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RadiantRosie
04-12-2016, 11:53 AM
Brand new uke player here. I'm having a couple of issues and I'm wondering if anyone else has had these problems and can help...

1) I'm a curvy lady. My uke keeps slipping on my thigh. When I sit and play, it wants to turn and become a lap dulcimer. I've tried one of those grippy pads you put on your car dashboard on my leg but the uke still slides. Any thoughts?

2) My right forearm is getting terribly bruised where it rests on the body of the ukulele. Will my arm get tougher like my fingertips will?

Maybe both issues are related? Any help would be much appreciated since these issues are really affecting my enjoyment of my new hobby.

D_X
04-12-2016, 02:21 PM
I hold the ukulele with my forearm... But since you are bruised. Maybe try a not so slippery clothing?
Also I hold the neck just a touch with my thumb.

janeray1940
04-12-2016, 02:42 PM
My suggestion would be to get a strap button installed on your uke, and use a strap. I resisted this for a really long time but honestly, when I finally went for it my playing improved so much that there was no looking back. When you don't have to worry about that little uke slip-sliding all over the place, you are free to focus on playing better!

As for the bruising - funny you should mention it, I was trying to figure out why my right arm has a big ol' bruise on it. I'm not a newbie, but I've been playing a lot more than usual these past few days. I'm going to think of it as a badge of honor :)

Booli
04-12-2016, 02:48 PM
1. Get a strap, or tie a cord or string around the indent betw the upper and lower bouts (the figure-8 body shape) and across the sound hole, and then tie the other end of the cord to the headstock between the nut and tuners. Doing so makes the problem of holding it go away. There is no shame in using a strap and anyone that tells you otherwise is either wholly ignorant or simply an idiot.

2. Once you have some kind of a strap, you will not have to apply such impossible pressure to the side of the uke with your forearm, and the welts and pain will dissipate

For something else simple, check out ukeleash.com, which is made by fellow UU sister Lori Applethorp, and many folks here on the forum love the Uke Leash...maybe it will work for you?

In the meantime, if you have a cord, string, or even a bootlace, you can tie it on and see if that helps for little-to-no cost and only a few mins time...

Hope this helps...

CasanovaGuy
04-12-2016, 03:52 PM
1. It might just be technique. If you watch the pros (Jake, Aldrine, Kalei, even Sungha), you'll see that they each have their own ways of preventing the uke from sliding when they play sitting down, because it will slide if they didn't do anything. Jake likes to cross his legs, Aldrine and Kalei tilt their ukes in such a way that a small section of the body is pretty much digging into one of their legs, and Sungha has experimented with both. You also might be holding the uke too low, and straps work wonders to fix this problem if your hands are used to manually adjust it while you're playing.

2. I've never had any problems with bruising, but I'm pretty sure that this is a technique issue. It feels much more comfortable to anchor your picking/strumming arm to the body, and your picking becomes more precise as a result. I don't think there's a set-in-stone technique for this, but this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9WCM4CV5Iw) shows how I anchor my arm. If you aren't wearing long sleeves, you might end up with a huge line on your arm (that'll eventually go away), but that's about it.

My suggestion? Focus on how you're holding the ukulele and find a position that's comfortable for you. Now try playing a song. If you have to make a very obvious song break to readjust the ukulele, then get a strap. If you can readjust it in a lowkey way, or if the ukulele isn't slipping at all, then no worries :D

janeray1940
04-12-2016, 04:02 PM
1. It might just be technique. If you watch the pros (Jake, Aldrine, Kalei, even Sungha)...

Worth pointing out: OP is self-described as a "curvy lady." The few *female* pros I can think of (Brittni Paiva, Taimane Gardner, Sarah Maisel - sorry if I'm leaving anybody out and please add to my list if I have done so!) all use straps, even when sitting down.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5bhJFS_VmU

SoloRule
04-12-2016, 04:05 PM
1. It might just be technique. If you watch the pros (Jake, Aldrine, Kalei, even Sungha), you'll see that they each have their own ways of preventing the uke from sliding when they play sitting down, because it will slide if they didn't do anything. Jake likes to cross his legs, Aldrine and Kalei tilt their ukes in such a way that a small section of the body is pretty much digging into one of their legs, and Sungha has experimented with both. You also might be holding the uke too low, and straps work wonders to fix this problem if your hands are used to manually adjust it while you're playing.

2. I've never had any problems with bruising, but I'm pretty sure that this is a technique issue. It feels much more comfortable to anchor your picking/strumming arm to the body, and your picking becomes more precise as a result. I don't think there's a set-in-stone technique for this, but this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9WCM4CV5Iw) shows how I anchor my arm. If you aren't wearing long sleeves, you might end up with a huge line on your arm (that'll eventually go away), but that's about it.

