Straplocks Are Essential
Straplocks are an important addition to any bass guitar, especially if you’re out there gigging regularly.
Attaching a regular old strap to a regular old strap peg is OK if you’re going to be sat down playing at home, but the minute that you stand up and start moving around, at some point you’re gonna find that the strap comes loose and it always tends to fall off at the worst possible moment.
The most common form of strap lock are those made popular by Schaller and Dunlop:
However don’t for one minute think that these are the perfect solution and that your strap’s never going to fall off again.
I’ve been using strap locks for more than 25 years and in that time I have had a few of them fail on me. Sometimes it can be just a screw thread that wears away or a locking mechanism just becomes loose.
There are loads of ways that these can fail on you but don’t worry, for the most part they are OK and any form of strap lock is infinitely better than nothing.
The Problem With Straplocks
The failing of a strap lock isn’t actually my main issue with them. I have three other main concerns:
One… They’re fairly expensive for what they are. Schaller’s can be anything up to around the $20 mark on amazon which can be enough to put some people off.
Two… You often have to change the strap pegs on your bass and rely on the new screw and smaller peg for the locks to work. Not a massive problem but some people don’t really want to be messing around with their new shiny hardware.
Three… Metal strap locks can rattle from time to time and when I’m recording video with a lavalier mic, it’s really easy to have all that noise coming through on the audio.
Beer To The Rescue!
So my top tip for the day is to save your money and use the bottle top washers from the ceramic stoppers you find on bottles of Grolsch beer. They’re made of strong rubber and they’re perfect for fitting over a regular strap peg.
Just fit the strap as standard and then just pop the washers over the top. They’ll probably be a little tight while fitting but that’s how you want it. Hey presto, no more strap locks, no more rattle.
One way to get your hands on these washers is to just buy good old bottles of Grolsch but that can actually be an expensive way of doing it, especially if you don’t like beer.
If you DO like Grolsch then go for it. For every bottle that you buy you’ll save the life of a bass. But if you want to just buy a bunch of these in one go you can buy them in packs from places like Amazon. I bought a pack of twelve for just a couple of pounds.
Fender sell the same style washers but they’re branded with the logo on there and they’re just a tad more expensive. So if I were you I’d just go with the cheap packs of 12!