Are guitar strap locks necessary?

Are Guitar Strap Locks Necessary?

Imagine this, and you just left your favorite guitar shop. You purchased a fantastic guitar, and now your wallet is much lighter. If I just spent a large amount on a guitar, I would want to protect my investment. So, are guitar strap locks necessary?

Yes. Locking guitar straps help protect your investment. Anytime you spend a few hundred on a guitar, you should want to protect it using the right strap.

If you are going to spend money on accessories, you should one hundred percent get a locking guitar strap. Guitars are beautiful works of art and are beautiful in sight and sound. So why not do everything you can to protect your guitar. 

I will show you what to look for when buying the right guitar strap and what you can use to evaluate and compare them.

4 Important Things You Need To Look For In A Guitar Strap

 #1: How important is the wearing comfort of the guitar strap?

Priority should be given to wearing comfort, especially when playing while standing up for long periods.  The ease of the strap is critical. After all, it will be on your shoulder for many hours, depending on your demands.  Only if you feel comfortable while wearing the guitar can you be able to concentrate 100% on your playing.

The guitar strap should not prevent you from playing by cutting into your neck, slipping around, or exerting painful tension on your shoulder.

With a strap that is too thin, cutting is inevitable. So, you will probably quickly lose the fun of playing. Extra padding, or upholstery, can help make it feel more relaxing on your shoulders.

Buying a guitar strap that can only be used for 2-3 songs due to poor comfort isn’t good. Therefore, pay special attention to a soft and not too thin contact surface.

The material should be incredibly soft.  If it may be a little “more,” sewn-in padding will be a great choice.  With good padding, the thickness of the strap is usually well over 2 mm and ensures comfortable wearing.

#2: Should the guitar strap be non-slip, or should it easily slide through?

How smooth the strap should be, depends on your preferred playing style.

For wild guitarists: 

if you like to slide your guitar back and forth while playing, you should go for a strap with a smooth contact surface. If you have a strap with a slippery/smooth bottom, the strap can perfectly slide back and forth over your shoulder.

For relaxed guitarists: 

If your movements are more moderate, we recommend a good non-slip strap. Nothing is more annoying than a strap that is too slippery, causing your instrument to slide uncontrollably, hindering your playing experience.

This is particularly important with top-heavy guitars. These tend to tilt towards the guitar head side. That part of the weight has to be held with the gripping hand. Therefore, when buying your guitar strap, look for a rough contact surface to avoid this problem.

#3: How much does a guitar strap cost?

There are guitar straps from $15 and straps that also cost over $250. There are significant differences in terms of wearing properties and quality.

The price of the guitar strap depends on your demand. If you only use a strap once in a while, a cheap strap will probably be enough. If you play a lot and for a long time, it will be best to invest a little more in this.

Take a look at the quality and the material when buying. 

Are all the seams tight? How stable is the material? Industrially manufactured straps are usually “cheap,” produced in China, and do not convince with perfect craft and long durability. Depending on your requirement, you might get to buy here several times. These cheap straps are available from $15

Some manufacturers specialize in handmade guitar straps for guitarists with high demands on the guitar strap. Here you will usually find a high-quality standard and robust materials. If you want to enjoy a guitar strap for a longer time, it is worth spending a little more money. A good-quality guitar strap will cost about $75.

Once you get one, you can use this video for how to adjust it:

#4: Do I need unique guitar straps with different instruments?

At some point, every player wonders to himself, is there even a difference between these straps? The short answer is no. Almost any strap can work with all three. But it’s also true that certain strap models generally work better with certain instruments. Here is a breakdown for different guitar players:

  • With bass players you typically find that longer, bulkier, and typically more expensive straps work better to support their larger heavier instrument.
  • For electric guitarsthere will almost always be two strap buttons on the body, so attachment is easy.
  • For acoustic guitarsmost will only have one strap on the bottom of the body.  So you’ll need to attach the other side of the strap to the headstock using a string.  With acoustic vs electric guitars, the biggest difference here is the method of attachment.

You may not need strap locks for playing guitar around the house. Still, if you’ve got them, why not make your straps useful? There is a greater chance that your guitar may slip off the strap if you are playing a gig on a crowded stage, but that can happen anywhere. It’s a cheap version of insurance.

There is nothing worse than getting a guitar and trying to pull off a sweet guitar trick or move while you are practicing only to have the guitar strap fall off the guitar. You have just busted up and probably have a guitar that is out of tune now. If this was in your garage, congratulations, you have only played yourself. Go home and wash off the shame.

Now imagine if you were in front of a large crowd playing a show and you attempted a sick ass guitar swing only to fail miserably. Then you’ve made your entire band look bad or you have become viral on youtube (which in case it’s the latter, congratulations!) 

Tips for a first time locking strap buyer

Take advantage of the strap lock that comes with a locking nut. You should also take off the old strap pegs and replace them with new ones, this will help even more with locking the strap in place . Once you do that, you can install the new strap lock versions

There have been many old tricks that have been passed down throughout the years from old timer face melters to grandpa rockers and finally passed down to our generation. Probably the most common and often told trick is the “Beer bottle trick”. This is where you take an old rubber washer off of a beer bottle from there, put the strap on your guitar then place the rubber washer over the strap on the strap button and you now have a super cost effective locking guitar strap (just keep the guitar tricks to a minimum).

Here are some examples of when your guitar tricks go bad:

Some people with locking guitar straps can pull off some amazing guitar feats. However, having a locking guitar strap doesn’t mean that you can pull off windmills like Pete Townshend without practice. 

Make sure that before you decide to toss your guitar to the heavens in hopes that it swings back around to you that you at least attempt to get some kind of locking mechanism albeit a locking guitar strap, or just a washer (Better make it an industrial washer if you plan on pulling this move off).

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