Using a capo for a ukulele can make it sound as desired. If you want to make the instrument more fitted to the tone of your voice or simply wish to tune it according to your preferences, a ukulele capo will help you do this. This small accessory, which usually is present in the collection of every string instrument player, can entirely change the way your ukulele sounds. But, even if most capos look the same, don’t purchase one without thinking carefully. You risk getting the capo that is unsuitable for the instrument you use. Here we introduce to you 5 capos that we consider the greatest in the market.
Our Best Ukulele Capo picks
We’ve searched high and low through many different products and chosen five different models to compare. Have a look through all our pros and cons for each one to find your best ukulele capos.
GUITARX X3 – The Original Guitar Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Ukulele, Banjo and Mandolin, Gunmetal
Let’s begin with an amazing capo, the GUITARX X3. In fact, this is one of the most solid capos that you can ever buy. It is extremely versatile, does its job perfectly, looks very good on your ukulele, doesn’t scratch the neck, can move pretty fast and have many other intriguing features.
While capos are pretty simple accessories or tools for your guitars or ukes, some manufacturers overcomplicate things with tons of features and stuff that you never need while playing guitar. On the other hand, the GUITARX X3 acoustic capo is designed to perform properly, not have tons of features but to be by your side for a long time.
The GUITARX X3 capo is a very high-performance item that will be at your side on every performance and practice session, as it will stay in tune and will deliver a perfect intonation on every single fret. One of my favorite parts of this capo was its steel spring with internal memory that puts just enough pressure on the neck of the instrument.
Moreover, you will find it extremely easy to move the capo through the frets. Also, apart from acoustic guitars, GUITARX X3 can be used with electric guitars, ukulele, banjo, folk guitars, mandolins and bass guitars.
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the high-quality silicon padding on the back that will protect your instrument at all times. And on top of all this, the price of this capo is very competitive and I think that it will make your acoustic guitar playing experience much better overall.
G7th Newport Capo (C34013)
With their innovative Newport Capo, G7th seems to have found the perfect balance between the convenience of a quick-change capo and the foolhardiness of a screw action capo. This low profile capo “allows for fast, accurate capoing with fine tune adjustment – in position – on the fretboard of your instrument.”
The Newport has the standard lever found on quick-change capos, so you can get it on the right fret in no time, but a screw was added so you can perfectly adjust the capo’s pressure to your fretboard’s radius. This ensures easy, one-handed operation without the buzz that causes trouble as can be seen in many “easier” models.
The Newport also uses a very small amount of rubber, which means your chords and notes will sound naturally just like without a capo. It’s also light as a feather, with no noticeable weight added to your guitar’s neck, while its low profile stays out of the way of your fretting hand when playing open chords.
I placed The Newport on the first fret to play the open chords from the Fleet Foxes’ “He Doesn’t Know Why,” and then went up to the fifth fret to play Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah.” The change took less than ten seconds and the capo applied perfect pressure in both positions. It stayed out of my way even when playing an E-minor shape for “He Doesn’t Know Why,” while the single note lines from “Hallelujah,” came off buzz free and in tune at every fret.
Kyser Quick-Change Capo
The Kyser capo applies firm, even pressure across the strings with a fairly low profile for aesthetic appeal. However, the tension is not adjustable and some may find that it is too firm, especially if you have lighter strings. But overall, the Kyser capo is fantastic, easy-to-use and popular with guitar and ukulele players of all types.
The review unit sent to us was finished in a breathtaking ‘rosewood’ colour scheme, consisting of black tiger stripes overlaid on top of a dark red wood grain pattern. Aesthetically, this capo is a winner. It pairs well with almost every guitar colour and finish imaginable. Most distinctive of all is its top arm, which is stylishly furled upwards into a slight spiral, mirroring the snazzy, cursive ‘K’ in the Kyser brand logo.
The Quick-Change acoustic capo is mainly built from lightweight aluminium, featuring a single-handed action bound by a high-tension coil. The top jaw was coverd by a thick sheet of rubber, while a block of transparent white rubber rests at the bottom. It’s slightly regrettable – a black rubber block would have suited the overall colour scheme much better. Minor gripes aside, the capo functions as it should. Clamping, releasing and shifting the device is as simple as it could be. The pressure applied to the fretboard was evenly dispersed and never made me worry about whether my frets were under unnecessary duress. Performance was excellent across the entire fingerboard. There were no dead spots, buzzing or rattling to speak of.
