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View Full Version : New Innovative Non-destructive Uke Strap Needs Testers



Lori
02-05-2010, 01:09 PM
It’s been almost a year since I joined Ukulele Underground, and everything I have learned about the ukulele started here with this great community of people. I have had great fun, and am completely hooked and totally uke crazy. Thanks to everyone! Necessity is the mother of invention.... sooo, I designed a strap specifically for the Ukulele that doesn’t need a strap button, sound hole hook or Velcro tape. It is currently given the working name as Ukulele Half-Strap. Check out the video for more information on how it works.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VEz6nn06aE I hope to put up a better quality video later.
I need to get some feedback on this design, and that’s where you guys can help. I will be making up approximately 30 prototype straps for test marketing. That is were I send you the strap, you try it out for a week or so, and fill out a questionnaire about your experiences and opinions about the product. I will want to know everything you liked or didn’t like about the product, so don’t forget to take notes as you think of them. The product has several different configurations, so I would like you to test all 4 options.

You may keep the prototype.

How will I select the testers? Well, I have a survey that you can fill out, and after reviewing the surveys, I will select about 30 people. I am looking for a good cross section of the ukulele playing community, so if you are chosen, you will be representing a great number of other players like you. So, I will want beginners, and advanced players, all ages, male and female, big people and small people. Those who have all sizes of ukuleles, and those who only have one. Hopefully, we can also get a few children involved too. This is an evolving product, not a finished design, so this is the time to fine tune it before finding a manufacturer. So, the goal here is to gather as much information from the test group as possible, and if you have family and friends that play ukulele, their input would be very helpful too.

This half-strap is not as fully stable as a button strap. It is for people who don’t want to alter their ukes with holes, adhesive / glues, or hooks, but want some support when playing. This design works on all shapes and sizes of ukuleles, including those without conventional sound holes.

Sorry for the long post, but there was much to cover!

If you would like to participate in the survey, email me at lapthorp5834 at roadrunner.com. Deadline for surveys is February 11, 2010. I will choose from this group the people who will get to test (and keep) the prototypes.

–Lori

Just added better quality video to my Mobile Me account (before Youtube crunched it). If you want to see a better picture, go to www.artistsonart.tv (http://www.artistsonart.tv) Hope to have a better YouTube video soon. EDIT– YouTube video looks pretty good now. It looked really bad earlier, but it was still being processed.

leftovermagic84
02-05-2010, 01:16 PM
That's a pretty interesting concept! I'm sure this would fit into the best of both worlds for the people who don't want to drill into their babies. I've got strap buttons on all my ukes, but if I didn't I might be hooked. It's so cool to see that kind of innovation! Great Job!

Skitzic
02-05-2010, 01:17 PM
Great idea! Right now I have string wrapped around mine...heh.

You go girl.

itsme
02-05-2010, 01:31 PM
What an intriguing idea! I'd love to give it a try. :)

sukie
02-05-2010, 01:37 PM
Yep. Just watched the video. It looks quite unique! Good luck, Lori.

psesinkclee
02-05-2010, 03:37 PM
Looks awesome! Just shot you an email :)

Skitzic
02-05-2010, 04:02 PM
How did I miss the video the first time I read this?

Oh well. I watched it, and it's cool.

Sambient
02-05-2010, 04:53 PM
I'm intrigued.

Sir
02-05-2010, 09:19 PM
Lori, interesting idea. I was just mulling over the other day whether or not I could face drilling a hole in my Ohana....

Off topic..... what was the music playing at the beginning of your video?

chrisukulele
02-05-2010, 11:21 PM
Its actually a pretty good idea. Just hoping someone don't steal the idea, mass produce an improved version in China, and sell it before you do. It happened to a friend when he proposed an idea for an uke accessory...sadddddness

Chinthe
02-06-2010, 01:06 AM
Wow. This looks great! :iwant:

Email sent and here's hoping I'm a lucky guinea pig. :)

Lori
02-06-2010, 06:06 AM
Lori, interesting idea. I was just mulling over the other day whether or not I could face drilling a hole in my Ohana....

Off topic..... what was the music playing at the beginning of your video?

It is a royalty free Apple Loop "Acoustic Sunrise" (iLife Sound Effects, Jingles). I love that song though. If I was better at uke playing and recording, I would have played something. But, I didn't want to delay the video, so I looked for something I could use quickly, without copyright issues.

–Lori

Thumper
02-06-2010, 06:23 AM
Great video, and a very clever idea!

