man playing on an acoustic guitar that has a strap

How to Put a Strap on an Acoustic Guitar

While playing the guitar is fun, it can start to hurt your arms if you hold it up while standing for too long. Luckily, a guitar strap can be the perfect answer to your problems. It can help you hold up the guitar and play for longer periods of time. As a result, your arms can concentrate more on playing the instrument rather than bearing its burden.

Apart from providing you with comfort, a strap can prevent your guitar from falling. This saves you hundreds of dollars in repairs. Most guitars already come with a mechanism to attach a strap, while in others you may need to attach one yourself.

Choosing a Strap for an Acoustic Guitar

We highly recommend going for a strong and sturdy strap that is comfortable as well. Firstly, look at the size of the strap. If it is too big, it may slip off easily. The size should be in coherence with your height. Buying an adjustable strap is much more effective as you can easily adjust it according to your preferences.

Secondly, we recommend that you buy a padded strap as it does not dig into your shoulders. It tends to be much more comfortable and helps you play for longer.

When it comes to the materials, the choice is up to you. Some include a cotton construction while others may include a leather one. Pick one that suits you best. Leather tends to be the most durable, so they will provide you with much more security than cotton straps.

Also, guitar straps are available in a number of different designs and colors. Choose one that fits your style and brand the best.

Putting a Strap on an Acoustic Guitar

Here are a few steps to help you in attaching your guitar strap:

Through Buttons

  1. Firstly, locate the strap buttons on the body of the guitar. These are small metallic studs at the base and the neck of your guitar.
  2. In case you cannot find any, you may need to install the buttons. You can do it yourself or ask a local shop.
  3. Buy a strap and locate the slits on the end. This is where the button will pass through.
  4. Push the buttonhole on the strap onto the button located at the base of the guitar. They fit very snugly together so you may have to exert a bit of extra force.
  5. Ensure that the adjustment buckles of the straps face outward.
  6. Similarly, secure the second buttonhole onto the button at the neck of the guitar.
  7. Tug on the strap to check whether it is secure. Otherwise, you could end up with a damaged guitar.
  8. Play the guitar in numerous ways to ensure that it fits securely and comfortably over your shoulder.
  9. If the strap easily slips off the buttons, you may need to buy a new strap.
  10. All you need to do next is adjust the length of the guitar to ensure you can comfortably play it.

What If There’s Only One Button?

In case there is only one metallic button at the base of the guitar, you can choose a strong cord or a string to fit to the other side. You can fix one side of the strap to the metal button, similar to the above procedure.

When it comes to the other end of the strap, take a strong cord and slide it between the top of the neck and the strings. Take it all the way to the other side of the neck and slide it through the remaining strap slit. Tie a secure knot and continue testing the strap.

Using Strap Locks

Strap locks perform the same function as strap buttons, but they enhance the stability and security of the strap. One piece of the lock is attached to the strap while the other attaches to the guitar. This method can only be used if your guitar already has strap buttons. In case it doesn’t, install them before buying strap locks.

Check out the manufacturer’s guide on how to install these locks, as the process can differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. After you have installed them on both the guitar and the strap, simply attach the two parts together.

Ideally, they should attach with a snap. Most come with a quick-release system so you can easily take the strap off as needed.

In case you don’t want to invest in regular locks, you can use rubber washers about the size of 5/16 inches. Place a rubber washer over each knob after you have placed the strap. This way the washer will not let the strap move, granting you security while playing.

Adjusting the Strap

Adjusting the strap to an appropriate length is a crucial part of the strap installation process. Most musicians play their guitar standing up. This is why the strap length needs to be the correct size. Otherwise, it can mess up the musician’s performance.

The determining factors for the accurate length are the guitarist’s height and his method of playing. Most straps come with a buckle that you can use to adjust. Here are some general rules you should follow when adjusting your strap:

  • Ensure that when you fasten the strap, it isn’t twisted.
  • After installation, place the strap over your shoulder and stand up. If you play with the right hand, your strap should go over your left shoulder and vice versa.
  • Make all adjustments by using the buckle until the instrument sits at your stomach.
  • Make sure that your arms can comfortably lean over the guitar and hold it.
  • Check if you can play comfortably in all chords.
  • Also, sit down and see if you can still play comfortably.

Parting Notes

All in all, a strap can make your life easier and your performance better. It literally removes your burden so you can easily concentrate on playing the instrument. Regardless of the type of material you choose, make sure that the strap is secure and comfortable. Ready to play for hours on end?

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