PDA

View Full Version : How to prevent uke from slipping?



Celluke
09-12-2015, 04:44 AM
I play classical guitar and have just started playing the ukulele. I'm finding it much harder to hold than the guitar, which sits firmly on the left knee when using a footstool, and the ukulele keeps slipping. It doesn't help that it is a shiny, painted Makala Dolphin. Consequently, I'm finding that I'm getting an ache in my shoulders and back (at least I'm assuming this is what's causing it as I didn't have it before!) from the effort of keeping it in place, especially when using tabs.

Any advice from anyone would be gratefully received!

Chopped Liver
09-12-2015, 05:01 AM
Look up how to hold ukulele on the internet. Lots of info (I am not an expert so I am referring you to google!). That being said, I had a hard time holding my Makakla Shark, too, even sitting down. I just got a Mainland Mango Uke and it is easier to hold. Same size uke, shiny surface. Weird.

Celluke
09-12-2015, 05:16 AM
Look up how to hold ukulele on the internet. Lots of info (I am not an expert so I am referring you to google!). That being said, I had a hard time holding my Makakla Shark, too, even sitting down. I just got a Mainland Mango Uke and it is easier to hold. Same size uke, shiny surface. Weird.

Thanks, I've already googled but still finding it slips!
Perhaps I'll try a strap.

Chopped Liver
09-12-2015, 05:19 AM
It takes awhile (at least for me) to learn to hold it so it doesn't slip, but I think I'm getting better . . .

Booli
09-12-2015, 05:24 AM
Thanks, I've already googled but still finding it slips!
Perhaps I'll try a strap.

If you're handy with a drill, you can buy an endpin strap button for $2 online, and drill a hole to install it

Otherwise any local music shop that sells and does work on guitars should be able to sell and install one for you for ~$10-15 or so, it takes less than 5 mins if done properly and does not require a Masters Degree in Luthery to perform the installation.

There are MANY videos on YouTube, mostly for Guitar, but if you search 'ukulele strap button install' you might find one for uke, but if not the procedure to install one on guitar is essentially the same.

Once the strap button is installed, using a shoelace or string, tie one end of the string to the strap button with a good knot, and then tie the other string end, at a comfortable length to the headstock, just behind the nut. This is exactly how I have my soprano set up. Any other kind of strap would seem to me to be heavier than the actual ukulele it is supporting.

Let me know if this helps you. :)

CactusWren
09-12-2015, 06:05 AM
You might want to put a little sticky stuff, like kitchen drawer paper, where it contacts your leg or the back. (John King tip) I actually do this for my guitar, using some felt where my right arm hits it. (Douglas Niedt tip).

I made a video called "First Ukulele Lesson for a Guitarist" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TlwebyItew)yesterday for my friend, who was my classical guitar teacher. Not that entertaining, but pretty practical I think.

stevepetergal
09-12-2015, 06:50 AM
Practice, practice, practice.

Mivo
09-12-2015, 07:14 AM
Use the lower arm to gently press the body of the ukulele against your body (without suffocating it). For the neck, I can only recommend getting an Uke Leash from Lori. That helped me a lot and I still use one with sopranos too (but feel I need it less now that the fretting hand has gotten stronger).

hub
09-12-2015, 08:23 AM
Practice, practice, practice.

Strap, strap, strap.

actadh
09-12-2015, 08:56 AM
Your painted uke might be perfect for the solution I found for my Outdoor Ukulele tenor. I use a Flanger FA 80 guitar accessory device with a suction cup on the side of the uke. Mine was from that well known auction site, but many music stores have similar items. http://www.amazon.com/Flanger-FA-80-Utility-Guitar-Accessory/dp/B00BP4F564

It is a triangle shape that suctions to the side of the ukulele and is held atop my left leg. I like the neck of the uke to be up high and using the Flanger achieves that. I rinse the suction cup with water, leave the suction cup damp, and then put it on the lower bout. Having a plastic uke is helpful in that the tiny bit of dampness won't hurt anything, but your shiny, painted Makala probably would be a benefit here and work just as well.

I like the rubbery shelf liner solution, too, and will have to try that one as well.

Brian1
09-12-2015, 05:52 PM
I have used the rubber mat from drawer liners as has been suggested but there are a couple of other things that might help:

1) Extend your thumb up on the neck almost toward the head stock when playing the traditional position for chords so it is farther outside of your body than the fingers this allows the fingers and thumb to lever the ukulele next to your body. IF you are playing mostly chords in the first five frets you won't have many problems moving your hand around. (taking the hand away to reach higher notes can be an issue)

2) Hold the uke high against your chest and push it against your bicep and in your elbow that will not only wedge and hold up the back of the uke but allow your forearm to make contact below the bridge to help hold it against your chest... Of course the more loosely you hold it the more it vibrates so find the right pressure.

3) large biceps and a beer belly work wonders (I am still working on the large biceps)

Phluffy the Destroyer
09-12-2015, 07:18 PM
Install a strap. The method is virtually foolproof.

kypfer
09-12-2015, 10:48 PM
Both Danielle Ate the Sandwich https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsO9BS4ojCc and Jamie Holding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAksZJ3aAWs have made use of an appropriately attached length of string to support their ukulele ... wouldn't cost anything to try ;)

PhilUSAFRet
09-13-2015, 12:28 AM
I only have that problem when I wear a long sleeve shirt in a synthetic (read slippery) fabric. I live in Florida and using my bare arm, I have no problems with slippage. I only use a strap on my banjo uke and half-size bass.

