by Craig Anderton
Normally I wouldn’t review a guitar strap, but then again this isn’t a normal guitar strap—and it has some attributes that are well worth covering.
The basic idea is that the Vee Strap splits into two straps, one on each shoulder, with the object of being able to distribute your instrument’s weight evenly over both shoulders. And that’s exactly what it does. There’s no padding where the strap meets the shoulder, but padding isn’t so important given the design; the strap itself is made of quality webbing, with leather endpieces that attach to your guitar’s strap posts like a standard strap. Vee Strap has a lifetime warranty, and satisfaction is guaranteed - you have 30 days to check it out and get used to the "feel." If you don't like it you can send it back, but at least for me, after a few days I was hooked.
There are two places to adjust strap length, one around the back (which determines how low the “bridge” end of the guitar goes when you’re holding the instrument), and one for your shoulder that helps adjust weight distribution. Note that there are separate models for right- and left-handed players.
What’s interesting is that after you’ve worn the Vee Strap for a while, you get used to it and it doesn’t seem like a big deal—at least that’s what happened with me. But when you go back to a regular strap, then you really recognize the difference it makes not to have all the guitar’s (or bass’s) weight on one shoulder.
Okay, so the Vee Strap does what it claims to do, is made in the USA by a small business, and the price point puts it somewhere around the middle of strap pricing. That’s all well and good, but there’s a use for this strap that I’m not even sure the manufacturer recognizes.
When I’m in the studio, I’m not just playing guitar but also sitting down, standing up, bending over to make gear adjustments or do re-patching, and so on. The Vee Strap holds the guitar far more securely under all these conditions than a standard strap, which has a tendency to fall off my shoulders when sitting down. As a result instead of constantly taking my guitar off, putting it back on, taking it off, etc., I pretty much leave the guitar on all the time and my only concern is making sure that I don’t hit something accidentally with the headstock.
I’m not saying this to minimize the strap’s intended purpose, which is to make it more comfortable to play heavy instruments for hours at a time. But it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the Vee Strap did more than I expected.
There’s not really much more to say; despite being an innovative guitar strap, it is just a guitar strap—not some complex piece of gear. And as I said at the outset, normally I wouldn’t even review something as pedestrian as a guitar strap. But if your shoulders hurt at the end of the evening, you have a stiff neck after a long gig, or you spend a lot of time in the studio, the Vee Strap is an innovative, useful accessory.
Craig Anderton is Editor Emeritus of Harmony Central. He has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major label releases (as well as mastered over a hundred tracks for various musicians), and written over a thousand articles for magazines like Guitar Player, Keyboard, Sound on Sound (UK), and Sound + Recording (Germany). He has also lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages.