For professional (or even beginner) guitars players, a guitar strap is an indispensable accessory in the instrument package.
Although there are still some doubts about the necessity of the guitar strap, the comfort that it brings to users in their practice substantiates its importance. Most players in the early stages of guitar playing or those who are in the acoustics genre (who mainly sit in their display) both share the same thought that the guitar strap is redundant. Nonetheless, in the long run, the guitar strap is indeed a very useful tool for you regardless of your position of standing or sitting or the genre of music you are playing. This object is not only useful while you are standing but also when you are sitting playing the guitar. The guitar strap will hold your guitar safely in place, which alleviates the heavy load your shoulder, your arm or even your leg should bare. It will also help keep your back straight during your performance and avoid the unwanted backache.
In this article we look at the guitar strap in depth. This includes;
- How to Attach a Guitar Strap
- Guitar Strap Lengths
- Guitar Strap Widths
- Which Materials to Choose for a Guitar Strap?
- What are the extra attachments for the guitar strap?
1. Guitar Strap Materials?
When it comes to choosing material for your guitar strap, there are numerous materials that people use to make the guitar strap from. These materials include nylon, neoprene, cotton, leather, plastic, synthetic fibers, vinyl, and others. To have the best choice of material for your guitar strap, you should pay attention to the comfort it brings, the longevity it has and the cost it requires. Now, we will have a detailed look into common materials as well as some suggestions of famous brands corresponding to each material as below:
Nylon Guitar Straps
If you are on a tight budget for a guitar strap, then nylon can be a very good choice for you. Most cheap guitar straps nowadays are made from nylon. These straps have good points as they are lightweight and come in a various range of colours and patterns. Therefore, you will be spoilt for choice of designs with this material. Even though nylon material itself holds the chemical properties of being strong and elastic, there are still some questions about the quality of the nylon guitar strap. Some reviewers point out that it is cheap looking, not durable, and not suitable for long-term use. Of course, everything has its price and you may need to accept the trade-off between quality and price for choosing such inexpensive material like nylon material.
Sometimes, nylon can be combined with other materials such as cotton or leather to improve the quality of the guitar strap and some types also have leather or even rubber ends. You will have to pay a higher price for these better quality nylon types: DiMarzio Cliplock Guitar Strap, Protec Nylon Guitar Strap with Pick Pocket, Levy’s Leathers MP23 Classical Guitar Strap.
Polypropylene Guitar Strap
Unlike nylon or other fiber plastic material, polypropylene is biodegradable. It possesses the strength of nylon and is lightweight, elastic and strong. Polypropylene is also very easily dyed, hence you can find any colour or design to match any guitars. Therefore, if you like a lightweight plastic-based material but still eco-friendly, polypropylene will be the best choice. Unlike other materials, polypropylene is not so popular in the market. However, if you love this material, then D’Addario Planet Waves will be the best brand for you. D’Addario Planet Waves specializes in Polypropylene Guitar Straps with a wide range of styles and designs like: D’Addario PWS111 Polypropylene, D’Addario Planet Waves PWS105 Polypropylene Guitar Strap…
Seatbelt Guitar Straps
Next is the seatbelt material. For a quick introduction, seatbelt is derived from polyester. Compared with its counterpart, the seatbelt is stronger and more elastic than nylon. Therefore, it has high resistance to wear and tear. About the cost, seatbelt is a little bit at a higher price than nylon. However, it is still grouped in the budget guitar strap, so it is also a good offering for you if are securing a good guitar strap that can get the job done well at minimum cost. Come to Couch Seatbelt Guitar Straps store, you can get a good seatbelt guitar strap for your selection.
Cotton Guitar Straps
Classified in the budget guitar strap group (under $30), cotton material is another good alternative for you at a low price. Cotton is a natural fiber and it is highly appreciated by many guitarists because of its strength and softness. Unlike nylon or other materials, cotton is soft, so it is less likely to cut into your shoulder and leave a mark on your skin, which will be very uncomfortable for you during the playing time. Therefore, cotton will cost a little bit more than nylon. However, when compared to other types, it still has some shortcomings such as it is not as strong as leather and it takes a long time to dry after being washed. Cotton also has a tendency to easily get dirty when in use. If all these weaknesses are not so important to you, then cotton is an ideal choice for a strap at a reasonable price. Rated as one of the best guitar straps (Acoustic, Electric & Classical) in 2020 by GEARANK, Levy’s Leathers MSSC8 Guitar Strap will a good option for those who love cotton material.
Leather Guitar Straps
If you are in search of a good-looking, comfortable, and long-lasting strap, leather is an option that cannot be bettered. It has the best collection of attributes of any material. For the first, the strength of leather is unbeatable; secondly, it is very clear that not only a guitar strap but anything made by this material will all look very luxurious and classic. That is the reason why leather is one of the most loved materials in the world. During the first period of using, you may find it a little bit tough and not as soft as cotton, but you do not need to so worry about this. After a time, leather will modify itself and become more comfortable with age. Moreover, it has high tensile strength; therefore, it has high resistance to tear and high resistance to puncture.
Based on particular qualities and appearance, leather material is classified into several types such as: Full Grain Leather, Top Grain Leather, Nubuck Leather, Suede Leather… but regardless of its types, they are all extremely durable and last a lifetime. For that reason, you will have to pay at a higher price to own a leather guitar strap. Here are some brands with leather material for your choice: Fender Broken-In Leather, Taylor Wings guitar strap, Levy’s Deluxe Amped Grill Cloth…
2. Guitar Strap WIDTHS?
The standard width of a guitar strap ranges from 2 inches to 4 inches but there are also some music stores providing special dimensions up to 4.5 inches wide. So the question now is how can I choose the right strap for my guitar? It will depend on 2 key points: type and weight of your guitar.
