Original Fuzz

Our lives are filled with mundane, everyday objects. Like office supplies, things like straps and cables are things most guitarists don’t give a tremendous amount of consideration. When I buy a guitar strap, I’m usually just trying to get out of the store with the one I hate the least (seriously, so many of them are just awful). Which is why it’s such a delight when somebody decides to tread the road less traveled and try to make something as ordinary as a guitar strap into something special. 

This week I received a guitar strap from Original Fuzz. They (currently) make three things: straps, cables and a gig bag. It may not seem like to most exciting lineup, but if their straps are any indication, whatever you get from these guys will have been built with considerable design and thoughtful execution.

I am not a particularly flashy-looking guitarist. I don’t go for metal studs on leather or lightning bolts. I’ll let the instrument and the playing speak for themselves. The strap I ordered was a simple, nice, brown canvas strap. What was such a delight was the attention to the details. First, the packaging:

More than just throwing an item in the box with some padding

More than just throwing an item in the box with some padding

Simple and clean. No more or less than what is needed.

Simple and clean. No more or less than what is needed.

While the execution is different, this reminded me a bit of Apple. Even the unpacking experience is a considered, designed event. Rather than molded plastic the materials are an earthier brown paper. What may appear less sophisticated is in fact the appropriate use of materials for the item. The whole experience is very tactile. It make you just want to touch it and manipulate it.

The strap itself is very well-designed. There are no short cuts in the materials or the stitching. The canvas feels solid without being stiff and unworkable. The buckle grips firmly with the weight of the guitar, but is easy enough to adjust when it doesn’t need to bear the load. The ends are a nice pliable leather with no frizzy half-stitched ends.

Not a single stitch out of place

Not a single stitch out of place

A simple, effective buckle

A simple, effective buckle

While I may have picked the plainest design, Original Fuzz offers a few other lines of straps. The company originated when one of founders discovered elegant stitchery in Peru. From that idea was born the first line of straps. In addition to the original line there is a series of straps  based on Indian textiles. Both series look gorgeous.

It’s an unexpected treat when somebody picks something we rarely give a second thought to and gives it an unusual amount of attention. Finally it seems like someone has decided to take the high-road and produce something where the emphasis is on quality instead of flash or cost. 

I’d like to believe that surrounding yourself with thoughtful tools helps your produce thoughtful work. Even something as simple as a guitar strap can have an effect on your creativity and your playing. If you want more than just commodity gear in your life, check these guys out.

UPDATE: Six String Recess readers can get a nice little discount on their online store by using the code SIXSTRINGRECESS at checkout.