The guitar strap is one of the most important accessories a guitarist owns. This simple strip of fabric provides over-the-shoulder support for the guitar. This accessory gives the guitarist the freedom to use both hands without the worry of dropping and damaging the guitar.
Attaching the Strap
- Familiarize yourself with the guitar. Most electric guitars and electric bass guitars are already equipped with two strap buttons. One button is located at the bottom of the guitar while the other can generally be found at the top, near the neck. In contrast, most acoustic guitars only have one strap button, located at the bottom of the guitar. Classical acoustic guitars are generally not equipped with any strap buttons. These guitars require specially-made straps, or the installation of strap buttons.
- Examine the strap. A guitar strap is often a simple piece of fabric with leather or a synthetic, leather-like material, and a buttonhole at each end. The stronger material at the end is designed to protect the buttonholes from wear and tear. Most straps come with a string or fabric tie, attached to one end, for easy attachment to guitars with only one strap button. If your strap does not include the tie and you do not have a guitar with two strap buttons, you can simply tie a long piece of strong, durable string to one of the buttonholes.
- Attach one end of the strap to the bottom of the guitar by slipping the strap's buttonhole onto the strap button.
- Secure the other end of the strap to the button located at the top of the guitar. If your guitar has no additional button, you will need to use the optional tie. Carefully thread the tie under the strings, through the headstock of the guitar. Be sure that the tie is not touching the guitar strings and securely knot the end.
Attaching a Strap Button
- Gather all of the required materials for the installation. A strap button and screw can be purchased at most guitar shops that sell hardware or online. You will need a drill with a tapered drill bit and a screwdriver that matches the size of the screw. You also need tape, wax and a marker or an awl.
- Examine the guitar to locate the best place to attach the strap. The button should not be installed anywhere that will affect how the guitar is played or where it will interfere with existing hardware. The thickness of the wood and the ability to secure the strap are important factors in the selection process.
- Mark the selected location with a marker or awl to ensure you install the button exactly where you want it.
- Mark the depth on the drill bit with the tape. This will keep you from drilling too far.
- Apply a small amount of wax to the drill bit. This increases lubrication and protects the guitar from unnecessary damage. Carefully drill into the marked location to create a small hole for the screw. Take it slowly and do not apply unnecessary pressure or force while drilling.
- Apply wax to the screw, and then carefully attach the screw and button using a screwdriver. Avoid over-tightening because this could damage the guitar.
Keeping It Fresh
Attaching a new strap is a great way to give your old guitar an enhanced or updated look. Guitar straps can be plain and unremarkable, but hey can also be fun, noticeable and full of their own personality. Keep a few guitar straps on hand for a quick change whenever you want.