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Tech: securing guitar straps

mkebenn 23 Jan 10 - 01:56 PM
Will Fly 23 Jan 10 - 02:04 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Jan 10 - 02:14 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Jan 10 - 02:41 PM
Ebbie 23 Jan 10 - 03:05 PM
Terry McDonald 23 Jan 10 - 03:36 PM
Smokey. 23 Jan 10 - 05:19 PM
Will Fly 23 Jan 10 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,richie 23 Jan 10 - 07:59 PM
olddude 23 Jan 10 - 09:42 PM
Smokey. 23 Jan 10 - 11:02 PM
Murray MacLeod 24 Jan 10 - 08:31 AM
Will Fly 24 Jan 10 - 08:46 AM
John MacKenzie 24 Jan 10 - 08:58 AM
Will Fly 24 Jan 10 - 09:01 AM
alex s 24 Jan 10 - 10:04 AM
Tim Leaning 24 Jan 10 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,Ray 24 Jan 10 - 11:13 AM
Smokey. 24 Jan 10 - 05:44 PM
Murray MacLeod 24 Jan 10 - 06:35 PM
Smokey. 24 Jan 10 - 08:07 PM
mkebenn 25 Jan 10 - 11:45 AM
PoppaGator 25 Jan 10 - 04:55 PM
TonyA 25 Jan 10 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,tom f 25 Jan 10 - 10:22 PM
Smokey. 26 Jan 10 - 02:36 PM
bubblyrat 27 Jan 10 - 08:25 AM
TonyA 27 Jan 10 - 03:56 PM
Smokey. 27 Jan 10 - 05:19 PM
TonyA 27 Jan 10 - 11:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 28 Jan 10 - 03:45 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Jan 10 - 04:52 AM
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Subject: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: mkebenn
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 01:56 PM

I have a 40yr old martin dreadnought. I have always tied the head end of the strap under the strings. Is there a better way without damaging the instrument? Mike


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 02:04 PM

Hi Mike - I've not heard that tying the strap your way under the strings ever caused any damage to an instrument. An alternative, which doesn't involve screwing a strap button into the base of the neck, is to have a hook which fits under the soundhole - the strap goes from the strap button on the base of the guitar, over the shoulder, and then hooks into the soundhole.

I would personally get a strap button put in professionally - but I don't have a 40-year old Martin!


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 02:14 PM

Strap button.

Then use the rubber washers from a Grolsch beer bottle additionally to secure the strap on the buttons.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 02:41 PM

if you are worried about the value of the guitar, then remove the Micarta cap at the base of the heel,(with gentle heat) drill the pilot hole for the strap button, fit the strap button and stash the cap somewhere safe ready to be glued back if you ever want to sell it. The modification will be totally undetectable if done correctly.

Martin actually recommend drilling the hole in the side of the heel, but this is unspeakably sacrilegious imo.

The strap attached to the headstock is SOOOO uncool ...


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 03:05 PM

I had a button drilled into mine in the 'meaty' part of the stock. The straps tied under the strings always make me cringe- it always makes me feel that a person might lean too heavily on the box and cause bowing of the neck...


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 03:36 PM

I stole a piece of the lanyard from my brother's Boy Scout uniform to attach a strap between the strings and the nut of my new Gibson SJN County Western when I bought it in 1964. It's still doing the same job with the same strap. The guitar is, of course, still absolutely perfect, both in tone and action.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 05:19 PM

A button on the side of the heel works perfectly and the chances of anyone ever wanting to remove it are extremely remote. The back of the heel isn't advisable as the guitar can't sit flat on its back in a case. Drill a guide hole for the screw, otherwise it might cause a split.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 05:41 PM

Good advice - and the only thing you have to check for is that the guitar design doesn't incorporate some metal within the heel joint. My Larrivée, for example, does not have any metal - by design. The guitar left the factory without a strap button on the heel - leaving the choice of positioning to me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: GUEST,richie
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 07:59 PM

Not only does it not sit correctly in the case it does'nt hang right from the body and there's more chance of the strap slipping of the button


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: olddude
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 09:42 PM

i sit down never could play worth a crap standing   .. no kidding


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Jan 10 - 11:02 PM

I use a strap sitting down - it makes the position of the guitar more constant. I don't usually like standing, but if it's necessary at least the guitar's position doesn't change.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:31 AM

The issue about the guitar not sitting right in the case if you fit the button to the base of the heel is a red herring.

