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View Full Version : Does using a strap & tying the cord to the headstock actually affect the Uke's neck?



happyslappysoong
05-18-2010, 01:58 AM
As the title suggests.

I recently accquired a new Uke and was thinking about using a strap for this one. I dont want to drill any strap pins in, so i was thinking of doing it the old fashioned way and tying the cord off the strap to the headstock. I've read places that say that this method could warp the shape of neck, or something...


yes, no? :confused:

Skitzic
05-18-2010, 02:17 AM
I have never heard of that. I doubt you could warp the neck by just tying a strap on it.

casarole45
05-18-2010, 04:38 AM
get a 'Uke Leash' off 'Lori' (uu name), there pretty cheap, look the business, and well made, it sounds like exactly what you want, and is adjustable. A lot of thought went into the materials also to ensure no rubbing would damage the finish on the uke.

As for warping the neck, I think thats people being well over paranoid.... no, there is no way it would warp the neck.

http://www.ukeleash.com/

ichadwick
05-18-2010, 07:19 AM
As the title suggests.
I've read places that say that this method could warp the shape of neck, or something...
Places are wrong. The uke is too light for a head strap to affect the neck. I use one on several ukes, have used them on much heavier guitars too. Never been a problem.

Checks out the uke leash as an idea for a new kind of strap. It's very cool.

GVlog
05-18-2010, 07:32 AM
I'm with Ian on this. It's highly unlikely that it would warp the neck or affect the instrument adversely.

It's like those players who tell me I shouldn't be hanging my guitars by their necks. Hello? Those friggin' STRINGS are already pulling the neck and top with 90-to-150 pounds of tension and you're worried about the 7-pound weight of my guitar as it hangs by the neck?

ukecantdothat
05-18-2010, 08:50 AM
Not a chance of that happening. Personally, I prefer a button behind the neck heel because I wrap my thumb around the neck/headstock a lot and straps or strings get in the way.

phanzo
05-18-2010, 08:55 AM
Nope. I do it all the time. I have one strap that I switch around to all of my ukes. I've yet to have an issue.

GrumpyCoyote
05-18-2010, 08:58 AM
I have a very old guitar that suffers slight intonation issues when I tie a strap to the neck... It's a heavy arch-top body and a thin tenor neck with no truss-rod. Unless you are talking about extremes like that, or unless your uke is poorly constructed, it shouldn't be an issue.

On the other hand, a strap button is not only cheap, but the hole is tiny and it keeps the strap away from your hand up in the first position. I can't think of a reason to not just pop one on (other than the fact that I have yet to meet a uke I need a strap for).

ukenator
05-18-2010, 09:23 AM
Just have a pro do the install. You need two strap buttons. Anything less is uncomfortable.

happyslappysoong
05-18-2010, 12:19 PM
Thanks for the all clear guys! Contemplating drilling a strap pin hole for myself now! lol....hmm...

penster
05-18-2010, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the all clear guys! Contemplating drilling a strap pin hole for myself now! lol....hmm...
Before you drill a hole in your ukelele, have you considered using a soundhole strap? It goes round your neck and a thin cord comes under the waist of the guitar to a small hook which hooks into the soundhole. I made one myself using a bootlace, a strap and a piece of clear plastic from an identity card holder. It is small, light, does the job great and does not damage your instrument. Photos attached.
Penster

GVlog
05-18-2010, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the all clear guys! Contemplating drilling a strap pin hole for myself now! lol....hmm...
STOP! PUT DOWN THAT DRILL!!

Before you do this, check the balance of the ukulele.

One of the benefits of playing with a strap attached to the headstock is that you can keep the neck angled UP and STEADY. This means your left hand (I assume you fret with your left) no longer has the double-duty of fretting and supporting the neck. This will increase your versatility.

If the ukulele is heavier towards the neck, then drilling a hole into the heel may only cause the neck to dip down when it isn't supported by the left hand. Your right hand is still more free (since you no longer need to cradle the ukulele in the crook of your arm) but your left hand gains nothing.

If you're ukulele is well-balanced or body-heavy (usually applies to ukes that have amps and batteries), then drill away! :)

Teek
05-18-2010, 03:19 PM
UKE LEASH!

Honestly, before you clip anything to the soundhole or (*shudder*) drill holes into your uke, get a leash and try it out, it's a cool accessory and I am so tickled with mine I'm getting another strap or two in leather and putting headstock straps (sold separately) on another three ukes so I don't have to swap that part, just unsnap the leash from one uke and pick up the next and snap on the leash. It really does help keep me more relaxed in my posture and lighter in my touch, and thus more adventurous in what I try to play, especially when reaching up the neck at speed. (Not that I have any speed but at least now I am trying, lol)

lindydanny
05-19-2010, 03:07 AM
You could always try drilling holes in the back and attaching a four point harness. With the right setup you could attach a lazy susan to it as well and half way through a song hit a break and spin it around on your belly!!!

