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Locking in the (straplock) free world!

Locking in the (straplock) free world! I’m sure we’ve all been there, you look down at your strap attached to the horn of your guitar and it’s clinging on for dear life. You adjust your body shape like a contortionist mid song just to try and wriggle that little bit more material back onto the strap button.

Now whether you’re somebody who likes to jump about on stage like a man possessed or not, its be nice to be safe in the knowledge your favourite guitar isn’t going to be lying on the floor in pieces after your strap popped off the strap button.

Guitar playing is physical, it’s emotional and no matter how lively we may or may not be on stage, you’re going to be moving about and this increases the likelihood of your strap coming loose. Straplocks are a popular and easy modification many players like to make to their guitars and basses to overcome this issue.

This guy could have done with some sort of strap locks... skip to 1m 15s and you'll see what I mean.

But what if you just don’t want to change the hardware on your guitar? Some people like to keep their guitars in their original states.  Some straplock systems may require your existing strap button hole to be changed in size to accommodate the new straplocks. Also some vintage instruments just don’t suit such modern modifications and for most of us, the thought of taking a Black & Decker drill to our guitar is enough to wake up in a cold sweat.

Or what if you want to use the same strap for different guitars?  Unless all those guitars are fitted with the same strap lock mechanism, it can be a bit of a pain. Luckily there are some alternatives out there that offer the same solution and are both less intrusive and easier on the wallet too;


Fender Security Strap Blocks

These little guys are small rubber rings that fit tightly over your existing strap button effectively trapping your strap on.  They’re cheap and a simple alternative but are extremely effective.  Since stocking these we’ve noticed many famous players using similar things such as Brian May, John Mayer and Joe Bonamassa (in fact JB has his very own brand of these…of course he does!)  We’ve even heard people recycling the washers used as seals on Grolsch beer bottles…perfect excuse for nipping down the offy we think!

Jim Dunlop Lok Strap Retainer System

Jim Dunlop’s solution to the issue is slightly different to the Fender Security Blocks but offers the same result.

Once your strap is on your guitar, this small plastic contraption is placed over the strap button and as you turn the inner ring, this closes the area and secures tightly around the strap button. The Jim Dunlop version may be a more suited option for those people with a strap button with a slightly wider flange. Again no modification needed and an excellent alternative to straplocks.

(I spy with my little eye, something beginning with E… )


D’Addario Dual-Lock Strap Lock

D’Addario’s solution again is a nice alternative to strap security. The Dual-Lock Strap Lock is designed to be fitted after you have put your strap on and slides onto your strap button. A neat little addition the guys at D’Addario have come up with is the small area underneath the hole to clip onto your guitar cable. This lets you keep your cable close to your guitar and reduces the likelihood of the jack being pulled out of your jack socket. Double bubble….we like it!



Strap Locks built into straps - you what??

Yep, strap manufacturers have gone one further and created straps with built in strap lock systems. There are several options out there;


Ernie Ball Poly Lock

The new Ernie Ball Poly Lock Strap fits over your button and a small pull up is all that you need to snap the strap securely onto your strap button. Easy Peasy!

Planet Waves Lock Straps

Similarly, to the Jim Dunlop Lok Straps, Planet Waves have effectively built their own version into the ends of their Planet Lock Straps.  You simply pop the end over your current end pin, spin the wheel on the side which closes up the gap and secures the strap onto your instrument. The nice thing about the Planet Lock is you have to press a small button to actually spin the wheel the other way so no chance of the wheel opening up when you’re moving about. Always nice to have that extra peace of mind!

Planet Waves Pad Lock Strap

Planet Waves’ second offering is the PadLock Guitar Strap; their take on the rubber ring solution. The strap fits on as normal, but there’s a small rubber tab on the leather end that goes over the strap button acting as extra security.

Lock-it are another strap manufacturer who specialise in this kind of strap and well worth checking out.

Completely non-intrusive, these straps allow you to simply pop your strap on, and get on with playing without the need to worry about whether your strap is going to pop off easier than Barbara Windsor’s Bra in Carry-On Camping. We think they’re a great all-in-one solution. The only thing is that you may be limited on is the designs of the straps offered. That being said, if you love your current strap but just want a nice economical means of securing it to your instrument, one of the other options above may be more suited to your needs.

We hope this has opened up some alternative options for you guys to the straplocks on the market today. Of course, if you require any further advice on this topic or any other guitar related issue, feel free to drop us a line and we'll always be happy to try and help out wherever possible.


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