Instant Guitar Strap




Introduction: Instant Guitar Strap

About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...

Problems with guitar straps:
They cost money and are big. Vinyl parts on guitar straps are famous for removing the finish from guitars. It might fall off the little buttons on your guitar and wreck your instrument while you bicycle through traffic. The buckles might scratch your guitar in the bag. They might make clicking sounds on something right in the middle of your perfect solo take.

Here's a quick strap that has none of these flaws. You can make it out of almost anything.
It's easy to adjust and very secure.

Step 1: The Tail End of the Strap

Find a chunk of strap a meter or a bit longer.
Find a couple of pieces of string a few decimeters long. (yay decimeters!)
Shoestring would be plenty strong. I'm using thousand-kilogram dyneema here.

Fold the end of the strap over and sew it, making a loop. If that's too much trouble you can just copy the head-end knots starting in step 4, which don't involve any sewing.

Or if you've got a leather belt from a fat person or a really long belt from the 80's, just poke a hole through the end.

Step 2: Surgeons Knot

Put a piece of string through the strap loop and tie it with a surgeon's knot.
It's just like a square knot but with an extra turn on the second half-hitch.
It's less likely ton untie by itself than a square knot. This dyneema is slippery.

"Mud Lake" is the most popular name for lakes in Minnesota.
"Surgeon's knot" is probably the most common name for many different knots.
If you know this knot by another name, please comment.

Step 3: Hitch It to the Tail Peg Button

Loop the string into a clove hitch and hook it onto the tailpiece button.
"American Boy's Handy Book" calls it a "builder's hitch".

Step 4: Head End

Poke your other cord under the strings at the head end of the neck.
Tie it into a loop with a surgeon's knot just like before.
Then form it into a lark's head knot as seen here.

Maybe your guitar has a button at the other end of the body. You can tie your loop there, or tie it higher on the head by the tuners. I like to do it this way so it lies flat on my back when I'm carrying it.

Step 5: Larks Head Adjustments

Pull it snug and it's very secure.
But you can grip the knot and slide it up and down the strap very easily.

That's it!
You've got the best guitar strap money can't buy!



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    15 Discussions


    First thing I thought of was the "head crab" from the video game "half life". I was like OMG, guitar playing head-crab zombies! :)

    My hoser friend calls that knot a "hockey knot"--keeps the ol' ice skates laced up nice and tight, eh?

    If you add that extra twist when you tie shoes laces, you get shoes that stay tied all day.

    Ah you deciteful swine.... I really thought that was a guitar until it convinced me otherwise.... Clever...

    1 reply

    o my GOd, american boys handi book pwns. haha. When I was little, i loved fire(well, still do) so my copy's binding is broken at the page about ovens.

    I bought a "How to knit" kit with a little starter DVD (sooo FN basic... how to get the yarn on the needles and a row of stitch..) and the (I am screaming with frustration at the stupidity of it all... But they had lots of PIX and large page sections of badly worded wordings on how to knit the stitch... And the sequence of the needle, yarn and stitch start and finished row, were so broad... I'd be scratching my head going "How in the hell did they get from this to this?" DESIGNED by idiots..... and it was a 90 magazine series, at only $8 per issues..... yeah sure. One issue with needles, yarn, DVD and pox mag. No more. So thanks for doing LARGE SIMPLE CLEAR PICTURES of how to tie the knots.

    It's pretty close to a reef knot. But with a reef knot, you go left over right, under, right over left, and pull. Surgeon's has an extra twist.