Best Ukulele Capo Review in 2017
If you’re looking to effortlessly play in different musical keys on your ukulele, a capo is exactly what you need. A ukulele capo is a small, metal item that fastens to your ukulele in order to hold down all of the strings on a single fret at once. This will allow you to play in a number of different keys without altering your chord shapes whatsoever.
What is a Ukulele Capo?
A ukulele capo is a simple device which essentially acts as a musical key-changer. This metal device wraps around the neck of your ukulele and simultaneously holds down every string on a certain fret. This not only makes for a change in tone, but also allows you to effortlessly change they key in which you’re playing.
For instance, if you’re playing a C shape on your ukulele, and you would like to instead play in the key of D, a ukulele capo can be placed over the second fret to move the key up two steps and put you in the key of D. You’ll be playing a C shape chord, but will actually be playing in the key of D. The tone you get out of the ukulele will sound more chimey than if you were just playing a traditional D chord without a capo. If you’re getting bored of the same old sound, or if you’re looking to play in a variety of different keys, a capo is just what you need.
Benefits of Using a Ukulele Capo
While you can certainly play in different keys by playing different chords, mastering a number of different chords can be difficult. Maybe you have big hands that can’t quite accommodate the chords on a small ukulele neck. Perhaps you just can’t seem to get the hang of a chord no matter how hard you try. Instead of suffering and failing repeatedly to play these chords, you can simply play them by using a capo. By using a capo, you only need to know about 6 to 8 chords. Without a capo, you’re going to need to know close to 25. It will make the instrument much easier to play, and therefore much more fun to play.
Another benefit of using a capo is that it will slightly alter the tone of your ukulele. The higher you place the capo on the ukulele neck, the more chimey of sound you’ll produce. This is nice to have when you’re getting bored of just playing the same way over and over again.
Types of Ukulele Capos
While there might be other types of ukulele capos that exist, there are three primary types. Each different type of capo offers different benefits and different drawbacks. These three ukulele capo types are clamp capos, screw capos, and band capos.
Clamp capos are probably the most common types of capos. This is due to the fact that they’re also the most effective type of capos. One of their major benefits is their ability to be taken off and put back on in very little time and with very little effort. You simply squeeze the clamp lever and place the capo over your desired fret. These capos go on very tight, negating any of the fret buzz you might receive from other capos. Another benefit of a clamp capo is that it will fit just about any sized ukulele you can find. Other types of capos are only designed for specific ukulele sizes.
Probably the biggest disadvantage of using a clamp capo is that it squeezes on very tight; so tight that it can sometimes inadvertently bend strings out of tune. Clamp capos are also typically the heaviest types of capos, meaning they could possibly weigh down the neck of your ukulele.
The next type of capo is a screw capos. Screw capos are very reliable and easy to use as long as they fit your ukulele. Unfortunately, they often don’t. You’ll find that most screw capos you look at will fit large ukuleles perfectly, but will fit very loosely on small ukuleles. If you’re going to purchase this type of capo, it’s important to consider whether or not it will fit your specific ukuleles. It should also be noted that screw capos are typically the most expensive.
The benefits of a screw capo, however, are many. In addition to being very durable, they’re very easy to take off and put back on. You won’t have to waste time fiddling around between songs. They’re also capable of holding the strings down firmly enough to prevent any possible fret buzz. Also, due to the way that they latch onto the uke neck, they do a terrific job of making sure strings stay in tune.
The last, and least effective type of capo is a band capo. While these capos are generally the cheapest, they don’t possess enough quality to be worthwhile. They’re essentially a piece of plastic with an elastic band attached. They are very lightweight and do fit just about every size of ukulele, but don’t perform all that well once they have been put on.
And, in fact, putting them on can be a bit of a process. Out of all different capo types, they are easily the most difficult to put on. Tightening the band around the capo in the correct manner takes skill and a little bit of luck. It can get annoying trying to change keys between songs. It should also be noted that band capos commonly cause a great deal of fret buzz. They can’t clamp down as hard as clamp and screw capos, so the sound you get with them is inconsistent.
Five Best Ukulele Capos
Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro
If you’re looking for the best ukulele capo on the market today, the Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro is exactly what you’re looking for. Unlike many capos, this screw style capo is designed specifically to be used with ukuleles.
Because of its ability to be tightened with nuance, this capo can be placed on any fret without causing fret buzz or bending strings out of tune. Its rotating screw can be positioned in such a manner that it always sits flush against the back of the ukulele neck. Unlike with clamp capos which always apply the same amount of pressure against the strings, this one can be gradually adjusted to place a custom amount of pressure against the strings.
Made out of aircraft grade aluminum, this capo is equal parts durable and lightweight. This ensures a long lifespan, and also guarantees that it won’t make your ukulele top-heavy. It weighs in at just 0.3 ounces and measures in at 3.8 inches x 0.8 inches x 7 inches.
One of the major perks of this capo is that it’s very compact. Many capos have a tendency to jut out and get in the way of your fretting hand. Because this one is so compact, it does nothing to inhibit your fretting hand position. This gives you complete freedom over the fretboard at all times.
All in all, this is the premier ukulele capo on the market. It’s notable not only for its ability to apply pressure with nuance, but for its durable construction, light weight, and ability to be taken anywhere with ease. Available for a very reasonable price, it’s a can’t-miss capo.
UGY Electric Guitar Ukulele Capo
Perhaps you’re interested in a clamp capo. If so, you should check out the UGY Electric Guitar Ukulele Capo. It’s the best clamp ukulele capo currently on the market. Made out of durable aluminum, it can stand up against years of wear and tear. Its steel spring is attached with superb craftsmanship, growing accustomed to the size of your instrument after several uses.
With a silicone face, it holds strings down firmly without causing them any damage. In doing this, it eliminates any traces of fret buzz or string bending. It’s designed to be used with all manner of string instruments, from ukuleles, to guitars, to banjos, to mandolins, and more. This means that it will fit your ukulele regardless of its shape or size.
Measuring in at 4.6 inches x 3.3 inches x 0.6 inches and weighing in at 4 ounces, this capo’s bigger than the Planet Waves capo, but is still plenty portable. Because it’s a clamp capo, it can be put on and taken off with absolute ease. You just have to be careful not to bend any strings when clamping it on.
Mugig Ukulele Capo
Another terrific clamp style capo is the Mugig Ukulele Capo. Weighing in at just 1.1 ounces and measuring in at 4.3 inches x 3.5 inches x 0.6 inches, it’s ridiculously small and will do nothing to weigh down your ukulele neck while playing. Made out of aluminum alloy, it’s designed to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear.
To put it on, you simply pinch together the handles and slide it over your desired ukulele fret. It’s lined with silicone on both sides, keeping both your uke’s strings and neck safe at all times. Unlike the UGY capo, this one is designed specifically for ukuleles. You might prefer the fact that it’s not quite as big. Whether you own a Soprano, Concert, Tenor, or Baritone ukulele, this clamp style capo will accommodate you.
Available for a very reasonable price, the Mugig Ukulele Capo is great for any ukulele you throw at it. Lightweight, durable, and easy to put on, it will allow you to transition from song to song with little to no effort involved. The only problem you could potentially run into is some string bending from not applying it correctly. However, as long as it’s put on in the proper manner, your uke will stay in tune.
String House CUC01 Trigger Style Ukulele Capo
Right on par with the Mugig capo is this String House CUC01 Trigger Style Ukulele Capo. Weighing in at just 1.3 ounces and measuring in at 4.1 inches x 3.8 inches x 1 inch, it’s ridiculously portable and easy to store away. Because it’s so small, it will do nothing to bog down your ukulele neck. This will allow you to worry about the task at hand: playing your ukulele.
It’s made out of aluminum alloy that is not only lightweight, but very durable. This capo can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear, making it great for years and years of use. Lined with silicone on the interior side of both its clamps, it lays soft against your uke, keeping it safe and protected at all times. This capo can be changed with the use of just one hand. Simply press the levers together and move it to your desired fret.
The only problem you might get out of this capo is some fret buzz or string bending if it’s not applied correctly. But as long as it’s put on in the correct manner, your uke will play in tune. With a storage pouch included, this String House capo is a great option for ukulele owners of all types.
Sound Harbor MA-12 Capo
If you’re looking for a truly aesthetically-pleasing ukulele capo, you need to consider the Sound Harbor MA-12 Capo. With a RoseWood design, it will look great on any ukulele. It’s designed to be used on all string instruments, from guitars, to banjos, to mandolines, to ukuleles, and more. Of course, this means that it’s a bit bigger than capos designed solely for ukuleles. It measures in at 6 inches x 4 inches x 0.6 inches and weighs in at 2.4 ounces. However, this is still relatively light and probably won’t do much to weigh down your ukulele neck.
A clamp style capo, it’s beyond easy to put on. With just one hand you can clamp its levers together and apply it to your desired fret. Just make sure to put it on correctly so as to avoid fret buzz and string bending. Lined with silicone on the interiors of both its clamps, it will do nothing to damage the neck of your guitar.
Due to its size, it might not be appropriate for soprano ukuleles. It’s ideal that you test it out first, but if you own a soprano ukulele, there’s a good chance that it won’t accommodate you. But if you own a Concert, Tenor, or Baritone ukulele and would like a capo with some style, this is the one for you.
While all of the capos we reviewed are of very high quality, the Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro stands above them all. Though it takes a little more time to be put on and taken off, it holds down strings with more customization and nuance than you’ll find with other capos. This is due to its rotating, adjustable screw which enables it to lay flush against the strings on any fret. It practically eliminates the problems of fret buzz and bending strings out of tune.
When you factor in its ridiculously durable construction and its extremely light weight, there just isn’t any other ukulele capo that compares. While it won’t fit many soprano ukuleles, the Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS does a terrific job of accommodating the ukuleles that it does fit.