Instructables

Is it a bad idea to leave a capo on a guitar for a long time?

I have an acoustic guitar that's not exactly valuable, but it's fairly old and has a lot of sentimental value; lately I've been playing a lot of songs that require a capo, so much that I've just left it on for days at a time? will this have any negative effect on the guitar? I realize strings are replaceable, but I don;t want to waste them... (also, it's not the clamp style capo, it's a strap that comes around and tightens down. I think it's an older style.)

yes, because if you use a capo it is hard to leave
but you have to test a electric guitar !!,it is bad idea
Tunesrlife4 years ago
Extra tension on your strings can lead to neck warping.  That's defenatly not a pleasant thing, nor is it cheap to fix.
Re-design4 years ago
It's not going to do the capo any good either. It'l dent the pad and there you go you gotta go buy another capo.
seandogue4 years ago
I would worry a bit about damage to the compressed fret by the strings. strings are cheap. Competent re-fretting is costly (I know, I have to have my guitars refretted ~ every 3 years due in part to my playing style and in part to the amount I generally play... Taylor wants $300 (plus shipping both ways! ==> ~$500 ) to do a maintenance cycle on my 12-string, and most of that $300 will be re-fret. Shame I'm out of work, or I'd drop it in a heartbeat...frets 1-4, and 9 are trashed, and the associated detuning across chordings (open vs barred chords) is really annoying)

i second the notion that a couple of days isn't going to do much harm to the frets..however, I'd avoid it long term, for the reason cited above.

I also agree with Guardian's other points.
It can leave a noticeable kink or two in the strings, over the surrounding frets and sometimes under the capo itself. I wouldn't expect that effect after anything less than a month. If you plan on leaving the capo on it that long, you shouldn't worry about the cost of the strings should you ever want to take it off. There are only two other things I would be concerned about. One is discoloration. With the capo covering a small band around the neck while the rest of the guitar remains uncovered, the guitar discolors unevenly. The rest of the neck changes color over time with exposure to light, while the area under the capo or other accessories doesn't change as much. This is a problem on the scale of months or years, and not over a few weeks. Also, the quality of the finish on the instrument is a factor, better finishes often having more resistance to fading. The other concern is chaffing or scratches. A quality capo does minimal damage, but every time it gets knocked or tweaked... it does rub against the guitar. Eventually you could get some minor scratches or in the case of a cheap capo, serious abrasion. Choose a quality capo designed to be gentle... and if you have a non-standard neck on your guitar, FIND A PROPER-FITTING CAPO!
Just meant to add, beyond the strings, any damage I mentioned would be only in extreme circumstances.