Pete’s Gear: Guitar Capos
A look at Pete’s frequent use of capos on stage, beginning in 1970. For a list of songs employing a capo, see Pete’s Guitar Style – The capo.
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C-style capos (1966–67)
Pete’s earliest public use of a capo is 1966, as seen on his Harmony Sovereign H1270 12-string acoustic guitar, as used in the studio and television performances in the ’60s. Pete likely used a capo on this guitar frequently, as it was — and is — common to tune down 12-strings a half or whole step, to decrease the tension and make chord fingering easier. The guitar is then brought back to standard tuning with the capo.
Ca. 1966, with the Harmony 12 during television performance. Note red capo at 2nd fret.
Clamp-style capos (1970–1971)
Ca. 1971, backstage with three Gibson SG Specials, one capoed at the third fret.
Pete’s earliest stage use of a capo is 1970, as they added “Don’t Know Myself” to the set list. He used a C-style screw-type capo of unknown brand, possibly Hamilton.
29 September 1970, fitting a capo.
Dunlop “Toggle” Professional Capos (1971–1989)
Ca. 1975, Les Paul Deluxe.
For most of his career, Pete has used Dunlop “Toggle” Professional capos.
Pete’s Dunlop capo from early ’70s, courtesy rockstarsguitars.com.
Ca. 1980, with single-bound natural-grain Schecter.
1973, with Dunlop capo at third fret of Gretsch Duo Jet.
Ca. 1985, filming for White City with the “Deep End” band, with the 1957 Stratocaster, fitted with Dunlop capo.
Sabine capo (1981)
There is a brief mention of Pete experimenting with Sabine capos in 1981; however, 1981-era photos show him using Dunlop.
Shubb (1985 – present)
Ca. 1997, Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster with Shubb capo.
Beginning in 1985 for Deep End, Pete began using Shubb capos, along with Dunlop. In 1989 and 1993, he switched back to Dunlop, before returning to Shubb permanently in 1996.
Ca. 2006, Fender Eric Clapton Stratocaster with Shubb capo.
Resources and Information
Sterner Capo Museum: web.telia.com/~u86505074/capomuseum/