Recent Posts
Featured Posts

Slap a Strap on It!


Soon after buying my first ukulele I realized that I had a hard time holding it in a consistent and comfortable position. It seemed like it was forever slipping further and further into the abyss. Eventually I would have to yank it back into position and start the whole process over again. Even while in a sitting position it’s just never quite right unless… (here it comes) I’m using a strap. Now… I realize for many ukulele purists, using a strap on a ukulele is right up there with putting ketchup on a steak. It just shouldn’t be done. I also realize that many uke players do just fine without using one. At the same time, I have yet to see the ukulele police raid anyone’s home and confiscate all of the offending straps.

So what’s a poor uke player to do?

Here’s my answer.

Do whatever you want! Please don’t let the so called ukulele experts con you into thinking only inexperienced players would ever stoop to using a strap. I often hear this comment as well. “A strap on a baritone uke MIGHT be OK but don’t ever put one on any other size.” And because they don’t use a strap, neither should anyone else. Apparently it doesn’t project enough Aloha spirit when you screw strap buttons into the body. Who knew?

So now what?

I’ve seen several different styles of ukulele straps online and in stores. Some of them are interesting to say the least. There are all kinds of sling type contraptions that hold your instrument in various states of near death. The standard guitar style strap has been in existence for hundreds of years for a very good reason… they work. The first shout of resistance here is almost assuredly going to sound like this. “I really don’t want to put strap buttons on my uke.” And the answer here is really easy. Why not? It’s an instrument, not the Mona Lisa. Musicians have been putting strap buttons on all types of stringed instruments since the dawn of time. It’s like butter on toast… it just works. And while we’re here, let’s talk about the other end of the strap, the end that people tend to tie around the headstock. Again, the reason that people tend to do this (I think) is because there’s a fear of putting a screw hole on the heel of the neck. But again… it’s wood. People put screws in wood every day. Now I can see where some people might be uncomfortable doing this on their own but, it costs just a few dollars down at your local music store to have it done. You can certainly attach the opposite end of the strap to the headstock if you like, but personally, I find it very distracting while playing

And of course there’s the reality of ergonomics while using a strap. It completely frees up your arms and hands to do the thing that you bought the uke for in the first place… to play it, and ultimately enjoy it. It will be THE single best investment that you will make in the playability of your instrument. It completely relieves all of the tension previously needed just to keep the uke from crashing to the ground. And the cool part is that in recent years there’s been a ton of really cool graphic designs added to uke appropriate straps. I personally use straps from Sherrin’s Threads. Partly because they are very well made and partly because they just look great. But regardless of who you buy a strap from, you can’t begin to reap the benefits until you actually buy one. So pick up a pair of strap buttons along with a strap and you’ll quickly see what a great asset a ukulele strap can be.

Happy Strumming from Kris and Kenny - The Atomic Sharks

Full Disclosure: The Atomic Sharks use and endorse Sherrin's Thread's Ukulele Straps.

Follow Us
Search By Tags
Archive