A comprehensive and easy guide to strap locks for acoustic guitar players, with the answer to the question – can you put strap locks on your acoustic guitar? And recommendations from Instrument Insight.
In a guitarist’s playing journey, often, there are situations when we feel the importance of having straps on our shoulders right away. Maybe at times, we are unable to grip the acoustic guitar rightly, or maybe we don’t feel comfortable at all holding the instrument for a long time during a performance.
That’s the time we realize that we do need a strap to hold it perfectly. And, I guess, as you are here, today is that day for you. But, the question is – can you put strap locks on an acoustic guitar? The short answer is – “YES! Of course, You Can.” In fact, it’s the only solution to many problems. As we all know, an acoustic guitar without strap locks can be vulnerable, and you definitely want to use strap locks.
To learn more, keep on reading!
What Are Strap Locks, and What Are Endpins? (Don’t Be Confused)
Strap locks are devices that are used to attach a guitar strap to a guitar securely. Endpins are similar devices that are used to securely attach the end of a guitar string to the body of the guitar.
There are different kinds of strap locks, and the most common type is the screw-in type. This type of strap lock consists of a small metal plate with a threaded hole in the center. A small screw is inserted into the threaded hole, and the plate is then placed over the strap button on the guitar. The screw is tightened until the plate is snug against the strap button.
Another type of strap lock is the adhesive-backed type. This type of strap lock consists of a small metal plate with an adhesive backing. The plate is placed over the strap button on the guitar, and the adhesive is allowed to dry. Most acoustic guitars you find in the market have strap pins on the upper bout or on the guitar neck heel.
The endpin is typically made of metal or plastic, and they are inserted into the end of the guitar string. End pins are available in different sizes to fit different guitars. They are also available in different colors to match the color of the guitar.
Strap locks and endpins can be purchased at most music stores or online retailers.
Can You Put Strap Locks On An Acoustic Guitar?
As mentioned in the first place, you can put strap locks on an acoustic guitar. In fact, many guitarists do this to help keep their guitars secure while they are playing. Moreover, strap locks can also help to prevent your guitar from slipping off your shoulder while you are playing. Moreover, strap locks are recommended in many cases. Some of the basic reasons are:
· Increased security: As mentioned, one of the main reasons why people put strap locks on their acoustic guitars is for increased security as it adds the safety you need. This is especially important if you are playing your guitar onstage or in a crowded area. With strap locks, you can rest assured that your guitar will not accidentally fall off your shoulder and get damaged.
· Prevents slippage: Another benefit of strap locks is that they can help to prevent your guitar from slipping off your shoulder. This is especially useful if you are playing your guitar for an extended period of time.
· Easy to install: Most strap locks are very easy to install and can be done in just a few minutes.
· Affordable: Strap locks are relatively affordable and can be found at most music stores.
If you are looking for increased security and peace of mind while playing your acoustic guitar, then strap locks may be a good option for you. There are more reasons why I say strap locks are important. Keep on reading to know more.
Why Strap Locks Are Important?
- Strap locks also make it easier to change acoustic guitars or even basses during a performance. Quick and easy strap changes can be a lifesaver when you’re in the middle of a set and need to switch instruments.
- Strap locks add a bit of style to your setup. Whether you’re looking for a subtle way to add some personality to your rig or want to make a bold statement, there’s a strap lock out there that’s perfect for you.
- They are simply more comfortable to use than standard strap buttons. They distribute the weight of your instrument more evenly, which can help reduce fatigue during long gigs.
- They offer better protection for your instrument. Standard strap buttons can loosen over time and eventually fall out, leading to costly repairs. Strap locks, on the other hand, stay put and keep your instrument safe.
- Finally, strap locks are an easy way to upgrade the look of your acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or bass without spending a lot of money. A new set of strap locks can completely change the look of your instrument, and they’re affordable enough that you can experiment with different styles without breaking the bank.
