How to Choose the Optimal Guitar Strap Length for Each Musician

August 26, 2022 6 min read

Man playing the guitar.

How to Choose the Optimal Guitar Strap Length for Each Musician 

Imagine you have the gig of a lifetime, and you're more excited than ever. But in the middle of your solo, your guitar slips, and you miss the big ending.

If you want to avoid that nightmare, you need to consider the right guitar strap length for you. That way, your instrument will sit at the right height for you to play all of the solos in the world.

Read on to learn how to determine the best length for your new guitar strap.

Height of the Player

First, you should think about how tall you are to choose the right guitar strap length. In general, players who are less than six feet tall can get away with the standard length of 40 to 60 inches.

However, if you're taller than six feet, you may need a strap that's as long as 70 inches. If you try and share a strap with a player much shorter or taller than you, it might not work out well.

Players who are around six feet tall may experiment with standard and longer straps. For example, some players hold the instrument higher or lower than others, which can affect how long your strap needs to be.

Arm Length

Next, consider how long your arms are and the ratio of your arm length to your overall height. If you have shorter arms, you may need to hold your guitar higher so that you can strum comfortably.

In that case, you'd want to get a shorter guitar strap to hold your instrument in the right place. However, maybe your arms are longer than average, so you look for a longer strap.

Your measurements can have a significant impact on the right guitar strap length for you. And keep in mind that shorter people can have long arms, while taller people can have short arms, so height doesn't always come into play for this step.

Body Shape

Another thing to contemplate is the shape of your body, specifically your shoulders. People with broad shoulders may want to get a longer leather guitar strap than people with narrow shoulders.

Even if you're the same height and have the same arm length as someone else, think about your body. If you have broad shoulders, a strap that's too short could dig into your shoulders.

It could also force you to hold the guitar higher than what's comfortable for you. Measure how far across the back of your body a strap would need to go for you to be able to play the guitar well.

Then, you can make sure to get the correct guitar strap length for your needs.

Attachment Peg Location

Before you buy a guitar strap, consider where you'll attach it to your guitar. Most guitars have an attachment peg on the end of the body.

Some models feature a second attachment peg on the bout near the top of the body. Others might have a peg closer to where the neck and body come together.

You may even have a guitar with only one peg on the end. In that case, you'd need a longer strap so that you can attach the other end to the headstock.

Take a look at the guitar you want to buy a new strap for. Then, you can make sure to get the measurements for that specific instrument.

Acoustic vs. Electric

The next significant factor affecting the right guitar strap length is the type of guitar. Acoustic guitars tend to be larger than electric guitars since the body needs space for air to resonate.

That also means the attachment pegs on acoustic guitars sit a bit farther away from your body. So you may need your acoustic guitar strap to be a couple of inches longer than what you'd use on an electric guitar.

You'll need the extra length to compensate for the location of the attachment pegs. Also, some acoustic guitars don't have a second attachment peg, so you may need some string to attach the strap to the headstock.

Bass Guitar Straps

Similarly, you should consider the right guitar strap length when playing bass. You may want the same length for a bass as for your regular electric guitar.

For one, it's not uncommon for players to hold the bass slightly lower than the regular guitar. If you play that way, you'll need a longer guitar strap.

While it doesn't have to do with the length specifically, you also want to get a more supportive strap. That way, you can support the heavier instrument.

How You Hold the Guitar

You may have all of the same measurements as another guitarist. The two of you might even use the same exact guitar model, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll both want the same guitar strap length.

Perhaps you hold the guitar a bit higher than your friend. If so, you'll want a shorter guitar strap so that you can hold your instrument at the correct height for your needs.

The other player can look for a longer guitar strap so that it will sit lower on their body. Your comfort is vital to the success of your guitar playing, so consider where you tend to hold the guitar.

Then, you can use that position when taking measurements before you order a leather guitar strap.

Adjustable or Non-Adjustable

Next, you should determine if you can adjust a guitar strap or if it only works at one length. Many custom guitar straps are one length, so they work well for the players who order them.

On the other hand, a lot of beginners might purchase an adjustable guitar strap. Those straps are easy to purchase right away, and you can figure out your ideal guitar strap length later.

Both options are useful for different guitarists, but you need to know which type you want. If you want a custom strap, you'll need to determine your measurements before you place your order.

You won't be able to change the length later, and you'd need to order a new strap if you change your mind on the length.

Think About Your Current Strap

If you already have a guitar strap, put it on and play your instrument. Notice how the strap feels as you practice music, and write down those feelings.

Consider if the strap digs into your shoulders or if your guitar feels too high or low for your liking. Then, take a break from playing and measure the current length of the strap.

If it's adjustable, change the length slightly and see if that feels better. For straps that aren't adjustable, you may need to use paper or another material to test out different lengths.

Either way, use your current strap to help come up with the ideal length for your new strap.

Focus on Comfort

One of the most important parts of a guitar strap is if it's comfortable for you. Every player is different, so what works for someone else might not feel good to you, and vice versa.

As you shop for a new guitar strap, the right length can make a huge difference in how it feels to use. You might also want to consider factors like the width of the strap and the material.

All of those things work together to give you your ideal guitar strap. So even if you choose the best length, other things could make the strap less than ideal for your playing.

Consider the Materials

Especially if you're looking at guitar straps you can't adjust, you should choose the right material. You can buy straps that use leather, cotton, or even elastic materials.

Elastic straps might stretch out over time, so they could become too long for you. On the other hand, materials like leather shouldn't change in length too much.

That means you'll get more use out of the strap. You won't have to worry about adjusting the length as the material stretches out.

However, it's also important to consider how the material feels against your shoulders. If the strap feels too rough or digs into your skin, the guitar strap length won't matter.

Look at Custom Straps

After you figure out your measurements, one of the best ways to get the right guitar strap length is to order it custom. A company can make the strap using your specifications.

If you go this route, be sure to double-check your measurements before you order the strap. That way, you can keep from accidentally ordering the wrong size and not being able to change it.

When you get a custom strap, you might also be able to choose the material, width, and if you can adjust the length or not.  Some custom guitar strap makers even let you choose the guitar strap design or color.

Not only will your new strap fit, but you can express yourself visually as you play music.

What's the Right Guitar Strap Length for You?

Selecting the right guitar strap length can make or break your playing experience. If the strap is too short, it could dig into your shoulders.

On the other hand, a strap that's too long might sit too low for you to strum easily. Be sure to measure yourself and your instrument to help choose the correct size.

Do you want to get a custom strap? Learn more about our custom guitar straps.