However, there's nothing that differentiates one from the other. A guitar strap can work for both electric and acoustic guitars, even bass guitars.
The method of attachment for both guitars isn't the same, though. There are some features of a guitar strap that can make it better for one or the other, too. The actual differences, which are the factors you need to consider when choosing the guitar straps, are below.
The types of guitar straps correspond with the kind of material used, the most common of which are below.
Leather is the most popular material for guitar straps because of its looks. It has a long life, and it becomes even more comfortable to use the longer you use it. it comes in a wide range of colors and styles, and it's easy to customize with monograms, for example.
Leather straps are the go-to strap of professionals, although you have one thing to consider: your sweat. Do you become sweaty during a performance?
If so, leather guitar straps might not cut it for you as they might slip off during a riff. A raw leather strap might be better for you or another material that can handle the moisture.
Suede is another popular choice because of its look, though they tend to be less expensive than leather straps. It also deals with moisture well, which would make it a good choice for sweaty people. Suede straps are plenty durable if you take good care of them, and they're comfortable to use.
Nylon is the most common material in guitar straps. It's inexpensive and easy to dye, making it the best canvass for artistic designs.
This synthetic material is rather strong, too, as it's difficult to rip or stretch. It's comfortable to use, but its smoothness might not work in your favor if you sweat a lot. For that reason, it's also an advantage that it's easy to move around your shoulders.
Like nylon, polyester is easy to dye and print designs on, which is why you'll have various design options. Although they're on the affordable side, they're still durable and comfortable.
In fact, this may be the most popular choice of many beginners for these reasons. There are higher-end options, too, that are tougher.
This one is a natural material with a higher friction, which is good if you want the guitar to stay in place. It's also a good choice if you have a heavy or imbalanced guitar. The good thing about it is how comfortable it is to use, but the downside is that it's more prone to dirt.
Design and Color
The color of the strap doesn't affect its function, but of course, there's no harm in choosing one that appeals to you. You're going to see it a lot, so you should choose a strap that matches your style.
Then it's important that it matches your playing style and audience, too. For example, a strap with skulls and studs would suit a guitarist in a rock band better than a coffee shop guitarist.
This isn't something that you should prioritize, though. The important factors in choosing a guitar strap are durability, build, and comfort.
Guitar straps are adjustable, but there are extra long or extra short options. If you're tall or if you prefer your guitar hanging low while you play, opt for the longer ones. If you're shorter in height or if you're buying for a kid, opt for a shorter strap.
Measure the approximate distance between the strap buttons going over your shoulder with your guitar at your preferred height. Then, choose one that's longer than that distance. It's better to have extra length than not to be able to set it long enough.
The width is important because it dictates how much support your shoulder is going to get. Wider straps can distribute the weight in an even manner. This means less straining on your back, improving the comfort and stability.
If you have a heavy instrument, go for wider straps to avoid pain. There are also options that have shoulder pads for if you want a thinner strap.
Some prefer their straps to be thinner as a wide one might be limiting. For some, the reason is that it looks better.
The strap button is the anchor for the strap. Not all guitars have the same number of buttons. If your guitar doesn't have any, you may buy some and install them yourself. How would you choose the guitar strap based on the number of strap buttons?
Two Button Strap
If your guitar has two strap buttons, it will work with the standard guitar straps. This presents the most stability and convenience.
One Button Strap
If your guitar only has one, which should be at the end of the guitar, you can still use a standard guitar strap, but you'll have to use a cord. Slip the cord through the hole in the guitar strap, and then tie it between the neck and the strings, around the headstock.
Note that you need a strong strap for this job. There are adapters, though, that can provide a more secure and attractive fit.
No Button Strap
Specialized guitar straps attach to the soundhole via a hook, which is great if your guitar has no strap button. It provides extra support, but it doesn't have much stability. You must keep one hand always supporting the guitar.
If you want to use regular straps, you'll have to drill a hole to install at least one strap button on your guitar.
Sometimes, a standard strap is all you need, but there are many players who find it lacking in terms of security. This is why there are some who choose to buy straps with custom locks that help secure the strap on the guitar.
However, regular ones work for most people, so if you don't have problems with the strap slipping off, you don't need to purchase one with strap locks or clip locks.
The practicality should be a higher priority than the design; it dictates what material you should get. If this is important to you, get something lightweight and of course, comfortable. If you keep this in mind, you'll likely end up with a cotton strap.
Read reviews online and find out what others say about a particular material and brand. Sometimes, you can get a practical strap that has another material, which would come with a price. The brand is a factor as well since different companies have different manufacturing techniques.
If you're a beginner, you're better off with choosing budget straps, about $30 or below. Most would be in cotton or nylon with leather ends. However, note that straps in this price range might be uncomfortable to wear for long periods.
The mid-range straps would be between $30 to $70, which would be the best bang for the buck. They're comfortable, durable, more secure, and nicer in looks. If you want the best of all these, though, the premium range is where you should be shopping.
Guitar straps at around $100 provide optimal comfort and style. If you have a heavy instrument, a strap at this price point can even make it lighter. If you have the budget, this can be the best purchase you'll make.
Which Should You Choose?
Guitar straps are in contact with your body the whole time you're playing the guitar. You should choose the one that feels comfortable. This is a more important factor than the design and such.
To make a better decision, try on the straps before buying. It's preferable if you can try it with your guitar as it will have a different fit than if you only hold it. This will help you decide if you a flat leather belt will for you or if you would need more padding in the shoulder area.
The weight of your guitar is a factor, too. This is another reason why you should try the strap on your guitar before buying.
Find the Right Guitar Strap for You
Choosing a guitar strap that suits both your taste and support needs can be complicated.
For that reason, it might be better to go for custom-made electric or acoustic guitar straps. Check out our website to see what we can do and contact us if you have any questions.
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