As you can see, the flexibility of using strap locks is too many, and every acoustic player needs this. Whether you’re a gigging musician or a casual player, having a locking strap is always helpful, and they’re a great investment that will keep your instrument safe and sound.
How To Install A Strap Lock On Your Acoustic Guitar? (Step-by-Step)
The first thing you need to do is to identify the location of where you will be placing your strap locks. This is because there are various areas on the guitar that can accommodate strap locks. However, it is recommended that you place the strap locks close to the bottom bout of the guitar, as this provides more stability. But if the output jack is placed at the tail end of the guitar, issues may arise.
Drill Bit Selection
The next thing you need to do is to select an appropriate drill bit. This is because you will need to use a drill to create the hole for the strap lock. It is recommended that you use a 3/16″ drill bit, as this provides a good balance between being large enough for the strap lock and small enough so that it does not split the wood.
Marking The Location
Once you have selected the location for the strap locks, you will need to mark the location. This is, so you know where to drill the hole. It is recommended that you use a pencil to mark the location, as this provides good contrast against the wood.
Drill Bit Measurement
After you have marked the location of where you will be placing the strap locks, you will need to take a measurement of the drill bit. This is because you need to make sure that the drill bit is long enough to go through the thickness of the guitar.
Drilling The Hole
Once you have measured the drill bit, you will need to drill the hole. This is so you can create the opening for the strap lock. It is recommended that you use a power drill, as this will make the process easier.
Installing The Strap Lock
After you have drilled the hole, you will need to install the strap lock. This is so you can secure the strap to the guitar. It is recommended that you use a washer and nut to secure the strap lock in place.
Tightening The Strap Lock
After you have installed the strap lock, you will need to tighten the strap button screw. This is so the strap lock is secure and will not come loose. It is recommended that you use a wrench to tighten the strap lock.
Testing The Strap Lock
After you have tightened the strap lock, you will need to test it. This is so you can make sure the strap lock is secure and will not come loose. To test the strap lock, you can try to pull on the strap or shake the guitar. Also, put the strap around/over the shoulder and strum some chords and check.
Would Any Strap Lock Is Suitable For Acoustic Guitar?
The answer to this question depends on the specific strap lock that you have in mind. Some strap locks are designed specifically for acoustic guitars, while others may be suitable for both acoustic and electric guitars.
But, I would recommend using the strap locks that are particularly made for acoustics for your acoustic guitar as they better grip the guitar, and you don’t need to worry about it coming loose and falling off.
If you’re looking for a good-quality strap lock that is specifically designed for acoustic guitars, I would recommend the MusicNomad MN270 Acousti-Lok (one of my favorite straplok that can work better than others). This particular strap lock is made from high-quality materials and is designed to provide a secure and snug fit on your acoustic guitar. You can also have a look at the MN271 Acousti-Lok.
As it combines the features of the output jack and strap button into one, you can use these on your acoustic guitar without permanently modifying these strap lock adapters can connect with the output jack with an offset strap lock button attached to it. So, no need to drill holes or make permanent modifications as it attaches to the guitar easily.
Schaller security locks are another great lock solution with a decent and high level of engineering and manufacturing that includes a strap lock button and strap pin. They look pretty similar to buttons on the neck of Breedlove guitars. The Schaller-style strap lock pin is one of the best in the business.
So, in answer to the question is – often, any strap lock is not suitable for acoustic guitars, but there are some that are specifically designed for them. I would recommend checking with the manufacturer of your chosen strap lock before using it on an acoustic guitar to be safe.
To smooth your learning journey about which one to choose, here are our top 3 recommendations for the best guitar strap locks with different designs to choose from, including the music nomad Acousti-Loks and Schaller security locks so that you can just get the locks and install them:
Best Strap Locks For Acoustic Guitar (Our Top 3 Picks)
- Fits All 3/8" x 32 Standard Thread Jacks
- Strong Solid Brass - Color-Black Finish
- Compatible With Most MARTIN Guitars with FISHMAN Electronics, TAYLOR Guitars up to 2002, SWITCHCRAFT Output Jacks, L.R. BAGGS Element Bronze.
