This article explains the key features of different types of guitar straps and tells you how to attach them to the body of your guitar. Everything is broken down into easy, simple steps to help you understand quickly. Read on to find out how to attach a guitar strap!
The type of guitar strap you'll need depends on your guitar — or more specifically, on how many strap pegs your guitar has.
Most electric models, particularly solid-body guitars, feature two pegs. One is always found at the back of the guitar on the side panel, directly behind the bridge, while the other is usually placed at the tip of the upper horn. If your guitar doesn't have a top-end cutaway, you'll likely find this second peg located in a similar position on the upper bout.
Acoustic guitars, however, often only have one strap peg — the one at the back. Some hollow-body electrics fall into this category as well; if your guitar only has one strap peg, you'll need to take a different approach to attaching a strap.
Next, let's take a look at how you can attach a guitar strap to each of the two different types of guitars.
If your guitar has two strap pegs, the process is pretty simple. First, you'll need to find a strap for the guitar. Most guitar shops sell budget straps made of nylon; these will get the job done just fine but may be scratchy or not as comfortable as higher-end straps.
If you're looking for more comfort or flair, you can buy a leather guitar strap or a uniquely decorated nylon one. Like simpler straps, these are easy to find in guitar shops or online. Look for extra shoulder padding if you're playing a heavy guitar; the extra cushion will take some of the load off your shoulder during long jam sessions and gigs.
Once you have your strap, take one end and slip it over the peg at the back of the guitar. Now pull the strap flat, taking care not to kink or curl it in the process. Attach the other end to the peg at the upper horn. Congratulations, you've attached a guitar strap!
Try the guitar on to make sure that the strap is the right length. Play some rhythms, and solo for a little bit to help determine whether or not you feel comfortable with the guitar at that height. If you don't, most straps have an adjustment mechanism you can use to shorten or extend the length.
Nylon straps will have an adjustment system like the one you find on backpacks or duffel bags — this should be pretty intuitive. Leather straps, however, don't offer that same setup since leather isn't as flexible as nylon. To adjust a leather strap, there will usually be holes you can feed one end through to change the length of a section.
If your guitar only has one strap peg, don't worry! You have a couple of options to attach a strap to your guitar.
Certain straps are designed specifically for guitars with just one strap peg; if you like the look or style, you can buy one of these. Depending on the fastening mechanism, they may be quicker to attach than other straps. On the other hand, you can also simply buy a normal guitar strap and feed a sturdy piece of string through one of the peg holes.
Once you have your guitar strap, take the “normal” end of the strap (the one that doesn't have the string or special fastening system), and place it through the peg at the back of the guitar. Next, take the other end of the strap and place it near the nut of the guitar.
To attach it, you'll need to feed the string or fastening strap underneath the strings of the guitar on the headstock just behind the nut. Bring the other end below the headstock and tie them together on the other side of the nut.
This method will keep your guitar stable around your shoulders even if you only have one peghead. Be careful if you're modifying a two-peg guitar strap for this method, though! It takes a longer strap to accommodate guitars with one peg. Make sure you buy a long strap, or you may end up with one that's too short to fit comfortably.
If you're looking for a bit more stability when playing on stage, you can also check out strap lock systems. These small modifications allow your strap to physically lock into your guitar, preventing the strap from slipping off of the peg in the middle of a song.
Your exact process to attach your guitar strap may be different depending on your particular instrument. However, the basic process should be similar (if not the same) for all of the guitars with the same number of strap pegs.