Although basic guitar straps are reasonably priced, you can make your own custom strap for a Hofner or other brand of bass guitar. The strap material needs to be long enough to hold the guitar or bass in a comfortable playing position. It should also be soft and flexible for comfort and strong enough to hold the weight of the instrument. An old leather belt from your closet or thrift store, or an automotive seat belt from a scrap yard, can make a suitable strap.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- String or cord, about 60 inches in length
- Tape measure
- Leather belt or auto seat belt
- Utility knife
Tie a string to the two strap buttons on the bass and stand up, using the string as a makeshift strap. The string will go over the shoulder of the arm on the neck side of the bass and across your back, terminating at the strap button near your waist on the opposite side of your body.
Adjust the string to your preferred playing height by loosening and retying one of the knots. There is no standard playing height, only that which is most comfortable when playing.
Mark both sides of the string with a marker where they are tied to the strap button and remove the string.
Measure the string between the marked area and add about four inches to the measurement. The additional four inches will be used for the section that will secure the strap to the bass (two inches on each side).
Measuring for Strap Length
Cut the strap to the measured size with scissors. If using a belt, you will cut off or remove the buckle, as it will not be used.
Make a slit through the strap about one inch in length on both sides of the strap with a utility knife. Start the cut about one inch up from the strap end in the centre of its width, cutting vertically along the strap's length.
Attach the strap to the bass' strap buttons by pushing the slits onto the buttons.
Making the Strap
Tips and warnings
- Cut the slits through leather with several shallow cuts to make a clean, even cut.
- Use paint, rhinestones, studs, etc. to embellish your strap if desired.
- If using leather, thicker material will provide more strength and wider material will provide more comfort.
- The installation of strap locks is recommended for any strap and will prevent the strap from coming off accidentally. Strap locks are available at most music stores.
- Inspect the slits every so often to check for excess lengthening.
- Use extreme caution when using a utility knife, especially when cutting leather. Making several shallow cuts will not only make the slits cleaner but will also help avoid the knife from slipping.
- Avoid cutting the slits too close to the strap ends, as the slits will lengthen over time from the instrument's weight and may cause the strap to fall off the strap button.
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