I did this mod to my Martin D28-S and had no problems, the case was shaped to accommodate just such an eventuality. Similarly with my Larrivee OOO-70, there is a recess in the lining of the case to accommodate a strap button fitted to the base of the heel, and I shall do the same modification there eventually.

I wouldn't know about cheap plastic or cardboard cases, maybe it would cause a problem ...

The balance takes a little getting used to, I agree, but, only a little, I have no problems whatsoever playing standing up.

Fat people might possibly find the balance issue problematical, and would be better with the strap attached to the headstock, even if it does look uncool.

As far as the strap slipping off the button is concerned, doesn't everybody use a strap-lock nowadays ?


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:46 AM

As far as the strap slipping off the button is concerned, doesn't everybody use a strap-lock nowadays?

Not with some electro-acoustics, unfortunately, because the jack lead has to go through the hollow strap button/jack socket at the base of the guitar. If anyone has a semi straplock - i.e. just one straplock fitting at the top of the strap and an ordinary hole at the foot, I'd be interested in hearing about it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:58 AM

I use a lock strap on an electro accoustic 12 string, where the jack plug goes into the centre of the button. Absolutely no problem whatsoever.
The problem I have with the 12, is that the weight of the machine heads, drags the guitar down, so I can't let go of it to do something with two hands, like adjust a mike stand


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 09:01 AM

Thanks for the info, John. Incidentally I have the same weight ratio problem with my electric G&L ASAT - which has the same body shape as a Telecaster. Teles were always top heavy.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: alex s
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 10:04 AM

"If anyone has a semi straplock - i.e. just one straplock fitting at the top of the strap and an ordinary hole at the foot, I'd be interested in hearing about it."

That's just what I do on my Martin because the Levy strap I use is great but too thick to allow a strap lock at the jack socket end pin. It is however very secure, in fact quite difficult to remove. I use a Dunlop strap lock at the "top" end and it's been excellent.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 10:44 AM

I have some strap locks but the button on the bottom of me Martin is fatter than the other one (for the jack to go through?) are there some wider strap locks available?


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 11:13 AM

I bought a Martin almost 40 years ago and fixed a strap to the head. This wore the finish although it was only on for a few weeks. Since then I have fitted strap buttons to several high end guitars and providing you do it carefully, you shouldn't have a problem - see here for advice - http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/GenSetup/StrapButton/strapbutton2.html

What exactly are you worried about harming? A strap button is unlikely to affect resale value provided its not fitted in an inappropriate position.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Smokey.
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 05:44 PM

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/GenSetup/StrapButton/strapbutton2.html

Excellent advice, Ray.

Another reason for not putting a button in the back is that although your case may have a purpose made indentation for it, few other surfaces do. I've never had the need for a strap lock.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 06:35 PM

for me, it's mainly a question of aesthetics, honed by having spent over forty years building and installing custom furniture.

the strap button on the side of the heel on an expensive guitar offends my eye in the same way that, for example, cross head screws (as opposed to slotted scres) on brass fittings offend my eye.

it just looks naff, imo.   

YMMV


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Smokey.
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:07 PM

The trick is to distract their attention from the strap button by playing music :-)

I fully agree about the screws, though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: mkebenn
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 11:45 AM

Thank you all. Not worried about value, per say, as I can't imagine selling her. Mike


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 04:55 PM

"The straps tied under the strings always make me cringe- it always makes me feel that a person might lean too heavily on the box and cause bowing of the neck..."

Believe me ~ not a problem. In fact, I find it hard to imagine it possible to "lean heavily" on the body of an instrument strapped to one's own body.

I have a 42-year-old Martin dread (D-18) that I've owned for all 42 years, have always positioned my strap in the customary manner for which the guitar was designed (i.e., without that second button), and have always performed standing up (because I'm relatively serious about singing).

I had the neck reset a couple of years ago to lower the action; years of string-tension can draw the head-end of the fingerboard straight up a fraction of an inch, but I don't believe there's any real physical possibility of bending a guitar neck sideways in the manner you seem to fear.