- Requires installation and user to have knowledge on how to tighten jack if loose and potentially adjust output jack thread length to correctly position Acousti-Lok
- Will NOT fit metric thread jacks (L.R. BAGGS except their Element Bronze system takes a Standard Acousti-Lok MN270) or TAYLOR EXPRESSIONS System. Other Acousti-Lok part numbers are compatible with these designs
- Optional to Not use Strap Locks and Use our Strap Pin for Easier On-Off of Strap
- Renowned Brand that always has been the top quality manufacturer for strap locks.
- Security Locks.
- You will get strap locks with strap buttons as a pair.
- Color name: Chrome.
- Weight: 4 ounces.
- Dimension: 4.57 x 2.2 x 1.69 inches.
- 4.8 out of 5 stars Amazon user's rating.
- 1390+ positive customer feedback
- A must-have for thick straps.
- Professional level function - worth your money.
- Doesn't come with a hex wretch.
- PROTECT YOUR GUITAR: D'Addario Dual-Lock Strap Lock–protecting your instrument and your performance. Turn your favorite guitar strap into a locking guitar strap.
- NO ADDITIONAL HARDWARE: Affordable strap lock solution without the need to replace any hardware. Strap security at a low cost without needing to mod your guitar.
- NO MODIFICATIONS: Without the need for modification, the Dual-Lock clips onto your existing strap button to prevent your strap from releasing accidentally.
- EASY TO ATTACH: Attach your strap to your guitar, then simply clip the dual locks onto the strap button over the strap ends.
- SECURE YOUR CABLE: The Dual-Lock can be clipped onto your instrument cable, securing your cable to prevent the plug from being pulled unintentionally from the input jack. Simply pull the bridge end strap lock open and pull the cable through.
You can also opt for the dual-design Dunlop Strap Retainer System, which has over 3,500 positive feedback.
Are Strap Locks Permanent?
Strap locks are not permanent, and you can be removed at any time. They are easy to install as well as easy to remove, so you can take them off when you need to. If you need to remove the strap lock, you can do so by loosening the nut with a wrench. Just unscrew the strap pins from your strap lock, and once the nut is loose, you can remove the strap lock from the guitar. It’s that simple!
How To Use Strap Locks?
Strap locks are an essential part of any musician’s kit, and knowing how to use them properly can mean the difference between a great performance and a disaster. Here are some tips on how to use strap locks:
1. Make sure that the lock is tight enough. You don’t want it to come loose during your performance.
2. Be careful not to overtighten the lock. This can damage your instrument or cause the strap to break.
3. If you’re using multiple locks, make sure that they are all tightened to the same degree. This will prevent one lock from coming loose while the others stay tight.
4. When putting on the strap, make sure that the locks are in the correct position. If they’re not, they may come loose during your performance.
5. Always double-check that the locks are tightened before you start playing. This will help prevent any accidents.
By following these tips, you can be sure that your strap locks will stay secure during your performance. With a little practice, using strap locks will become second nature, and you’ll be able to focus on your playing, not on your gear.
Strap Locks Installing Tips
When installing strap locks, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the locks are the right size for your straps. Strap locks come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to get the right fit. Second, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Improper installation can damage your strap or guitar. Finally, be sure to test the locks before using them. This will ensure that they are secure and won’t come loose during use. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to install strap locks quickly and easily.
Strap Locks Maintenance Tips
1. Inspect your strap locks regularly to make sure they are in good working condition.
2. If you notice any damage or wear, replace the lock right away.
3. When not in use, store your strap locks in a dry, clean place.
4. Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures, humidity, and direct sunlight.
5. Keep your strap locks away from chemicals and other harsh agents that could damage them.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your strap locks in good condition and ensure they work properly when you need them.
Why Do Some Players/Collectors Avoid Strap Locks On Their Acoustic Guitars?
