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Meet Tom Werges of Slinger Straps in West LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Werges.

Tom, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a hobbiest musician who enjoy’s playing guitar, bass and piano as a form of relaxation. In late 2008 I started experiencing neck and shoulder pain when sitting at the computer or playing an instrument. Over the next couple of years my symptoms became much worse to the point where I was in pain all of the time. The Dr’s diagnosed my with degenerative disc disease in my cervical spine which was causing my neck and shoulder muscles to contract due to the nerves in that region being pinched as they leave the spine. After a lot of physical therapy, steroid injections and deep tissue massages I realized that the only way I was going to be able to try to continue playing guitar was to find an alternate solution to a traditional guitar strap. The ergonomic guitar straps I found on the market just didn’t fit my personal needs so I decided to sit down and try my hand at designing a strap(s) that would remove some or all of the instruments weight form my neck and shoulder. After a couple of months of trial and error, I had 3 ergonomic designs that accomplished my goals of reducing or removing the weight.

I also learned during those months that there were a lot of other guitar and bass players suffering from similar symptoms. Nerve compression, disc herniations, back, neck and shoulder injuries all cause musicians a great deal of pain when they pick up their guitar. When I spoke with them about what I was working on, most players said “let me know when you’ve got it. I want one!”. Based on the interest I received locally, I decided to put up a website as a test if other players would be interested in the straps on a larger scale and whether they’d find the pain relief they were looking for. Our website launched in mid-2012 and my very first order came from a guy named Gary in Australia. I couldn’t believe it! My first order and my straps were already international! Then came the big question: will he like it? He sent me a picture a short time after of him gigging with it and a testimonial on how much he loved it (Gary’s still on our testimonial page at the very bottom to commemorate our launch and our first sale). From there things started picking up. During the first couple of years I still had a corporate day job so Slinger Straps started as a small side business just to see if it would stick. It was my first adventure out on my own as an entrepreneur so I had no idea of what to expect. Every month that went by more and more orders would come in purely based on organic search and word of mouth. Sales continued to improve and testimonials and product reviews came in proving that the designs worked. 5 years later Slinger Straps ergonomic guitar straps are selling all over the world. Our comments and reviews prove that these designs help players continue to do what they love best. Play! We’ve heard countless stories of how these designs have made a huge impact on individual players and how many professionals need them just to keep working and making a living. Nothing makes us happier then knowing that we’ve helped someone continue with their passion or profession when they thought they’d have to put their instrument down for good. On top of that, we strive to provide excellent customer service so in the end, the whole experience leaves the customer feeling better.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
At Slinger Straps we specialize in ergonomic guitar straps that help players reduce the pain associated with support the instruments weight on one shoulder. Over time, that weight can take a toll on the body and cause the player extreme pain, numbness or tingling in the neck, shoulder, arm and/or fingers. Unforeseen accidents can also happen to a player such as shoulder injuries, back injuries, etc. which can cause the player extreme pain when supporting an instrument. We help players keep playing when a traditional guitar strap just won’t work.

What were you like growing up? Music has always been very important to me. I’ve played drums, piano, guitar and saxophone at different points in my life. Although I’ve never studied music formally, I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of picking up an instrument and figuring out how it works.

Pricing:

  • Hip Strap $29.95
  • Sling Strap $39.95
  • Harness Strap $59.95

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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