The Best Guitar Strap
As we start off, the first thing I would like you to get off your mind is the notion that a strap is a strap. After all, if the strap does not affect your sound then it is insignificant, right? Wrong? If this were the case you wouldn’t be reading through this best guitar strap buying guide now, would you? Now, I understand that guitar straps are not exactly the most noticeable parts of a guitar (for the great guitarists anyway), but nonetheless, it is important that you get the right and best guitar strap.
If you are a beginner and do not have your guitar plucking skills completely mastered, getting the best guitar strap to complement your look while on stage is all too important. If you plan on being a success, you should at the very least dress the part. Now, without using up too much of your time, let’s begin.
Gruv Gear – Best Classical Guitar Strap
It is possibly the first and the only professionally tested double strap in the guitar strap industry.
Overall, the strap is designed to distribute weight evenly and provide comfort like no other guitar strap can. The design is unique and unbeatable.
Below are some of the features that make it one of the best guitar straps on the market.
With this padding, the strap does not dig into a player’s neck like most straps do leave you feeling strained and tired. On the contrary, the padding provides ample cushioning and support for the guitar’s weight for a prolonged play period.
The leather provides the strap with improved durability.
In addition to the extra padding, the guitar strap also features a unique design. It features a double strap which improves the weight support of the guitar.
Moving on to its height adjustment, the system the strap uses is unique. The length adjustment strap system is secured by some metal screws.
This makes the system strong, hardy and durable. You can make the adjustments fast and with little effort.
The back cover of the strap has a stylish signature finish. Additionally, it features metal rivets that are branded for an improved look.
It is important to point out that this guitar strap works great with guitars and double cut basses though it also comes with the option of an adapter which makes it work efficiently with single cuts.
This guitar strap will work for both right and left-handed players. It is without a doubt a strap that will provide your body with the much-needed break without actually taking a musical break.
Custom Tooled – Best Guitar Strap for Les Paul
But how cool is it to have a guitar strap customized with your stage name, real name or nickname (whichever you prefer).
A custom guitar strap provides you with the best opportunity to brand yourself.
They showcase their prowess with this Custom Tooled Leather Guitar Strap.
The beauty of this custom made guitar strap is that while the base design and construction is the same for all straps, they differ in color and branding. On this guitar strap, Dangerous Threads provides you with the chance to add a name to the strap.
The recommended size of the name submitted is 10 letters long. However, you can also submit a name longer than this, but note that the letters will be made smaller to fit on the guitar strap.
Included in the name design are symbols including Star, Cross, Musical Notes and several others.
The custom strap is handcrafted and the designs though intricate and somewhat complicated, are perfectly done without ruining the durability of the strap. If anything, the design enhances the look and feel of the strap.
Once the order has been placed, the team needs a maximum of 3 weeks to work on the order. This might seem like a long time to wait, but considering the quality of work produced, the wait is worth it.
The long wait is also due to the fact that it is a handcrafted design.
Complementing the great handcrafted design is durable leather used to design the strap. The leather used is a premium grade and has a smooth and sweet top grain all over its surface.
The interior of the strap is however completed with a foam layer for extra padding. This foam padding adds to the strap’s comfort which is the number one concern for most guitar players.
The strap has a width of 2 inches at the very top and 3 inches at its bottom. The widening is gentle and adds great design to the strap.
To place an order, you have to go three easy steps. These include;
- Choosing a color for your strap – the main strap body can be done in dark brown, black or even light brown.
- Choose the overlay for the letter area – the color can be Dark Brown, Black or Light Brown
- Choose the letter color – here you have several color options including Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, Gold, White, Silver, Green or Standard Saddle Tan
This custom guitar strap makes a perfect gift for any guitar player. It is comfortable and pleasing to the eyes.
Levy’s Leather – Best Guitar Strap for Acoustic
As a company, it has been in the industry producing high-quality straps for more than 40 years.
They are a company that loves what they do. The company is family own and run.
It has a humble beginning and like all start-ups experienced lots of challenges. This, however, did not bar it from producing high-quality guitar straps like the MSS2-4-WHT.
This guitar strap is designed with a 4.5-inch garment leather. It is perfect for a bass guitar.
On the underside, the unit features foam padding which further improves the strap’s comfort.
As you will notice with this Levy guitar strap and every other product from levy, the straps are designed to be durable, comfortable and fashionable. Why? Well, because the straps are not just meant to provide support for the guitar as you play but also to reflect your style.
This guitar strap from the levy is classy, elaborate and simple. It is the perfect strap for a guitar player who takes his/her playing seriously.
Levy’s Leather – Best Guitar Strap for Electric
It is of premium quality and many people have taken to it.
This guitar strap is constructed to be 2 inches width.
But even so, any guitar player who loves his/her bullets can get this strap. Speaking of bullets, they measure about 1.5 inches and are a great addition to the overall look of the guitar strap.
This height range is perfect for average guitar players.
Overall, the unit weighs about 8 ounces and measures 53 x 0.8 x 2.5 inches. It is a guitar strap that is best for a guitar player who loves rock music.
Franklin Strap – Best Cheap Guitar Strap
It is important to note that this Franklin Strap is handmade.
As such, it is of high quality.
Its construction is completed with premium chocolate leather and features a Caramel Tooled end tab.
The guitar strap measures 4 ounces and has dimensions of 4.2 x 3.7 x 2.7 inches.
Though simple in design, this guitar strap does get the job done. The strap is handmade and as such, you can rest assured that the quality of the unit is through the roof.
It rivals the best straps in the industry.
Best Guitar Strap – Buyer’s Guide
How Does a Guitar Strap Work?
Before you even proceed to buy one, you need to understand how a guitar strap works. Generally, guitar straps work by holding the instrument (guitar) between two comfortable and stable points and resting on the shoulders of the player.
Guitar straps make guitar playing for prolonged hours possible in the 21st century. In addition to this, they help reduce the pressure exerted and tone down on the risk of dropping and damaging the guitar.
Difference Between Acoustic, Electric, and Bass Guitar Straps
As a beginner, the very first thing that you learned is to differentiate between these three types of guitars and to choose which you preferred between the three. At some point in your learning curve, you must have wondered if there is a difference between the straps used.
However, you should bear in mind that some straps are designed to work better with certain guitar types and instruments. If you are a bass player, you will discover that the longer and bulkier (normally more expensive) straps work best to provide support for the weight of the huge guitar played.
For electric and acoustic guitar players, the straps only differ in the type of attachment they sport. The electric guitars come with two strap buttons on their body and as such, the attachment is straightforward and easy.
On the other hand, for acoustic guitars, many only feature a single strap located at the bottom of the guitar. As such, you need to attach the free end of your strap to the headstock with the help of a string.
If you are not aware of how you can go about this, you can watch videos on YouTube of pro guitarists demonstrating how to go about it.
The only problem with this kind of strap is that it does not have great balance and as such gets in the way of you playing the instrument – it is uncomfortable. The solution to this ‘imbalance’ is to add a strap button to the guitar’s neck base.
Yes, this process requires some bit of guitar surgery which only a pro can perform. It may be a hassle but the results will be worth it.
Features to Consider When Choosing a Guitar Strap
When you are choosing the best guitar strap, there are several factors that you need to pay attention. These include;
- Locking Mechanism
However, if you are a bass player and are significantly tall, so much so that your guitar hangs low, you should consider getting an extra-long guitar strap which adjusts up to 70 inches or even more.
The straps of most guitars range from between 2 inches and 4 inches. These sizes represent the thin and thick categories respectively.
With that said, it is also important to point out that thick straps are not always the best. For instance, a guitarist with a light instrument will benefit from a thin strap than from a thick one.
A thick strap will only add to the bulk making it less comfortable.
A considerable number of guitar players have an issue with the standard leather loops which connect to most guitars. Most feel that these are not the most secure.
And in all truth and honesty, this standard locking mechanism tends to slip off at times when a player gets lost in his playing and movement while on stage, when the instrument is heavy and when the strap ends have undergone a considerable amount of wear and tear.
So which locking mechanism is best? Well, there is another option – the custom locking mechanisms.
But as is always the case there are some exception guitar players who tend to consider such locking gimmicks unnecessary.
The combinations of the materials that are used to design a guitar strap are probably the most important of all. Why? Well, ultimately, it is the material used that determines the performance, durability, comfort, and price of the strap in question.
In the guitar strap industry, there are 4 main materials that are used. These include;
Sure they have a rough feel to them, but it works to their advantage as the straps do not slip on the clothing as you play like leather and nylon straps do. If you are one of those who prefers their guitar to remain in place as you play, You will find cotton straps to be quite useful.
The additional friction may also work to help improve your balance if your guitar is heavy.
This is probably the most commonly used material in the guitar strap industry. It is synthetic, inexpensive and process to be easy to dye. Speaking of ease of dying, nylon guitar straps offer a wide range of options with regards to their appearance.
Additionally, it is soft which makes it comfortable and easy to adjust in the middle of play. To help you understand its safety levels, nylon is the same material that car experts use to make seatbelts.
Polyester straps are also low priced products. But despite their low cost, they are significantly durable.
If you love accessorizing and being unique, the polyester straps are the perfect guitar straps for you.
Given its ‘natural’ nature, it fetches a high price tag. The high price tag I well justified as the leather straps are designed to be strong and able to withstand a significant amount of wear and tear.
Courtesy of leather’s durability, it is not uncommon to find straps made from other materials featuring some leather parts to help absorb the strain on the strap. The leather is easy to source.
There is, therefore, a host of leathers coming in different colors and feel.
Major Guitar Straps Price Ranges
This part took up a lot of time as it needed a lot of research to compile. In my research, I determined three price ranges which I labeled;
- Budget straps
- Midrange straps
- Premium straps
While the costs that are shared on the guides are not exact, you will find the ranges to be quite accurate.
Budget Guitar Straps
Most of the guitar straps in this category fetch about $30. In this category, most of the straps are made from nylon and cotton though there are some that are made from cheap leather but with a great finish.
If you decide to go cheap, you should know that there is a feature you will have to give up. After all, cheap products always have a trade-off.
But regardless of all these, provided you will not be attaching it to a heavy guitar, a nylon strap should serve you for several years without any hiccups. Some of the best-selling nylon guitar straps feature leather straps at their ends.
Midrange Guitar Straps
These guitar straps often fall under the price range of $30 and $70. This is the range that most persons are comfortable with.
The assumption here is that the price is affordable and the quality is up to standard.
A combination of these compliments makes these straps worth the extra dollar one pays for.
Premium Guitar Straps
Now, with the midrange guitar straps, while you get more value, you will often have to choose between optimal comfort and optimal style. With the premium guitar straps, however, with prices ranging above $100, you get the luxury of having both great comfort and style.
For bass players, most of the guitar straps under the premium category can cause the instrument to feel lighter than it is.
Benefits of Using Guitar Straps
The benefits of a quality guitar strap are numerous, especially for an individual who is experienced.
First and foremost, there are several ways that you can play the guitar without needing to use the guitar strap. Guitars are designed to be heavy and bulky.
As such, you can only play your guitar at a given angle and position. For most people, the best and most comfortable position is while they are seated and resting the guitar on their lap.
This position works for a while. But with time, problems start to arise.
Without a guitar strap, it is easy for the guitar to fall off the player’s lap and land on the floor. Additionally, the weight of the guitar causes the leg to go to sleep.
In this position, since one is working to support the guitar and play at the same time, efficiency is compromised.
With the straps, the weight of your guitar will almost become insignificant.
Some of the straps available online are adjustable. This is to mean that you can bring your guitar higher or even lower as you please.
These height adjustments make it easy for a guitar player to hack different types of music and performances as it grants easy access and focus on all fretboard parts.
Setting the Right Height for Your Guitar Strap
During practice, you always play while sitting down. Since you play a lot while in this position, you have grown accustomed to the guitar being at a specific height.
When you start using a strap, you may find playing your guitar uncomfortable. But the discomfort is bound to go away with time as you practice playing while standing.
The time taken to adjust depends on an individual. It might take a few hours for some and several days for others, whichever the case, be prepared to make the change.
Types of guitarists include;
Rock guitarists – these prefer to have their guitar hang around their core and resting on their waists.
Punk guitarists – these prefer to have the guitars hanging down to their knees. You should note that this is more of a trend that is associated with the genre of music.
Jazz guitarists – these prefer to have the guitars hanging high. Most times it usually is in the same position it would have been when you are sitting down.
Ability is Key
Your ability to play the guitar is important and probably more impressive than the height of your guitar strap. There are too many guitarists that resort to hanging their instruments low to cover for their lack of skill in playing.
But here is the thing. Unless you have really long arms, hanging your guitar low will hinder your ability to play skillfully.
Copy Your Model Guitar Players
Slash usually has his strap low while John has his at the center of his body.
Take a Video of Yourself Playing
While you practice or as you perform in a concert, have someone take a short video of you while playing on stage. This will provide you with some perspective (the audience’s perspective).
You will get to see how your guitar looks. Is it too low or too high? With what you see, you can make the adjustments as you please.
Do What Works for You
How to Adjust Your Guitar Straps
Now that you understand the process of learning your best strap height, it is best that we have a look at how you can adjust your guitar straps properly. In truth, there really isn’t an art to it but all the same, you need to get it right.
Now, the length of most guitar straps can be adjusted by simply pulling a part of the strap through a buckle.
You should proceed to slip the ends of the guitar straps over the buttons both and the top and bottom of the guitar’s body. The buckle should point away from your guitar.
You should not let your strap twist as you attempt to attach it to your guitar.
Once this is done, you should proceed to lay the strap over your shoulder and stand. Keep one hand on the guitar, either left or right, depending on which hand is your dominant one, until you feel the strap is attached properly.
To adjust the guitar strap, pull one end of the strap through the buckle until your guitar is sitting on your stomach, or at any height, you feel comfortable. While sitting on your stomach, you will feel it easy to fret the chords and notes as though you are playing while seated.
If you prefer the guitar closer to your chest, then, by all means, have it there. As we pointed out before, the height of your guitar strap will greatly depend on your style of play among other factors.
So, which of the 5 guitar straps do you prefer when practicing or rocking at a concert? Whichever you choose (among the 5 reviewed), be sure that it suits your needs with regards to comfort, design, and weight support for your instrument.
Though many may not agree, guitar straps are an investment. And they do determine just how well you play and for how long you are able to.
As a beginner, your learning curve is longer if you have the wrong guitar strap. Be sure to choose wisely – consider this guide and review as your starting point.