For more details, read on…
How to Use a Guitar Strap
Guitar straps are super easy to use and attach.
There are two ways to attach a guitar strap:
- Using the buttons on your guitar
- Using one button and using a string.
Using the Buttons
In the photo above we can see the button on the bottom of the body of the guitar.
This is where we attach the guitar strap.
For newer guitar straps, it may take some work to fit the strap onto the button. Over time, the strap will start to wear down and attaching it will be easier… just make sure it doesn’t get too loose (otherwise it may slip off).
For many guitars there is another button located at the base of the neck of the guitar, or on the opposite side of the body of the guitar.
In the photo above you can see where the two buttons are located.
If your guitar has two buttons, attaching the strap is pretty straightforward.
If it only has one button at the base of the guitar, here’s what to do.
Using one button and using a string
If your guitar only has one button for the strap, you’ll need to use a string or other rope-like device to tie off your guitar strap.
In the photo above you can see where the guitar strap has been tied off.
You’ll need to thread the string underneath the guitar strings just above the nut of the guitar.
It can be kind of tricky at first, but that’s how it’s done.
You could also get one of these cool snap-on guitar strap attachments to make things little easier:
Now that you’ve got your strap attached. There are some other things you’ll probably want to keep in mind…
You gotta practice with a strap.
I’ve written previously about how I regret not using a guitar strap early in my life.
I exclusively played while sitting down – this included when I performed at gigs.
It didn’t really matter from a performance perspective since I was using just singing and playing by myself.
When I started playing with other people, I had to stand.
I wasn’t used to standing up so my playing suffered.
Plus it was exhausting.
I’ve learned my lesson and now I practice standing up every so often (especially if I have a gig coming up).
I also teach my students to practice while standing if they have a gig.
It will make you that much better when you actually perform.
Plus, it will force you to test your strap out prior to playing
You gotta test that thing out.
Last thing you want is your strap to slip or break.
If you want – you can get a locking guitar strap.
I’ve used them before (though not often).
They work pretty well and they keep your guitar secure…. they’re just kind of a pain to change on and off.
Even if you use a traditional guitar strap – make sure you test it out so that it’s working.
I’ve had cheap straps that slip off the button on my guitar while I am playing.
This is obviously dangerous for your guitar.
Test your straps and have an extra on hand just in case.
For those of you with acoustic guitars that don’t have buttons behind the neck by the body, you’ll need to tie the strap just above the nut by weaving a string, shoelace, rope, or paracord underneath the strings.
Make sure you don’t tie it off on top of the strings or it will alter the tuning and the sound.
I usually use a hefty shoelace, nylon rope, or paracord.
You gotta use it at the right length.
Just as you want to test out the strap durability, you should also test various lengths.
So, how long should a guitar strap be?
Really it just comes down to personal preference.
I like to have my guitar hang around my belt buckle or belly button.
Any lower and I can’t play as well.
Any higher and I feel restricted.
Don’t be afraid to play around with different lengths.
I also find that when I play my acoustic, I have the guitar slightly higher.
When I play the electric I have the guitar slightly lower.
Again… personal preference.
Get a few different kinds.
I have a few straps that are my go-to guitar straps.
And I have a few cheap backups.
Don’t be afraid to express yourself with your guitar strap.
That’s it! If I missed anything (or if you have any questions) let me know in the comments below!
Jake Posko does Online Guitar Lessons and Coaching as well as in-home lessons in the Annapolis, Maryland area including: Annapolis, Edgewater, Severna Park, Pasadena, Crownsville, Arnold and Kent Island, inquire about lessons by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Tim Walker