Capos are one of the essentials that no musician can do without. You might not get a ukulele strap or even a case, but there is no way you will become professional without using a capo somewhere down the road.
A lot of beginners don’t know what capos are used for or how to use them; actually, some are not even sure what they are, to begin with.
A ukulele capo is a small metal that you can use to hold all the strings on one fret at the same time. This gives you the chance to play keys without changing the chord shape just to sound like the original song.
Using a capo makes playing some songs much easier, and you can get the exact same sound that you hear your favorite ukulele song.
In this article, we will review the best ukulele capos that you can get and answer some of the questions beginners usually struggle with when it comes to capos.
So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.
List of the Best Ukulele Capos:
- Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo
- Nordic Essential Universal Guitar Capo
- Planet Wave PW-CP-12 Ukulele Capo
- Sound Harbor MA-12 Guitar Capo
- Sound Harbor MA-10 Guitar Capo
- Soundsmith Premium Guitar Capo
|Donner DC-2||Clamp||Aircraft grade zinc||Black||4.3 x 0.8 x 3.9-in.|
|Nordic Essential Universal||Spring-loaded||Aircraft-grade aluminum||A pack including two capos black and silver||4.4 x 3.7 x 1.5-in.|
|Plant Wave PW-CP-12||NS||Aircraft grade aluminum||Black||3.6 x 0.8 x 7-in.|
|Sound Harbor MA-12||Clamp||Zinc alloy||Rosewood||6 x 4 x 0.6-in.|
|Sound Harbor MA- 10||Clamp||Zinc alloy||Black||4.8 x 3.3 x 0.7-in.|
|SoundSmith Premium||Spring-loaded||Heavy duty zinc alloy||Chrome||4.9 x 3.9 x 1-in.|
The 6 Best Ukulele Capos in 2020
1. Donner DC-2 Guitar Capo
Donner DC is one of the most popular ukulele capos worldwide. A lot of players depend on it not only because it has a good performance, but also because it has a reasonable price that suits most of the players.
It is easy to use, and you will appreciate the quick-release mechanism it offers. You won’t hear any buzzing while using this capo despite not having the highest performance between other capos on the list. However, it works quite well, especially when you consider its price range.
Although, of course, there are some drawbacks, none of them is a deal-breaker. This is why this is the first option for someone who is still experimenting and isn’t looking for something fancy that looks too stylish and costs a lot.
- Easy to use
- Performance isn’t the best
The Donner DC -2 is a decent ukulele capo that has a reasonable price and makes an excellent choice for all the players who want a decent ukulele capo to use during their practice.
2. Nordic Essentials Universal Guitar Capo
The Nordic Essential capo is another excellent ukulele capo that you won’t regret. You might notice from the name that it was initially designed for guitars; however, it works perfectly for ukuleles as well.
It has a fancy look, and it’s made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which gives it its firm structure. One thing that we should point out is that it comes in a set of two capos, one has a black finish, and the other has a chrome one. This makes its price more than reasonable.
The capo has one of the best performances on our list and comes with a lifetime warranty, which tells you more about its quality.
- Solid structure
- Firm capo action
- Looks elegant
- Lifetime warranty
- A carrying bag is included with the capo
- It shouldn’t be left on the instrument for too long
Nordic Essentials Universal Guitar capos make a great choice for ukuleles as well. They are durable, affordable, they look classy, and you don’t have to worry about buzzing or any tuning issues.
3. Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo
It is about time we review a capo that is explicitly designed for ukuleles, and what is better than Planet Waves PW –CP-12 NS? Nothing!
This is a screw-type ukulele capo that is one of the most flexible on our list. You can adjust it to get as much tension as you want, which helps you avoid any string bending as well as damaging your fretboard.
The flexibility when adjusting the pressure put on the strings also helps avoid any buzzing.
It has a sturdy construction, yet it is lightweight, and also, it is one of the most affordable ukulele capos you can get nowadays.
- Durable with a strong construction
- Comes with rotating screws that can be tightened to apply as much pressure as you need
- Not suitable with all ukulele sizes
- Adjusting it can be a little time consuming
The Planet Waves PW –CP-12 NS is one of the best ukulele capos. The reason a lot of ukulele players love it isn’t only that it’s specifically designed to be used on ukuleles but also, because it is efficient, adjustable, and comes at a great price, especially when considering its capabilities.
4. Sound Harbor MA-12 Guitar Capo
Sound Capo MA-12 is making a good ukulele capo for those who don’t want to compromise the attractiveness of the instrument they use meanwhile getting a high functionality.
It is a clamp style capo that is not only designed for guitars and ukes but also mandolins and banjos. The silicone band that comes with the capo ensures that there will be no marks left after you remove the capo.
It is strong enough to avoid any buzzing but not strong enough to get any string bending. One thing that you might notice is that the capo is a bit too large for some ukuleles, especially sopranos. However, it works perfectly with bigger sizes like concert, tenor, and baritone ukes.
- Attractive look
- Durable and strong construction
- Clip capos are easy to apply
- It doesn’t work well with soprano sized ukuleles
A lot of players will agree that Sound Harbor Capo MA -12 is the most attractive ukulele capo on the list. The good thing is that this elegant design doesn’t come at the expense of durability or functionality, so we think it is a good bargain.