Teek
02-06-2010, 11:04 AM
This is brilliant and I want one! :iwant:

hawaiianmusiclover06
02-06-2010, 11:16 AM
That's a great idea... Always wanted a strap for my ukulele. Will email you now Lori!

DeG
02-06-2010, 12:10 PM
I like it!

bt93
02-06-2010, 01:30 PM
its awesome, and if you want i would be glad to test it

phanzo
02-06-2010, 01:38 PM
Me likey and me wanty!!

Email has been el sento!!

Dannn
02-06-2010, 05:22 PM
I've seen this concept before. While it looks like an interesting idea, and I've never used one myself, it seems like just half a strap. I suppose the idea here is that people want a strap, but don't want to attach strap buttons. I don't really get that. Aside from a few ukes out there with real value to collectors that would be diminished, what is the problem? They are cheap and easy to install, and they make using a strap oh so easy.

Not to bash your idea, Lori. It is a good idea for those who can't bring themselves to add buttons. I just don't get that.

Lori
02-06-2010, 06:57 PM
I've seen this concept before. While it looks like an interesting idea, and I've never used one myself, it seems like just half a strap. I suppose the idea here is that people want a strap, but don't want to attach strap buttons. I don't really get that. Aside from a few ukes out there with real value to collectors that would be diminished, what is the problem? They are cheap and easy to install, and they make using a strap oh so easy.

Not to bash your idea, Lori. It is a good idea for those who can't bring themselves to add buttons. I just don't get that.

I found it very distressing going through the whole strap button installation process. And even though the two ukes I had altered (button installed) worked out OK, I was still very nervous about having it done to the others. So I didn't have strap buttons installed unless it was by the manufacturer. That way, if something bad happened it was their problem. And, some ukes are so beautiful and unique, that if something bad happened during the whole drilling process, it would be hard to take. I am getting back a lot of surveys, and I am not alone in this feeling. I have a perfectly good hand drill, but no other shop equipment. I have done a lot of model building, and know what can go wrong if things aren't held properly. I have no problem drilling holes into walls. Walls are easy to fix and touch up. But a Kanile'a, or a lovely spalted grained uke... I would be way too nervous to attempt it, and really don't trust that I won't get some careless music store employee assigned to the task if I were to bring it there.

–Lori

CountryMouse
02-06-2010, 07:11 PM
Lori: it was lucky that it was "only" my white Makala Dolphin that I had a careless guitar store employee work on and put a strap button in. He managed to chip the paint (which still bothers me), and he had to use glue inside for some unknown reason (who needs to use glue when installing a strap button?!), which I had to let air out for a couple days so I wouldn't be dizzy. Since then I have had WhenDogsSing install my strap buttons. But if I had a more expensive ukulele to be altered, I'd have to really think. A traditional ukulele does not have a strap button. It just looks better without. But I need a strap. I can't play properly without a strap.

So I totally understand where you're coming from!

CountryMouse

cornfedgroove
02-06-2010, 07:27 PM
reminds me of a mountain dulcimer strap of sorts

fromthee2me
02-06-2010, 09:09 PM
Hello Lori, I am sorry but I cannot support your product, as nice as it is made, and for the good intentions you have to all the fellow uke players reading on this BB.
My reason is based on the following: You are fastening the strap to the headstock, the headstock is on top of the neck, and the neck is attached to the body of the instrument, by glue, a dovetail arrangement, a bolt, or any other clever idea.
The neck can act as a lever, as you clamp the uke against your body, thereby putting strain on the instrument.
Luthiers, and good music stores, have experience in fitting these buttons, and my experience has been good, where the button was fitted out of view in the heel of the neck, and at the bottom of the uke (Mi-Si). It allows the instrument to hang around my head, allowing me to change the music-sheets on the stand in front of me, or to adjust the mic, or even slide it out of the way.
The choice was made for practical purpose only with the view (and it is not a traditional view ) that I bought an instrument, and not an ornament, plus I am tired of clamping the instrument and having to adjust the instrument upwards with my fretting hand. My recommendation (for players who are considering to fit a strap) would therefore be to fit both ends of the strap to the body of the instrument. It makes playing easier.

scottie
02-07-2010, 12:44 AM
People have been tying the ends of straps around their headstocks for a long time, both with guitars and ukes as well as mandolins and other instruments. It's an accepted way of doing it. The glue will hold at the neck/body joint, just like the glue will hold the bridge on with all that shearing force applied by the strings. I had a strap button installed at the bottom end of my Collings because there's a block there but, since there isn't that much meat at the heel I decided I'd tie the other end around the headstock at the nut rather than risk compromising the integrity of the joint by drilling into the heel. I wear it like a camera strap and its only function is to hold the instrument so I don't have to squeeze the body and adjust my fretting hand to hold the instrument in position. I can't old the uke in place with my right forearm and maintain good fingerstyle form and movement with my right hand. Necessary adjustments at the left hand inhibit my fingering. Playing without a strap is just not acceptable, unless I'm sitting, and even then. . .

