Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Banjo straps, what's your favouret?

Now there seems to be different points of view on straps. I used to think that with a heavy banjo with a tone ring that you must have a cradle strap to support it. However, I see people like Ben and Russ Carson with the single hook straps. So isn’t all that weight on one hook each side putting a lot of load on just 2 hooks? Seems not if a lot are using them style of straps. Some say the cradle strap effects tone as it wraps around the tone ring.
What’s your view on straps and which style do you prefer, cradle or the single hook fixing like the huber strap.
Over to you guys :+1:

The Lakota soft leather strap is the BEST. You can get it in 2 or 3 inch widths at the general store. The leather is the softest ever, and fits easily into your case. Just wrap it around the flange.

It wraps through and around your banjo hooks, and is secured by two “Chicago Screws”. (Just remember, you need 3/4 inches of width on your hooks to feed it through. If not, I believe they have either an adapter or an optional strap.

Here’s a great link to lakota leathers with commentary and installation instructions.

Lakota Banjo Straps

I cannot reccomend Lakota highly enough!

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Sorry, I didn’t answer your specific question. I’ve had both hook and cradle straps. Hands down, I prefer the cradle.

Also, I’ve never noticed any difference in tone. If there is, I wager it’s minute, and only can be detected by those with ears like Doc Watson.

Thanks for your input Jack. At the moment I’m sporting a home made leather cradle strap made from some old belts and Chicago screws. It works well but not that pretty :rofl: I quite like the look of the huber strap that you just unscrew a couple of hooks and attach. Just wondered which is best for supporting the banjo and/or most comfortable. :wink: :+1:

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@Jono I have a Lakota strap on my RK and it is a heavy banjo. Mine is supported only by 2 hooks with the Chicago screws. There is not enough room between the head and the support screws to put the strap through. But it works well for my purposes. I don’t play standing up also, so I get some support by resting it on my legs a little.

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Thanks for the info. I found recently that standing up helped my playing. Sitting down all the time I found I was turning the banjo more to look at the fretboard. Standing up helps my playing by not looking at the fretboard so much and going by the dots along the edge of the neck. My gold Star is pretty weighty, I’ve been using a made up strap but thinking about getting a proper one. Not that I will be standing up all the time, but I think it helps to stand now and then and get used to the banjo in a different position.

I’m not a fan of cradle strap that causes the top of my banjo to fall forward.

That’s interesting. Hadn’t thought about that. I wouldn’t want my banjo to tip forward. I like the 2 o clock kind of position with the head up.

I mean the top of the resonator, the part against your belly. When I’ve used cradles it caused it to tip forward which causes the fretboard to go out of view, etc.

Ah I get ya! Sorry Ben, I was thinking the other way. That’s not good then. So the strap that fixes to the hooks like the huber strap sounds the right kind of style then. Also, I imagine the hook strap would fit better in a banjo case than a long bulky cradle strap.

Ya know, when I first got a hook strap, it caused the headstock to fall toward the floor. This was with my open back banjo.

My gut ensures that the fretboard is alway visible. Hmmm. I think I need to eat more pizza to improve fretboard visibility even more. :yum:


Wouldn’t you be able to adjust that depending on which hooks you fixed it to?

Actually I think I just got used to it.

It’s that the strap comes around the back of the heel pressing the banjo out a bit. I like to attach mine to the hooks right above the heel.

Do you attach the other end of your strap past the tailpiece or before it? I attach mine 2 hooks past the tailpiece and always wondered if this was right.

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Yep, I attach it two hooks past it!

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So just to be clear. You attach the front loop to the hook in front of the heel, and the back loop 2 hooks past the Tailpiece yes?
Do you attach the front loop to the first hook but then thread it under a second hook or just straight from the first hook?
How did you initially find the right size length of strap to choose and also which hooks to attach to?
Obviously everyone being different sizes, might need to adjust which hook to put it on for balance and size so wouldn’t want to keep undoing and doing up different hooks. I suppose tying a shoe lace tempory until finding the right hooks would be one way.

Trial and error! Yes, I run it through loosely and make sure it will fit before tying everything in. My current strap length allows me to thread the front loop under the 2nd hook this side of the heel, then attach next to the heel on the first hook. And, I run the back loop under the hooks right past the tailpiece then attach it to the 2nd hook past it.

Thanks Ben. :+1:

Or, you could get a comfortable strap, (that allows your shoulder to not die), and then get used to it wherever you set it when you first installed it. Yes this is the lazy way, but it allows you to spend more time practicing