Capos are an indispensible music accessory for many musicians. Some guitar players with a limited chord vocabulary use them for changing keys easily. A better use of a capo is to re-create the crisping, ringing tone of open guitar strings at various places on the neck. Even if a guitarist is capable of using a barre in various places, the capo creates a crisp tone that a finger simply cannot. Though popular with folk guitarists, capos have been used by everyone from Buddy Guy to Don Felder. The haunting opening riff of "Hotel California" just wouldn't be the same without the combination of a capo and a 12-string guitar.

Various types of capos are available. The most traditional type uses an adjustable elastic strap, which while inexpensive, provides the least pleasant tone. The two most popular capo types are the spring-clamp type, such as Kyser, which can be changed with only one hand, and the locking-clamp type, such as Shubb. Both types have their strengths and weaknesses, and it's best to investigate both kinds so you can determine which type of capo is best for you.