Spider Capo Mini Review

I’m a sucker for a new gadget. The more useless and ridiculous the better (e.g. I’ve spent the last year trying to not buy an Apple Watch). So I couldn’t resist picking up the most ridiculous bit of ukulele kit: a spider capo.

What the Hell is a Spider Capo?

A standard capo frets all the strings on the fret you put it on. But a spider capo lets you choose which strings it frets and which are left open.

For example, in this photo I have the capo on the second fret with the levers on the g-, C- and E-strings down and the A-string left open. That means when you play all the strings you get a D chord.

Spider Capo Fixed

They claim you get “hundreds of open string tunings”. But if you want to be picky – and I certainly do – I make it 15 possible combinations per fret (2^4 total combinations less one for none of the strings capoed). Being generous and saying it can fit on 12 frets that’s 180 combinations (181 if you count gCEA).

Why not just use an open tuning? The biggest reason is that all the chord shapes and scale patterns you know still work when you use a spider capo. E.g. if you tuned the ukulele to an open D chord an A chord is 0234 and C is 3213. But with a spider capo set up to a D chord an A chord is just the G shape (0232) and C is a Bb shape (3211).

The spider capo is also more adaptable than using open tunings. In the second piece in the video above I have the g- and A-strings fretted at the fifth fret. Making them higher than is practical through retuning.

The Good Stuff

Highly Adjustable: You can adjust the width of the entire spider capo and the distance between the levers a great deal. It’s fits on all my ukes from soprano to baritone without any problem.

Creates Unique Patterns: I had a lot of fun messing around and came up with things I wouldn’t have been able to play any other way. And it’s a fun trick to play below the capo as well as above it.

Quick Lever Switching: Flicking a lever on or off the string is lightening quick. Quick enough you could switch levers mid-song if the situation called for it.

Well Made: It feels like a sturdy and durable piece of kit.

The Not So Good Stuff

Spider capo closeup

Fiddly to Attach: It’s certainly not like a standard capo that you can slap on in two seconds. Even once you have all the levers properly aligned for your uke it takes time to get it fixed properly. It’s a lot easier to attach the capo wonky than to attach it correctly. You have to be careful that the little ridges under the capo rest on the fretboard rather than on the frets or dangling in mid air. And they really seem to repel the fretboard at every opportunity. Trying to make it flush against the fret often means that the ridges at the back of the capo are over the fret behind it.

Holding Thin Strings: I found that quite often it would produce buzzes or mute high-g and A-strings. The levers are concave where they touch the strings and the middle isn’t low enough to fret properly. So you have to position the string on one side of the lever.

Here’s a video with the capo attached as well as I can get it but with the string in the middle of the lever:

Not All That Useful: I had fun playing around with with it but I’ve not thought, “A spider capo would be useful to play this.” I haven’t found much practical, day-to-day use for it.


I can’t recommend getting a spider capo mini to most ukers. There are few situations where they’d come in handy.

The only type of player I’d even reservedly recommend a spider capo for are people who like writing their own tunes and has plenty of time to spend attaching it. If you use one I’m sure it’d inspire a few tunes you wouldn’t have otherwise come up with.

Buy One

On eBay US
On eBay UK

View Comments


  1. Ondrej May 25th, 2016 9:30 pm

    I also use a spider capo. Here sample.
    Capo 0222 https://youtu.be/CMSl5I_vYFA

    But I’d rather use a “partial capo”. Better is fixed.
    (Capo 0222) https://youtu.be/RoighH5-sAU
    (Capo 5550) https://youtu.be/TOr6OE2NweQ

  2. Woodshed May 26th, 2016 1:51 pm

    Ondrej: Thanks! Where did you get the partial capo? Who makes it?

  3. ondrej May 26th, 2016 2:00 pm


    Here I used a Shubb partial capo Model C7. http://www.shubb.com/partial/
    I am most satisfied.

    Here I used a “standard” kyser ukulele capo

  4. Woodshed May 26th, 2016 2:13 pm

    Thanks very much, Ondrej. I might try one of those out.

  5. Pje May 27th, 2016 2:24 pm

    Hi guys- I use a spidercapo. I found it DOES hold down thin strings! What happens is that it lifts up a tiny bit when you rotate the “finger” onto the string- due to the upward pressure. The Cure: tighen it more than you think you need to, and it will hold down any string against the fret without buzzing.

  6. Pje May 27th, 2016 2:34 pm

    You can actually clearly see in the spidercapo/Uke picture above, that the “ridge”(as it is called here), or “tab” (as the maker calls it) is lifted well OFF of the fingerboard. This is what is causing the reviewers buzzing.

  7. Woodshed May 27th, 2016 3:03 pm

    Pje: That’s not been my experience. No matter how I attach it I always need to have the levers off-centre for them to fret the g- and A-strings correctly.

  8. Johnson May 27th, 2016 11:26 pm

    hey guys, I managed to correct this problem by rereading the directions. As pje said, my issue was also a buzzing. However, once I made sure to over tighten the capo, it went away and I now very much enjoy fiddling with the spidercapo on my uke. I also tried the Shubb partial capo, but was immediately frustrated with its lack of flexibility in open tunings (It does not offer all the possibilities that the spidercapo presents!)

  9. pje May 28th, 2016 4:18 pm

    yea, the instructions on the Mini packaging say “tighten very securely”. They don’t say what happens if you don’t!

    The other thing to help Woodshed is that you must put the TABS flush against the fret… like it says on the packaging instructions.

    He has it an inch or so behind the fret. That will also cause buzzing.
    I know people don’t read the instructions anymore, but a reviewer should. :-)

  10. Woodshed May 28th, 2016 4:43 pm

    pje: I tried that. It makes the problem worse rather than better. Since you won’t take my word for it, here’s a video with the capo attached as close to the fret and fretboard as I could get it.

  11. pje June 1st, 2016 4:03 am

    Hi Woodshed- try putting the TAB flush on the OTHER side of the fret and try it.

  12. Woodshed June 1st, 2016 9:40 am

    pje: I’ve given up on it. When I wrote the review I had a middling opinion of it. All this messing around has made me full-on hate it.

  13. pje June 1st, 2016 2:59 pm

    Ha, ha-I think it doesn’t like you. I called the manufacturer, they’ve sold 30,000 of these things, so I guess it works for someone.
    But truth, is everything is not for everyone. Case closed. :-)

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