so that you can communicate with players of other instruments.
I use a capo fairly regularly and have a Kyser and most recently a G7 Performance capo. I find the G7 to be far superior at keeping the strings in tune the further up the neck I place it, and even though it cost twice as much as the Kyser it was money well spent!
I capo about 90% of the time and I have a Keyser and a Shubb ... The Keyser is really quick and convenient, but the Shubb is a lot more precise IMHO. Also, the Shubb doesn't get in the way as much as the Keyser.
I am not much of a singer, and consequently, I don't need to change the key a song is in very often. I think the capo is frequently used to make the guitar compatible with another instrument - voice, other guitar, etc. Describing how a capo works to beginners is not an easy task. It is a simple device that can generate some complicated explanations.
I use quite a lot of Capo. I'd rather play capoed, usually 2nd fret. Ihave a G7 (my favourite) and a Shubb for reserve (tend to lose these things).
Sorry for resurrecting an old topic but there are opinions here that I remember being helpful and new members may appreciate. I got a G7TH Capo as a gift and I must say I like it a lot. I have a Kyser but I found it bulky and reverted back to my old Dunlop strap capo. I broke it on Friday and seeing as my computer is normally on the site and advertisement was plain to see, the Easter bunny got me a G7TH. It was a little pricey for a capo but it comes with a lifetime warranty and losing it shouldn't be a concern. Compared to what I was using this is high tech!!! Others have recommended it and I am not disappointed.
I am glad you resurrected this thread. I have a Kyser and like it. Again I don't perform, just play with friends so I keep it parked on the headstock. Now that I have multiple guitars I was looking for a cheap capo to leave in each case. Has anyone used the cheap trigger capos on ebay? I am looking at the mock Kysers from China, I found a US seller and at $3.79 each they are tempting. I made an offer, and was countered at $3.50 each shipped, so they are looking really tempting.
I was thinking it over and thought for $14, 4 capos shipped is a good deal. I let everyone know how they work.
Jason ... In the spirit of "you get what you pay for", my personal feeling is that one $14 capo is better than four $3.50 capos ... the quality of the material that contacts your strings and the quality of the steel that the spring is made of is paramount. If the material that contacts the strings is not of high quality, you'll either wear on the strings excessively, or perhaps not get a consistent pressure across the strings. Also, the spring tension needs to be consistent and to stay strong for a long time.
Well, my voice changes with the weather. I can sing Neil Young's "Cowgirl in the Sand" in Am (C), and some days my voice drops a step, and I get this great booming 'bluesman' voice. So, a capo is really helpful for me to find my voice. I use a Paige capo on both my parlor and j-200. They work pretty well, and will store out of the way on the headstock, and fit in the case while on resting on the neck. http://www.massstreetmusic.com/store/show_item/4562-Paige-Guitar-Capo
I used a Kyser, but it caused some tuning issues as I moved it around due it applying uneven pressure across the strings. I don't have that problem with the Paige capo. As far as how often, it depends on what I'm playing and in what setting. With some bluegrass pickers, banjos, mandolins, and fiddles, I usually play in the key of A with the capo on the 2nd fret. Using a G-shape for the A. Some Townes, Prine and Dylan tunes I play in the key of C using the G-shape with the capo on the 5th fret. But when my voice takes a dive, the capo moves down a step or step and a half.
I agree about the Kyser ... I only use the Kyser because it's quick and easy to do with one hand between songs. Great for stage performances where you need to move faster. Also, as pointed out, the Kyser will clamp to the headstock when not in use. The Shubb is a much more accurate/consistent device in my opinion, but it's more time consuming to move around. It's not all THAT hard to move though. I still find myself depending on the Kyser for open-mics, though ... I'm a 2nd fret capo guy most of the time too. I move up to the 4th fret for "Runaway" by Del Shannon and "Ohio" by Neil Young.