#9: The Voice Capo

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

VOICE CAPO
LIST PRICE: $89.00
The Voice Capo streets for $69.00, and through the holidays is available at the introductory price of $59.00. Visit www.Voicecapo.com to order.

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The Voice Capo is essentially a plastic box that straps onto the neck of your guitar (covering the area from the nut to the fourth fret). The Voice has a “trigger” for each string on the first four frets, enabling the guitarist to create any chord voicing imaginable.

Before you can use the Voice, some assembly is required. Because guitar neck sizes vary, mounting a strip of black foam to the inside of the capo ensures that the capo fits your guitar snugly. (Although one guitar we tested with a wider neck was incompatible with the Voice.) Next black foam must be added to each trigger as well as small “trigger shims” whose stiffness is used to eliminate string buzz. All this is to say that the Voice is a much more involved purchase than a standard capo, though also promises to do more!

In our test, we mounted the Voice on an acoustic guitar and set the triggers to an “open” E chord. This was a simple enough way to create an opening tuning, without having to re-tune the guitar; however, any fretting you wish to do must start at the fifth fret. For a guitarist employing multiple alternate tunings during a live gig—when a drastic tuning change on the spot would be out of the question—the Voice would be a handy tool to switch from “open” G to “open” D to “open” A, ad infinitum. (Again though, any playing on the first four frets—home base for many guitarists—is not an option.)

One of the most unique and potentially exciting tricks available with the Voice is the chance to play both open tuning licks and standard tuning chord shapes within the same capoed “voice.” In other words, I can play a common “open” E lick and then fret a barred B chord shape on the seventh fret, a shape not applicable to an open tuning (where the actual strings have been tuned higher or lower).

For even more adventuresome guitarists (especially those with a bent for jazz chords employing notes like b5s and b9s, etc.), and for songwriters and guitarists who often find inspiration beyond the boundaries of familiar chord patterns, the Voice offers a world of …voices.

Additional reporting for this article was provided by Kyle Byrd.

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