I've always been happy enough with the left-hand or "upper" end of my strap tied to the headstock. I'm pretty sure that was always the customary arrangement prior to Les Paul's development of the solid-body electric guitar, which is of course much heavier, and very much more bottom-heavy, than the acoustic instrument.

I suppose it's all just a manner of the style to which one is accustomed. Players who started on the electric instrument, especially, are likely to have become accustomed to having the strap attached to the body at both ends, with the neck waving free, so to speak. I am less comfortable playing a guitar with both ends of the strap attached to the body, so I can well understand that a person with different experience feeling equally uncomfortable the other way 'round. Each to his own, eh?

However, I'm a bit taken aback that anyone would feel that the traditional arrangement is "SOOO uncool." Is this a British thing, or what? Here in the US, most owner/operators of acoustic Gibsons and Martins, etc., are perfectly OK with the old-school strap arrangement designed into their single-strap-button instruments.

At any rate, for those of you contemplating installation of a strap button without first reading the good advice available at frets.com, BE SURE TO SCREW INTO THICK SOLID WOOD, not just into the thin soundwood of your guitar's side or back -- and ideally through the side and into the block inside your soundbox rather than into the base of the neck. And drill a pilot hole first, of course...


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: TonyA
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 07:37 PM

Tie a small loop on the end of the cord, then pass the cord through it, creating a lasso. Lasso the head, over the strings, between the G and B machines on the treble side, and between the E and A machines on the bass side. Pull the lasso tight, with the knot at the middle of the back of the head.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: GUEST,tom f
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 10:22 PM

Before you drill a 4o year old Martin, may I suggest you try playing a guitar with a heel-mounted strap button? Although many people like the strap button there, some (myself included) don't like it at all. I find the guitar much less stable than with the strap around the headstock and under the strings. It's entirely personal preference, but why not be sure first?


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Smokey.
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 02:36 PM

"Tie a small loop on the end of the cord, then pass the cord through it, creating a lasso. Lasso the head, over the strings, between the G and B machines on the treble side, and between the E and A machines on the bass side. Pull the lasso tight, with the knot at the middle of the back of the head."

Possibly under the strings might be preferable, although that would make throwing the lasso a redundant step in the process and take much of the fun out of it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: bubblyrat
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 08:25 AM

I seem to recall that,years ago,in the days of PP&M,et al,everyone had a strap with laces,or ties,under the strings.....Christy Moore from early Planxty days seems happy with it. But I personally prefer "the other way" ! My problem is with the other end of the guitar--I recently bought a Guild,which has a basic Fishman matrix pickup,but there is no ridged collar over the threaded end of the jack-socket,so I can't use a strap at all ! You'd think the average guitar dealer could help,but no.....not in Reading,they can't,anyway,as it's not a standard Fishman part,so not in their spares catalogues !!
    Luckily,a friend who works for Xerox,has a colleague who has gone to the US,where he will obtain a couple for me,and have 'em here by the weekend !


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: TonyA
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 03:56 PM

quote: Possibly under the strings might be preferable, although that would make throwing the lasso a redundant step in the process and take much of the fun out of it..

Under the strings is what the original poster has been doing, and expressed a desire to get away from. My method makes the strap as easy to install and remove as if it were attached to a strap button, but without drilling any holes.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Smokey.
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 05:19 PM

My apologies, Tony. Your method might work on a guitar with a slotted head like a classical or a parlour guitar, but could otherwise have a detrimental effect on the tuning.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: TonyA
Date: 27 Jan 10 - 11:55 PM

I use it on both classical and steel-string guitars. It doesn't affect the tuning noticeably in either case, though in the case of steel strings the slight force of the nylon cord on the very stiff short span of the steel strings probably does make them deflect a micron or two.

It's also true that the extra few inches of nylon cord required by this method adds to the total weight of the guitar and strap assembly, but I haven't found that to be a problem either.


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 03:45 AM

Mrs G used to work for 3M so adhesives spring to mind. If you don't wnat permanent they do a good range of 'command' stick products which hold lots of weight until pulled a certain direction - all to do with the molecular structure of the bond. Double sided tape and velcro also spring to mind. In the UK 3M ceratinly have a good help desk for adhesives and they would be able to advise accordingly.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Tech: securing guitar straps
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:52 AM

Gaffer (Duct) tape!! Of course, that's always the best answer.
Might work for Spaw too


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