I played a set at Arnie’s Café (www.arniescafe.com) in Tujunga last night. Mark “Pocket” Goldberg (www.myspace.com/pocketgoldberg) has put together a songwriter’s evening there and it is always a good hang. The band includes the estimable Debra Dobkin (www.debradobkin.com) on percussion and Nick Kirgo, (www.facebook.com/nicholaskirgo) who was wonderful on lead guitar. They are great players and they back up whoever sits in and they do a lot of their own stuff as well.
When I entered the Cafe, I ran into an dear friend of mine and a great vocalist, Scottie Haskell, (www.myspace.com/scottiehaskell )daughter of the talented and venerated Jimmie Haskell (www.jimmiehaskell.com,) who arranged among other things, the strings on Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waters (www.simonandgarfunkel.com)
She had a beautiful Martin guitar (www.martinguitar.com) with her and as I played the guitar I noticed that she had the strap on the neck of the guitar, up by the tuning pegs.
As it hung from my shoulders, I had difficulty accessing the first frets of the guitar, and I realized that I had seen many people arranging their straps on their guitars in that fashion thru the years.
They attach the one end to the strap pin at the bottom of the guitar and then they tie the other end of the strap onto the neck at the tuning peg end.
Many people also don’t seem to realize that you have to adjust the length so that the guitar is in the best place to make it easiest for you to play it. Experiment with that until you find the best place for you.
And one other thing. Make certain that the strap is wide enough where it goes over your shoulder to not dig into your shoulder. Three hours of playing with a pencil thin strap across your shoulder and you’ll tell an inquisitor anything.
Now to attaching the strap to the guitar.
As I player, I would like to recommend to you that you don’t do it that way. It limits your access to the neck and it also creates tuning problems as you play the guitar.
The weight of your hand and arm and the movement of your body against the strap tied to the machine head move the neck back and forth and you will always have slight tuning problems throughout a song.
I have a strap pin that is attached to the curve of the neck on the underside where it attaches to the body of the guitar.
That way the guitar hangs perfectly from your body and you have complete access to the neck of the guitar and no tuning problems that aren’t genetic.
If you are loathe to have a hole drilled into your guitar and a pin inserted there, then try sitting down and playing and not using a strap.
One other thing, if you do decide to have a strap pin attached where I recommend, please have it done by a reputable luthier or guitar repair shop.
And you might also inquire whether the aforementioned strap pin attachment will devalue your instrument.
Then decide whether you have an investment or an instrument that you want to play.