If you are a beginning player, how to properly put a guitar strap on may not be immediately apparent. But don't fret -- this is a common issue that is easily resolved no matter what type of guitar you own. All guitar straps include holes at both ends for attachment to the instrument. Since all modern electric guitars are equipped with two strap buttons, strap installation is fairly simple, but some acoustic guitars are equipped with only one and require a different approach.
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Locate the strap buttons on your guitar. One will be on the back heel of the guitar's body, with the other in the general area of where the guitar neck meets the body. Some guitars have the neck-area button on the body just above the neck, while others have it on the underside of the neck.
Slip one hole of the guitar strap over the button at the body's heel and the other over the button in the neck area. New guitar straps can be stiff where the holes are punched and may require a bit of coaxing to fit over the guitar's strap button.
Put the strap and guitar over your body with the strap section attached to the neck area resting over your right shoulder (over the left shoulder for left-handed players), with the strap section leading to the heel of the body resting across your back.
Adjust the length of the strap according to the instructions usually included with the strap until the guitar is in a comfortable playing position. This position will be different for each player and is a matter of preference.
Installing Straps on Guitars with Two Strap Buttons
Locate the strap button on the heel of the guitar's body and slip one end of the strap over the hole.
Insert the leather cord or lacing (included with some straps) underneath the strings at the top of the neck, just behind the white plastic nut. The nut is the part at the very top of the neck used as a bridge to separate the strings from the neck leading to the tuning keys. If a cord or lacing is not included, use a leather strap, shoelace or thin rope approximately 12 inches in length.
Wrap the cord around the neck and attach it to its starting point with a double knot for security. Allow approximately 2 inches of slack between the strap end and the guitar neck so that it does not make contact with the neck and interfere with the nearest tuning key.
Place the guitar and strap on your body and make adjustments as necessary.
Installing Straps on Guitars with One Strap Button
Tips and warnings
- Typical strap adjustment provisions, depending on style and manufacturer, include: a sliding clasp similar to those found on a carry-bag strap, a belt buckle or a two-piece strap with pre-cut incremental holes into which the strap sections are inserted to modify the length. If you are not sure, local music store personnel, an experienced guitarist friend or your guitar teacher will be happy to assist.
- On single-strap button guitars, avoid the temptation to install a second strap button on your own to avoid possible damage to the instrument. A professional guitar repair person can install a second button safely and inexpensively, and may even do it for free when purchasing the guitar if you ask.
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