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View Full Version : How do you hold your baritone ukulele?



Mivo
06-21-2016, 08:00 AM
I use a Uke Leash or a strap with my smaller ukuleles, but with the baritone I tried a few alternative approaches that don't need a leash or a strap.

The way I currently find the most comfortable is probably best described as a variant of the classical guitar posture: I sit down on a flat chair, cross over my legs and rest the upper bout (not the narrow part of the figure-8 shape) of the baritone on my upper thigh. The bottom of the instrument sits on the other leg, and the neck is roughly in a 30-35 degrees angle.

I also tried a sturdy box in place of a footstool like classical guitarists use, which worked the same way (legs have to be closer together since the baritone is smaller than a guitar). This is likely the ergonomically best posture.

Originally I had played with the neck being almost horizontal (the narrow part of the baritone's body resting on a leg), which worked too, but I was somewhat hunching over the instrument, which is probably not very good posture. :) With a Uke Leash, when held like my smaller ukuleles, I found the neck to be a bit high up with the fretting arm having to be lifted higher also. I could get used to that too, but it didn't feel as natural as the other ways of holding the baritone.

How do you hold your baritone when seated?

DownUpDave
06-21-2016, 08:14 AM
The same as all my other ukes......with a strap connected to a button at the tail and the other at the heel of the neck. I do perform on stage from time to time so i need that full support when I am standing. The nice thing about the guitar strap method is the instrument is fully supported and both hands are free to do their thing.

When seated I will grab it and play it across my lap occasionly with the neck horizontal as you descriped but you are right about feeling hunched over.

Croaky Keith
06-21-2016, 08:42 AM
Still working on it!
Either the waist of the bari on my right thigh, or using a lanyard attached to a strap button on the heel.
I also tried with the base/lower bout on my right thigh with the neck at about 60 degrees up by my shoulder.
None of which is particularly comfortable.

Down Up Dick
06-21-2016, 10:45 AM
Good Lord . . . :old:

UncleMoon
06-21-2016, 11:23 AM
Same as I do my sopranos, concerts & tenors. I pick them up and play them. You don't need no strap to hold up a ukulele.

DownUpDave
06-21-2016, 11:52 AM
Same as I do my sopranos, concerts & tenors. I pick them up and play them. You don't need no strap to hold up a ukulele.

Them there's fightin words pilgrim

kypfer
06-21-2016, 11:57 AM
You don't need a strap, but it certainly helps, especially if you find yourself in some sort of hunched contortion trying to hang on to the thing ;)

With the baritone being larger (by definition) some of the shorter straps designed specifically for a smaller ukulele are possibly a little short, hence the fretting arm being too high when used on a baritone.

I'd suggest experimenting with a length of string to find your optimum strap length, then making or buying something appropriate based on that. Of course, if you're like me, you'll just make do with a length of string (admittedly, it is smart red 6mm diameter string ;)

SoloRule
06-21-2016, 01:16 PM
For me it's more comfortable play standing up
When I sit. It's too difficult to move the fretting hand
I always hold it like classical guitar when I sit which made it more difficult too

Jim Yates
06-21-2016, 03:34 PM
Same as I do my sopranos, concerts & tenors. I pick them up and play them. You don't need no strap to hold up a ukulele.

While I find I can play simple first position chords without a strap, when I want to play closed chords up the neck or take a solo, single string or chord melody, I don't want to have to worry about holding the uke or having it slip. It's easy enough to fasten a strap to a uke and I make them from a couple of braided leather boot laces or an old cloth belt. The cost and effort is negligible and is well worth it.

92031 92032 92033

I put the strap over my right shoulder for uke and mandolin. My head goes through the strap for guitar and banjo.

Booli
06-21-2016, 06:02 PM
I find that being 'anatomically gifted' with the smaller remains of a long-ago college-days beer-belly, that this area helps to act as a 'shelf' when I lean back in the chair and put my feet up on the desk.

All other times with sittings positions I tend to use the strap and have the neck up in the 2 o'clock position and the lower bout between my thighs (similar to classical guitar position).

Standing is always with a strap, played like a Gaucho, knees bent, slightly hunched over, with wearing appropriate bushy fake mustache and sombrero hat....

Strap is made from a 72cm black round nylon-woven bootlace that is sold in pairs for $2 at the local grocery store. Any other, thicker strap feels like it is HEAVIER than the uke itself, and is way overkill to me.

YIP YIP YIP - ARRIBA!!! :music:

Lori
06-21-2016, 07:05 PM
I use a Uke Leash on all my ukuleles, including the baritone. I usually sit, and rest the uke away from my body with the lower bout resting in my lap. The strap is adjusted to just the right neck angle for my comfort. If I had to play standing, I would want a full strap with a strap button (Like the Uke Leash Guitar Style Strap).

–Lori

UncleMoon
06-24-2016, 02:03 PM
Them there's fightin words pilgrim

maybe.. but I'm like that. :D

UncleMoon
06-24-2016, 02:12 PM
While I find I can play simple first position chords without a strap, when I want to play closed chords up the neck or take a solo, single string or chord melody, I don't want to have to worry about holding the uke or having it slip. It's easy enough to fasten a strap to a uke and I make them from a couple of braided leather boot laces or an old cloth belt. The cost and effort is negligible and is well worth it.

92031 92032 92033

I put the strap over my right shoulder for uke and mandolin. My head goes through the strap for guitar and banjo.

I'm mostly a strummer, no solos & stuff for me. I DO use a strap with my guitars. (Strummer there too!)

Camsuke
06-24-2016, 02:47 PM
I prefer to use a foot stand when playing my ukes and guitars, it makes for one less thing to worry about.

Mivo
06-24-2016, 07:44 PM
I prefer to use a foot stand when playing my ukes and guitars, it makes for one less thing to worry about.

I'm coming to the same conclusion, too. I switched to a position where the neck points at least 45 degrees up to compensate for its shorter length (compared to classical guitars) and to encourage a less hunched-over posture, which works really well. Still using a plastic box, but I think I'll buy a proper foot stool soon. Something like this (http://www.thomann.de/gb/km_14670_footrest_nickel.htm) is probably just fine (and inexpensive). An alternative would be a seat with a "built-in" foot rest, like this (http://www.thomann.de/gb/millenium_dh_500.htm) (costlier). What are your thoughts on these?

Camsuke
06-24-2016, 07:54 PM
Once you settle on a comfortable height, you can build a simple plywood box which will double as a stomp box.

PhilUSAFRet
06-25-2016, 12:47 AM
Straps a matter of need for some, preference for others. I only use/need them for my metal resouke, banjo uke, and steel string electrics. If straps increase your comfort (and confidence) level, strap'em up. Just have to decide what style strap suits you.

SoloRule
06-25-2016, 03:27 AM
I prefer to use a foot stand when playing my ukes and guitars, it makes for one less thing to worry about.


That's exactly what I use - a foot stand ! It helps steady the instrument!
I have been playing in 'stand up ' position in the last weeks so that I am not sitting too much eg in front of computer, in the car, in front of TV..... The down side is I tend to hunch more . May be its time to adjust the height of the music stand

Jim Yates
06-27-2016, 02:06 PM
92205

Ever tried one of these?

Jim Yates
06-27-2016, 02:21 PM
In The Maple Leaf Champions Jug Band, I switch between guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele. When I first incorporated the uke, I didn't use a strap, so I brought along a stool for my uke tunes. I found a uke strap was easier to bring than a stool. Here's an early photo, circa 2009, of The MLC Jug Band with me sitting. I didn't feel comfortable when everyone else was standing.

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