Introducing the D’Addario Auto Lock Guitar Strap
As guitar players, we’ve all had this recurring nightmare…. you wake up in a cold sweat as you dreamt your brand new guitar slipped off your strap and crashed to the floor! Well, for many us, unfortunately this nightmare has been a very real experience.
Whether you’re a keen bedroom player or love to play live (well, that’s a sore subject for a lot of us at the moment!) keeping your guitar strap on your guitar may seem like a pretty insignificant problem! That is, until it happens to you! It’s a heart breaking moment as you slowly watch your strap and guitar part ways with each other as there’s seemingly nothing you can do to but look on in horror.
No doubt this has happened to us all once in our guitar playing career (and if it hasn’t yet, count yourself very lucky indeed!). However, when it does, it’s usually the time we start to scour the internet for ways to prevent it from happening again.
Luckily, there are plenty of solutions out there ranging from sophisticated strap lock systems all the way through to more crude and inexpensive methods such as using the rubber washers from swing top beer bottles. God bless Grolsch!!
Strap locks are an extremely popular and relatively inexpensive modification to make to your guitar with some guitar manufacturers including them as standard on their models. However, whilst straplock systems are popular and a marvellous innovation, some of the options out there aren’t for everybody.
For example, players with vintage guitars are often loathed to change any of the original hardware on their guitars as many systems often require the strap buttons to be changed. In quite a lot of cases, there’s often a small amount of drilling required to accommodate a larger screw. If you’re not overly comfortable with a power drill in your hand, it’s likely that just the mere mention of the words ‘drill’ and ‘guitar’ in the same sentence can make your hands go all clammy!
Whilst you may only know D’Addario as a string manufacturer, they’ve always been ahead of the curve when it comes to innovating guitar hardware and accessories too!
Over the years they’ve designed several strap locking solutions with their latest release being the Auto Lock strap.
Designed in conjunction with the inimitable Ned Steinberger, the Auto Lock strap features a spring-loaded latch that’s built into the strap itself, so no need for a separate straplock system and definitely no need to change any strap buttons… it’s all there within the strap itself! And we must admit, it’s a pretty neat bit of engineering!
Auto Lock is incredibly quick and easy to use. Strap buttons can vary in shape in size but the integrated locking system has been designed to work seamlessly with the vast majority of buttons found on most guitars. We tried the strap on several different button types (flared, straight, narrow, wide) and it performed very well on all of them. The Auto Lock’s spring-loaded latch automatically clamps down on the strap button and will not release until you lift the catch. More playing and less worrying… we like that!!
D’Addario UK’s Adam Ironside spoke of the development process for the Auto Lock strap;
“We ran through a bunch of designs that Ned (Steinberger) had come up with for strap locking solutions. Some of them made their way into our other products (such as the Universal Strap Lock System) but the one we were all blown away by, is what would become Auto Lock….
“We initially rolled out a small, two-hundred piece BETA sampling project in the US and the feedback was so overwhelming and positive, we felt obligated to launch full steam ahead into designing and producing the Auto Lock range.”
The Auto Lock range is now available in seven different colours so that you can mix and match them up with each of your guitars. We’ve been very impressed with them and it’s not just the locking system that should be shouted about! The woven nylon material is super soft and comfortable and we can see that this would only improve in time as the strap gets more worn in. A big tick from us here at Strings Direct 🙂