Proper Strap Height?

I’ve got to admit, 3 months in, I still can not figure out what the right strap height for my guitar is. I know I’ve got it wrong. I’m positive it’s just not right because my shoulder hurts and everything the internet says is that if the strap is adjusted properly this shouldn’t be the case.

Then again, the internet also gives the golden advice that you should adjust your guitar strap sitting down, so that it will be at the same height standing up, and I can’t help but think: ‘clearly this advice was not written with boobs in mind. 🙂 ‘  Because, when I do this, and then stand up, the guitar is now higher up than when I was sitting down.  And the strap being adjusted so short is A) hellishly uncomfortable, and B) made me clock myself in the head again trying to take it off. Yes, this is the SECOND TIME that I have clocked myself in the head with a guitar.

At least this time, I didn’t draw blood.

Now, I know it’s not supposed to be slung super low a la Slash.  But I don’t see how shortening the strap so much it feels like it’s crowding my chin is helpful either. (BTW, my eyebrow might turn black and blue. Thank you, shitty internet advice that doesn’t take my clumsiness into account). But somewhere, somewhere in between those two extremes is a sweet spot I can’t seem to find.  I’m short (5’4), with long arms for my height.  I’m thinking (maybe erroneously??) that the slightly disproportionate length of my arms is throwing the advice off.   I can figure I need to angle the neck up and the body down to minimize tension in my fretting hand from bending my wrist at weird angles.  What I can’t figure is to what degree, and how low I need the body to hang to accommodate the longer arm length, where my elbow is supposed to sit relative to the body of the guitar.  This is really important stuff that I feel like is going to make my practice so much easier to figure out, but it’s still a complete enigma to me.

And, every time  I tweak the guitar’s position, everything is clumisness and mystery for the next several minutes as if I’ve never touched the guitar before that second. (I do acclimate fairly quickly, but it always feels like starting from scratch.)  Can not figure this one out, and all the advice I’m reading is telling me to adjust the strap to a height that is so uncomfortable my guitar feels like a bib.

This stupid thing should not be this hard! 😦

Until next time, height matters, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out WHAT height.

2 thoughts on “Proper Strap Height?

  1. You’re the same height as my wife. If she ever gets around to trying out the righty bass that one of our friends left with us, then I’ll see if we can help you figure out a workable height. But, in the meantime, look at those videos from Adam Neely that I mentioned a while ago. He’s really smart, and they focus on ergonomics for the right and left hand, including elbow placement. Its something to do while having a snack – I used to watch those over breakfast quite a bit.


    1. Yeah, I think it’s not just height, but dimensions. I’ve been watching videos upon videos on the subject. Just something that requires a bit of ironing out. I do think the right-left hand ergonomics has something to do with it, plus the weight of the guitar, plus probably tension in the upper back and shoulders. I don’t have this problem with the bass. It’s only the guitar giving me an issue, so there’s something to that that is specifically guitar related that I need to figure out.


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