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View Full Version : Any advantage to not using a strap?



scottie
03-31-2010, 04:05 PM
In your opinion, is there any real advantage to playing a ukulele without a strap? If you feel that there is, specifically what is it?

leftovermagic84
03-31-2010, 04:49 PM
I have straps on all my ukes. I suppose if I wanted to play somebody else's uke, I'd have a lot of trouble.
Also, it's going to affect resale. I'm sure people have passed on ukes I've sold because they don't want the strap button. Overall though, every uke I've put up on the marketplace has sold sooner or later.

jungleturtle
03-31-2010, 05:16 PM
I'm new to the uke, though I've played guitar for years. With my soprano Flea, I personally like the freedom of being able to play without a strap--just pick it up & start strumming or picking. I feel like a strap is unneccessary & would just get in the way. If I had a larger uke maybe I'd feel differently, though.

Ukulele JJ
03-31-2010, 06:12 PM
With my soprano Flea, I personally like the freedom of being able to play without a strap--just pick it up & start strumming or picking.

Bingo!

Yes, it's a more "traditional" way to play it. And a more traditional look. But for me, the big selling point of going strapless is the convenience. You grab it and you play. No fiddling around with straps/cords/picks/etc. Some might not find that to be that much of an advantage, but I sure do.

JJ

GreatGazukes
03-31-2010, 06:52 PM
For me it was a safety issue as I work in a care facility and I need to be able to respond quickly "if something happens" with one of my residents. Not having a strap also prevents me from carrying it around (through sheer laziness!) and inadvertantly whacking someone.

scottie
04-01-2010, 12:13 AM
Does anyone feel that it's better from a technical/sound production view to play without a strap? Can you do anything musically better without than with? Does it increase your mechanical advantage for fretting, picking, strumming?

Does having to actually hold the instrument in any way enhance your ability to play the ukulele?

Ukuleleblues
04-01-2010, 12:21 AM
You can spin you uke on its axis up in the air while holding on to the neck. Looks real cool and impresses the audience. I'll post a vid later today

Craig Robertson
04-01-2010, 02:01 AM
I've never used a strap with any of my ukuleles.

the52blues
04-01-2010, 03:01 AM
Split decision for me. I don't use a strap on my pineapple soprano but they are light and tiny and a strap is not really required. However my tenor is electric and my gigging uke. It doesn't have the balance when you have a cord plugged into it. Sometimes I need both hands when adjusting the mic and stand when performing. I also use cheat sheets on a music stand and need my hands free to flip pages etc. so I use a strap so I don't have to keep putting it down all the time.

casarole45
04-01-2010, 04:18 AM
Does anyone feel that it's better from a technical/sound production view to play without a strap? Can you do anything musically better without than with? Does it increase your mechanical advantage for fretting, picking, strumming?

Does having to actually hold the instrument in any way enhance your ability to play the ukulele?

I find I need a strap when playing complicated melodies, i.e. finger picking whilst flying up and down from say the 1st fret to 15th.... it means I can release my hold around the neck and throw in speedy harmonics etc somewhere completely different. I know there are players out there how can do that without a strap, but for me (on a concert this is) I need a strap to do it.

King FarUke
04-01-2010, 04:56 AM
I play with and without and find that when I do not have a strap I am either anchoring the uke with my little finger on my strumming hand (when fingerpicking) or holding the neck in place with one of the left hand fingers and thumb (pinching)while changing chords. I have found the best method for me is a compromise - the half strap. I have a piece of leather lace tied around each of my ukes just above the nut. I have a strap from a camera case that has clips for holding the strap to the case and a loop at one end for adjusting the length of the strap (if you look at a camera case strap or a soft uke case, most all of the straps are designed that way). I clip the end of the strap to the leather lace and place the strap around my neck and the loop over my other arm. Only the neck is then being supported by the strap. The body of the uke is held against my body by my strumming arm. This kind of forces you to hold the uke in the traditional method with your strumming arm, but supports the neck for chord changes and fingering. You also do not need to put a strap button on the uke. You can adjust the length of the strap since it is already designed to be adjusted. A cheap camera case with a strap is only about $5 to $10.

plankspanker
04-01-2010, 05:32 AM
Bingo!

Yes, it's a more "traditional" way to play it. And a more traditional look. But for me, the big selling point of going strapless is the convenience. You grab it and you play. No fiddling around with straps/cords/picks/etc. Some might not find that to be that much of an advantage, but I sure do.

JJ

That kind of sums up my view, too. However I can see reason behind the decision of those that choose to use a strap.

Lori
04-01-2010, 05:44 AM
I play with and without and find that when I do not have a strap I am either anchoring the uke with my little finger on my strumming hand (when fingerpicking) or holding the neck in place with one of the left hand fingers and thumb (pinching)while changing chords. I have found the best method for me is a compromise - the half strap. I have a piece of leather lace tied around each of my ukes just above the nut. I have a strap from a camera case that has clips for holding the strap to the case and a loop at one end for adjusting the length of the strap (if you look at a camera case strap or a soft uke case, most all of the straps are designed that way). I clip the end of the strap to the leather lace and place the strap around my neck and the loop over my other arm. Only the neck is then being supported by the strap. The body of the uke is held against my body by my strumming arm. This kind of forces you to hold the uke in the traditional method with your strumming arm, but supports the neck for chord changes and fingering. You also do not need to put a strap button on the uke. You can adjust the length of the strap since it is already designed to be adjusted. A cheap camera case with a strap is only about $5 to $10.
I will be selling my new ukulele half strap on eBay in a few weeks... still waiting to resolve the name and working out the details. I have a prototype test group sending in their finished questionnaires. I have accepted a few early-bird orders for those who are desperate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VEz6nn06aE

A full strap with a button is the most stable. It feels a bit confining, but it works well. The Half Strap is the next best thing, less confining and is good for those who don't want to drill into their ukuleles or use those scary hook systems. I find playing without a strap a disadvantage to technique and tone. There are some fingerings that simply require you to let go of the neck. If your strumming arm has to clamp down to hold up the uke, then you are smothering the soundbox. If the neck doesn't stay in one place, the accuracy of your finger placement suffers, and so does the tone.

–Lori