Saturday, July 26, 2014

I've worked with a lot of guitarists who have a mental picture of what they want to look like onstage. They think that since they play a certain "type" of music, that they must sport a certain "type" of image, right down to their guitar straps. But, when they really go through my guitar straps, they'll often say, "Oh, I really like that one but I could never wear it. It's too (insert your own adjective here--pretty, classy, quiet, odd, weird, just too unexpected)."

A very successful musician who had bought one of my straps said to me, "I want the girls to like me. I want the guys to want to be like me. Part of why they want to be like me is that the girls like me." He then proceeded to buy a red satin and tulle guitar strap with one single hand embroidered and beaded long-stemmed rose on it. I asked him why he had chosen that particular strap since he was a heavy metal musician. He said, "Because it will confuse the girls. I'm dangerous and I'm somehow approachable all at the same time. They love that." I had not thought of that particular manipulation and, while I can’t say I endorse it, I can say it seems to work pretty well for him.

So, I am on a mission to try to teach musicians to try to think outside the

image box. One of the fun aspects of my guitar straps is that they are elegant, beautiful, attention-grabbing, but they are not conventional. That means you’re already thinking outside the image box just by looking at my guitar straps (Good for you! Gold star!) But, if you’re going to buy an unconventional strap, how do you choose it? First, of course, it has to complement your guitar. If you have a dominant color in your guitar, you can choose a strap that matches that dominant color; however, this is the fun part. If you have minor colors in your guitar, a neutral guitar strap with dominant imagery in those minor colors is just an awesome look! It shows that you really thought about it and didn’t just grab something off the rack. Let’s say you have a black guitar with a tortoise shell pick guard and abalone inlay in the fret board. This leopard print strap would be perfect— picks up the shades of brown and black in the tortoise shell and the cream white portion of the print picks up the abalone inlay. The other thing you have to give some thought to is how your strap coordinates with your stage wardrobe. One musician bought this Don’t Tread On Me guitar strap and always coordinates with it, wearing a black and yellow checked shirt or black shoes with yellow shoe laces. He’s even worn a black and yellow knitted indie stocking cap. But the strap has a particular dominance that he likes and he works with because it’s part of an overall stage persona. One musician bought four different straps from me all at the same time and each was vastly different in color and imagery from the other. When I asked him about it, he explained that he wants a more refined look for his acoustic sets and a more visually aggressive look for his amped sets. Same music, just a different feel and a different personal presentation. Another musician who bought one of my straps just said, “I want to look like I have some class, some taste.” That statement was a real honor to me, that I could produce something that made somebody feel cool like that.
Because my straps aren’t excruciatingly expensive I’m able to offer well made, fine looking straps at a price that gives you some real choices, and because my straps are pretty much one-of-a-kind, you truly are unique when you step out onto the stage. And, I bet those confused girls will love it! Thanks for reading! Terri Hearne

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