Faster With Capo?


Don’t know if you guys notice it, but I can! When I am capo’d up to atleast 2 I am probably able to achieve 20-30 bpm faster than without a capo.

Do you think it’s easier flat picking when you are capo’d up? I think the amount of stretch/flexibility of the strings when not capo’d make the string stretch a bit to much and it slows down picking speed. I really love the tension I get from the strings by either capo’n 2 or 3.

Sure the semi-tones/frets are slightly closer together to help but to me the tension on the strings is the biggest factor.

I also find that I get a bit sloppy on either/or (capo’d pr not) according to how I learned the song originally. For instance I learned all of Jerusalem’s Ridge without a capo…if I play with someone and they want to capo up to 2 and play it then I get fingered tied from time to time and vise-versa if I learn something capo’d and then someone wants to play it lower and I use no capo.

You guys seeing this in your playing also?


String tension will change at attack point depending on distance pick is from bridge. There is usually a trade-off between ideal tone and tension when trying to gain speed. As you get ore familiar with where the sweet spot between your ideal tone and ideal tension for picking, and best attack pressure & angle is for you it should become easier to play at the same speed and clarity regardless of capo position.

I’ve found the biggest factor on most guitars to inhibit speed is the height of the nut. The largest number of other peoples guitars I’ve played have the nut higher than necessary making it harder to play cleanly with the left hand, forcing a slow-down to accommodate hammer-ons, slides, pull-offs & such.


I definitely notice this effect, too. I like cranking Church Street Blues up to E sometimes for that very reason.