6 Reasons Why Guitarists Wear Wristbands

Ever watched a guitarist play and noticed they wear wristbands? You might be curious if this is purely for aesthetics or if they serve a purpose. There are reasons why guitarists wear wristbands that are beyond looks alone.

Guitar players wear wristbands to help deal with sweat. It reduces friction between their arms and the instrument. It also adds support. Some players begin to have sore wrists from aggressive strumming. Wristbands can help reduce this.

In this Killer Rig article, we will look at the benefits of wearing wristbands while playing guitar.

1. Wristbands Support the Wrist

If you have ever played guitar for an extended period, you know that it can put some strain on your wrist. This is especially true if you are an aggressive strummer or player.

Wristbands help to take some pressure off of your wrist. They redistribute it elsewhere on your arm. This can help reduce pain and fatigue in the wrist area so that you can play for longer periods.

Some players even mention that the added heat from the wristband helps to relax the muscles in the area. This further reduces any pain or discomfort. This allows them to play longer and keep their minds on the performance, not tired wrists.

2. Wristbands Help Wipe Sweat from Your Face

This is one of the most common reasons that guitarists wear wristbands. Wristbands help to absorb sweat from your forehead and face so that it doesn’t run into your eyes and sting.

Even if you don’t think you sweat a lot, it is amazing how much can accumulate on your forehead during a performance. This can be even more pronounced if you are playing in a hot or humid environment.

When the lights are turned on and the performance begins, sweat is just part of the gig. Most metal players know this to be true. So wristbands are important to dry your face and keep your attention on performing.

James Hetfield with Wristbands

3. Wristbands Keep Your Hands Dry

This is another benefit of the sweat-wicking properties of wristbands. They also help to keep your hands dry.

It’s important because sweat on your hands can make them slip on the fretboard or strings. This can lead to missed notes or chords, and no one wants that during a performance.

It is also much harder to hold a pick when your hands are full of sweat. Wristbands can help by keeping sweat off your hands, or at least giving you a place to wipe it off.

4. Wristbands Reduce Friction on The Guitar Body

Performing with short sleeve shirts? Then you know that when your arm rubs against the guitar’s body, it can create friction. It can also lead to discomfort for your arm, as the friction can irritate the skin.

Wristbands provide a buffer between your arm and the guitar. This is so that there is less contact and friction. This is especially helpful if you are playing for extended periods or if you have sensitive skin.

It can also help protect the finish on the guitar, as this will wear it away over time. If you play guitar every day, you may want to do this to protect the body.

5. They Are A Great Place To Store Extra Picks

If you are like most guitarists, you always have a few extra picks on hand. Wristbands provide a great place to store these so that they are always within reach.

This can be helpful if you lose or drop a pick during a performance. You can simply reach down and grab another one without having to take your eyes off of your playing.

This is perfect for guitar players who do not use a microphone and don’t have a stand to hold the picks.

6. They Look Cool

This might be the most subjective reason on the list. But many guitarists will agree that wristbands look cool. There is something about the look of a guitarist with wristbands that just screams rock star!

Depending on the wristband, it can also add to a certain appearance or look. A metal player, for example, might wear some with spikes or symbols that go with the band’s stage presence.

Wearing wristbands is also a great way to show support for your favorite band or artist. There are many official band merchandise wristbands available that you can purchase.

Or, if you are feeling creative, you can even make your own!

Artists Who Wear Wristbands

Some of the most famous guitarists in the world have been known to wear wristbands while playing. This includes players like:

  • James Hetfield
  • Johnny Ramone
  • Dave Grohl
  • Dave Mustaine

These are just a few of the artists who have worn wristbands while playing guitar. Wristbands have become so commonplace among guitarists. They are almost expected at this point.


Do you need a way to improve your performance? Or just want to look cool while playing? Wristbands are a great option.

There are many styles and types available, so you can find the perfect ones to suit your needs. Give them a try the next time you are playing and see how they help you out!


Do wristbands help with the guitar?

Yes, wristbands can help a guitarist! They reduce sweat and friction while adding support when playing. This can be in the form of cushioning or reduction of friction against the guitar body. Especially when strumming.

They can also be great for people who get sore wrists over time, as the wristband can add tension. Or, you can also try using tape to protect your hand if wristbands will not work for you.

Why do classical guitarists wear a sleeve?

The main reason why classical guitarists wear a sleeve is to protect the polish on the instrument. Over time, the salts and oils from your arm will wear away the polish.

Every player wants to protect their instrument from this, and so sleeves are a great solution.

Photo of author

Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!