Posted by Stev187 on Monday, January 22, 2007
I learned to play the banjo standing up. As a string bass player, I nearly always stood up (3rd set maybe I used a stool from time to time when things got relaxed). Also, for years of playing electric bass I used a strap.
I don't have a gig on the banjo now, so I mostly let the strap dangle. The main reason for this is that it's easier to put the banjo down to go grab the phone or break up a quarrel between the kids. If I'm strapped up, I usually take the banjo with me on the way to the emergency, and this has resulted in collisons with door jambs and other objects (depending on how distracting the emergency is). This thread made me put the strap on and sit down to play for a while. I don't notice too much difference playing wise, except I felt the urge to stand up and walk around.
When I was playing regularly about 10 years ago, THE clawhammer banjo strap to have was a very simple one made by Mountain Leatherworks. I love mine, and it is permanently affixed to my Reiter. But I went to look for it recently and came up dry.
I decided to go to the local leather supply place and get the materials to make my own. I've never done any leather work, but the strap is really simple. "How hard could it be?" I thought.
Usually when I ask myself that question I get in way over my head. Not this time. $35 worth of leather, a hole punch, a stanley knife, and some Chicago screws + 15 minutes of work produced this very nice EXACT replica of my favorite strap. This one is black, and the leather is even nicer--so I believe this one is better.
So, if you want to try to make your own strap, go ahead! It's easy. I like this design because the little leather loopy things go right on the rim hooks--nothing to scratch your banjo. This is an "always on" design, though.
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