The right Acoustic Guitar Strap can prevent a pain in the neck!
The Complete Guide To The Acoustic Guitar Strap.
Nearly every player has the need for a guitar strap.
It's a neccessity when playing standing, and a help when playing seated.
So this means that you'll have to decide on the best type to use. It might be an expensive padded leather guitar strap or a cheap cotton guitar strap.
What do you look for when choosing a new strap?
SIZE AND MATERIAL
The size and what the acoustic guitar strap is made of are the two biggest factors. The size helps to determine how comfortable the strap is going to be. A heavy guitar and a skinny strap, for example, is a lethal combination. For a heavy guitar you need a wider strap to help spread out the weight.
With a light guitar the width isn't a real big consideration.
A bigger factor is what the acoustic guitar strap is made of.
A light guitar might tend to be neck heavy when it's put on a strap. You take your hand off of the neck and the headstock
heads for the floor. This is pretty common with acoustic guitars.
A good way to deal with that is to use a leather strap
with a rough back. The rough back seems to grip the fabric of your shirt better than one with a smooth back.
ADJUSTABILITY AND PRICE
Another consideration with guitar straps is how to adjust the length.
Buckles were the standard in the '50's-'60's and you still find that in retro style straps. What you see more of these days are slots cut into the strap.
The 2nd part of the strap fits through the slots. Shortening and lengthening the strap is done by using a a slot closer or farther away from the end of the strap.The advantage to that is that there's no metal buckle to possibbly scratch your guitar.
Acoustic guitar straps can range in price from as low as $16-17 up to as much as $150.
If you're a player who always wears a strap when playing, spend the extra money on a 2 1/2-3 1/2" guitar strap made of a supple leather or fabric.
I've used straps made by Levy's Leathers for the last 15 years or so. I've found them to be top quality straps.
When choose a strap, get one that has plenty of padding. Your shoulder, back, and neck will thank you.
ATTACHING YOUR GUITAR STRAP
So now that you've bought a nice strap, how are you going to attach it to your guitar?
Virtually all acoustic guitars have a strap button on the butt of the guitar. Sometimes they also have one on the neck heel.
If there isn't one on the heel of the neck you have a couple of choices. One, attach the guitar to the headstock with some sort of a strap or, two, put a strap button on the neck heel.
Both of these work by attaching to the guitar strap at the headstock. The Planet Waves seems to have the most secure
attachment and the quickest release.
If you decide to add a strap button you have a choice of doing it yourself or taking it to a repairman. Doing it yourself isn't a big deal. On your next trip to the guitar shop take a look at guitars that already have them installed.
The location of choice is usualy on the thickest part of the neck heel. This is a better location than the back of the heel.
There's more mass so your screw has more wood to attach to.
After you've found your location, drill a small pilot hole for
the strap buttons screw. This hole should be of a smaller diameter than the strap buttons screw.
When your pilot hole is drilled, it's just a matter of screwing in the strap button. Voila! You're now ready to hook up your acoustic guitar stap on your acoustic guitar.
One word of caution. If your guitar has a bolt on neck you have to make sure that the screws miss the bolts. If there is
any question contact your guitar's manufacturer.
Always store your guitar with the strap removed. There have been cases of a guitar's finish being damaged when the strap was
lying on the top of the guitar in the case. That's not been a problem in recent years with the newer guitar finishes but it's
a good thing to know.