If you want to be able to rock out like the most famous guitarists of all time, then you're going to need the right guitar strap to help you keep things in place.
Whether you play the electrical, the acoustic, or even the classical guitar, the good news is that you're certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to cool guitar straps.
And while you can have fun picking out an awesome pattern or even getting a custom guitar strap made, there are a few hard and fast ground rules you need to keep in mind.
You want to find the right balance between comfort, ease of movement, support, and, of course, style.
So, what should you look for when you're shopping for guitar straps?
Keep on reading this post to find out.
Consider the Material
First, let's talk about the different choices for materials you have when it comes to cool guitar straps.
You'll most likely choose between one of four materials: polyester, leather, nylon. (Of course, there are other materials, too.)
A leather guitar strap is the most common option, although it's also the most expensive material. However, it has features that make the price well worth it.
It looks great with your guitar's wood and ages to look even better. It's easy to decorate, simple to dye in the color of your choice, and it's incredibly comfortable, too.
However, if you're on the shorter side? If you want to go for a leather strap, consider getting a customized length or poking a few extra holes yourself.
Remember that a thin leather guitar strap will stretch. But if you want a solid non stretch guitar strap, try a 2 ply leather with suede bonded to the back. If you're looking for the most affordable option, we suggest going with a polyester strap. You'll get a lot of color and width options, and polyester is more resistant to stretching than leather. However, if comfort is your main focus, be aware that it can cut into you as you play.
If you're a serious dancer while you play, you may need to choose another material like nylon.
Cotton will give you that classic look, but with a bit more comfort than a more affordable canvas option. However, it can also get dirty quickly!
Or, you could choose canvas, which will give you limited color and style options but endless adjustability. Canvas is affordable, comfortable and is thicker than nylon -- so for many, it's the perfect choice.
Get the Length and Width Right
Of course, when you're trying to find the right guitar strap, you also need to think about the length.
In general, you should look for a strap that can be adjusted within the range of 40 to 60 inches. Unless you're much taller or shorter than average, this should give you enough space to work with.
Remember that, if you're a bass player, you'll likely need to go with an extra long option. You should also get a longer option if you prefer to play your guitar at the height of your knees.
When it comes to the width of your strap, comfort sets the tone here. Again, for many guitar players, it's all about personal preference. The wider the strap is, the more evenly the weight of your instrument will be distributed.
So, if your guitar or bass is on the heavy side, or if you love playing longer shows, look for a wider option. Be aware that some people feel that getting a strap that's too wide can make it tough to move.
Invest in a Lock for Your Strap
It wouldn't be true rock and roll without a few epic moments of guitar smashing at the end of a live show.
However, if you're just starting out, or if you've invested some serious cash in your instrument, you don't want to run the risk of having anything happen to it while you play!
So what's the solution?
It's always a smart move to spend a bit of extra money to look for a strap that comes with a great locking mechanism. Even if your strap's end holes aren't stretched out now, eventually they will be. You don't want your guitar to end up smashed, or just to slip off when you're in the middle of your solo.
Most players just don't want to have anything to do with a guitar strap without a locking system. You can choose locks or even clip locks to make sure nothing pulls apart.
Consider the Number of Buttons
Now, let's talk about the importance of the guitar strap button.
In general, you can choose between straps that have no buttons, one button, or two buttons. If you invest in a strap without a button, you know you'll need to drill a hole in your strap on your own.
However, you can also look for straps (mostly for classical guitars) that use a small hook to help you keep your guitar in place while you play. Remember that, if you use one of these options, you'll have to keep one hand on your guitar at all times.
In most cases, you'll make it easy on yourself and opt for a strap that comes with two buttons. This is comfortable, intuitive to figure out, and just makes things much more stable.
You can also look into getting a strap that has just one button. This means that you'll need a string to tie your strap on the headstock, which can be a bit of a pain for some.
Some people just opt to use their shoelaces in the place of a string tie. If you do this, you shouldn't run into any issues. Just make sure that you're not messing around with materials that could scratch up the surface of your guitar.
If Possible, Try It On
Whether you're learning how to play the guitar for the first time, or if you've been playing for years, there's one invaluable piece of advice when it comes to guitar strap shopping: Whenever possible, aim to try on your guitar strap in person before you buy it.
Bring in your instrument to your local guitar shop, and ask the sales reps what popular straps are for the kind you're working with. You'll be able to see for yourself if you really feel like the strap can support the weight of your guitar.
You'll also get a feel for your overall comfort level. You may even be able to try out straps made from different materials. For example, you might find that you need a memory foam option for maximum comfort while you jam.
We understand that it's just not always possible to try a guitar strap on for size before you make your final decision.
So we suggest that you take the time to do your research online before making a buying decision. Read online reviews of popular straps, and ask questions on guitar forums.
Of course, you can also take a look at the kinds of straps your favorite players use!
Have Fun with the Design
You can do all the homework in the world when it comes to fit and material. But at the end of the day, we all want cool guitar straps.
We love the idea of creating a custom design (and they also make great gifts for the musicians in your life.) You can choose a color that matches with your drum kit, your guitar, and even a pattern you love.
In some cases, your strap can be printed with your band's name and logo on it. Why not let your strap be just as memorable as the songs you play onstage?
After all, you're still a rockstar (even if it's just in your own mind for the moment). You know how important image is.
Ready to Buy Your Guitar Strap?
We hope that this post has helped you to understand exactly what you need to think about when you're shopping for your next guitar strap.
Remember to think about the material that you want to use, and get the right number of buttons for your needs. Play around with the positioning until you feel comfortable.
Are you ready to start building your own epic custom guitar strap?
If so, then we want to help you to bring it to life. You can choose from tons of different materials, widths, and lengths, upload your own design, and much more. In short, the sky is the limit.
Be sure to keep checking back with our blog for more tips and tricks on how to create the perfect cool guitar strap.