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Leaving Capo on


(@brentb)
Eminent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

Is it bad to hang up my acoustic (old Gibson J 45) with the capo still on. I don't, but am wondering????

brent


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(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
 

As far as I know it won't do any harm at all :D

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 830
 

I always thought it wasn't good for the neck....it could leave a groove or string grooves......maybe just an old wives tale.


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

I've noticed that if I leave a capo on a guitar for a couple of days it changes the tone. I figure it may be crimping the strings over the fret, which will change the overtone distribution, but I've never really experimented with it - I just don't do it anymore.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

Hi BrentB,

I also use to fret, just a little, that leaving the capo on might - well - fret the frets just a little, or something like that.... :)

But I'd forget and leave it on anyway - sometimes for days at a time - and have never noticed a problem. I imagine that leaving the strings fractionally more stretched than usual might have some tiny effect, but then so does stretching and rubbing the strings while I'm playing, or putting the capo on for an hour or two when I'm using it. So might leaving it in an alternative tuning, etc. Most things you do in life have some small effect, but it's usually not worth worrying about. Just walking to the fridge to get a beer probably fractionally wears my knee joints, but I don't lose any sleep over it.

I have several guitars, including a couple with nylon strings which don't get played much. One sits on a stand and the other on a hanger. And just occasionally, one or the other will quietly break a string, without having been touched at all! Usually the D string. No matter what you do, or don't do, strings won't last forever anyway.

So I don't worry to much. I live with whatever happens, and whatever's convenient, and just change the strings regularly every couple of years -whether they need it or not...

Cheers,

Chris


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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1225
 

"Fret the frets"??? Geez, Chris! :?

Nah! I can't see how it would hurt...

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@rocket-dog)
Reputable Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 296
 

No, I've never found it to be a problem other than I can't find it when I want to put it on another guitar, so these days I always take it off so I know where it is.


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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

these days I always take it off so I know where it is.

You're a brave man, Sir! :) Taking one off more or less guarantees that I'll put it down somewhere and lose it.

So I have 4 capos, of different makes, and I never, ever, know where all 4 are. Capos tend to be black - just like the amps, cases and gig bags that I usually leave them on or in, so they just quietly vanish like chameleons. Sometimes for weeks on end. The only one that I can always find is a butt ugly stripy black and orange thing that looks like a sea slug with elastic that you stretch round the neck. Nobody ever wants to use it, so it's been sitting in the same place for years - patiently awaiting the day when the other three all vanish at the same time...

I have two black tuners too. At least I did have.... somewhere.... once....


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(@matthiasyoung)
Eminent Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 34
 

Best to clamp it on the headstock if you're concerned about having it readily available. With constant pressure on the strings, it'll definitely have an effect on those.


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(@1armbandit)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 106
 

I'm in agreement. I don't leave my capos clamped to the neck but I wouldn't worry about it if I did.
I have a Glider cpo on my main guitar and that parks right behind the nut. It will leave dents from the strings in the rubber after awhile but they go away when I start rolling it around. I would worry more about kinking strings than damaging frets or the capo.
My two cents.

Jack


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

Best to clamp it on the headstock if you're concerned about having it readily available. With constant pressure on the strings, it'll definitely have an effect on those.

That's where I learned to put mine after losing 2 or 3 of them.

Bass player for Undercover


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

I think it might leave a mark on the neck finish of some guitars. For that matter, the plastic or rubber covers of guitar stands can mar nitrocellulose lacquer finishes.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@imalone)
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 267
 

I think there's a real danger here, you might find you start trying open tunings too, from there it's a short step to slide guitar. Then lap steel. Before you know it you own a pedal steel guitar and are building ukeleles.
(Actually I think maybe worries about the finish should be considered.)


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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3460
 

I think that a pattern is emerging here......

If you're the sort of person that likes everything "just so", then you're probably going to feel more comfortable taking your capo off right after use and having a special place where it lives. You're probably also more likely to to do things like keep your guitars in cases or on stands, buy cleaning products for them, change strings regularly, store it in a case and detune it a semitone when you go away on holiday, consider buying a humidifier, etc. All fine things to do.

However, if you have a more casual approach to life, don't clean your cars or your guitars from one month to the next, and expect your instruments to go with the flow of your fairly easy going attitude.... then you probably won't care all that much whether your capo stays on the neck or not. You won't fuss too much about any small marks - however caused - or whether anything might affect frequency of retuning. You probably think that Willie Nelson's famous guitar "Trigger" shows enviable "character" and simply "fair wear and tear".

I don't think it actually matters a damn which camp you're in provided you enjoy your music. :D I have a foot in both camps, but the older I get the more I head in Willie's direction...

Willie and Trigger


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