In answer to a capo tuning question, one user suggested the use of a 'shim' (for lack of a better term, he actually suggested a .022" cut feeler gauge) between the fret board and strings under the capo near center between frets. I was thinking something similar as my capo clamps the strings to the fret board sharpening all 6 strings. Why isn't this answer 'liked' by the community at large? I'm going to try a few scraps of plastic or rubber of a thickness just less than the fret height to avoid the bend into sharpness and may get back with an answer (once given a nod by the Stack Exchange gods as a newbie).

  • I'm not sure how this question is distinct from the other capo tuning questions on this site. If you are asking about the drawbacks of the method in question, perhaps you could rephrase your post along those lines.
    – Max
    May 21 '20 at 7:52
  • 2
    Purchase a G7 capo, and play with unsharpened strings. One reason for the sharpening effect is a high action.
    – Tim
    May 21 '20 at 7:56
  • How is it that a capo sharpens the pitch but fingering the same note does not? I suspect you have a problem with bridge and/or nut height. May 21 '20 at 14:01
  • The distinction was that this shim idea seems like a useable solution to the capo induced sharps (without champion). Also, all capos introduce sharps regardless of setup. Higher action and larger frets increase the effect. Another user asked if fingering introduces sharps like capos do. Fingering does, as it deflects the string increasing its length and thereby its tension. This is reduced with a finger due to less deflection (rounded finger versus square capo) and less pressure (look w e-tuner). Playing with just enough pressure to get the string to contact the fret will mitigate effect. May 22 '20 at 21:56
  • To help clarify why I'm advocating the 'shim' idea. The physics of the guitar has always appealed to my engineering mind. I noted this problem not long after learning to tune a guitar and how that changes when adding a capo. The why became apparent and it also became apparent that there is no perfect solution here, but this 'shim' idea does physically mitigate it the best... IMHO. I'm contemplating modifying my capo to have the shim attached to it, sliding it under the strings while capo bar goes over and clamp under. I'll experiment and post my results. May 22 '20 at 22:11

The first thing I would get checked would be the action on the guitar. If it is high, the capo will stretch the strings out of tune. That can be adjusted. Another thing that can cause sharpening with a capo is large frets. Even with a well adjusted action, a capo and large frets can result in sharpening the note. Large frets have their own advantages so the guitars I own with large frets, I try not to capo, and I use them when I want to string bend.

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