What you need from your guitar strap is fairly simple: for it to fit securely on your instrument’s strap buttons, feel comfortable against the back of your neck, and adjust to the right length for your “wingspan.” Of course, adding a sense of style is a desirable perk—and likely the guiding inspiration behind Ernie Ball’s new series of straps.
The line features several new two-inch-wide jacquard patterns made from polypropylene webbing, including an ornate, red-and-amber Persian Gold; Orleans patterns in silver and gold; three versions of paisley in crimson, purple, and gold/black; and three Tribal versions with patterns in blue/gold, silver/black, and yellow/navy/white. There’s also a classic black-and-white checkered pattern for the ska-inclined, as well as a novelty Pick Holder strap, with three pick-sized pockets stitched into the leather at one end. In addition to the jacquard straps are 2-1/2–inch-wide polyspun straps in Raven Black and Yellow Jacket, whose thick, woven threads add bold character to the basic accessory. All straps have an adjustable length of 41–72 inches and embroidered leather ends that fit securely to standard strap buttons.
In a product that serves a simple purpose, it’s the little things that make the difference, and Ernie Ball’s new PolyLock strap—adjustable from 38 to 67 inches and featuring the manufacturer’s patent-pending PolyLock attachment—makes for an innovative and handy option for the guitar-family multi-instrumentalist. The strap easily secures to different-sized strap buttons, from electric guitars to basses. And to make its products even more versatile to fretted instrument players, Ernie Ball has added a one-inch-wide polypropylene ukulele strap, which attaches to the instrument by a plastic hook at the end of a fabric loop that extends from the larger neck loop.
Especially when it comes to synthetic materials, comfort can be a concern. The jacquard straps are all made with polypropylene webbing that’s surprisingly soft to the touch. In addition to their bold, unusual look, the polyspun straps have a faux-cotton feel, and I enjoyed playing out with them in particular. Their unique, woven texture has a nice tactile feel and really makes a statement, while their greater width makes your hold on the guitar feel that much more secure.
For those looking for a distinct pattern, each of the jacquard options is intricate yet tasteful—the Persian Gold captures an ancient, regal air, while the bolder geometric style of the Tribal pattern gives off a simple, hip vibe. Overall, the color schemes are conventionally cool. Ranging in price from $9.99 to $32.99, these straps should suit most guitarist’s needs both functionally and stylistically, offering another way to express yourself on your instrument. ernieball.com
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.