Going down the road of becoming a guitar player is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make in your entire life. But before you dig into it and end up spending a fortune on countless guitars, amps, pedals, and other gadgets, there’s first some basic stuff you’ll need to learn. Aside from all the techniques, music theory, and how guitar gear works, there’s one important issue here – knowing how to attach and wear a guitar strap. While the issue might not seem that complicated, there are some things you need to know before you set out to become a rock god. So let’s look into it.
Guitar Metal Studs for Strap
With electric guitars, things are usually pretty simple, at least with most of the average guitars these days. The first thing you’ll need to do is to locate the buttons, or those metal studs attached to your guitar. These are always on opposite sides of the body. One of them is located at the very end. If you turn your guitar vertically, so that the headstock is up and the body is down, one of the studs will always be at guitar’s lowest point.
The other one will be on the body’s opposite side. However, this may vary depending on the type of guitar you have. In the case of a classic double-cutaway, like any Stratocaster or a Strat-style guitar, it’s located at the tip of the upper horn. If you play a single-cutaway guitar like a Les Paul or a Telecaster, it will be located where the upper horn should be.
But then we have guitars like Gibson SG or any other SG copy. In this case, the other stud will be located on the backside of the body, right around the area where the neck meets the body. This may also be the case with a few other guitar models out there.
If for any reason your guitar doesn’t have these metal studs, you’ll have to install them. The best option here is to leave this to a professional. It may cost more, but it’s a safer way as you don’t want to permanently damage your instrument.
While some acoustic guitars have the same two-button setup, most of them actually feature a different configuration. Talking of standard steel-string acoustics, they usually have only one button, located at the very end of the body, just like we described with electric guitars. If there’s no other stud to be found on the opposite side, this means that you’ll need a special guitar strap for traditional acoustic guitars. This particular type of strap can be attached to the stud on one side, and it features a special loop on the opposite end, that’s supposed to go around the guitar’s headstock, right behind the nut and below the strings.
How to attach a guitar strap
With most of the electric guitars, it’s fairly simple. Each end of the strap has its buttonholes that fit just right over the stud. If your strap is brand new, it might take a little effort to put it on, as it’s usually a little tighter. The fitting buckle is supposed to face outwards on both sides, and you should always take care that your strap is not twisted.
As for acoustic guitars, the opposite end of the strap is designed to go around the headstock, right behind the nut. It’s also important to note that the strap goes under the strings, and not over them.
Many acoustic guitars don’t even have metal studs. This is especially the case with nylon-string classical guitars. But there’s a great solution that lets you wear a strap without drilling holes in your precious instrument. There are closed-loop guitar straps that look kind of like a ribbon for a medal, and you wear it around your neck or over one of your shoulders. On the bottom, there’s a small rope or a braided lace that has a hook attached to it. You pull this part behind the guitar’s body and attach the plastic hook to the soundhole from below.
How to wear a guitar strap
Regular type of straps, like we have on electric guitars and acoustic steel-string guitars, are pretty easy to set up. After putting it on your guitar’s metal studs, slowly put the strap over your shoulder. If you’re playing right-handed, the strap should go over your left shoulder, with the guitar standing in front of you. The other end should go behind your back, which leaves your right hand free to do all the strumming and picking. If you’re left-handed, do the opposite and sling the guitar strap over your right shoulder.
After placing it over your shoulder, you should test whether your guitar is secured. If neither end of the strap falls off and the guitar sits firmly over your shoulder, you’re good to go!
The next thing you should think about is adjusting the strap length. This way, you’ll determine how high or low your guitar is on your body. This is why every strap has an adjustable buckle on it. When putting the strap on the guitar, it’s recommended that the buckle faces outward and that it doesn’t sit on directly your shoulder. By adjusting the buckle back and forth, you’ll be able to set the desired height.
Now, the height is a personal preference. But if you’re a beginner, we’d recommend that you don’t go too low, as it will be difficult to press the strings on the fretboard. You should try out a few different settings and see at what height you can fret and strum the strings freely without any strains or obstructions.
It will take some time to get a hang of it. Now that you’re informed about how to attach and wear one, the only thing left now is to find the best guitar strap for your needs. After all, this is what you’ll be wearing all the time when you’re playing guitar at home, in the studio, or on the stage.