Learn How To Put A Strap On An Acoustic Guitar

How To Put A Strap On An Acoustic Guitar - Guitar with Strap

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If you’ve been playing an acoustic guitar for any period of time, you know a strap can be a useful addition. It makes it much easier to play standing up, and you can even use a strap to keep hold of your guitar while seated. You may have noticed one problem with many acoustic guitars – they often don’t have a strap button on the neck end of the guitar, leaving you to wonder how to put a strap on an acoustic guitar. You can use two methods to work around this issue. The easiest is just using a string to tie the strap to the head of the guitar, while the other is installing a strap button on the neck end to attach the strap.

How Do I Tie a Strap on to My Acoustic Guitar?

Attaching the Strap to the Button on the Body

Start with the strap button on the body of the guitar. It’s on the very end, in line with the strings and bridge. The guitar strap should have a place to slide the button in. Some may have a slot that’s bigger on one end to fit the button. Once the strap is over the button, slide it to the smaller end, so it stays in place.

Wrapping a String Around the Head

The other end of the strap may already have ties you can use to attach it to the guitar. If it doesn’t, find a sturdy string that’s thin enough to fit between the strings and the wood on the head of the guitar (the head is the little piece at the end with the tuning keys). Slip one end of the string between the strings and the head, going from the top of the guitar to the bottom. Make sure the string is placed between the tuning keys and the end of the fret. Pull the end of the string out the bottom and wrap it around the back of the head. You should now have the two ends of the string at the top of the guitar, one going down between the head and the strings and one going around the back.

Tying the String to the Strap

Thread one end of the string through the strap, being careful not to unwind it from the head of your guitar. Grab the other end of the string and tie the two ends in a double knot to secure the strap to the guitar. You can also use a small bow if it’s secure enough.

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How Do I Add a Strap Button to the Head?

Gathering Your Materials

You’ll need the following to attach a strap button to the head:

  • Strap button: You can find these online at Amazon or at a local guitar store. It will need to have a screw that holds it in place. 
  • Drill bit: The drill bit should be slightly smaller than the screw in your strap button.
  • Power drill: You’ll use this to drill the hole for the button.
  • Painter’s tape: Tape is optional, but you can use it to mark your place on the guitar. You can also use washi tape. 
  • Small felt washer: The washer will help protect the finish

Figuring Out Placement 

how to put a strap on an acoustic guitar - button position
X marks where you place your strap button

Though you attach the strap to the head when tying it on, you’re going to attach it to the neck near the body when using a strap button. Find the high “E” string, the smallest string on the guitar. On the side of the neck closest to this string, look for where the neck is shaped like an “L” and is attached to the body. Find the corner of the “L” shape. This corner is the strongest part of the neck, and it’s where you’ll place the strap button. Aim to put it about an inch out from the body and about an inch down from the fretboard. It should be partially in the curved part of the L. Add a piece of painter’s tape to mark where you’d like to place the button.

Drilling a Hole

Start by measuring the length of the screw while in the button against your drill bit. Use a piece of tape or a permanent marker to mark how deep the screw is, so you don’t go farther into your guitar than you need to. Place the drill bit in your drill and then set the end against the spot you’ve marked. Align the drill bit, so it’s perpendicular to the surface, going into the main part of the wood in the neck. Turn the drill on slowly, gradually increasing speed. Use gentle pressure only, letting the drill bit do the work for you. Keep going until you reach the depth that you marked on the drill bit.

Screwing in the Button

With the button and felt washer already on the screw, place the screw tip of the button in the hole. Use a Phillip’s head screwdriver to turn the screw and button to the right. Keep turning until the screw is securely in the hole. Ensure the button is tight and doesn’t turn in place at all.

Attaching the Strap

Once you have the strap button on, you simply need to attach the strap to the button. Slide the buttonhole over the button, making sure its securely on. You may need to slide it from the large end of the hole to the smaller end. Attach the other end to the strap button on the outer side of the body, and your strap is in place.

Using a guitar strap is a great way to play your guitar while standing up, and if you’ve wondered how to put a strap on an acoustic guitar, now you know! As you can see, attaching a strap is relatively easy, even if you need to add a strap button on one side. If screwing into your guitar makes you nervous, take it to your local guitar shop. Most of them are more than happy to add a strap button to your guitar for you. And don’t worry, if you have a newer guitar, adding a strap button isn’t likely to take away from your guitar’s value. In fact, they’re often added when the guitar is made. Nonetheless, if you have an expensive classic guitar, you may want to leave this addition off.