The most popular ways to keep guitar capo is by leaving it on the Nut and Headstock or simply keeping them in your guitar bags.
In this article, I will be showing you 7 ways to keep capo when not in use and also discuss most commonly asked questions around them – things like will capo damage a guitar or detune it.
Let’s start with the quick list.
6 Places To Keep Capo When Not In Use
1. Leave capo clipped on guitar nut
You can leave capo on the guitar nut when not in use. Placing capo on the guitar nut will not impact your tone and it also will not cause any damage to your guitar.
Leaving capo on the guitar nut is very common among guitarists. I personally do this as well – especially when I know I will be playing again the next day.
Just make sure the capo is clipped a little above the nut. This way, you don’t accidentally change the sound of your guitar.
For now, just know that leaving capo on the guitar nut will not cause any damage. I will talk more about this later.
2. Leave capo clipped on guitar headstock
Similar to the nut, you can go higher and leave the capo clipped on the guitar headstock – this way you are 100% certain that sound will not be impacted.
This is the other most common way of ‘storing’ a capo when not in use. I personally don’t do this because I don’t like the way it looks – it’s kinda an eye sore to me.
And not to mention, leaving capo on a guitar headstock for a long period can discolor the guitar. This depends on the material used on the guitar but it can definitely happen.
I personally don’t recommend this because it’s definitely a choice and it’s quite popular. My advice is you can leave the capo on the headstock only if you play it daily.
This way, the capo doesn’t stay in the same spot for a long period and cause discoloration. I will talk more about headstock discoloration from capo later.
3. Leave capo clipped on music stand
Leaving capo on a music stand is a great way to store it. Especially if you play the guitar regularly around the music stand.
Leaving capo clipped on the music stand (or anything, really) is fine. The guitar capo will not lose its grip and your music stand will not be damaged.
If you have a music stand, then leaving capo on the music stand is probably the best way to store it. However, not many people have music stands! Especially the casual players.
4. Keep capo in your guitar bag or case
Store your capo in a guitar bag or case if you are not going to use them in a while. Most guitar bags and cases have pockets (or compartments) for you to keep equipment like capo and picks.
I personally don’t do this very often. I only store my capo in the bag if I know I am not going to use it in the next week or so.
Putting capo in and out of guitar bags every time you have to play may get annoying quickly but is the best way to make sure you don’t lose the capo and you are not constantly putting the capo spring to work.
5. Keep capo in a bowl full of tuners, picks and capos
Just like a bowl full of keys, you can also get a bowl to keep your capos, tuners and picks. This is useful if you have multiple of them and don’t really care about organization (like me).
You don’t have to get any special bowl for this – Anything small that looks good in your house is fine.
I was surprised to find other people actually using bowls to store their capos and picks. I thought I was the only one!
If you want something fancier, you can find a dish just to store your picks and capos like this. I found one on Amazon for about $15 – it looks pretty good and useful.
6. Get a guitar hanger with custom capo holder
You can get a guitar hanger with a custom compartment or platform to hold your picks and capos.
This looks good and suitable if you are okay with hanging your guitar on the wall.
It’s about $20 in Amazon and is quite a popular product among guitarists. You can view it with this link.
Hanging a guitar on the wall by its neck is generally fine. The tension created by your guitar string is greater than the weight of the guitar (especially true for light acoustic guitars).
However, if you have heavier guitars like electric guitars, then I don’t suggest hanging them. – the guitar can accidentally fall and crack.
Related article: Laying Guitar Flat: Is It Bad? (Vs Hanging & Leaning On The Wall)
Is It Bad To Keep a Capo On Guitar Nut?
Keeping capo on a guitar nut for a long period of time is okay. It should not damage the guitar or the capo. The grip on the capo will be fine as well.
I have personally done this for a long time and both my capo and guitar are fine. Also, my capo is just a regular $10 capo (nothing special).
Wear and tear damages usually come from friction or head and not from constant pressure – which means your guitar strings will be fine.
Though, I do notice a small indentation on the rubber of my capo. But it’s not a big deal. The capo still has a strong grip and works well.
My recommendation is just keep the capo away in a bag or drawer if you are not going to use it the next day. If you are still using it tomorrow, you can leave it by the neck.
Or if you are still in your guitar session and need to play another song without the capo, then absolutely – go ahead and place the capo on the neck.
Is It Bad To Keep a Capo On Guitar Headstock?
Keeping guitar capo on the guitar headstock over a long period is not recommended. It may cause some discoloration on the headstock (depending on the wood of your guitar).
Aside from discoloration, leaving the guitar on the headstock is also ugly and can become an eyesore. You might have a different opinion though.
My recommendation is don’t keep your capo on the guitar headstock for a long time. If you need to put it there for 15 minutes as you play another song, then that’s fine.
I don’t recommend leaving the capo on the headstock over a long period – like a few days. If you don’t intend to use it anymore, keep the capo away from the guitar. I just showed you many ways to do so above.
Does Leaving Capo On Guitar Mess The Tuning?
Leaving capo on a guitar for a period of time will not mess with the tuning. Detuning happens when you constantly attach and detach the capo.
Every time you attach a capo, the string is pressed down. And every time you detach a capo, you may accidentally pull the strings. This can cause detuning. Leaving the capo on for a period of time won’t detune your guitar.
Also note that your guitar may sound incorrectly tuned if you place the capo incorrectly (angled instead of straight).
Make sure you attach the capo correctly and when the guitar goes out of tune after a lot of attaching and detaching capo, then simply retune it – no other way around this.
Where To Keep Capo: My Recommendation
I recommend you keep your capo on the guitar nut when you are still playing the guitar. Keeping it in the nut is convenient and will not cause any damage.
If you are done with the capo and do not intend to use it after some time, then keep it in your guitar bag or case.
If you are into hanging your guitar, then you can also get the guitar hanger I attached above. They look good and have space to store other equipment like capos, picks and tuners.