What's The Safest Strap For Your Guitar?

7 Apr 2020

It's very important that your strap is safely attached to your guitar.   Nobody likes to see a guitar hit a stage floor, or possibly worse if you're busking on the street!   The damage can be bad, very bad.   Not only will it put your guitar out of tune.  It will scratch the paintwork, crack off the lacquer, or dent the wood.  You might even break the neck or snap off the headstock.  



You've worked hard, you've saved up, and now you have your pride and joy hung around your neck.   Are you really going to suspend it on flimsy fixings?

If you want a REAL relic effect on your guitar, then go ahead and risk dropping it, but of course there are good-looking dings and relic effects (usually faked) and ugly ones, like the big scratch on the front of this expensive acoustic guitar.



So how do you make sure your guitar is safe?

We put a lot of effort into the fixing points on our guitar and bass straps.  We do our best to make sure that the leather is tough enough to keep its shape.  On cheaper straps the crappy thin leather will stretch and give way after just one gig.   So your best bet is to buy a decent strap like one of ours, and check that the leather is good and firm around the pin holes.



For extra safety, many players add a rubber washer, commonly known as a Grolsch bottle grommet.  You can pull one off an empty bottle of Grolsch beer - the type that has the funny old fashioned stopper with the bent wire around it.  They work great.  You can also buy these rubber safety strap lock washers (grommets) on eBay or in guitar shops.  We even have some in the workshop.  Next time you order, just ask for a couple.  No charge!


The safest method is to use proper straps locks.   These come in two metal parts.  One part is a replacement for your guitar's original strap button.  You unscrew the old button and screw on the strap lock stud.  The second part fits on the strap.  Together they form a 100% safe snap-together system.


The usual big downside of strap locks comes when you want to put a different strap on the guitar.  The problem is that you can only attach a strap that has the matching part fitted.  What if you get to a gig and find you've forgotten that strap?   Disaster!   OK, so somebody lends you a strap, but it doesn't have strap locks and won't fit securely on the studs.  Big disaster!


Here comes Jim Dunlop to the rescue with their strap retainer system, called Straplok.   The studs on these strap locks look just like ordinary strap pins, and can be used as just like ordinary strap pins.  So, if you forget your strap with the straps locks on, you can quickly use any other strap.  We think they're so good, we've put them on the Pinegrove web site!  See https://www.pinegroveleather.com/guitar-accessories/guitar-strap-locks-n



Fitting strap locks can be a bit of a challenge.   The pin holes on your straps need to be made a little bigger.  This is OK if you have a cheap & nasty strap, as the leather is so thin that it's easy to cut, or just fold out of the way.   At Pinegrove, we have already made our straps good and tough around the pin hole, so this can be more difficult.   Ideally the pin hole needs to be enlarged to 10mm diameter (7/16 inches).  If you buy a strap from us knowing that you want to fit strap locks, then tell us and we can enlarge the pin holes for you.  We use a 10mm punch to make a neat job of this.   Cheap ones can be bought on eBay.



We're always here to help if you need advice.   Email info@pinegroveleather.com.


Remember: When you put a strap on a guitar, always check it's on safely and securely!

Rod, main man at Pinegrove Leather

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