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Thread: Ideal strap length?

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    Default Ideal strap length?

    Hi folks,

    quick strap question. My wife has just made me a really nice braided leather strap for my mandolin (kind of Bailey style, but not quite as pretty!). I was just wondering what the ideal length should be? It's an A-style mando and the strap will be going around the underside of the bridge-end of the fingerboard.

    Not sure whether to have it more or less the same length as when I'm sitting down to play, or slightly longer when standing. All my guitar straps are a bit longer, but mando is a whole different instrument.

    Any advice would be much appreciated - even if the answer is "It's up to you!"

    thanks

    John

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    First off you should deciede which shoulder you will wear it on. I prefer it over my left shoulder. The lenght will be determined by the position you find most comfortable. Some folks like it right up by their chin and some like it down by their crotch. I would take a piece of string and determine where you like it and then measure the string lenght.

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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Quote Originally Posted by George R. Lane View Post
    First off you should deciede which shoulder you will wear it on. I prefer it over my left shoulder. The lenght will be determined by the position you find most comfortable. Some folks like it right up by their chin and some like it down by their crotch. I would take a piece of string and determine where you like it and then measure the string lenght.
    That's the correct way to measure! I agree !

  4. #4

    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    George - I'll be wearing it over my left shoulder. I find that much more comfy, it doesn't fall off, and the mando sits closer to my body. Don't know if that's you with the mando in your avatar photo, but that mando height looks pretty good to me!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    As George suggests, tie a piece of string to your strap button, run it over your preferred shoulder, fix the other end to the mandolin the way you plan to fix your leather strap - and you're done. Measure the string and make the leather strap the same length. To play safe, leave a few inches of spare strap on the fingerboard end, in case your taste for the length of the strap stretches a bit.

    ron

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    Closet Banjo Picker P.D. Kirby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    I wear mine like a Guitar across the back and over the left shoulder and about middle between the belt buckle and my chin. Mr. Monroe wore it over his right shoulder some say because he didn't like to take his hat off to take his Mandolin on and off but I find that quite uncomfortable as some have pointed out it will tend to slide off and I rarely wear a hat when playing. I guess you will have to figure out this one for yourself. I will say this if you hang it like a metal guitar player down low you may have some issues with some of the fingerings.

    Maybe just make it long and you can always cut it down when you figure out what works for you. I know one picker that doesn't use a strap and does quite well that way. The string will work best until you figure it out too. These little beauties don't weigh very much so you really don't need much more than a piece of rawhide anyway.
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    I was just holding it in that photo (I had just picked it up at the Weber shop). That is the position I do have mine at. I made my own strap out of a piece old horse rein and a leather shoelace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny60 View Post
    George - I'll be wearing it over my left shoulder. I find that much more comfy, it doesn't fall off, and the mando sits closer to my body. Don't know if that's you with the mando in your avatar photo, but that mando height looks pretty good to me!

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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Here is how a performing arts doctor showed me how to adjust the strap.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qdkk...1&feature=plcp
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    Registered User neil argonaut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny60 View Post
    Not sure whether to have it more or less the same length as when I'm sitting down to play, or slightly longer when standing. All my guitar straps are a bit longer, but mando is a whole different instrument.
    Personally, I think if you're going to be playing it standing up and sitting down, then you're as well having the strap at a length so the mandolin will be at the same height for either.

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    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    What's the ideal shoe size? The one that fits!
    I like the string measuring idea, but I'd take it one step further. Make a temporary strap out of good strong cord and live with it for a few days (weeks?). Play sitting and standing. You may find that you want it a tad shorter or longer than your initial guess. Once you're really sure what length you like, make the final real strap.
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    1, throw a tailor's tape measure over your shoulder .
    2, hold your mandolin in your favorite playing position.
    3, measure how long a strap has to be to achieve that favorite position.
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    Registered User pefjr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    40" and adjustable
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    I have my strap long (or short) enough,to position the bottom point just above my belt line.That way it's fine for playing either sitting down or standing up, & it goes around my back & over my left shoulder for more stability.I've tried playing with a strap over my right shoulder only,it's ok sitting down,but for playing when standing,i find that the headstock wants to take a dive earthwards too much,
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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    If you are going to be performing at any point, you need to consider mic position. I play into my band's condenser vocal mic so I need it up pretty high to maximize getting into the mic. Otherwise, just measure as suggested and position where it is comfortable.
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Seems these days most pickers wear it like a guitar. Butch, like Bill, did it over the right shoulder, and had one of the nicest straps I have seen. Never did tell me where he got it. Dawg does the loop around the neck, sax-like. Never tried that.

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    Registered User Rosemary Philips's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    A person's strap should be long enough to reach the mandolin. -Abe Lincoln

  19. #17

    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Many thanks for all your replies - lot's of great advice. The strap in question is currently "unfinished" at one end, which means I'm going to try it out at its current length and then adust accordingly for the final set-up.

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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Pete Martin gives some great advice in his videos on strap length/holding the mandolin.
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    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Grieser View Post
    Pete Martin gives some great advice in his videos on strap length/holding the mandolin.
    When Pete Martin speaks ---------I listen!!

  22. #20

    Default Re: Ideal strap length?

    Re-read Neil Argonaut's reply. That works for me.
    Lee

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