ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME KNOWS I’m a big capo guy. From cheap, little elastic ones to high-tech cam-operated models, I love them all. When I heard about the Spider Capo ($30 street), which allows you to individually capo—or not—as many strings as you want, I was intrigued. I got that I could capo the D and G strings at the 5th fret, and have a cool Am9 voicing that I could play over. What I didn’t realize—and what truly sets the Spider Capo apart—is that I could also play behind the capo. This is a super-cool and creative thing. Simple fingerpicking patterns take on a whole new life, and voicings that would be impossible (or really painful) are easy to play. Cascading melodies within chord progressions are also a breeze. I moved the Spider to other frets and randomly capoed strings, and every time the results were surprising and musical. The 12th fret is especially hip—thanks to all the real estate behind the capo.
The Spider does take a little getting used to, however. I occasionally struggled with keeping capoed notes in tune or buzz-free, and I would want some practice before I’d feel comfortable moving and adjusting it on stage. But as a songwriting tool, creativity jumpstarter, or overdubbing secret weapon, the Spider Capo freaking rules. No arachnophobia here. I’m in. spidercapo.com