Lori
09-13-2015, 07:33 AM
I play classical guitar and have just started playing the ukulele. I'm finding it much harder to hold than the guitar, which sits firmly on the left knee when using a footstool, and the ukulele keeps slipping. It doesn't help that it is a shiny, painted Makala Dolphin. Consequently, I'm finding that I'm getting an ache in my shoulders and back (at least I'm assuming this is what's causing it as I didn't have it before!) from the effort of keeping it in place, especially when using tabs.

Any advice from anyone would be gratefully received!

Hi Celluke
Welcome to UU!
I had the same problem you had, back in 2009 when I first stared playing the uke. I have a classical guitar background too, and was getting frustrated with the neck moving around as I played up and down the neck. I never realized how often I let go of the neck of the guitar to move up the neck. A strap will help for sure. I got a couple of my ukes drilled and buttons installed, and it helped a lot. I got very enthusiastic, and ended up getting a beautiful Kanile'a uke before the end of that year. The uke was so pretty, I didn't want to drill a hole. So I took several months to figure out how to control the uke without altering my uke with holes, suction cups, hooks, or velcro. I solved my problem with my Uke Leash, and I haven't looked back. I no longer have to think about the neck moving, and I can just concentrate on making clean, accurate notes. I found that the Uke Leash actually holds the neck in position better than a regular strap, if I am in a sitting position. I can adjust it for the most comfortable angle, and distance the body of the uke from myself, giving the soundbox free movement and more volume.

–Lori

Purdy Bear
09-13-2015, 08:58 PM
Try using a chemise leather, thats very common in Mandolin players. I've made a guitar like strap from ribbon. It's pretty easy to slip under the strings and round the body/neck and can be adjustable.

This is a good video about the correct position for a Ukulele
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM_3Sb-xfXk

However this video about the mandolin, gives you the ergonomics of holding a string instrument
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qdkkgBQjuc

Tootler
09-14-2015, 05:38 AM
I'm not keen on drilling holes in my ukes either so I use a uke leash - a brilliant idea - or a uke thong which fits round your neck and has a hook that fits in the sound hole. The uke thong doesn't support the neck but the body is supported enough to make it easy to adjust position on the neck.

Get the uke leash from Lori who posted above or go to ebay for a uke thong.

SailorUke!
09-14-2015, 08:29 AM
Do whatever it takes to make it comfortable and natural to play. When I started with the Uke months back all I heard was not to use a strap. I have a tenor though and it has a heavy neck and headstock and wanted to always wander so I spent my time and energy chasing the neck. Finally I got a thin mandolin strap and my playing and practicing changed instantly. Pick what works for you and go with it.

As a side note, I have played concerts and sopranos since and didn't need the strap. I have a Vorson LP steel string and couldn't play it at all without a strap as the neck is so heavy. On the other hand, played a nice solid higher end tenor that was light as a feather and didn't need the strap. Clothes make a HUGE difference. Oh yeah, and standing vs sitting. I guess I am saying that depending on your body shape, instrument shape and weight, shirt construction etc, you may need many strategies to be comfortable. This isn't my first instrument but one thing seems to be true to all, comfort = increased practice which increases fun. At least that is what I am in this for in the end. Fun. :D

Tim Mullins
09-14-2015, 05:05 PM
I play classical guitar and have just started playing the ukulele. I'm finding it much harder to hold than the guitar, which sits firmly on the left knee when using a footstool, and the ukulele keeps slipping. It doesn't help that it is a shiny, painted Makala Dolphin. Consequently, I'm finding that I'm getting an ache in my shoulders and back (at least I'm assuming this is what's causing it as I didn't have it before!) from the effort of keeping it in place, especially when using tabs.

Any advice from anyone would be gratefully received!

A Mobius Strap will work with your ukulele to give completely hands-free support without the need to modify your instrument. You can check it out at http://www.mobiusstrap.com

VegasGeorge
09-15-2015, 01:29 AM
Avoid playing Paul Simon at all costs!

Down Up Dick
09-15-2015, 04:43 AM
Ha Ha, George, I got it, but I don't know how many youngsters even know who Paul Simon is. :old:

DebEB
09-15-2015, 05:53 AM
Have been having real trouble with this myself. Very new to the ukulele and have explored a number of options. Not keen on drilling holes in my ukulele so tried a strap tied around headstock and waist of the uke. Others in the beginners class found it helped. I didn't, I felt too constrained and tangled up and the thing still kept on slipping.

What currently works for me (sitting down) is a non slip bobbly pad thing as, for example, used to stop stuff slipping on your car dashboard. Also available in rolls from car accessory shops. So, a small mat of that on right thigh, rest ukulele on that, rest bare forearm on top of uke on the lower bout/waist (i.e. the side of the uke) . That seems to hold it well without any additional pressure, right hand is roughly in the correct position to strum. Left fretting hand is completely free and doesn't need to hold the neck, or even touch it! The uke feels secure and doesn't move.

This has really helped me. Might work for you.

VegasGeorge
09-15-2015, 11:15 AM
Ha Ha, George, I got it, but I don't know how many youngsters even know who Paul Simon is. :old:

Oh my gosh! Well, in that case: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_H-LY4Jb2M