If you want to play the guitar while you are standing up, you will need to buy a guitar strap. Most guitars, especially electric guitars are fairly easy to play while you are sitting down. But, if you want to stand while you play, you will need to buy a guitar strap. Some electric guitars also require a strap to play while you are sitting down. If you have a Flying V style guitar, or some other electric guitars with oddball shapes you may even need to use a strap when you are sitting down. Solution? Buy a guitar strap!
Guitar straps come in a wide variety of styles, ranging from inexpensive vinyl affairs to very costly custom made guitar straps. What do you really need to buy? Well, that depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. At the low end of the price scale you can get a functional strap that may or may not be aesthetically pleasing. Usually, low cost guitar straps like the Ernie Ball 2" Poly Strap, Black are made of vinyl or some other inexpensive material with rather inexpensive styling. At the higher end of the price range, you buy guitar straps made from leather or from exotic materials like the Levy's Leathers M17T02-DBR Carving Leather Tooled Guitar Strap,Dark Brown.
One of first aspects of a guitar strap that you should consider is comfort. An electric guitar can be rather heavy. Consequently you will want to buy a guitar strap that distributes the weight over your shoulder. In general, wider guitar straps are more comfortable than narrow guitar straps. Some guitar straps have a wider portion that slides over the rest of the strap so you can place it where it touches your shoulder. Still other straps have a cushion material to make the strap more comfortable.
Another consideration when you buy an electric guitar strap is durability. Let's face it, if you are only playing in your bedroom once in a while, most any strap will do in the durability department. However, if you are playing regularly, for long periods of time, especially under hot lights, many inexpensive guitar straps will simply rot and fail. This leads to buying straps on a regular basis which can be costly. It is better to invest more wisely and buy a quality leather guitar strap, or some other durable material.
Another consideration when choosing what electric guitar strap to buy is whether the strap material reacts with the finish on your guitar. Some synthetic materials can react with certain guitar finishes, leading to damage of your guitar's finish. Probably your best bet here is to ask at the guitar store whether the strap you are considering is safe for your guitar.
The final consideration when you want to buy guitar straps is what they look like. You have a great guitar, you want the strap to look great, too! In many cases, a simple basic black or brown strap can be quite attractive. You can spend a lot of money on fancy leather guitar straps with hand tooling. Guitar straps are available with any conceivable theme, from skulls and cross bones to music notes to religious symbols. There are many straps available with licensed artwork from different companies, such as guitar makers. Keep in mind that you are paying a license fee to pay for the trademark on those straps. That is money that could be spent on a higher quality strap. But, if you like the company and want their logo on your strap, you should probably buy guitar straps that carry their logo.
In summary, it is a very personal endeavor when you want to buy guitar straps. It comes down to comfort, durability, safety, and looks. Good luck when you go out shopping to buy guitar straps, and don't forget to get some picks!