How to… fit a strap button

by claesgellerbrink

I have never been a big fan of having straps attached to the head of acoustic guitars. Therefore I decided to fit strap buttons to the base of the neck on my acoustics. I checked some Youtube clips and got fed up with people talking too much so here is the quick version. Find a strap button you like, ideally in gold, everyone loves gold or at least I do. Find a screw that fits and a drill that is slightly smaller than the screw. Put a bit of tape on the drill to mark how long the screw is, or rather slightly shorter than the actual screw. Decide where to put the strap button and then drill the pilot hole. Put some wax or soap on the end of the screw, this makes the screw go in easier and apparently keeps the wood happy. Done.

Now some thoughts on this procedure. First of all, make sure you don’t have any extra hidden metal parts inside the neck before you start. I wasn’t aware that Levin had an extra metal plate for the truss rod running in the heel. When I tried to screw in the screw it broke in half and got stuck so I had to make a second hole just above and screw in a shorter screw. Not the end of the world maybe but still annoying and unnecessary. Second, make sure you find a good flat spot to fit the strap button. In the last example below you can see how close to the fretboard they are factory fitted on some guitars. I hate that. It’s really hard to reach if you want play solos or do some fiddly bits high up on the neck. Make sure you can fit your hand comfortably and remember there is going to be a strap attached which creates extra bulk. If you put the strap button too close to the bottom it will mess with the balance of the guitar and it will tend to fall forward when it’s not supported, the same if you fit it in the bottom of the heel.

strap buttons

Levin LT-16, Vintage V880N, Tanglewood Rosewood Grand Reserve TGRP 73 VS E. I installed the strap button on the first two, as low as possible to be able to reach all the way up the neck. Notice how high up, close to the fretboard they were factory fitted on the Tanglewood. In this case it’s just a 12th fret parlour guitar so you can’t play much solos up there anyway but I do find it a bit annoying.