Guitar Straps for Neck Dive: Gibson SG & More

By Jack Andrews •  Updated: 05/20/23  

Guitar neck dive is a common issue on certain guitars like the Gibson SG and several other types of guitars.

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07/24/2024 07:42 am GMT

This issue emerges from a disparity in weight distribution, causing the headstock to tilt downwards when the guitar is worn with a standard strap.

The fretting hand bears more weight which will lead you to discomfort and poor performance.

While weights will need to be used on some guitars to completely fix neck dive issues, the right guitar strap can help reduce neck dive in some guitars.

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Guitars Known for Neck Dive

Neck Dive typically forms in guitars with lightweight bodies or some sort of offsetting shape, it’s not a brand-specific issue, it’s a guitar-specific issue.

The Gibson SG is the most popular guitar that naturally suffers from neck dive, meaning the headstock dives downward when you have a standard guitar strap due to uneven weight distribution. The headstock is heavy relative to the body.

The fretting hand takes more weight than other guitars and can make it

Common complaints for neck dive are:

I didn’t even know neck dive was a thing until I got this guitar.” – 2005 ESP LTD Viper owner.

Guitar Straps for Neck Dive: SG Straps

The right guitar strap can solve neck dives on some guitars. The strap material needs to cause more friction between your strap and clothing.

Best Guitar Straps for Neck Dive Issues

Leather straps with a suede inner surface will work great for neck dive in many cases. You do not want the inside of your leather strap to be finished and slick. An unfinished or suede underside will help.

Wider straps can also work because they add more surface area and thus, more friction.

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Levy's Leathers Leather Strap with Suede Backing

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Another option are guitar straps with natural fabric on the back. For example, Native Sons guitar straps can work well in some cases.

Levy’s hemp or cotton straps can help as well. The rougher texture adds friction to the strap and helps grip your shirt and keeps the neck from diving down.

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07/23/2024 05:29 pm GMT

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Clothing Choices

It may be obvious, but the “rougher” your clothes are, the better friction it will have against your guitar strap. Don’t wear thin, workout-style, or silky shirts.

Textured shirts like flannel and denim will help create more friction.

Other Solutions for Neck Dive

Other solutions to neck dive issues that are covered better elsewhere are adding weights to the body of your guitar and moving the strap button to a better location.

Related: Best Guitar Straps in 2023 and the Most Ergonomic Guitar Straps

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Jack Andrews

Jack Andrews is a guitarist and freelance writer. When he's not playing the guitar or teaching lessons, he can be found manning the grill and enjoying barbecue with friends and family.