As someone who often ends up fixing other musician’s problems, I’ve noticed a certain pattern in people asking for quick fixes until they can get their gear in for a real fix, or even just having something working until the necessary parts show up. In this first segment of Quick Fixes, we’re going to talk about some quick, cheap, and dirty fixes for strap button problems…

1. The #1 problem I encounter with people’s strap buttons is that the screws have worn out the holes and now the strap pin likes to fall out while playing, or it may not even hold in the guitar at all. Ultimately, you’ll want to have this problem filled with dowel and re-drilled with a hole of the proper size and depth. If you can’t be without your guitar for long and need a fast solution, fear not, as there is indeed a super easy fix to this.

The simplest thing you can do is take a few toothpicks, break them in half and insert the fatter ends into the stripped screw holes. If you have wood glue use some of that with the toothpicks and proceed to screw the strap pin back in with a longer screw if possible (you should be probably replace most strap screws anyways as they’re usually fairly short, and it’s such a small price to pay for that extra reassurance) and bam! You now have a strap button that will hold until you feel like getting it fixed. However, when you are ready to fix it, this might be a good time to check out our article on 5 awesome strap locks and upgrade those jankety old strap buttons.

2. Another problem I’ve encountered with strap buttons a few times (alright, twice) is that the actual button is broken from the guitar taking a fall and landing directly on the pin. Thankfully, the button ends up splitting in half instead of some of the wood. This however can be a total bummer if you need to order new ones and wait any length of time for shipping. If you’re impatient and dig the punk look like me, then this is a good time to take a lesson from ol’ EVH, by finding the nearest hardware store, grabbing a few eyehooks and some carabiners, screw the eyehooks into the button holes, and attach the carabiners to your strap. Now, you have a cheap strap-lock until you can replace them with something else.

3. Finally, the last problem I’ve noticed during jam sessions with some friends is simply just the strap not wanting to stay on the button and constantly slipping off the strap. This can be a frustrating thing if you’re stuck ordering parts and you can’t get some strap locks on there soon enough. Especially when you are forced to occasionally have to catch your guitar from taking a dive (I’m looking at you thunderbird). Now the easiest, but maybe not the prettiest fix for this one is to go spend 20 cents on some washers and put them between the screw and the button to create a larger surface to hold onto the strap. This can also act as what I lovingly refer to as a ‘ghetto strap lock’, where you sandwich the strap between two washers until those sweet, sweet strap locks show up. Seriously, I can’t recommend getting strap locks enough, I always switch to strap locks on any new guitar since they’re such a cheap and useful method of reassurance that everyone should try to get.

(If you’re interested in some other cheap mods that make your guitar better, here’s a little guide we put together of 3 other guitar mods on a budget.)

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, make sure to check out more, because we upload new reviews, technical articles, lessons, and more daily!

This article was written by Keegan Connor, our editor located in Canada.

About The Author