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View Full Version : strap button on an Ohana sopranino?



Amy
06-04-2009, 07:07 AM
Even just writing that makes me cringe a little, but I am still, after months of practise, having a hell of a time holding on to my uke so I can fret freely. Small hands, so the sopranino is great. But it always comes back to this: boobs get in the way, with both the sopranino and the Flea.

So I'm considering adding a strap button to the Ohana, but it's so WEE, and those screw-in strap buttons are freaking huge! I had a brilliant-but-fleeting idea to try one of those 3m Command adhesive thingies you use to hang pictures on the wall, but they don't make anything small enough.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the most unobtrusive possible strap button for a sopranino?

snowcooley
06-04-2009, 07:17 AM
No brilliant suggestions, but certainly some sympathy. Whatever the size of the uke, to me it doesn't matter...it's that gosh-darned shape! We can't always hold a uke tucked up against our chest the way the guys do...

The best alternative I can think of that I've seen floating around here is possibly a thin strip of velcro. UkeNukem made himself a strap this way and posted a video of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfB6Dv-a7yQ

It may be adaptable to a sopranino? It's an idea, anyway.

Tsani
06-04-2009, 07:33 AM
Well, I don't have the gender charateristic problems... :o ahem... but I do have strap problems. I think we are all really waiting for a real strap solution.

Have you guys noticed the difference in sound if you DON'T hold the uku against your body? It is dramatic on mine. If I park that thing about half-way out to my knee so that the backboard can vibrate freely I get a huge jump in both volume and tone quality. I guess that's going to make me insist on using a stool or chair of some kind.

Good luck on seeking a strap solution and please post if you find something good!

Lori
06-04-2009, 07:33 AM
Maybe you could install a button at the heel of the neck, and hang it like a saxophone. Would that give you enough control, or do you need to have the neck held up in position more? You wouldn't see the strap button at all.

–Lori

Roy Jovero
06-04-2009, 07:40 AM
I think I lost track after you meantioned boobs. LOL All joking aside, have you thought of attaching the strap with small patches of velcro? Or duct tape?

UKISOCIETY
06-04-2009, 07:59 AM
Maybe you could install a button at the heel of the neck, and hang it like a saxophone. Would that give you enough control, or do you need to have the neck held up in position more? You wouldn't see the strap button at all.

–Lori


I did just that with my Flea - used a saxophone strap and hung it by the sound hole. Worked fine.

Amy
06-04-2009, 08:34 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions and sympathy. :o I know I'm not alone, but to see so many of you with the same problem is vaguely comforting.


I did just that with my Flea - used a saxophone strap and hung it by the sound hole. Worked fine.

For my Flea, I found info under the well-hidden "care and maintenance" link: "Straps – The Flea soprano has a loop at the base of the neck – simply pass a chord or thin strap through and knot to size." So I've got that one covered.

I've seen the sound-hole hooks and the reason I haven't gone for them is that, honestly, I'm a klutz. I guarantee I will forget to hold the neck while wearing it at some point and then BOOM.

[in fact, I had the most spectacular save last night at uke jam -- caught it with my little finger by one of the tuners -- and it was just sitting on my lap before it fell]

Velcro is interesting...but wouldn't it make a mess on the wood? I know this is an Ohana, not a Kamaka, but still...

There are a lot of us who need a solution. You think someone would come up with one and sell it and become stinking rich, no? Or at least a little smelly?

snowcooley
06-04-2009, 09:01 AM
[in fact, I had the most spectacular save last night at uke jam -- caught it with my little finger by one of the tuners -- and it was just sitting on my lap before it fell]

Velcro is interesting...but wouldn't it make a mess on the wood? I know this is an Ohana, not a Kamaka, but still...


You're right. I'm still quite sketchy on the velcro as well... you might have to ask someone who has actually tried this for a guarantee that it won't do nasty things to your uke.

On a sidenote, those Toronto Ukulele jams look like they're the most fun in the world! I must admit I've been watching all the videos of them I can find on Youtube... Makes me want to move to the T dot (or at least visit my Torontonian friends more often!)

Lori
06-04-2009, 09:33 AM
I still like the strap button option. The idea of velcro adhesive on a nice wood finish just bothers me. If it was glued to plastic, I have less of a problem with it. It's not just the gummy glue I dislike, but the uncertainty of the connection to the uke. I just don't need to worry about the thing falling off while I play. And those straps with the hook, I think that's too much pressure on the soundboard, and I would hate to let go and have it barrel roll to the floor.

Try testing out some strap positions with some long shoelaces. I was able to decide where the button(s) would work best by this method. Make sure the strap doesn't get in the way of your left hand when it's at the first fret. You can always add a button on the back of the headstock, if needed.

–Lori

Tsani
06-04-2009, 10:48 AM
I have the same reservations about anything touching the soundboard. I am also nervous about putting any pressure or torque on that thin, resonant, and valuable wood.

Putting a button on the bottom with an epoxy might be an option, but it would permanently affect the instrument, and I don't want to do it.

Unless I see something that surprises me, I guess I will stay strapless.

If I was playing a different instrument, I might feel differently, but I am not going to let anything damage the sound, appearance, authenticity, or value of my Marca Aquila.

I think any decent luthier should be able to install a button for a strap on most instruments. I just don't want it done to mine.

seeso
06-04-2009, 10:58 AM
I've seen the sound-hole hooks and the reason I haven't gone for them is that, honestly, I'm a klutz. I guarantee I will forget to hold the neck while wearing it at some point and then BOOM.

You will not forget about the strap with one of those sound hole hooks. The way they feel when you're using them prevents that. I suggest you try it out.

adam2180
06-04-2009, 11:50 AM
I often play standing up so I always install a strap button on the bottom of my Ukes and tie the strap around the peg-head, just like a guitar. It may not be proper but its comfortable and you're not squishing the uke against your body and killing the vibrations.