Make Your Guitar More Ergonomic with The Lap-Strap

As Thomas Heck states in his article, A New ABC for Holding the Guitar:
Aguado + Bassoonist strap = Comfort
, “guitarists have wrestled for a long time with the question of how best to hold the guitar when one is seated.” The issue of how to best hold the guitar was a primary concern of mine coming into my project which resulted in my choice of basing my first guitar build on the Klein Electric Guitar body.

Ideally, the best approach to improving guitar ergonomics is breaking with convention and exploring new forms. However, I recognize that many guitarists wish to use traditional shapes for both objective as well as subjective reasons. Thus, I’ve explored ways to improve the ergonomics of existing designs (see Part 1 and Part 2) with this the third installment in the series.

Thomas Heck gives us yet another option with his “lap-strap” – an idea inspired by looking outside of the guitar world and finding inspiration in how bassoonists deal with the weight and awkwardness of their instrument.

Heck-Guitar-Lap-Strap-Sitting.jpg
Very simply, the lap-strap consists of running an ordinary guitar strap from the lower strap pin, over the lap and tucking it under the left leg leaving the guitar supported and balanced in a classical guitar position.

Heck’s lap-strap places a guitar in a balanced position and the guitarist in a relaxed and neutral position. Did you notice the lack of a footstool? This places the spine further at ease and eliminates the risk of developing lower back pain from raising the foot.

Heck-Guitar-Lap-Strap-Playing.jpg
Heck’s elegant solution gives the guitarist yet another means of improving guitar ergonomics.

UPDATE: Originally available at http://www.orphee.com/methods/Heck-Holding.htm, Thomas Heck’s article is no longer online.

UPDATE: Thanks to Thomas Heck for letting me know that his article is now available again.

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7 Responses to “Make Your Guitar More Ergonomic with The Lap-Strap”

  1. Neat fellow!

  2. Vlad – Thanks for stopping by. Heck’s is a very cool approach to the problem which, of course, has the advantage of working with existing designs.

  3. Thanks for publicizing and promoting my innovation of the “lap-strap” as a comfortable way to hold the guitar while seated. The original online posting has moved to this Web address (kindly correct the wrong URL in your blog): A New ABC for Holding the Guitar: Aguado + Bassoonist strap = Comfort.
    The original article on the subject appeared in GFA Soundboard (Vol. 30, no. 3[2004]: 31-34) as “A Relaxing Way to Hold the Guitar: Variation on a Theme by Aguado?”.
    I would like to hear from those who have tried this new method of supporting the guitar and found it helpful. They are welcome to send comments to this blog!

    1. Gladly, Thomas! I’ve updated the article to point to the new URL and I’m glad to see the site back up – great content throughout.

  4. awsome nice idea!

  5. nice idea. maybe needs a bit of tweaking however – this really isnt an ideal position for a classical guitarist to be in – being a performance student myself i cant say with justification that this position wouldnt be adequate for getting the best tone out of your guitar with the best technique. this would work very well for flamenco players however. good work, keep it up!

  6. Thank you so much for this idea! I tried it yesterday after having struggled for a long time to get comfortable with the traditional classical position, which seems to have been causing shoulder and neck stress and exacerbating my pre-existing cubital tunnel issues. My neck and shoulder stress was immediately relieved!

    Any inconvenience of having to install buttons or slightly modify my left hand technique shall be easily offset by the relief of discomfort and prevention of further injury! I’m so excited! :)