I'd think nothing of drilling into the heel on a guitar because of the amount of wood there. My Collings is a wispy little thing and I'll not do that, thanks.

The half strap seems like a good idea but it won't solve MY right hand issue.

fromthee2me
02-07-2010, 01:15 AM
When I had the 2nd button fitted, the person at the music shop was very much aware of the possibility that the drill could strike some of any reinforcing the luthier might have included in the wood to securely fit the neck to the body. I am right handed, and the button is fitted so it cannot be seen from the top or the front of the instrument. It is very pleasant now that I have a strap to just stand and play, and one can even move around and keep playing. At this stage I also want to re-iterate that I am just as obsessed about ukes as Lori, and do not want to discourage her from trying to improve all matters uke. I am also aware that the ukes are probably sturdy/short enough to be secured at the headstock, and if I may, I would try one of Lori's prototypes, if it could be fitted to a button at the bottom of a uke that I have? IOW strap at the headstock, and button slot attached at the button at the bottom, so that I do not have to clamp the instrument against my body. That would be interesting.........Scottie my thinking (about the strap) was influenced by the way most electric guitars are strapped over player's shoulders, and you are right about these modern glues.

AlanZ
02-07-2010, 01:35 AM
I agree that attaching a strap to the headstock is a very common practice, and is structurally a non-issue.

Many players prefer the angle that the strap achieves when attached to the headstock.

Some others feel it gets in the way of their left hand. So I think it's just a preference.

sukie
02-07-2010, 04:53 AM
I've seen this concept before. While it looks like an interesting idea, and I've never used one myself, it seems like just half a strap. I suppose the idea here is that people want a strap, but don't want to attach strap buttons. I don't really get that. Aside from a few ukes out there with real value to collectors that would be diminished, what is the problem? They are cheap and easy to install, and they make using a strap oh so easy.

Not to bash your idea, Lori. It is a good idea for those who can't bring themselves to add buttons. I just don't get that.

Well, looks like you won't need to be a tester then. :-)

sukie
02-07-2010, 04:56 AM
The one thing that really interests me is the lack of a "clip" like that used on a uke thong. i use a thong but I'm always a little nervous about what it could do to the soundhole. Please pick me....

Sir
02-07-2010, 05:45 AM
It is a royalty free Apple Loop "Acoustic Sunrise" (iLife Sound Effects, Jingles). I love that song though. If I was better at uke playing and recording, I would have played something. But, I didn't want to delay the video, so I looked for something I could use quickly, without copyright issues.

–Lori

Oh man!!! I knew I'd heard it somewhere (I use Logic pro!)

Thanks for letting me know

Lori
02-07-2010, 06:34 AM
If you need to have both hands free to arrange music, walk around the room, answer the phone, and play, a full strap attached at both ends will be the best choice. The Half Strap is just an option for those who don't want to, or don't have the proper resources for adding a button to their instrument. The support it gives is enough that the right arm no longer needs to clamp down. The right arm just "rests" comfortably on the uke, and that seems to be enough. The testers will be extremely important in evaluating this system.

–Lori

weegee
02-07-2010, 01:04 PM
Email sent! this seems pretty useful, I needed one the last two times i performed...

Lori
02-09-2010, 06:29 AM
The response to the survey has been great! Just a quick reminder... get those surveys in before the end of Thursday, February 11. I will be making final selection on Friday or Saturday (depends on my work schedule, which is up in the air right now). You will get an email from me one way or the other about the results. I will need your mailing address to send you the strap. If you didn't get selected, and really want a strap right away, let me know. Maybe we can work something out.

You guys have been really great!

Thanks
–Lori

Sic_Rob
02-09-2010, 07:00 AM
The response to the survey has been great! Just a quick reminder... get those surveys in before the end of Thursday, February 11. I will be making final selection on Friday or Saturday (depends on my work schedule, which is up in the air right now). You will get an email from me one way or the other about the results. I will need your mailing address to send you the strap. If you didn't get selected, and really want a strap right away, let me know. Maybe we can work something out.

