When was the last time you shopped for a guitar strap? No really…like literally picked up a guitar at your local music store and went over to the very populated strap rack and tried straps on. You know the racks…there’s like a hundred straps to flip through. Every color, style, width and flavor you could hope for…endless choices, because somehow that makes it easier, right… and then it happens. You just grab one…check the price…strap it on and do the whole neck push and pull to see if the strap sticks or slides….pull off a couple of your best riffs (and hope someone is listening)…and that’s about it.
Unfortunately we are now living in a new era of music and media…where the persona of the guitar player is changing. It is not enough to just have fabulous tone and great licks. Just watch YouTube. Talent is everywhere. So how do you set yourself apart in this age of mass exposure? Well, it really comes down to your persona, your story and all the things that make the character that you are. It literally is like being cast in the role of YOU…in the movie of your life. What makes you different…cool and likeable, or mysterious….or dark? What is going to set you apart? Well...I venture to say that even though this may be a normal practice, I believe guitar straps have long been the afterthought for guitar players. Yes, that’s right…I’m talking to you. I know because I am a player too. I was once guilty of this very thing…I mean it’s not like your strap is going to make you play better…it’s not going to give you better tone….and hey, why spend a lot of money on them when you need pedals and amps and MORE GEAR!!!!
Well, it is time to make a statement. Something bold and courageous, or subtle and minimalist…laid back or INTENSE! Whatever the statement is, it has to say YOU! Stevie Ray Vaughn is a perfect example. Everything he wore, from his hat, his bracelets, his shirts….and yes, his GUITAR STRAP said something about HIM…and it all worked together to create his persona…and to tell HIS story!!
So, next time you are standing at the rack of endless guitar straps…think about YOU!! Are any of these straps going to help tell your story? Remember, in this climate of mass exposure where talent is seemingly around every cyber corner…You have to set yourself apart…you have to be seen!! A great strap can help you not only be seen, but tell the story of YOU. Maybe you have to spend more money….or seek out that custom maker to get your dream strap realized…but remember, a great strap can last a lifetime…they can last from tour to tour…they can help IDENTIFY you and help you to stick out in the sea of endless and great players.
So, go for it…don’t just settle for a plain and cheap strap…don’t just go with a functional commodity…invest in art and let your gear start telling your story….and all you have to do is Play the music!!!