What Is The Best Banjo Capo?

If you've been playing the banjo for a while now, you might have started to notice the limits of the open chord shapes you've learned. If you're a bluegrass player, you'll appreciate the benefit of allowing open strings to ring out, and the capo allows you to enjoy the sound of an open string without it actually being open! Rather than changing the tuning, just whack a capo on a fret to change the key!

At a Glance: Our Choice Of The 5 Best Banjo Capo On The Market

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Buyer's Tips: What to look for when buying a Banjo Capo

  • The best capos are made of a strong metal, are easy to apply, have high quality rubber pads which keep your banjo in tune, and are reasonably priced.

  • There are different kinds of banjo capo: spikes, 5th string capos and capos designed to change the key of the 4 'main' strings.

  • This review is of the capos designed to cover 4 strings. These are the capos which will allow you to use the chord shapes you already know, in different keys.

Here's a handy guide of where to fit your capo:

Key of A

Key of Bb

Key of B

Key of C

Key of D

Capo 2nd fret

Capo 3rd fret

Capo 4th fret

Capo 5th fret

Capo 7th fret

Here are our Top 5 Banjo Capos:

Banjo Capos Reviews

1) Shubb Standard Series BC-20 (C5)

Shubb Standard Series BC-20 (C5) Banjo Capo - Polished Nickel

This capo has been a popular choice for musicians for over 35 years!

Its design has been upgraded a few times, though, and this capo now has rubber pads which are designed to feel like fingers. This feature means that your intonation will remain bang on, and you won't have any buzzing problems!

It's also easy to apply by clipping on, and its steel spring has a memory – meaning that you will not have to adjust it each time!

This is a sturdy, reliable and professional capo!

  • Steel spring has memory, for fast and easy application
  • Rubber pad designed to be like a finger offers superior intonation
  • Made from polished nickel
  • Less budget-friendly than some other capos
  • Slightly heavy

Let's take a look at this capo...

2) Capo for Banjo by EverAct

Capo for Ukulele Guitar Banjo Mandolin Bass by EverAct

Like the Shubb, this capo has a memory in its spring, so you won't need to keep making adjustments!

It is also metal, albeit Kirsite which isn't as strong as stainless steel.

It is easy to apply by clipping on, and it has good a good quality rubber pad to offer a finger-like pressure on the strings.

The price is low and the quality is not bad!

  • Steel spring has memory, for fast and easy application
  • Budget-friendly
  • Rubber pad protects the instrument from damage and offers great intonation
  • Made from kirsite as opposed to stronger metals
  • Design not as advanced as some more expensive capos
  • May look a little big for the banjo

3) Paige Banjo/Mandolin Capo

Paige Banjo/Mandolin Capo-fits up to the 4th Fret on a 5-string-black

This capo, designed especially for the capo will be perfect for you traditionalists.

It's designed to be fitted to your banjo and left there. Of course, you can slide it up to the top of the neck and stored behind the nut when it's not in use!

It has a slim design and provides perfect intonation, which is why it's been the classic banjo capo for 30 years!

Reliable and long-lasting.

  • Designed to be permanently fitted and stored at the top of the neck, so it won't get lost!
  • Easy to apply and to use
  • Slim design is gentle on the strings
  • Limited with how far up the neck you can use it
  • Banjo-specific – you can't share it with your guitar
  • Less budget-friendly than some other capos

Let's take a look at this capo...

4) Kyser Quick-Change Capo

Kyser Quick-Change Capo for banjos, ukuleles, and mandolins - Black

This capo – which you can change between banjo, ukulele and mandolin – is another clip-on capo and prides itself in its versatility.

Though it has less spring-memory than the other capos, it is one that you can quickly apply to various string instruments if you're a multi-instrumentalist.

It's made from strong, lightweight aluminium, giving it longevity and reliability.

This capo is also easy-on-the-strings and its rubber pad will guarantee good intonation!

  • Made from strong, lightweight aluminium
  • Easy to apply and to use
  • Works for banjo, ukulele and mandolin
  • Less budget-friendly than some other capos
  • Less 'memory' than some other capos

Let's take a look at this capo...

5) Dunlop 7828 Bill Russell Elastic Capo

Dunlop 7828 Bill Russell Elastic Banjo/Ukulele Capo

This cheap choice does the trick very well.

Although it doesn't offer the quality of some of the more expensive capos, it is easy to use and its small size may suit some people who find the bulkiness of clip on capos irritating.

It might take a second longer to apply than a clip-on capo, but ultimately it is easy to use, lightweight and a great choice for the beginner on a budget.

  • Extremely budget-friendly
  • Easy to apply and to use
  • Small size means it won't get in the way
  • Held on using fabric as opposed to a strong metal
  • Can move out of place if knocked
  • Lacks the longevity of more expensive capos

Let's take a look at this capo...

And The Winner Is...

Each of these capos has demonstrated excellent benefits, from budget-friendliness to versatility to ease of application! However, the one that offered all three of these, as well as excellent quality and an unbeatable reputation, was the Shubb Standard Series BC-20 (C5) Banjo Capo - Polished Nickel!

This capo is made from high quality polished nickel, promising longevity and strength, and its sturdy weight will tell you that it is not trash!

The innovative rubber design – made to feel just like a finger – maintains the banjo's tuning and intonation, and its easy application means you'll be playing in new keys in no time!

Whichever capo you decide to go for, we hope that you enjoy stepping into new keys and all of the new possibilities this tool presents to you!

Happy Strumming! 🙂

Roz is a music teacher and our go-to person for anything music theory! When she’s not teaching or writing for Zing, Roz writes and plays in alternative/ psyche /art rock band The Roz Bruce Infusion.

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