You guys have been really great!

Thanks
–Lori


Hi Lori, Did I miss something? where is the survey? Do I need to meail you then you'll send the surevey or was it posted here somewhere and I missed it? I am intrgued by the idea. I just bought 2 uku's for my daughters 6 & 3. They dance around strumming my ukus and I was going to attach a string but wasn't sure where. I beleive they would be happy to help with test as well as Myself. I will email you in the mean time.

Lori
02-09-2010, 08:48 AM
Hi Lori, Did I miss something? where is the survey? Do I need to meail you then you'll send the surevey or was it posted here somewhere and I missed it? I am intrgued by the idea. I just bought 2 uku's for my daughters 6 & 3. They dance around strumming my ukus and I was going to attach a string but wasn't sure where. I beleive they would be happy to help with test as well as Myself. I will email you in the mean time.

If you want a survey, email me at:
lapthorp5834 at roadrunner.com (trying to avoid spam bots by spelling out the @ symbol)
I will send you the survey by email, and you can respond by email. If you have any problems, send me a UU Private Message.
Thanks, and good luck to all.
–Lori

Lori
02-16-2010, 02:48 PM
So, today I sent out the majority of the prototypes. For those of you in California, it should arrive in 1-3 days. Those in the rest of the USA, between 3-5 days, and those international folks 5-10 days. I can't wait to hear your comments and suggestions. Thanks to all for such an enthusiastic response. This Sunday, I will post a "name the Ukulele Half Strap Poll", so get your thinking caps on!!! Write in entries will be accepted.

–Lori

Carolina Uku
03-19-2010, 03:00 PM
Too bad, I wanted a prototype... Guess I got here too late! If you ever start mass production let me know! I'm a newbie and I'm going crazy trying to find the correct way to hold it!

Lori
03-19-2010, 03:29 PM
Too bad, I wanted a prototype... Guess I got here too late! If you ever start mass production let me know! I'm a newbie and I'm going crazy trying to find the correct way to hold it!

I am working on getting them up on eBay in the next month or two. Check your Private Messages. I might be able to whip one up for you sooner.
–Lori

UkeMariachi
03-19-2010, 10:20 PM
Hi Lori,

I just joined the site a week ago and found this thread tonight. I was wondering if I could get one of your straps? They look awesome! How much do they cost and how do I get one?

Lori
03-21-2010, 08:49 AM
Hi Lori,

I just joined the site a week ago and found this thread tonight. I was wondering if I could get one of your straps? They look awesome! How much do they cost and how do I get one?

The design is still evolving, as I am still getting back the Questionnaires from the testers with their feedback. The Questionnaires have been very helpful so a very big Thank You! to all of you that are participating. I am expecting some new supplies (more colors!) this week. Those who are interested can send me a PM (Private Message) for current prices and details.

–Lori

Zaza The Rebel
03-21-2010, 11:24 AM
Lori, I will return my questionnaire today hopefully - the only thing I'm still stuck on is the price! Would you mind if I didn't include a price or would you like me to try to come up with one anyway?

Thanks!

Bee

Lori
03-21-2010, 12:04 PM
Lori, I will return my questionnaire today hopefully - the only thing I'm still stuck on is the price! Would you mind if I didn't include a price or would you like me to try to come up with one anyway?

Thanks!

Bee
I don't want the price question to hang you up too much. But price is a very important point I want to address. Just do your best with it (wild guess), and just add ??? if you are unsure. You can give a price range if you like. That will work for me.

Thanks!
Lori

fahrner
03-21-2010, 12:10 PM
When will this hit the market? I want to buy one and try it.

Lori
03-21-2010, 12:32 PM
When will this hit the market? I want to buy one and try it.

Well, I will know the name for sure by April 5th. I hope to have all the other stuff figured out for it by then. I need to factor in the costs of eBay and PayPal, along with other business taxes to make sure I don't lose money on each sale. There is an all leather one in development too, and that will take a bit longer while I work out the details of the leather with my expert/ fabricator. So, my optimistic plan would be selling on eBay "buy it now" by mid April. The strap design is pretty much there, with a few details to finish up. Mostly, I have to finish up the graphics, buy a domain name and set-up a dedicated website, and create an eBay listing with good photos and a compelling description.

If you would like one sooner, send me a PM, and I will see what I can do.
–Lori