What’s the best capo for a classical or nylon string guitar? In my experience, the G7th performance 2 model capo is the best quality capo for classical guitarists. So I figured, what better way to describe the benefits of the G7th capo than by hosting an interview with the team directly?
The G7th capo company, founded 2004 by Nick Campling, revolutionized guitar capo design as we know it. Ease of use and sturdy application set G7th apart from the bulky, clamp on capos that are known to lose their spring grip after a couple of years. The G7team is so confident in their modern capo design, they even offer a 100% lifetime warranty in the rare event your product suffers a defect.
What is a guitar capo and why do I need one?
A capo is an external device players fasten on the guitar neck to shorten the length of the strings–thereby raising the pitch (also known as transposition). If you want to play a certain chord progression but need to adjust the pitch to match a singer’s voice in a higher register, a capo will help you achieve this.
Capos can also be helpful if you need to transpose a chord progression on the fly when jamming with other musicians. For example, let’s say a fellow musician wants to play in B flat major. That key can be tiring to play on guitar for long periods of time since you’ll have to hold a bar chord position for most of the song. But with a capo, you can simply place it on the first fret and play in the more comfortable key of A major!
If you’re someone who uses a capo often, you know the importance of having a versatile capo that can get the job done. Most importantly, you need a capo that will be strong a secure to prevent any buzzing or string muting.
Why do classical guitarists use capos?
While classical guitarists might not use capos as often as acoustic or flamenco guitarists, some pieces do require them. For example, if you want to play a Renaissance piece by John Downland originally written for lute on guitar, you might want to place a capo on the second fret (and tune down the G string to an F#). This position and tuning closely mimics the sound and register of the lute, creating a greater sense of authenticity.
Placing a capo on the first fret while tuning the sixth string from E down to D (drop D tuning) can also help guitarists play pieces in E flat major more easily. Bach’s popular composition BWV 998 Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro is one such example. Most players will just opt to play the suite in drop D, however for those who wish to play the composition on guitar in the key Bach intended, a capo is a must-have.
Lastly, just like acoustic guitarists, classical guitarists usually enjoy jamming with other musicians or accompanying singers! For all practical purposes, performances, or even casual or social play, having a sturdy G7th Performance 2 capo guarantees you will get a clean sound on your nylon string guitar.
Why do flamenco guitarists use capos?
Flamenco guitarists also use capos (cejillas) to raise the pitch of certain toques/palos. Flamenco guitarists do this to not only transpose a progression to match a singer’s voice as mentioned above, but the increased string tension also provides a desired tonal effect. Namely, less string vibration means the guitar tone won’t resonate as long, which can be ideal when playing lightning fast falsetta phrases in a Bulería for instance.
Interview with G7th, the capo company team
July 23, 2020:
Jonathan Richter interview with Nick Campling (Founder & Chairman), Simon Campling (Marketing & Artist Relations Manager), and Tommy Loose (Artist & Customer Relations):
Jonathan: When you were coming up with the idea for the G7th capo, what was one problem that made you think “we can make this better”?
G7th: Most capos at the time were mechanical gadgets rather than “products” so we wanted to design capos which:
- Would be easy and intuitive to operate.
- Would keep the guitar in tune
- Be absolutely reliable so we could offer a lifetime warranty
- Would preserve the tone of the guitar
- Looked and felt great!
Jonathan: In your words, what’s the most important thing a guitarist should expect from their capo?
G7th: It must be easy and quick to use whilst keeping the guitar in tune. Essential for performers. Most capos claim it but few deliver!
Jonathan: In terms of craftsmanship, what distinguishes a classical guitar capo vs the acoustic guitar capo?
G7th: Classical and Flamenco guitars generally have a wide, flat fingerboard whilst steel strung acoustic (and indeed electric) guitars have a radius (or camber) over the fingerboard which is also narrower.
So… a classical guitar capo has a longer arm and flat rubber. Capos for steel strung guitars have a shorter arm and a curved rubber. The G7th patented ART (Adaptive Radius Technology) system has a mechanism which follows the radius over the strings and so applies even pressure to each string.
Jonathan: Who are some of the top performers that use G7th capos?
G7th: We’re very proud to have thousands or artists using our capos. We value everyone doing so, regardless of their status – playing in your bedroom or an arena, everyone matters Some of the top level performers would include artists such as Mumford and Sons, Shawn Mendes, Lewis Capaldi, Foy Vance, KT Tunstall, Mary Spender, Luca Faraone (Emeli Sande, Stormzy and Craig David) and James Arthur.
Jonathan: So what does the future look like for G7th capos? What are you most excited about?
G7th: We’re still hopeful that we can increase our market share and developing our artist roster. The P3 and Heritage, both with ART, have been received SO well received that we’re seeing more and more doors opening for us. We’re always excited about getting involved with as many artists and individuals as we possibly can, to keep spreading the G7th word.
The future for capos…? Well, we’re always thinking about how we can improve capo designs. Let’s leave it at that for now 😉
Thanks to the G7th capo team for the awesome interview, and for making such an outstanding product! If you’re a classical guitarist in the market for a capo you can take it from me: paying the premium price for the G7th Performance 2 capo is well worth it!