Honestly, though: A basic understanding of where the sound resonates in the guitar or ukulele reveals the simple fact that the traditional positioning of strap buttons does extremely little (to almost none) to affect the sound produced. You actually do more with your body to hold the instrument against your belly. Installing these are fairly easy to do if you are aware of where braces and such are in the tail piece. If you are at all questioning your ability to do it, don't. Get an expert to do it for cheep (most guitar stores have a luthier and they don't charge a crap load for this kind of work).

Also, I agree the the previous posts about the weight of the instrument. Unless you are playing a heavy guitar (and I mean heavier than a western dreadnought design), then you are not likely to produce and problems long term (unless you are talking thirty years of constant use long term).

~DB

bunnyflower
05-19-2010, 05:55 AM
I have a uke leash and I looooove it. I didn't want to put a hole in my pretty pretty baby uke. It was perfecto. :)

ceviche
05-19-2010, 10:01 AM
Not a chance of that happening. Personally, I prefer a button behind the neck heel because I wrap my thumb around the neck/headstock a lot and straps or strings get in the way.

:agree: Certain chords tend to put my hands where a strap secured behind the nut would get in the way. It's also possible that someone leaning heavy on a neck-strapped uke could change the intonation. For these reasons, I prefer a uke thong--one of those straps that hook into the sound hole and then hangs it all off from around your own neck. Classical and mariachi guitarists will sometimes use these if they have to stand. I bought mine from Seattle's Dusty Strings.

--Dave E.

ceviche
05-19-2010, 10:02 AM
Before you drill a hole in your ukelele, have you considered using a soundhole strap? It goes round your neck and a thin cord comes under the waist of the guitar to a small hook which hooks into the soundhole. I made one myself using a bootlace, a strap and a piece of clear plastic from an identity card holder. It is small, light, does the job great and does not damage your instrument. Photos attached.
Penster

Now, that's what I'm talking about!!!

casarole45
05-19-2010, 10:53 AM
:agree: Certain chords tend to put my hands where a strap secured behind the nut would get in the way. It's also possible that someone leaning heavy on a neck-strapped uke could change the intonation. For these reasons, I prefer a uke thong--one of those straps that hook into the sound hole and then hangs it all off from around your own neck. Classical and mariachi guitarists will sometimes use these if they have to stand. I bought mine from Seattle's Dusty Strings.

--Dave E.

I place mine between the front and back tuners rather than the nut to stop it getting in the way. It also reduces shaving because its not rubbing up against that outward curve of the headstock at the nut.

Not sure about sending the intonation off by heavily leaning against a uke... without it being very delibrate, I sometimes do neck bending as part of the music, but accidently would seem impossible unless your thinking off something I've missed??

Teek
05-19-2010, 10:25 PM
Uke Leash goes between front and rear tuners. No rubbing. No soundhole clips. Pretty colors! I got mine here (http://ukeleash.com/).

UncleElvis
05-20-2010, 03:46 AM
I just carved a hook for the soundhole last night. Made it out of Bermuda cedar and... well... went a little mental with it. I was just going to do a prototype-y kinda thing, real rough, just to see if it would work. Ended up an hour later with, if I do say so myself, a rather elegant teardrop shape, sanded smooth (500grit, then steel wool to buff, then polished with a little wax to make it glow), tied to a crocodile hide strap (pirated off an old belt).

Learned something. The interior lip needs to be a bit longer than the 3/16" that I did it, as it needs it to hold firm.
Might carve a new one tonight. It was fun!

The nice thing is that it can also work like a leash (not intentional, but a lovely surprise!) if you hook it to the back of your belt.

As a beginner, I have to say...

I didn't understand just how much of a difference a strap makes.

Holy moley! My left hand pretty much doubled in speed!

Accuracy was lost and the new freedom meant I wasn't pressing down hard enough, but I'm sure a couple hours of practicing and I'll be back to my regular (bad) level.

And strumming, always a problem for me, was MUCH easier!

