The Varichord capo

The Varichord capo is another gizmo allowing the use of alternate tunings without actually retuning the guitar (on the other hand, you could tune the guitar to a tuning of your choice and use the Varichord to put the guitar in standard tuning…).

The Varichord is not available right now because the inventor, Martin Furey, has stopped selling them a while ago. Considering it is possible that information about this gizmo becomes less available over time, I’m quoting the complete review of the Varichord capo from the following web page:

The idea behind this device is that it lets you stop strings with a capo at places other than straight across the fretboard.  You can treat the strings individually (within limits).  The first thing I tried was to make it “finger” a D chord in dropped D tuning (DADGBE low to high).  After a few minutes I started finding new sounds on the guitar – sounds I could not have made without the device.  Next I tried an open Esus4 tuning (EBEABE).  This sounded, predictably, like DADGAD tuning with an ordinary capo at the 2nd fret.  There was a big difference though.  I could play standard tuning chords above the capo without needing new fingerings as the string tensions were unaffected.  This is much easier to appreciate with a guitar in your hands than having it explained in words.

I think the main value in the Varichord is in helping a guitarist to create new sounds. I am not saying it’s indispensable but it could certainly come into its own during one of those uninspired periods that I’m sure we all go through.  It keeps you playing and gives you a fresh way of approaching something.


This review is simply my opinion of the device.   I am not connected with the company and do not sell the device.  It can, however, be obtained from …

The inventor is also an accomplished musician. Here’s a link about one of his recordings (« Howl« ) which features, incidentally, the Varichord: