Adding a strap to your Mandolin can help support its weight making it easier for you to play, and easier for you to play longer. Not any strap will work on a mandolin. There are specific strap designs for each style of mandolin available. Each design is made to work with the body scrolls and end-pins specific to each style. Whether your mandolin is an "F", "T", or "A"; you can find and attach a strap with a minimum amount of effort.
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Things you need
- End-pin (Unless Installed, 1 pin for "F" and "T" Style, 2 for "A" Style)
- Drill (If End Pin to be Installed)
- Mandolin Strap (Made for use With Your Style of Mandolin)
Lay your mandolin face up on your work surface.
Make sure your mandolin has the right number of end-pins for your mandolin style. "F" and "T" style mandolins should have one end-pin located at centre of the bottom side (not the back face) of the mandolin body. "A" style mandolins should have two pins. One at the centre of the bottom side and one located in the side face beneath the upper scroll of the body. The upper scroll of the body is the scroll at the top of the body when you hold the mandolin ready to play. If your mandolin, does not have the right amount of pins, drill a hole through the body where the pin is needed and screw the pin into place.
Take your mandolin strap and lay it out on the table along the length of your mandolin. A strap for an "A" style will have two ends with leather different sized squares with a small hole punched through each square. The larger square should be at the bottom of your mandolin. Strap for "F" and "T" styles will have a loop at one end and a braid at the other. The braid goes toward the bottom of the mandolin.
For "A" Style mandolins, push the end pins through the holes in the leather squares to attach the strap. For both the "F" and "T" styles, attach the strap to the bottom of the mandolins by pulling one loop of a braid apart to open a hole in the centre and slip that over the end pin. To attach the top loop to a "F" style, undo the loop and pass it under the strings at the top of the neck near the bridge, reconnect the loops and tighten the loop around the neck of the mandolin. For "T" styles, simply loosen the loop and slide it over the top scroll of the body and tighten the loop.
Adjust the straps to best suit your style of playing. On braided straps, the length is adjusted by the amount of braid you run past the end-pin before attaching the strap. All other types of straps will have an adjusting buckle.
Tips and warnings
- Buy straps that are designed for your style of mandolin rather than trying to make a strap for a different instrument or one you have on hand (but it is for another style) work; the position and ease with which a strap holds your mandolin is key to your comfort in playing.
- If you have to drill to insert an end pin, drill with care as too much pressure or any kind of mistake will destroy the integrity of the body of the mandolin.
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