Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo Strap Connection Point

Hey gang! Just wanted to share an observation and perhaps pose a question at the same time…and as much as anything, it has to do with preferences on where to attach the connection point on the top end of a strap. On my original open back banjo I have the strap attached just above the neck. After getting a Twanger and Harrison strap (classic, narrow, cradle type of strap), that position seemed to not hold the neck up in the air as well, so after looking around at a few other players photos and videos online, I noticed a few folks seem to prefer to attach the strap below the neck. I was skeptical as to whether I would like it, but it seemed as thought it might hold the neck into the air better…so I tried it, and it worked for me anyway. That was just a few months ago.

Today, I was making an attempt at some up-the-neck exercises and when trying to follow Ben’s advice on a left-hand fingering, I realized why he could do something I couldn’t accomplish, and that was my thumb as pictured hit the strap when trying to quickly reach up and get these tippy-top frets (that’s my excuse anyway). I don’t have a long reach since my fingers aren’t very long.

I’ve just moved the strap back above the neck again, but the strap easily slides across my back and shoulders and lacks the balance or friction to keep the neck up. Seems I may recall Ben mention in the past that a strip of felt could be glued underneath the strap to help hold it in place (increase the friction). Do any of you have any similar experiences to share or advice to offer along these lines? I may temporarily experiment with trying to shift more of the weight of the banjo into my lap instead of on the strap as this seems to help…but if I should ever try standing this will not be a solution. Please feel free to comment!

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Well, on my old banjo I attached the strap below the neck, not so much to keep the neck up (it’s a thin nylon guitar strap with no grip) but more cuz I liked the balance that way. On my new banjo I got a Lakota Leather 2" cradle strap, which runs around the pot, and I absolutely love it. I’ve never had trouble with my thumb hitting the strap cuz up the neck my thumb usually sits behind the neck rather than on top of it


I personally like my strap mounted above the neck. When I mount below, it makes the fingerboard harder to view. Of course, that’s why they have the dots on the fingerboard, but I’m used to seeing the frets. This is also incentive to keep my belly in check :wink:


@BanjoBen, I’m getting a little more used to connecting the strap above the neck now.

However, there are a few of us that might take exception to some of what you have said in regards to the whole topic of being able to see the fingerboard. I find that if my strap length is short enough, it actually works the other way around…the bigger my belly, the EASIER is is to see the fingerboard! :grin: