Guitar Strap Confusion

How the ever heavy guitar strap can cause discomfort and pain and what to do about it.

Ultimate Guitar
Musicians are such wonderfully creative creatures. With a variety of instruments, they can make the most beautiful music. For instance, you might think of a guitar player as just that, a guitar player, but the truth is there are many versions of a guitar player. Rhythm guitar player, acoustic, base, classical, and though they all play an important part, let us not forget the one that plays the lead within the band, the lead guitar player. The seasoned musician can pick up his instrument and start playing a great rhythmic melody without music to read, introduction or any other inspiration, just holding the instrument is inspiration enough. In minutes a conglomeration of bountiful notes emanate from within a carefully tuned instrument creating pleasure to ones ears. Guitars have been around for centuries, they have changed in style, design and color many times, nevertheless, the notes still fly and music continues to enthral, music that has also changed enormously in the last century. One thing you don't hear about, or notice when entranced is the fact that the guitar the musician is yielding is heavy, hanging on a shoulder that supports not only the instrument but also the arms and hands that manipulate it. The pressure imposed by pulling and slapping those strings, and the movement of articulate fingers on the fret, contributes to the pressure that pulls on the shoulder. A solution hasn't been marketed for this kind of situation. A thought comes to the mind of such a musician, a lightweight harness, similar to that of a backpack only reversed. The harness would be located in the front and not on the back of the musician, as would a backpack. The weight would then be distributed between the two straps and a lightweight cross strap back support rather than just one hanging over a single shoulder. This method would balance the pressure removing the stress from the offending shoulder and the neck. Throughout the course of this conversation it could not be decided how the guitar would then be attached to the strap. It was concluded that rather than being attached at each end of the instrument, the harness would attach to the back of guitar, the heaviest area, in a specific way. A more reasonable answer for immediate use would be by dropping or lifting the guitar to a more comfortable level as the way one holds the guitar can sometimes pose these significant problems. Much of the time, the musician does not realize until the onset of the trouble that this has been accumulating for sometime without notice. These amazing music makers continue on their lifelong trek of making magical music, discarding or ignoring the oncoming or already present tolerated pain. When you are passionate about something, pain doesn't come in to it. If this guitar strap confusion has been sneaking around for so long, why hasn't someone come up with a solution? Is it because musicians aren't inventors or designers of anything but music? Or maybe it's because they don't think about such things when they are wielding that implement and pain is oblivious to them at that time. Lou Lombardi

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    There's always the "spins" system like ZZ top used. Check out "Big Black on youtube to see their solution. Then of course theres always the way the Chapman stick hooks and straps to the musician.
    Check out the Chapman Stick and Stanley Jordan for alternate strap ideas.