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Straps vs. Pickguards

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RickyWoo, May 10, 2018.

  1. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    I like to buy basses for what they are. Some like to buy basses and change their look. I've seen more pickguard threads on here than any other topic, when people are trying to give their bass a facelift.... That said, what about picking out something as simple as a complementary strap instead of changing the the look of instrument itself? I have a black and maple P bass with a plain old w/b/w pickguard... Popped a sweet blue/red/white jacquard strap on it and BAM!! Perfect. Straps don't get a lot of love here but I think they're my number on priority when it comes to accessorizing and accenting a bass' appearance. So what about others? Do you keep your bass stock and dress it up with a well thought out strap instead? No slight on pickguard swaps here either. I like the look of a lot of people's choices, I'm just wondering if anyone out there takes my approach.

    Picture for reference. And to show off my beautiful bass ;)


  2. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Each bas & guitar (& my one mandolin)-has its own strap--because they have the strap knobs in different places & are different sizes & shapes it's better to have one strap for each.
    And each strap is chosen for the guitar or bass--either it matches or it's a pleasing contrast.
    Mvilmany, viper4000 and RickyWoo like this.
  3. dmt


    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    Each of my basses and guitars (well, electrics anyway) have their own straps, too.

    With my instruments, I try to keep ‘em nice looking (though of course time leaves it’s marks as appropriate), but in contrast, I typically go for a kind of beat up aesthetic with the straps. Still, in my mind each compliments its instrument in some way. Part of it I guess is that all my straps are leather, so with a lot of them I end up working on breaking them in like with a baseball glove
    zontar and RickyWoo like this.
  4. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    I'm right there with you on the leather straps and having them worked in. I literally use glove oil. Love new leather but it's got to be worked in when there's 8lbs on my shoulder for multiple hours.
    dmt likes this.
  5. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    Ive only had one strap for the last 10 years or so. I mean, I have some of the cheap ones lying around just in case, but I like what my faux-leopard strap does to my basses. It is actually hairy, not imprinted.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  6. a-37


    Apr 23, 2015
    I have so far not bought a bass or guitar to suit a strap I had bought previously but I do make sure I have the strap for it when or before I buy a new bass. Sometimes a strap moves from one instrument to another, though. The orphan then waits until I find a suitable strap for it.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  7. Ghastly


    Oct 18, 2015
    Mill Valley
    Agreed. Each of my 5 basses has it's own unique strap.
    dmt and RickyWoo like this.
  8. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    Each of my basses has its own strap...2-1/2” wide black leather. Of the two that have pickguards, they are black as well.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  9. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    My old padded "Ed Roman Guitars" strap makes any bass look great; sound wonderful; and play like buttah...:roflmao:
    RickyWoo likes this.
  10. Kriegs

    Kriegs Peace

    Feb 14, 2018
    Southern New England
    I have one strap with Shaller strap locks attached and all my basses and guitars have the Shaller strap button that matches their hardware color, so switching instruments is as easy as, muting my amp, pulling the cable (which is attached to my strap along with my wired IEM cable) from the output jack and pulling the two strap lock releases while a roadie catches the instrument and then hands me the next victim for me to strangle :confused: ... I mean, instrument to play :bassist:
    RickyWoo likes this.
  11. mikeoso

    mikeoso Acoustic Curmudgeon

    Feb 14, 2014
    eastern Iowa
    I buy 3" wide 6 oz leather strap, cut to length, trim, and punch holes. An empty .38 or 9 mm casing does well for regular pins, a .45 works for the jack end. I choose color and finish to complement each bass or guitar.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  12. I like one style of strap. Each of my basses and guitars has one in its case, adjusted to the appropriate length.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  13. Morrighan

    Morrighan Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Isle of Everywhere
    The strap that came new with my bass is the only strap I owned and usd until I joined TB. A black number in leather and cotton weave, it's comfortality is exceeded only by it's age ... an actual relic'd strap if you will. (The bass relic'd itself too, and so, apparently, did I.)

    She who picked up the bass again in retirement took notice of the rattiness of the strap (no offense to rats), and thus started the search for the perfect strap for a heavy bass.

    [/rant] Paying a lot of attention to my body right now because that's what's mine to do. As I use a new musician's throne, I pay close attention to all of my body, my position and the position of the bass that feels best. What I observe is if the strap fails to properly cushion my clavicle, I an present to pain in my shoulder. The padded strap I bought to "upgrade" the original Music Man strap is the worst offender here. The combination of the relative lack of suppleness of the leather and the low malleability of the padding means it does not Go To The Head of The Class. [/rant]

    Still looking for my "look" the same way I'm always "searching for the sound." It's all part of how I intend to presence myself. How my rig appears; how my bass appears; how I appear is all part of the same.

    Current iteration of bass + strap + pickguard =

    Last edited: May 11, 2018
    MuffledBoomy and RickyWoo like this.
  14. codiak


    Mar 16, 2017
    Madison, Wisconsin
    My girlfriend got me a Couch strap that I put strap locks on and use on all my basses now. This mustang I left stock but I have one I also changed the pickguard on as well as my P. But I use this strap on all of them. I do have a comfort strap I used before this as a back up but mostly I use the Couch strap.

    RickyWoo likes this.
  15. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    All of my basses have Dunlop strap locks. I have one really nice comfortable padded leather strap. But I keep one of the $2 nylon jobs in each case and gig bag just in case.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  16. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I've got separate straps too. The thing about a strap is, it's next to your clothes more than the bass. The idea is for it to go with both.
    RickyWoo likes this.
  17. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Mine are all leather or suede, except for my Mandobird one--the leather ones I use aren't short enough for it
    So it was an adjustable nylon type one--with a bandana sewn onto it.
    dmt and RickyWoo like this.
  18. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    Those Mustangs get me every time. Love them!

    I really like Couch's business model. They've got a great selection too.
  19. Brio


    Mar 10, 2013
    Kansas City

    Strap has to complinent the bass for me.
    dmt, Ghastly and walldaja like this.
  20. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I'm all for nice straps.
    I even make sure to turn around on stage every once in a while so the crowd can see my back.
    1o7hjb.jpg 50388.jpg 23h7ez5.jpg
    dmt and RickyWoo like this.

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