#1
I just got a Gibson ES-355. I had a Levy's 4" padded strap available, and tried that. It was still hurting my shoulder, and was really uncomfortable after about half an hour.

I'd put a Gibson Austin strap on my Les Paul Traditional, and it's extremely comfortable. I couldn't put that on the ES-355 because the buckles would rub up against the body. So, I bought the Vintage strap with the 1/2" memory foam, just like the Austin.

Well, that's not comfortable, either. I grabbed a 2.5" plain suede strap from a Stratocaster, and that was just as comfortable.

Any suggestions on straps that would be comfortable on a guitar that heavy? If the Austin-style and the Levy's are not, then I don't know what would be.
#3
What, precisely, is causing you discomfort?

I ask, because I've tried all kinds of straps and find padded ones to be pretty comfy, almost without exception.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#4
Quote by dannyalcatraz
What, precisely, is causing you discomfort?

I ask, because I've tried all kinds of straps and find padded ones to be pretty comfy, almost without exception.


I think it's the downward pressure on the top of my shoulder. I'm a skinny guy. Before someone suggests working out more, I'm 64, and at that age a person doesn't build muscle with exercise. I can get stronger, but I don't get more muscle mass.

The 2.5" Fender suede strap may have worked because it held the guitar up high (about chest level), and so was pulling against a different part of my shoulder.

I wish guitar stores had more straps to select from. Buying and returning from online stores can get expensive.
#5
Quote by Monkeyleg
I just got a Gibson ES-355. I had a Levy's 4" padded strap available, and tried that. It was still hurting my shoulder, and was really uncomfortable after about half an hour.

I'd put a Gibson Austin strap on my Les Paul Traditional, and it's extremely comfortable. I couldn't put that on the ES-355 because the buckles would rub up against the body. So, I bought the Vintage strap with the 1/2" memory foam, just like the Austin.

Well, that's not comfortable, either. I grabbed a 2.5" plain suede strap from a Stratocaster, and that was just as comfortable.

Any suggestions on straps that would be comfortable on a guitar that heavy? If the Austin-style and the Levy's are not, then I don't know what would be.


Not cheap - though very comfortable....

#6
Normally, my go-to suggestion would be a padded, broad leather strap. Between the cushioning and the broadness to distribute weight, those are usually the most comfy type of straps out there.

I know both Fender and Gibson have padded straps that show up in the big stores, as does Levy's and a few others. They might have slightly different ergonomics.

I also like the Franklin Link straps.

But it may simply be the case that your shoulder can't support a guitar by itself for any length of time anymore- you might have to play seated.

One last trick I'd try before giving up, though, is to take one of your padded straps and use it...but to that, add a towel to the mix. Either wrap it around the strap or put it under your shirt- that way, you'll distribute the weight even more. A bath towel would be too big, probably- try a hand-towel or face-towel first.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
Quote by paruwi
Not cheap - though very comfortable....



That's the strap I bought. The padding is the same as on the Gibson Austin, but it's not as comfortable. I believe the Les Paul Traditional is a pound or two lighter than the ES-355.

If there's nothing out there better, then maybe I will just put a towel under the strap.

One thing about the ES-355 is the strap mount on the back. Any strap is going to scrap off the finish over time. I can't figure why they'd put the strap button there on a $3700 (new) guitar.
#8
Quote by Monkeyleg
That's the strap I bought. The padding is the same as on the Gibson Austin, but it's not as comfortable. I believe the Les Paul Traditional is a pound or two lighter than the ES-355.

If there's nothing out there better, then maybe I will just put a towel under the strap.

One thing about the ES-355 is the strap mount on the back. Any strap is going to scrap off the finish over time. I can't figure why they'd put the strap button there on a $3700 (new) guitar.

As long as your strap button holds your strap far enough off of your guitar it shouldn't even touch the back of the guitar while you're standing. If the stock buttons aren't big, I suggest strap locks. I have Schallers on my explorer and my strap button is also right below the neck joint. The locking mechanism creates a good inch or so of clearance between the strap
and the actual guitar itself. It never rubs

As far as a strap that will be comfortable I really don't know what to recommend. I know that leather and suede can be sort of abrasive due to their stiffness. Maybe that is the problem? Have you tried any thin but durable nylon straps?

I use these on guitars without strap locks and they're really soft and flimsy. I find that it makes them more comfortable. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/dimarzio-2-nylon-cliplock-guitar-strap?rNtt=dimarzi%20ostrap&index=1

I've never had a problem with guitar weight though, but that's because I'm 24.
#9
Quote by paruwi
Not cheap - though very comfortable....



This and the Austin Comfort strap would have been my go-to suggestions. I'd very much suggest hitching one of these up so that it brings the guitar up to where the Fender strap did, though.

The setup that ZZ Top used to spin their guitars in the old "Legs" and other MTV videos was originally designed specifically for people who needed a different weight distribution; as I recall, it was a combination of a belt and two shoulder straps with the rotating gizmo requiring a bolt-on thingie (later a strap-on thingie) on the back of the guitar. Maybe not exactly what you're looking for, but much closer and with much more comfort for people with shoulder issues and heavy guitars. Company's no longer around, but maybe the straps are sitting in someone's gear bin or there are examples out there that can be copied.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjef-h9MbxA

This company claims to have it worked out...
http://www.mundomusicgear.co.uk/product/mundo-guitar-strap/
Last edited by dspellman at Dec 16, 2014,
#10


Throw enough brainpower at any problem, and solutions will arise!

I COMPLETELY forgot about these guys until you brought up ZZ Top, dspellman! Not the same company, but it's the same idea.

Slinger Straps
http://www.slingerstraps.com

Also:
DareStrap
www.darestrap.com/index.html

LM Products Slider Ergonomic Strap
http://www.lmproducts.com/#!store/c4ws
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/slider-straps-dual-shoulder-strap
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 16, 2014,
#12
Thanks for all of the suggestions. One problem I see with nearly all of the straps suggested is the way they mount to the front button the guitar. Most have hardware that would contact the body of the guitar on the ES-355 model, and take the finish down to wood quickly.

I tried putting a t-shirt under the pad, but it slips around too much. I think I need to come up with something more precise.

In the end, I think a guitar that heavy just isn't suited for a skinny old guy like me to play standing.
#13
You can always have the strap button moved. It isn't trivial, but it isn't a huge, expensive mod, either.

Or- and I think this is the better solution- eat lots of ice cream until you have enough of a belly to hang over your belt!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 18, 2014,
#14
Quote by dannyalcatraz
You can always have the strap button moved. It isn't trivial, but it isn't a huge, expensive mod, either.

Or- and I think this is the better solution- eat lots of ice cream until you have enough of a belly to hang over your belt!



I wouldnt want to drill extra holes in a 355 IMO.
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#15
Nor would I, but when you're trying to remove pain from the equation...

Honestly? I know I'm fat, so buckle rash will never be an issue for me. However, I don't and wouldn't consider that to be much of an issue on a used guitar. I'd see that as the wear & tear of normal use.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 18, 2014,