One discussion I see a lot on some of the guitar groups and forums I look at is in regards to capos and whether they are a good or bad thing. If you don't use one, that's fair enough, but I'm always quite surprised by the attitude of some of the people who don't use them, who somehow think that either makes them better players, or makes people that do use them worse players! What's the deal with that??
For the record, I do use a capo, always have. I grew up playing in sing along sessions where anyone would come and sing, and there could be any mix of instruments, not just guitars. Nobody knows every song in every key, so when someone starts singing a song in E flat that you can easily play in G, C, D etc, boom, capo on, sorted. You don't have time to figure out awkward keys while there's someone already singing through the song, you gotta just play!!
Now the haters will probably say that a true master of their craft should be able to play in E flat just as easily as C or G, but here's the other thing - some keys just sound shit!! Not for every song mind you, but you know depending on how you play a certain song, transposing to another key doesn't always sound quite the same. Take "Nothing Else Matters" for example. Normally played in Em. Ever tried it in F#m or even Am? Awful. My voice can't get quite low enough for Em, so capo on 2nd fret and I'm good, and it still sounds like it should do.
Then this makes me wonder if the capo haters ever sing along to anything, or have to play along with anyone else, or do they just play silently by themselves? If not, are they able to sing in every key that they play in? I bet not!! The other thing they miss out on is that there are so many cool capos out there now, your capo can help you stand out on stage or in a pub session or even when busking. Gone are the days of the plain black piece of metal, now you can get anything from sharks to skulls to even a built in tuner, which can be really handy. My own choice is a rose gold crocodile one, it looks great and plays great, see below on my acoustic.
So are you a capo lover or hater? We'd love to hear your thoughts below!