Capos are cool. In a world where so many guitar players are looking to drop their tunings, a capo heads in the other direction and really opens you up to a world of new sounds from your guitar — especially when applied to an electric guitar in a rock music setting. We’ve been using capos for well over a decade and have seen our fair share of different capo designs.
The recently introduced Newport capo from G7th gets our vote as the coolest capo ever designed for use on electric guitars. The low profile, rounded, brushed aluminum design screams iPhone, but is vastly more useful when mated to the neck of your guitar. It’s also extremely light in weight and doesn’t require a service agreement.
While many capos have a bulky design, and our previous favorite was large enough that it could (on occasion) obstruct our fretting hand when playing in the first position, the Newport’s design renders it not much larger than an oversized “zero fret.” At a glance, someone might not even notice that you’ve got a capo on your guitar!
The Newport clamps onto your guitar neck easily with its very cool pivoting hinge, and a small thumbscrew enables you to easily adjust tension. The tension control is an absolute necessity in our book — particularly for capos used on electric guitars, since these instruments have widely varying neck thicknesses. Too much tension can easily pull the pitch of your notes sharp, while too little tension can decrease sustain of your notes. Be sure to adjust the tension of your capo so that it’s comparable with the force you normally apply when fretting your guitar by hand.
The fretting surface of the Newport capo is a familiar hard rubber material, and should it ever wear down, G7th provides a lifetime warranty on their capos. There was no perceptible loss of tone or sustain when using the Newport on a variety of different electric guitars.
It should be noted that for best results, you’ll want to use both hands when applying this capo or moving it from one fret to another. Single-handed operation is a bit awkward given the diminutive stature of this device.
At $39.95, this is one accessory anyone can afford to add to his or her electric guitar rig. Whether you’re writing your own original material or covering some classic singer/songwriter tunes from the ‘70s, this is one monster capo that has no business at a jazz festival. Still, Newport has a nicer ring to it than calling this device the iCapo.