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Thread: Strap for a Gibson A2?

  1. #1
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    Default Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Hi all,

    You were so helpful with my gig bag question that I wanted to pose to you all another dilemma I've had for a while.

    I have a lovely Gibson A2 from 1922 that has become my go-to mandolin (though I play live with a different mando with a pickup). While I almost always play the A2 sitting down, it would be nice to have a standing option. However, this is where it gets tricky. The A2 has a strap button on the bottom, but I don't want to install a second one on the heel of the neck. The highest reaches of the fretboard are flush against the instrument, so I cannot loop a strap around there, as some a-style players do.

    This leaves me with wrapping the loop end of a strap around the nut. I have disliked this in the past on other mandolins because the way that the strap angles back towards my body from the nut has a way of getting in the way of the thumb on my fretting hand.

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated!
    Gibson F9 2002
    Gibson A2 1922
    National RM-1
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    For standing up, play with mandolin positioned on the hip. No strap needed. I know it's a round back method but it works for an A2 etc.
    Last edited by JimY; Oct-19-2016 at 1:24pm. Reason: spelling
    Jim Y

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    I run a loop over the headstock between the tuners (away from the nut), usually between the two Gs on the bass side, and between A & E on the treble side. Keeps the strap clear of my A-1's fretting hand.

    When Sully (of Sully's Straps, NFI but a big +1) recommended this for my slot-head 12-string, I envisioned a built-in string-bender effect from pulling on the strings above the nut, but it really doesn't work that way.
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  4. #4
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    I tie my strap about the peghead, but I go between one of the string posts on the treble side. Here's a photo of the idea. I use my strap when sitting down and while standing. I like the security of having my mandolin at the same place on my chest no matter whether standing or sitting.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    f-d
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    I have a '22 A2 and for the last 20 years or so it has had the strap around the headstock similar to the way Ed and fatdad do it. Keeps it away from the hand and works just fine.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Agree with the placement of the strap - simply tie it above the nut, between tuning pegs. I like the Souldier mandolin straps for this, though some don't like the metal buckle parts, it's easy to avoid any finish scratching from these.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Even though your mandolin does not have a raised fingerboard, you might want to try using a leather shoestring and attaching it under the strings and around the end of fingerboard. You then tie the loop you've created to your strap of choice. This puts that strap placement and mandolin balance pretty close to when using a strap button on the neck heel. It's works better on an A style with a raised fingerboard, but you can still do it on an old Gibson A like yours. I have a 1921 A4 and that's how I do it. I think I saw on one of his videos that Pete Martin does it that way on his old Gibson A model. I also saw that he uses a guitar strap, which can work well. I've found that if I make my loop snug enough around the body that it doesn't slip and end up between the strings and fingerboard. As they say, YMMV.

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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    See old pictures of Homer and Jethro , Mr Burns never used a strap , just tuck your arm
    slightly under the tailpiece.


    With a thinner top (D'jangolin) I use a Mariachi Strap * coming up under and hooking into the Oval soundhole..


    Since Gibsons have a Much thicker top where the sound hole is cut,

    Maybe do a 3D printing project to make one that is able to do similar with that instrument..



    * Classical/Nylon string Guitar players ..

    a cool one I saw in the film Desperado,
    the plastic hook was in the form of a Little hand Hanging over the sound hole edge.



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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    I use a leather shoelace under the strings at the headstock and looped over the endpin. I wear it over one shoulder but it can be worn over shoulder and head if you prefer. I put a strap pin into my more modern "A" but couldn't bring myself to pit a pin in my older snakehead....... R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  12. #11
    Registered User Kalasinar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    I'm another one for putting the loop of a strap under the strings on the headstock between tuning pegs... mostly because my Eastman lacks enough space for the loop under the strings where the nut is. The strap doesn't get in the way there. I use Souldier straps on both my mandolins... they are very nicely made and you can get your own custom one made for you from the options they give on their website. They have a metal or plastic buckle on them as renoyd mentioned, but they've never caused an issue for me.
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Thanks all! It had never occurred to me to run the loop they the peghead, but that sounds like the perfect fix.

    Kalasinar, thanks I'll check out Souldier straps.

    Anybody else got a favorite strap? Lakota?
    Gibson F9 2002
    Gibson A2 1922
    National RM-1
    Kentucky KM-380

  14. #13
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Quote Originally Posted by digitalshrub View Post
    Anybody else got a favorite strap? Lakota?
    I like the Long Hollow Softy, which I have attached above the nut on my Gibson A.
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  16. #14
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Another option: mid way out on the head stock , so a Bit further away from right behind the Nut.
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    I like a flat leather strap with the hole on one end of the strap on the end pin and the other tied over the truss rod cover (under the strings above the nut) using a nice leather lace to connect to the strap end. Lakota Leathers sells a nice flat strap for $25. Very soft and will last a lifetime!
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  18. #16
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    Default Re: Strap for a Gibson A2?

    Just got a Gibson A. This technique works nicely. Thanks.

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