Can You Use A Capo On An Electric Guitar?

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The guitar capo is a very useful tool that is used by many guitarists to achieve particular techniques, to change the pitch and overall tuning of the instrument, and to draw a certain sound from their instrument.

However, the capo is most commonly seen used by players using acoustic guitars, leading many to wonder: can the capo be used on an electric guitar?

You can use a capo on an electric guitar, provided that the device is made for electric guitars. Acoustic guitar capos will not always work well on electric guitars. Finding the right capo size for the guitar is vital, as is learning to use the capo well. Otherwise using a capo one will be frustrating.

animated guitar capo beside guitar and small lightbulb with question mark on grey music background.

A capo is a versatile tool that can bring sounds out of electric guitars that are otherwise impossible. These small devices seem so unimportant, but they can mean the difference between an impossible piece and a playable piece.

Let’s explore the capo further to find out if they can be used on electric guitars with the same effect as acoustic guitars. 

Can You Use A Capo On An Electric Guitar?

The capo is a small device that clamps on the neck of an acoustic guitar to press the strings down on a particular fret to effectively raise the tuning of the instrument without having to change the tuning of the guitar at the machine heads. 

This allows a guitar player to instantly raise the pitch of their guitar and instantly lower it again to the original tuning without having to retune the instrument with a guitar tuner at all.

This makes the capo a very useful tool that makes the guitar even more versatile than it already is.

Most capos are seen in use by guitarists using acoustic guitars, as this is the primary use of the standard capo.

The capo is used primarily with acoustic guitars because these are generally considered to be rhythm instruments that focus more on chords than single-note, lead playing, while electric guitars are typically used as lead instruments. 

This means that the electric guitarist will move around the fretboard more than an acoustic guitarist, in which case using a capo may be a hindrance. 

However, while capos are not often used on electric guitars, it is possible to use a capo on an electric guitar with the same success as on an acoustic guitar.

In fact, there are capos that are specifically made for use on electric guitars. If the situation arises, using a capo on an electric guitar can be very useful. 

How Well Do Capos Work On Electric Guitar?

Capos are usually seen on acoustic guitars, and they are clearly very useful tools, but how well do they work when they are used on an electric guitar? 

The truth is that a capo can work very well on electric guitars, as well as work on acoustic guitars. Using this device on an electric guitar will not in any way damage the instrument if it is used properly, and it can be as effective as when used on acoustic guitars. 

However, most capos are built for use on acoustic guitars and are therefore designed with the dimensions of acoustic guitar necks in mind. This means that using a capo that is meant for acoustic guitar may not work well for electric guitar. 

However, if the correct capo is used, a capo will work very well on an electric guitar. The only issue with using a capo is that it makes all of the frets behind the capo unplayable.

This can be very limiting on the electric guitar. However, if the guitarist takes the time to use the capo well and learns how to play well with a capo attached, an electric guitar can sound great. 

Do All Capos Work On All Electric Guitars?

As we have already mentioned, most capos are designed for acoustic guitars, and this type of capo may not work well on an electric guitar.

The trouble here is that most guitars, especially acoustic and electric guitars, are built with different dimensions, especially regarding the profile of the guitar neck. 

Acoustic guitar necks tend to be more rounded, wider, and thicker than electric guitar necks.

This means that a capo designed to work well on an acoustic guitar has a much wider clamp than those designed for electric guitars and therefore will not apply the appropriate pressure to the guitar strings to work effectively. 

This means that not all capos will work on all electric guitars. 

Electric guitars that have very large neck profiles, such as Les Pauls, may work well with an acoustic guitar capo because the necks of these instruments are very large, but most other types of electric guitars will require a bespoke electric guitar capo.

If you want to use a capo when playing your electric guitar, be sure that you use a capo that is designed to function with an electric guitar like WINGO Wide Guitar Capo.

These capos are generally shorter, narrower, and have a smaller and tighter clamp which makes them ideal for the neck profiles of almost all electric guitars. This type of capo will work well without any issues on all electric guitars. 

What To Look Out For When Using A Capo On Electric Guitar

Regardless of which electric guitar you use, there are always some important considerations to make when using a capo on an electric guitar.

A guitarist must always look out for these when purchasing a capo for use on an electric guitar and when playing with a capo attached to their instrument. 

Always remember that a capo will render all frets behind the device useless. This means that electric guitarists must learn to use their instrument well and play in every key, everywhere on the fretboard.

Otherwise, they will feel very limited and unable to play as they normally would. 

Be sure to always use an electric guitar capo. Using an acoustic guitar capo will only be useful on electric guitars that have thick necks, but on any other width – a standard neck, a thin neck, a flat neck profile, or on an electric guitar with a compound neck profile – an acoustic guitar capo will be more frustrating than useful. 

Take the time to find the right capo for your guitar and learn to use it well, or using a capo will quickly become more of a hindrance than an advantage, regardless of your techniques or playing style. 


Using a capo on an electric guitar is possible, and it can sound great if the correct capo is used and installed properly. If not, the experience can be very challenging. 

If you want to use a capo on your electric guitar, be sure to use the right type of capo, and take the time to learn to use it well. The capo is not reserved for acoustic guitars, and it can produce some excellent results when used well on an electric guitar!

As always, Happy Playing,


About Matt P.

Matt has been playing instruments since he was 11 years old and has done nothing but work in the music industry for his whole life. Matt studied music and sound engineering at The South African Music Institute and has played for numerous bands over the years.