I've tried playing in drop D to play a song with a lower D chord that the one you can do with standard tuning, and it has pros and cons.

One of the cons is that the E string take some time to stay in tune after the drop D when it's back to E. To avoid this, I tried something weird: a partial capo holding every string but the E string. In standard tuning, it simulates a drop D but transposed +2.

It's actually more practical than a drop D because you can still do G chords and any barred chord just the way you would in standard tuning. (Playing a F# is a little harder in drop D than normal)

I don't think I've seen this anywhere, can it be damaging for the guitar? It's really helpful and I'm suspecting the reason I've never seen it before is because I shouldn't be doing it at all. I'm guessing the pressure might be uneven on the neck or something.

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1 Answer 1


In principle, this is fine. You can even get purpose-made partial capos to do this job, such as those here.

The only issue you're likely to have is if the capo isn't sitting evenly on the back of the neck, causing it to slip or to exert particularly uneven pressure on the 5 strings it is stopping. If this isn't happening, then you're fine. If it is, you might want to look for a more forgiving capo... or one of those purpose made ones, though even that linked site states:

"On most guitars, you can capo 5 strings with just a normal capo slid over"

So it seems you're not the only one to have ever done this!

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