5. Sound Harbor MA-10 Guitar Capo
Since a lot of ukulele users have soprano sized ukuleles, we decided to review an attractive Sound Harbor model that suits this size.
MA-10 is similar to the MA-12 model in a lot of ways. Both have an excellent design with high built quality. However, MA-10 is a little smaller and less expensive than the MA-12 model.
Both models come with four free picks, which adds more value to the money you will pay for any of them.
- Attractive design
- Can be used with soprano ukes
- Strong construction
- Needs some adjustment to avoid any buzzing
With the exception of the size and the price, you should expect the same functionality of the MA-12 model if you decided to go with the MA-10 model.
6. Soundsmith Premium Guitar Capo
Soundsmith is the most affordable ukulele capo on our list that you can get for less than $20. Surprisingly, it is not just a cheap ukulele that is made from cheap materials. On the contrary, it is one of the strongest ukulele capos that you can get nowadays.
The capo features silicon pads to distribute the pressure evenly without causing any harm to your strings or your fretboard. Moreover, being a clip capo, it is easy to use, and you won’t have any issues when it comes to putting it on or taking it off your instrument.
- Easy to operate
- Strong construction
- The paint layer is thin and comes off after a while
Soundsmith Premium Guitar Capo is an excellent option for anyone who is looking for an affordable, high-quality ukulele capo; you wouldn’t ask for more.
How to Buy a Good Ukulele Capo
1. Type of Capo
There are different ukulele capo styles that you can use, so the first thing you need to do is make sure you are familiar with all of them to be able to decide which one you should get.
Trigger Style or Spring-Loaded Capo
This is the most common type of capos, so that you can find it easily. A lot of players prefer this spring capos because they are easy to apply and take off. As the name implies, a spring capo has a spring-controlled handle that you press on to open the capo and then place it on your instrument.
The only disadvantage when using this type of capo is that you don’t get to change the pressure added by the spring, and also, they tend to be a bit bulky. However, if you make sure to get one with an appropriate pressure, you will have nothing to worry about.
A lot of players admire c-clamp capos. They are similar to Spring-loaded capos in so many ways but, they allow you to adjust the pressure added on the strings. Another advantage of using a clamp capo is that they are durable. This is why they’re usually more expensive than other capo types.
Adjustable Screw Capos
This type of capos uses a screw that you tighten down, and it applies pressure on the strings. The main advantage of screw capos is that they’re adjustable, so you can be sure that you won’t end up with any buzzing. Moreover, they are inexpensive, so any player can easily find one within their budget.
One thing that we should point out, though, is that they take time to apply or remove so it won’t be easy to change their position from one fret to the other.
Elastic capos or strap capos are the cheapest of all types, not just when it comes to the price, but when it comes to the quality too. The only advantage of having an elastic capo is that they are lightweight.
However, since you tighten them around the fretboard by stretching them, and then you hook them back onto the fretting bar, chances are, you will pull some strings out of tune. Furthermore, there is a big chance you will have some buzzing while you are playing, and the capos just break too easily.
Other modern types of capos like NS Ukulele Capo and G7th capos exist. However, these use some modified properties of the types mentioned above to operate.
The price is the second thing to decide when you think about buying a capo. Let’s agree that even the most expensive capo is not really expensive in comparison to any musical instrument or most instrument accessories. Yet, we should point out that you might not really need the most expensive ukulele strap.
Most of us play for personal interests, and even those who play for money, people wouldn’t pay that much attention to your capo if you are actually good. So, your priority should be focused on getting something that is durable so that you don’t have to spend extra time looking for a new capo because the old one broke or isn’t working properly.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do You Need a Capo for Your Ukulele?
Capos are really important for experienced and professional players. At one point or another, you will find yourself buying one. However, it is not what a beginner should focus on because there are more important things at this point.
So, if you’ve just started learning to play the ukulele, you should give yourself more time to master the basics and get familiar with the shapes of the chords. One thing that you should bear in mind, though, is that you need a capo if you sing while playing whether you are a player or not because this will make songs much easier to play.
Can You Use Your Guitar Capo on Your Ukulele?
Most of the guitar capos will work on ukuleles just fine. The only issue you might have is that the capo could be a bit too large for the uke so, a capo that is designed for ukuleles would be the only option in that case. If you are a guitarist and you already have a capo, there is no harm trying to use it with your ukulele. Actually, most of the time, you won’t have any issues.
Where Should You Place the Capo?
A capo should be placed behind the fret but not exactly behind it, just leave a little space to avoid breaking your strings. One thing that you need to make sure of is that the capo is not off-center, or else the pressure applied won’t be even, and you might even hear buzzing. It should be lying flat and parallel to the fret.
Finding the best ukulele capo shouldn’t take much of your time and energy. At the end of the day, it is a matter of preference. The most important thing to bear in mind is to make sure that you won’t end up with any buzzing or damage the strings. All the capos on the list are reliable, and all of them will get the job done so, you should simply pick the one you feel more comfortable with and at a reasonable price that you find convenient.
However, we would recommend you either go with Donner DC-2 for being the best clamp ukulele capo, or Nordic Essential Universal as it’s the best spring-loaded ukulele capo on the list.