Whenever you’re jamming with your friends, and a new vocalist arises in the mix, you may find yourself playing in unfamiliar keys because you forgot your most trusted capo at home. Worry no more; we have you covered with the easiest guides for making a capo within a few minutes.

How to Make a Homemade Capo:

Step 1: Finding the required items

The required materials include:

  1.  Getting a base

A base is one of the most important parts of a Capo since this is the part that makes contact with your guitar’s strings. But there is always a limit to the office materials you will have to lie around in the base. In this case, you can opt for a:

  • Pen
  • Highlighter.
  • Marker
  • Pencil.

Note: The most important factor to consider when selecting a convenient base is ensuring that it’s long enough to cover the fret board’s width. Nevertheless, you can test its fitness by comparing the fret board’s width to the length of your selected item.

  1.  Finding a tying device

When it comes to a tying device, you will also be limited to a few options. You can opt for:

  • A piece of string
  • A strong elastic band like a rubber band or tie.

The most important factor to consider in selecting a tying device is ensuring that it has enough pressure to hold your Capo strings.

Note: You should first test it by stretching it to ensure it can stretch to the required length.

Step 2: Setting up the guitar

The second step involves tuning up your guitar with a chronic tuner to either the Standard tuning (EADGBE) or an alternative tuning. It would be best if you tuned your guitar at the beginning of the process since it’s hard to tune the guitar the moment the capo is on.

Step 3: Attaching the capo with your guitar

The process of attaching the capo to the guitar involves:

I. Connecting your brand to the capo by simply tying one end of your elastic band with a knot and securing it at the base, thus creating a permanent knot that will be used to fit your capo to the guitar.

II. After securing the knot loop, the other end of that elastic band around the base then detach it before tying it to the guitar.

III. After connecting your brand to the capo, the next process is connecting the capo to the guitar. This process involves putting the base across the fret as you desire and then looping the other free end around the other free end of the base, thus securing the base over the strings.

Note: You should ensure that the pressure is high by effectively pressing the strings down across the fret.

IV. After connecting the capo to the guitar, you will be required to readjust the tightness. This can be done by simply taking off the elastic bands and tying a knot on one end of your band to ensure it’s tighter. Repeat this process until you feel that the strings are firmly pressed against your capo.

Note: You can test your strings’ tightness by simply playing a chord in an open position.

How to make a Capo without necessarily using Rubber Bands

It’s not a must that you should use rubber bands to make a Capo. You can replace a rubber band with:

  • Zip ties
  • A fishing line
  • A shoelace
  • A yarn

Using the Zip ties

If you opt to use a zip tie in place of a rubber band, then you will be required to have two of them in addition to two pens or pencils.

  1.  Prepare the zip tie.
  1.  Flip your zip tie around and then slide it into the clasp.

Note: Ensure that the loop is not less than 1.5inches.

  1.  Align the pencils.

Align your pencils parallel to each other to whatever fret you want.

Note: One of the pencils should be in front of the fretboard and the other behind the neck.

  1.  Hold the pencils in place.

You can request a friend to help you hold the pencils, or you can hold them yourself with one hand and use the other hand to place both of the zip ties.

  1. Tightening.

After placing both of the zip ties, tighten it.

Note: You should not over-tighten one side; hence ensure that both sides are similarly tightened by simply similarly pulling strings; for instance, if you pull the right a little bit, do the same to the left and vice versa.

  1. Testing.

This is practically the last step, which involves plucking them to ensure that they sound good. It’s keynoting that if they don’t sound good, you should secure the zip ties even more to tighten the capo.

homemade capo tutorial - step by step guide

The benefits of using a capo in a guitar

In case you’re not yet convinced that you require a capo for your guitar, the following are some of the benefits of the capo that may change your mind.

  1.  A capo helps create a movable barre or nut.

By creating a movable nut or barre, the capo allows you an easier movement of the cords; for example, whenever you place the barre on the second fret, then all the chords move up one step (a C becomes a D).

  1. The capo allows you to play familiar chord shapes but with different keys.

With a capo, it’s completely possible that you can play a bit of transposing savvy with a handful of chords. You can also play the vintage hard to reach chords.

  1. The capo allows the user to explore different versions of chord, voicings, and inversions.

Using a capo, you can make your different versions of chords voicings and inversions to sound darker, brighter, and interesting to pick in depending on your preference.

  1. The capo helps the user in changing tunes to a comfortable range or key for vocals.

The capo plays a greater role in the addition of depth, especially when playing with other guitarists.

  1. With the capo, some of the guitarists can play open chords, and on the other hand, the others can place capos at different locations, thus creating a larger texture interest and sonic range.


• Basically, you can create any DIY capo as long as it serves the same function as the real capo.

• Capos do not cost a fortune; thus, you can purchase long-lasting capos at a lower price.