Guitar Straps – All You Need to Know

The guitar strap is one of those accessories which is often overlooked. The reason for this is that most people think it won’t affect the tone. However, you might want to reconsider. A guitar strap can affect your playing more than you would realize. 

A good guitar strap will provide much-needed comfort and a good balance of the instrument so your body can move freely, therefore, making the hand and finger movements less restricted.

If you are a guitar player, you must have realized by now that your posture and body movements affect your playing and your tone a lot. If you haven’t realized it yet, the next time you play, take a moment to notice your posture and observe. You will notice the difference when you get into a proper posture and the freedom of movement it provides.

Whether you play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or bass guitar, a guitar strap is essential to get a good balance and play the instrument properly. A good strap can give you a lot of control and accuracy over your playing and make it even more comfortable and enjoyable.

What is the length of a guitar strap?

Guitar strap lengths are anywhere from 40 to 60 inches. However, 70-inch strap options and more if needed. Guitar straps may be either adjustable or non-adjustable.

  • Adjustable guitar strap – This type of strap allows you to change and adjust the length according to your need and comfort. The process of changing the length to fit your needs is very easy and you can easily drop the guitar down or pull it back up according to personal preference.
  • Non Adjustable guitar strap – These are custom-designed straps that cannot be adjusted. Because of the lack of adjustment, these types of guitar straps are not very common to find and not very popular either. You have to know exactly what length of strap you want before buying it.

The best and easiest way to measure a strap is to put the guitar on and adjust the strap until you are comfortable with the length. At this point, you can ask another person to measure the length of the strap for you. You can also do it on your own using a tape measure.

Another method is to adjust the guitar strap length while putting it on and then take the guitar strap off to measure it separately. But there can be errors because of some accidental adjustments.

Guitar straps width sizes?

The standard width of a guitar strap ranges from 2 inches to 3 inches. A wider guitar strap is more comfortable since it distributes the weight of the guitar over a larger surface area. Slimmer guitar straps can be more maneuverable while playing the guitar.

Which one you choose depends on the type of guitar you use and its weight. A wider guitar strap is more suitable for heavier, bulkier guitars like a bass guitar since there is a larger surface area to distribute the weight. But if you have a lighter guitar, then you should go for a slimmer strap which will allow more maneuverability.

Acoustic & Electric Guitar Straps

Acoustic guitars are generally lighter but bigger in shape and size because of the presence of the soundhole. Therefore, wider straps are generally preferred for acoustic guitars. Since the weight of the acoustic guitar is much less, the straps can get away with less padding material and as a result, are cheaper.

Attaching a strap on an acoustic guitar is different than an electric guitar as well since most acoustic guitars come with only one strap button at the bottom of the body. The other end usually needs to be tied to the head of the guitar using a string. This can be uncomfortable due to the awkward balance. However, an added strap button can be implemented.

Electric guitars, on the other hand, are much smaller in size but since most of them are a solid block of wood, they are much heavier than acoustic guitars. Although there is hollow body electric guitar available, compared to acoustic models, they’re still heavier.

For this reason, the straps designed for electric guitars tend to be more padded and reinforced to make them comfortable for the player. They may not be wider since the overall body of the guitar is smaller. But on account of the weight, the strap needs to be properly padded, or it can result in unnecessary bruises.

Usually, the electric guitar comes with two strap buttons already attached to its body so it’s relatively easy to attach a guitar strap. But if you plan to gig with the strap, I would recommend investing in some good strap locks to prevent the guitar from falling off.

Bass Guitar Straps

Bass guitars are generally bulkier and bigger than electric guitars. To compensate for this, the straps designed for bass guitars are generally much wider and are heavily padded, so it is comfortable for the player to play the guitar while standing up and moving around the stage.

Regular straps might get the job done but considering the weight of the bass, a well-padded and thick guitar strap would be preferable. This is an affordable accessory that most people can afford so don’t count your pennies on this.

The Bass guitar also comes with two strap buttons on its body so it should be very easy to set up your guitar strap.

Where should a guitar strap sit?

A strap is always set to personal preference. A strap should always be comfortable and give you as much control over the instrument as possible. Be mindful of long playing sessions while standing, sitting, moving, and in every scenario possible. Looks are a given as well, you want something aesthetically pleasing but quality should be considered first.

The best way is to visit your local music shop and try out a couple of straps to see which one suits you best. Take your time and choose wisely, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

How can I make my guitar strap more comfortable?

Adjustments are a given with guitar straps. Try different lengths and see which one sits right with you. If your strap feels uncomfortable the way it is, you should try getting some extra padding, or simply consider buying a new one.

Summary

In conclusion, quality is what matters the most, then you can look for more aesthetically pleasing options. Visiting the local music shop is your best bet at finding the perfect fit. You can find all sorts of custom-made straps with beautiful artwork but it’s not about the looks as much as it is about the comfort.

Dhruv Patel is a guitarist, producer, engineer, composer, arranger, and writer. He has been playing and making music for over 8 years. He also has an Engineering background and understands the technical aspects of music gear and audio plugins. He also works as a music engineer on his own projects as well as for other artists.

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