Acoustic guitars are very tricky when it comes to straps.
More so if we talk about strap locks. There are actually no universal solutions for acoustic guitars when it comes to preventing straps from coming undone.
Thankfully there are some alternatives for those who want to keep their instruments safely attached to them.
If you just want to know what my favorite alternatives for doing so are, here is a top 3:
My top 3 strap locks for acoustic guitars are:
- Music Nomad Acousti-Lok
- D’Addario Clinch Fit
- D’Addario Auto Lock
For those who want a deeper dive into this topic, in this article, I will talk about everything you need to know about strap locks. I will justify why my choices are the ones above, and I will even give you some cheap homemade alternatives.
Are you ready to get started?
Are strap locks worth it?
It depends on how strong is your spider-sense really. If you have a reliable sixth sense that lets you catch your guitar every time the strap comes undone, congrats, Peter, you shouldn’t waste money on strap locks.
In my opinion, strap locks are worth it for every guitar player since the traditional strap button and strap hole system is archaic and very prone to failure. A strap lock, for very little money, will give you the security that your guitar strap would never slide off the pin.
How do strap locks work?
There are many kinds of strap locks, and they all work differently. All of them are engineered very cleverly. The common purpose of all of them is to act as a stop between the strap and the strap button. They lock the strap in place so it could never slide off unless the strap lock is removed first.
Would any strap lock fit an acoustic guitar?
No, not any strap lock system would fit an acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitar strap buttons differ among models and are different from electric guitar ones. You should do your own research to determine which strap lock would fit your acoustic guitar without modifications.
Do I have to drill to install strap locks?
In some cases, you will have to drill your acoustic to add an extra strap button at the bottom since many acoustic guitar strap buttons won’t fit strap locks. There are also specific strap locks designed to be installed without modding. These last ones are, in my opinion, the best ones.
My top 3 strap locks for acoustic guitar
Strap locks for acoustic are hard to find. Thankfully you can now order them online and just forget about it. A few years ago this was not the case, and they were an expert secret.
As I said before, strap buttons on acoustics differ from model to model, my recommendations try to be universal, but I recommend you do your due diligence before buying.
Here are my top 3 strap locks for acoustic guitar:
1. Music Nomad Acousti-Lok
Music Nomad is a guitar accessory brand that took upon the difficult task of designing a strap lock that would work for different models of acoustic guitars.
Well, not really, it’s just that they couldn’t design a one-fits-all solution. At the moment they have 3 different models of strap locks on their site.
These are excellently engineered and I recommend you get the one that works for your acoustic as soon as possible.
2. D’Addario Clinch Fit
I’m a big fan of D’Addario’s engineering ideas, and the clinch fit is just something wonderful.
This contraption would most likely work with any acoustic. Again if you are not sure, I recommend you send an email to them to double-check.
The Clinch Fit grips the strap button tightly and gives you an anchor point so you can attach your favorite strap to it.
A very elegant solution for an annoying problem.
3. D’Addario Auto Lock
To be honest, I’m not sure if the Auto Lock would fit every acoustic. It’s a simpler design than the Clinch Fit, but it should work as well.
You should check if your acoustic strap button has enough clearance for this one to work, but if it does, it would be as great of a choice as any of the other options in this post.
Bonus. The StrapKeeper
While researching this article I stumbled upon the StrapKeeper an incredibly simple design from TapaString.
I recommend you visit their website to learn more about it.
Bonus. Strap Jack
I don’t know if the Strap Jack is widely available, but the idea behind it is as simple as it could get.
Electroacoustics when plugged in doesn’t have strap problems, since the plug itself stops the strap from sliding off.
The Strap Jack acts as a dummy plug for when you want to use a strap while unplugged.
As simple as that.
Are strap locks permanent?
Strap locks are not permanent and you can revert to the original strap buttons of your guitar at any time. The installation difficulty might differ between models, but all of the better-known models are installed in a non-destructive, completely reversible way. Try them out with no worries.
Can I change my strap after installing strap locks?
No, In all cases I can imagine your strap will be locked once you installed the strap locks. This doesn’t mean that this is a permanent situation, you can always uninstall the locks to change the strap. However, this is inconvenient and I’d recommend you decide on a nice strap before the installation.
9 cheaper, or even homemade alternatives to strap locks
I don’t want to brag or make you cry, but growing up in a poor country with very low availability of import guitar accessories makes you tap into your creativity to solve guitar issues very often.
Here is a list of 9 alternatives to strap locks I came up with:
Metal washers are the cheapest and most common alternative to strap locks. You just undo your strap button screw, add a washer between the button and your strap, and install it again altogether. You’re done.
An alternative I can imagine is cutting a gap on the washer, so it ends in a horseshoe shape and you can slide it on and off on top of your strap to make a movable mechanism.
2. Grolsch beer bottle cap
The red rubber of the bottle cap of a Grolsch beer can be used as a great strap block, here is a video showing you how
3. Elastic bands
This is a more wacky one. Just jam your strap in place with as many elastic bands as you can find.
You can use a hairpin to make the hole of your strap grip the button tighter. Here you can see how:
5. Sewing the strap hole once in place
Just install the strap and with a heavy-duty needle and some thread you could sew the strap hole so it fits very tight.
6. Zip ties
Same philosophy as with plastic bands, just zip tie the situation away until the strap is completely locked in place.
A messy one here, but if you don’t care about the looks of your guitar, or maybe its looks are messy, you could try different kinds of glue to just lock the strap in place.
Same as with zip ties or washers, just make a tight ring of wire between the strap and the strap button and nothing would ever slide there.
Good old duct tape will always work for keeping things in place. Just go crazy with it. Really.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.