Shubb L9 ukulele capo (GC-20UL)
Shubb L9 is tiny and light. The purported weight issues of the brass version are totally fixed. You won’t feel it there while clamping the Shubb L9 onto your headstock. Alos, there isn’t anything sticking out from it like there is on trigger-style capo.
The capo doesn’t come with instructions, but it was easy enough to figure out by yourself. Rubber bits go around long wood thing, pull down on metal doohickey. It’s definitely not as fast or simple as a trigger style capo, but it’s not exactly brain surgery either. One of the favorite features is that knob on the back. It’s meant to allow you to compensate for different neck thicknesses, but you can also use it to adjust how tightly the capo grips the strings. You can rest assured that Shubb L9 will never fall off or move to a different fret.
In terms of tone, it will definitely be changed a little bit. While the difference is subtle, it is still worth being mentioned. At $27, there is certainly cheaper capos out there. You are paying for quality though. If you use a capo a lot and can afford spend that much, I’d say it’s a pretty good investment. Shubb L9 seems fairly sturdy and well built. There are a number of moving parts which could wear out eventually, but Shubb sell replacements on their website.
Creative Tunings SCM SpiderCapo Mini
This one is going to be the oddball of the list, and some may not consider it as the best ukulele capo, however, it all relies upon what your goals are. The Spider Capo is a relatively new invention from two musicians out of New York, their goal was to create a capo that didn’t just lay flat across all the strings of the fret.
This capo can press down on a single string at a time allowing you to play tunings from your wildest imagination. Because of this feature, it clamps on top of the fretboard instead of behind it like other devices. It is made of black plastic and has felt for protecting the uke on the sides of the neck that it attaches to.
This may not be an ideal choice if you are about to play a show soon and need a reliable capo. It can be finicky and takes more time than other capos to setup, there is no doubt it has some issues. However, if you are a songwriter or love to explore new tunings this is the best ukulele capo for you. The Spider Capo is for those who love to innovate!
Types of Ukulele Capos
Spring-loaded or Trigger Style
As you can tell by its name, a spring-loaded capo utilises a spring to exert pressure on the strings. Most of the ukulele capos you’ll see for sale online fall into the category of the spring-loaded style. Spring-loaded capos are easy to use and can usually be applied and moved with one hand. You don’t need to adjust or dial anything, which makes spring-loaded capos quick and simple.
This simplicity of spring-loaded capos is also their biggest disadvantage. There’s no way to quickly adjust the pressure, so if the capo presses down too hard on your uke’s strings it can bend them out of tune. Other types of capos are easily adjustable and can be fine-tuned to apply just the right amount of pressure. Spring-based capos can be very affordable and can be found for as little as $5 online, but I’d recommend looking at some of the nicer brands like the Kyser above. They’re a little more money, but Kyser capos are made in the USA and are very high quality.
Toggle or Snap-on
Toggle capos have a design that allows the top fretting bar to lock securely onto a ukulele’s fretboard. This most popular form of toggle capo is made by Shubb, one of the most well-known brands in capos. The Shubb capo uses a patented cam system that locks the capo into place with a satisfying snap.
One great feature of the Shubb design is that you can turn the thumb screw to easily adjust the tension. Once you’ve found the “sweet spot” you can just leave it at that setting–there is no need to reset the pressure every time.
In comparison with most spring-loaded capos, Shubb capos are very compact and minimal. They don’t stick out very far from the neck, and when not in use they can be stored on the headstock just above the nut. The main disadvantage of Shubb capos is that you’ll typically need both hands to apply them or change frets, making them a little slower than spring-loaded types.
Elastic ukulele capos are cheap, but also the hardest to use. They consist of a fretting bar attached to a piece of heavy-duty elastic webbing. To apply an elastic capo, you have to stretch the elastic around the neck and hook it back onto the fretting bar using one of the metal eyelets.
There are a couple less-common capos designs that are worth checking out. The most popular seems to be the Planet Waves NS, which is compact and can be easily adjusted while still on the neck.
The G7th Newport is another interesting modern capo design that seems to offer some of the benefits of spring-loaded and snap-on capos.
Conclusion – Choose your best ukulele capo
No matter if you are looking for a simple capo or a set containing more than just one capo, you can find anything on the market. You just need to pay attention to the item you are buying and make sure it fits the instrument you are using. As it was easy to see, some capos can be used with a variety of instruments, while some are specialized for ukulele alone.
Further, there are capo models suitable for 4-string instruments and others that work best for 6-string instruments. To ensure you get home the precise type of capo for your uke, always remember to check the specifications before you make a purchase.
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