I am TOTALLY going to be experimenting with making different straps and stuff. The difference is amazing.

penster
05-20-2010, 06:27 AM
I just carved a hook for the soundhole last night. Made it out of Bermuda cedar and... well... went a little mental with it. I was just going to do a prototype-y kinda thing, real rough, just to see if it would work. Ended up an hour later with, if I do say so myself, a rather elegant teardrop shape, sanded smooth (500grit, then steel wool to buff, then polished with a little wax to make it glow), tied to a crocodile hide strap (pirated off an old belt).
Wow! My soundhole strap is puny in comparison. Now where did I put that old piece of fossilized narwhal tusk? :0)

UncleElvis
05-20-2010, 06:45 AM
OOOH! That'd be gorgeous!

I'm gonna do another tonight, with a longer tab on the inside, as well as shortening the strap so I have a little more give.

Just popped into my head...

Would doing one over and one under give more stability? HMMMMMMM!

Now there's an idea... I might play with that tonight! I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Penster, I'm gonna need pix of the Narwhal ivory hook!

Dammit... now it's a challenge! I warn you, there MAY be inlay involved in the next one!

cletus
05-20-2010, 07:28 AM
The uke leash actually looks pretty smart, and no Narwhal is harmed.

penster
05-20-2010, 07:35 AM
OOOH! That'd be gorgeous!

I'm gonna do another tonight, with a longer tab on the inside, as well as shortening the strap so I have a little more give.

Just popped into my head...

Would doing one over and one under give more stability? HMMMMMMM!

Now there's an idea... I might play with that tonight! I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Penster, I'm gonna need pix of the Narwhal ivory hook!

Dammit... now it's a challenge! I warn you, there MAY be inlay involved in the next one!

Now you're talking...

Shoepixie
05-20-2010, 12:58 PM
Your DIY work sounds fantastic and awesome! I try to always avoid buying to solve a problem if I can make something instead...of course for me this is a tricky philosophy, as I'm not the best at making things! Oh, my plan always seems perfect, in my head, but the execution...

For the uke strap deal, though, what I did actually worked out ok. I don't know if I can describe it, but hopefully it will combine with your obviously rad DIY brain and...yes. So, I had one of those clip-on straps..you know, like the babygoths wear on their huge trousers? :D It made a loop on one end, and the other clipped to a hairband I had around the headstock of my uke, under the strings (the elastic had gotten too loose, so I re-purposed it). So the black strap loops around my right arm, around my back, over my left shoulder and then one part of it clips to the stretched-out elastic. Does that make sense? Anyhow, that's what I use for my Kala Thinline - which being thin sits closer to my body than I'm used - and it helps a lot.
*high five* Keep crafting! You obviously have cleverer hands than I, so I'm sure if you want to inlay something, it'll turn out fabulous.

UkeDan77
05-20-2010, 01:09 PM
OOOH! That'd be gorgeous!

I'm gonna do another tonight, with a longer tab on the inside, as well as shortening the strap so I have a little more give.

Just popped into my head...

Would doing one over and one under give more stability? HMMMMMMM!

Now there's an idea... I might play with that tonight! I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Penster, I'm gonna need pix of the Narwhal ivory hook!

Dammit... now it's a challenge! I warn you, there MAY be inlay involved in the next one!

I would love to see some pics! Sounds really nice!

UncleElvis
05-20-2010, 01:43 PM
I'm actually blushing right now!

The strap idea sounds really cool and I can totally picture it!

On the inlay front, I've gone insane again. I'm torn between using verdite (A VERY hard stone from Zimbabwe. I run a sculpture gallery with my father and there was this broken elephant sculpture made from a beautiful piece of verdite. It's a DEEP deep green and, I have to reiterate, INSANELY hard. On the Moh's Scale, diamond is a 10. Verdite is around a 6.5 to 7. I've been wanting to use this little bit of stone for something and this might be perfect) and using an Ethiopian Orthodox cross in nickel silver.

Hm... I might use the verdite and save the cross for a headstock decoration.

Day off tomorrow... There may be work done.

Pics in a sec. Camera's broke, so I have to use the built in one on my Macbook.

UncleElvis
05-20-2010, 02:02 PM
So here's the prototype. Like I said, it needs work (well, the next one does!) but it works pretty well.

Need to adjust the strap, as you can see.

http://www.thedevilisland.com/Pictures/UkeStrap4.jpg
http://www.thedevilisland.com/Pictures/UkeStrap3.jpg
http://www.thedevilisland.com/Pictures/UkeStrap2.jpg
http://www.thedevilisland.com/Pictures/UkeStrap1.jpg

UkeDan77
05-20-2010, 04:46 PM
Wow! That's really awesome!!! You need to start selling these straps...they're really beautiful!

UncleElvis
05-20-2010, 04:54 PM
Wow... those are kind words, sir. Thank you.

It's still not balanced right, just yet, but I'm gonna keep tryin'...