There are a few reasons that some collectors avoid using strap locks, even though they can be very helpful in keeping your guitar securely attached to your strap. Some people feel that the locks can damage the finish on their guitars, while others worry that the locks will come loose and cause the guitar to fall.
The locks work by clamping down on the strap, and many think over time, this can wear down the finish or even cause chips and scratches. If you’re worried about damaging your guitar’s finish, you might want to consider using soft pads or covers on the inside of the lock where it comes in contact with the guitar.
Some also worried that the locks would come loose and cause the guitar to fall. While it’s true that any kind of lock can come loose over time, strap locks are designed to be very secure. If you’re concerned about the locks coming loose, you can always check them periodically to make sure they’re still tight.
Especially for collectors, there are many examples when we see they are avoiding the strap locks. This is because installing strap locks on an antique and expensive acoustic that doesn’t initially come already installed loses originality, which causes the devaluation of the particular instrument.
9 Cheaper/Homemade Alternatives To Strap Locks
You can use washers as an inexpensive and effective way to keep your guitar strap held in place. All you need is a few washers of the same size, and you can thread them through the holes on your strap. This will create a snug fit that will keep your strap from slipping.
2. Elastic Bands
Elastic bands are another great way as well. You can find them at any office supply store, and they’re very affordable. Simply loop the elastic band around the strap, and you’re good to go!
3. Rubber Bands
Rubber bands are another great alternative option. They’re very affordable, and you can find them at any grocery store. Simply loop the rubber band around the strap, and you’re all set!
4. Grolsch Beer Bottle Cap
This is a great way to keep your guitar strap in place, and it’s also very stylish! All you need is a Grolsch beer bottle cap. Simply screw the bottle cap onto the strap, and you’re all set!
A few hairpins of the same size can do the trick as well, and you can thread them through the holes on your strap. This will create a snug fit that will keep your strap held in place.
6. Zip Ties
They’re very strong, so they’ll definitely keep your strap in place as well. Plus, they’re very affordable, and you can find them at any hardware store.
Glue is a great way to keep your guitar strap in place. All you need is a small amount of glue, and you can apply it to the back of your strap. This will create a strong bond that will keep your strap from sliding.
Get a small piece of tape, and you are good to go. You can apply it to the back of your strap.
Finally, you can also use wire. Simply wrap it around the strap, and you’re all set!
Now that you know 9 cheaper/homemade alternatives to strap locks, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. So, you can definitely go ahead and try them out!
Q. Are strap locks changeable after installation?
Strap locks are changeable after installation. This means that you can replace the strap lock if it becomes damaged or if you want to change the style of the lock. To do this, you will need to remove the old lock and then install the new one in its place.
Q. Is it a good idea to put strap locks?
Playing guitar without being comfortable can be overwhelming. Adding strap locks are a great way to keep you comfortable and your guitar safe and secure. They are easy to install and remove, and they provide an extra layer of protection against thieves as well.
Q. Are strap locks to your acoustic guitar worth it?
There is no definitive answer to this question since it depends on personal preferences and needs. Some guitarists may find that strap locks are worth the investment because they provide extra security and peace of mind, while others may not feel the need for them. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide whether strap locks are worth the cost.
An acoustic guitar strap lock is one of the important guitar accessories to have for your acoustic guitar. They keep the instrument secure while you’re playing, and they can also help protect it from accidental damage. There are a variety of different strap lock systems on the market, as you can see above, so you can find one that’s perfect for your needs.
If you’re not sure how to install them, we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide. Once they’re installed, make sure to take care of them properly so they’ll last as long as possible. And if you’re ever worried about their safety, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives out there that will do the trick. So don’t wait any longer – put strap locks on your acoustic guitar today!
So, there you have it. That’s everything you need to know in this guide. Thanks for reading.
James B. Laskowski was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He has been working as an acoustic and classical guitar expert at Instrument Insight for over 5 years. In this time, he has gained a great understanding of acoustic and classical guitars and gears, their materials, build quality, playability, and versatility. James also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of many acoustic and classical guitar brands.