My suggestion? Focus on how you're holding the ukulele and find a position that's comfortable for you. Now try playing a song. If you have to make a very obvious song break to readjust the ukulele, then get a strap. If you can readjust it in a lowkey way, or if the ukulele isn't slipping at all, then no worries :D

Men don't have as much trouble as women.
A strap is the answer to your problem and I don't mean a neck leash. I mean a strap that tie to two strap buttons. You would need to pay a professional to install the buttons.
I have a friend refuses to drill strap button in fear of demaging her uke. She has been playing for three years, show no improvement in her skill because She is too busy keeping the uke from sliding.

CasanovaGuy
04-12-2016, 04:08 PM
Worth pointing out: OP is self-described as a "curvy lady." The few *female* pros I can think of (Brittni Paiva, Taimane Gardner, Sarah Maisel - sorry if I'm leaving anybody out and please add to my list if I have done so!) all use straps, even when sitting down.

Good point. Call me old-fashioned, but I didn't realize straps had become this popular haha

janeray1940
04-12-2016, 04:15 PM
Good point. Call me old-fashioned, but I didn't realize straps had become this popular haha

:)

FWIW, my uke instructor has started recommending strap buttons to all beginners, regardless of male/female differences.

RadiantRosie
04-12-2016, 04:21 PM
Thank you all. I didn't know if a strap would work while seated but it sounds as though it's not uncommon. So I just ordered one. I'm nervous about installing buttons on my new uke so I got the HUG-strap.

Also, I found a wide athletic wrist band that stretches enough to push it up my arm a bit to where my forearm is getting wrecked. I'm going to try that as well to give me a bit of padding to help with the bruising. I'll give it a go and hopefully it won't interfere too much.

Here's a little giggle for you: I got a routine tetanus shot yesterday and my left arm is having a reaction by swelling and throbbing. I smashed my strumming hand on a piano at work today and the top is all black and blue. And with the forearm bruising from the uke, I look a hot mess! It's a wonder I can play at all. BUT I just can't put it down and I'm still practicing through these minor aches. Newbie fervor. ;)

JJFN
04-12-2016, 04:40 PM
So RadiantRosie, you didn't know ukulele playing was a contact sport? Seriously though, installing a strap should take care of your bruising and stability problems. Have fun and enjoy the journey.

Lori
04-12-2016, 05:29 PM
I get grooves on my right forearm all the time. I find I have to roll up that sleeve to keep it out of the way, and that makes the exposure worse.
You might want to try a padded guitar sleeve (http://oasishumidifiers.com/sleeves2.html).
Some uke makers are making a bevel on that edge. Most of them are custom, but here is one by Kala (http://kalabrand.com/ukulele/comfort-edge):

–Lori

70sSanO
04-12-2016, 05:42 PM
You can install an arm rest on the top edge. I know they are available for guitars and I think ukuleles also. I actually have put on one that clamps on. I originally got it to protect the top from perspiration in the summer, but it also makes it more comfortable and even helps with sustain.

John

kohanmike
04-12-2016, 08:53 PM
Get a strap, with buttons, or the one Lori makes, UkeLeash. Not having to hold up the uke is a great benefit.

actadh
04-13-2016, 04:54 AM
I am of the same description and I use strap with two buttons when sitting down.

On the few ukes which have no strap buttons since they are too fragile etc., I rest my left leg on a stool and hold it like a classical guitar. I also use a rug underlay between me and the uke (cut down to the size a little bigger than the back of the uke.)

JessicaM
04-13-2016, 09:11 AM
Fwiw, I'm not gifted in the curves department, but even with an average bust, I find the strap to be a humongous improvement as far as comfort goes. Good luck!! I hope your strap makes as a big a difference for you as it has for me.

Inkdork
04-14-2016, 05:40 PM
I'm a new ukulele owner and I've had the same issue as the OP. I'm also a very curvy woman so it seems like those curves are constantly at odds to holding my uke. If its as simple as having a button installed and getting a strap, I'll be calling my local music store as soon as I have a few $. As was stated in this thread, I can better play (well learn to) if I'm not constantly messing with my hold on it.

Louis0815
04-18-2016, 09:43 AM
I also refrain from drilling holes into my ukes - that's why I got myself a magnetic strap: one end is tied to the headstock just as usual, and the other end has a small but powerful magnet sewn in. The counterpart is basically just dropped into the soundhole and falls in place easily. Holds the uke securely and can be easily removed without any trace.