The wider the guitar strap is, the more pressure it can take off you. Therefore, the strap should have a surface wide enough to distribute the weight of the guitar evenly over your shoulder. If you possess a heavy guitar, you should hunt for a wide strap. To be more specific, a heavier bass guitar will need to be combined with a 4-inch wide strap. However, wider is not necessarily better. If the strap is too wide for an average guitar, it will limit maneuverability in your playing time. Therefore, players who have light instruments like acoustic and electric guitars should choose a standard width strap with about 2-3 inch wide.
3. Guitar Strap LENGTHS?
While width is subjective to your guitar, the length of the guitar strap depends on you. The right length will correspond to the stature of the players and holding the guitar strap high enough at a comfortable place will support your performance. Most of the guitar straps are adjustable in length to adapt to various requirements of different users. Typically, popular lengths range from 40 to 60 inches, which is appropriate for almost everyone. Nevertheless, it is often advised that you should measure the distance along the shoulder from one strap button to the other to make the right choice for the needed length. If you are exceptionally tall or your playing style of guitar is at knee height, then you should take an extra long strap that can extend up to 70 inches or more to make sure that the strap will be able to go long enough to accommodate your reach.
4. WHAT are the EXTRA ATTACHMENTS for the GUITAR STRAP?
Of course, if you are just in search of an object to keep your guitar in place, then a guitar strap itself is enough for you. However, below is some more advice about the extra accessories for the guitar strap that you should consider to make the set of your instrument more perfect.
Although a wide guitar strap can support very well for a heavy instrument, you can also consider a strap with extra soft padding attached to ease the pressure and strain for your shoulder. Pad is often made of neoprene memory foam or even fur and its contoured shape to fit your shoulder will provide the maximum comfort for your standing position. One pad can fit many different guitar straps, however it still has certain dimension to fit just some straps. Therefore, you should pay careful attention to the listing information on the websites of stores to choose the right size for your own guitar strap.
When you have a good guitar strap, you should also buy a locking mechanism for it. A guitar strap lock or clip lock is an accessory that links your strap with the guitar to prevent your instrument from falling out during the performance time. Strap locks are tiny metal objects and they are often sold in set of two, four or more… They do not have any specific sizes so they can mold to any guitar straps. The different types of strap lock can be categorized by designs and colour. Owning separate guitar strap locks with toxic designs expresses your unique personal style on the performing stage or anywhere you appear with your guitar. Moreover, a strap lock is very cheap and you can purchase it at a very low price. That is the reason why you should possess extra strap locks for yourself even though some guitar straps are already equipped with strap locks from manufacturers.
5. HOW to ATTACH a GUITAR STRAP to Your Guitar?
The first thing you need to learn about the guitar strap is the correct way to attach the strap to your guitar.
Depending on the quantity of strap pins on the guitar, you will take different approaches to install the guitar strap:
Guitars with 2 Strap Pins
When your guitar has 2 strap pins, your installing process will be much easier and straightforward because all you need to do is finding and sticking 2 ends of the guitar strap in the right direction on these available buttons. For most of the guitars, there is a strap pin at the bottom of the guitar’s body and the other is located on the opposite side of the body of the guitar, or locked to the base of the neck of the guitar.
Guitars with 1 Strap Pin
In case that your guitar is only equipped with 1 strap pin like some acoustic guitars, you can also attach the guitar strap with some simple steps. Firstly, you will do as the above instruction like for the 2 strap-pin guitar: put the pinhole of one end of the strap over the strap pin of the guitar. For the other end, you can have 2 choices: create a new strap pin for your own guitar or make use of the headstock to hang the guitar strap. However, it is not really recommended that you should add a new strap button by drilling a hole on your guitar because this way is only for those who have much experience in this technique. If not, you may destroy your beloved guitar before successfully attaching the guitar strap to your instrument. For the second way, you can lay a thin string under the headstock of the guitar and tie a knot at the other side to stick the other end of the guitar strap to it.
Guitars with no button
However, for players with a guitar having no button (like classical acoustic guitars), how can they attach the guitar strap? Basically, you can apply the similar steps of installing as for 1 strap-pin guitar. At the first way, you can create 2 new holes by drilling directly onto your guitar. Or you can mix between adding a new hole and tying the headstock. If you are not confident about drilling or you do not want to place such a harsh impact on your beloved guitar, you can choose the way of no drilling. To do this, you will look for a guitar strap having braided lace with a plastic hook at the end of the loop. You will lay the lace behind the guitar at its waist, and back up in front to the sound-hole. Then you hang the plastic hook into the bottom of the sound-hole, allowing the waist of the guitar to rest on the braid. In this way, you must make sure that one of your hands always supports the guitar to prevent it from falling out.
Now, Adjust the Length of the Strap!
At the final step, you just need to adjust the length of the guitar strap at the position that brings the most comfort and ease for yourself.
When looking for a guitar strap, you may be confused by the thousands of guitar strap types available on the market. There are many factors influencing the decision of choosing a suitable strap for your guitar. However, in this article, we will only take a detailed look into 3 top features to observe when deciding whether a particular strap best fits for you which include: Width, Length and Material.
Many guitarists underestimate the role of the guitar strap just because they do not know clearly about this useful object. This article has discussed detailed information about the method of using a guitar strap, tips for choosing a suitable strap to meet your own needs, and some attachments for the guitar strap. There are many types of guitar straps with different widths, lengths and materials. Understanding the guitar strap types, your own requirements, and your willing budget for the guitar strap helps you purchase the most suitable guitar strap for yourself. Hopefully, you will find this article informative and useful for you.