The Guitar Strap Saga (TM)

I can no longer call myself a “hobbiest guitar player”.  I help lead worship at my churchwhich I enjoy very much — and in that role I have to take some things more seriously than I did before.  My guitar has to be in tune.  I need to have a decent pickup system installed.  I have to be able to play standing up!  (By the way, that was a bigger issue than I thought it would be).  I also need a decent guitar strap.

Don’t mock me on this.

Between rehearsal and the worship “set”, if you will, you end up with a guitar strapped around your neck for a considerable amount of time.  The guitar strap is important.  My previous strap has given up the ghost, so to speak, and easily pops off of the straps nuts.  Not cool, and not fun.  I set out to find another strap that is both stylish and comfortable.

My first trip was to Guitar Center in hopes of finding a good, reasonably-priced replacement.  I figured that leather would be a good long-term solution, but I was unpleasantly met with $70+ guitar straps.  Wha? I don’t think so.  Too rich for my blood.  Shortly thereafter, I found that Levy’s Leathers makes some nice guitar straps that can be found for a reasonable price.  I found a 2.5″ black embroidered strap that cost me less than $40 shipped.  Nice!  Well…until it arrived and I found that it was too short for me.  You see, I’m 6’4″ tall, and I tend to play with my guitar hung a bit lower.  Not “punk rock”, mind you, but lower.  Most leather straps tend to max out at around 53″ long, which was about 4″ shorter than what I was set at previously.  No matter how I sliced it, it didn’t work for me.  After some emails back and forth with the fine Levy’s Leathers folks, I find out that they make “XL” versions of almost all of their straps, which lengthens the strap by 12″ or so.  Wish I’d known that earlier.  I also wish I’d had a better up-close shot of the strap that I was ordering — a bane of “online purchases”, I suppose — because the suede finish was not entirely to my liking.  I decided to return that strap and keep looking.

Upon further reflection, I decided that I didn’t have to have a leather strap — it was enough to have leather at the ends for long term use.  In fact, nylon and/or cotton straps can be quite comfortable, practical and affordable.  Somehow or another, I ended up stumbling upon a company called Franklin Strap.  I liked the looked of their stuff, and I was immediately taken with their ‘Seatbelt Series‘ strap.  Very cool!  Sadly, I couldn’t find them online anywhere.  Grasping at straws, I emailed the Franklin Strap company themselves to inquire as to where I might purchase one of these fine straps.  I had no idea about pricing, availability and so forth.  Well… a few hours later I get an email back from the company owner himself — Greg Bennett of Greg Bennett Guitars!  He let me know that a shop called Artisan Guitars carried these and could help me order one.  Good deal.

Here’s the great part: I call Artisan Guitars — friendly folks, by the way — and tell them my story.  They find the strap I’m talking about and get me going on ordering one.  I still had no idea on pricing, so when the sales person mentions that the strap is $6 + shipping, well… I’m pretty blown away!  Needless to say, I ordered two of them.

So… here’s hoping that this strap is as awesome as I hope it’ll be.  If not, well… atleast I got a cool story out of the whole process.


5 Responses to “The Guitar Strap Saga (TM)”

  1. 1 kdogg1 September 2, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    You help lead at Church huh? I’m glad that I don’t attend there! 😛

  2. 2 yipcanjo September 2, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Feel The Love…

  3. 3 Marcus September 3, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I may just look into that, because my strap’s about 5-6 years old now, it’s just about ready to retire too.

    To kdogg, I’d gladly attend a church led by Scott! Too bad I have not the shinies to relocate to Washington, living all the way out here in Texas.

  4. 4 yipcanjo September 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Thanks, Marcus…but don’t worry about ol’ KDogg1 — his bark is *MUCH* worse than his bite! 🙂

  5. 5 kdogg1 September 4, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    I feel the love now. 😀

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