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View Full Version : Uke is moving in my lap



de24
02-27-2011, 07:13 PM
Hi all,

I'm working on Uncle Rod's Uke Boot Camp currently (Practice sheet 1) and have been going through it the sheet each night.

I've noticed several things since starting this project:

1) I've already improved. (Yay!) And can make certain transitions like from 1 finger chords to 4 finger chords better. Uncle Rod made a great suggestion on a better fingering for the Fm6 that is paying off in spades.

2) I've noticed that part of what is slowing me down during chord transitions is that the uke is sliding around in my lap. I'm on a Kala KA-S soprano size and initially had a tough time holding the thing. I've gotten much better in the year that I've had it, but realize that while I'm changing fingerings with my L hand, the uke is squirming around a bit making it that much more difficult to successfully land the next chord.

I've noticed myself countering this by using my R leg to squeeze the uke body a little closer to my torso (I'm playing sitting down with my legs crossed- if you can imagine that). Is this a bad habit?

I figure I'll continue to get better at holding the thing while playing but wanted to address any inconsistencies now. Also, I'd rather not play with a strap if I can manage it.

I should also note, that I've had little success holding the uke body to my chest with my R forearm due to the ukes small size. Perhaps a larger sized uke would allow for less wrestling?

Thoughts?

seoulsister
02-27-2011, 07:39 PM
Hello de24~

We've got alot in common. We're both newbs and we both have Kala's. ;

I've been playing for about 10 or so days and noticed the uke slides and moves around alot too. I play the guitar as well and I am VERY used to the guitar being held up by a strap. I know that there are two sides of the camp in putting on strap buttons and that many peeps here wouldn't recomend it, but I went and had two strap buttons installed and it has made a world of difference in my playing. I think if I didn't have them installed I wouldn't have fallen so in love with playing the uke. Seriousy! The guy that put on the strap button knew what he is doing as well. If you don't want to put buttons on yours you can get the uke leash that attaches with no hardware or a uke thong. I do recomend you get something- I truly believe it will remedy your problem.

seoulsister
02-27-2011, 07:43 PM
I also wanted to ask you if your uke is a glossy body like mine? Mine is and it sure makes it slippery. I think my next uke will be more of a natural finish.

de24
02-27-2011, 07:45 PM
Nope, mine's a matte finish. But I did consider the difference between matte/glossy for my next uke. The slippery thing would be a big disadvantage of a gloss finish, IMO.

seoulsister
02-27-2011, 07:50 PM
yeah- I didn't think it would be that big of a difference honestly. Have you seen the uke leash? I know you aren't too fond of a strap or leash maybe you'd like it if you tried it. They are pretty cheap as well.

Ken Middleton
02-27-2011, 08:54 PM
I've noticed myself countering this by using my R leg to squeeze the uke body a little closer to my torso (I'm playing sitting down with my legs crossed- if you can imagine that). Is this a bad habit?

I figure I'll continue to get better at holding the thing while playing but wanted to address any inconsistencies now. Also, I'd rather not play with a strap if I can manage it.



When playing sitting down you need to be as relaxed as possible. I don't think a strap is the answer here. When I am doing a recording, I have the same problem of the uke slipping off the lap. I use either a classical guitar foot stand or a couple of big books under my right foot. If you tense up to hold the uke in position, your playing may suffer. Use this method and stay relaxed.

de24
02-27-2011, 09:12 PM
It's occured to me as well that I hold the uke differently depending on how/where I'm sitting. Desk chair, couch, etc. I don't think I really have any consistency in this department.

Where should the body of the uke be in relation to my lap? I've seen many different positions on Youtube videos and the like.

waveydavey
03-02-2011, 04:26 PM
Could you possibly share that tip for a better fingering for the Fm6 chord?
I just started Uncle Rod's Uke Boot Camp last week, and I just used a fingering that seemed comfortable to me. Later I found a chord chart in a book that showed a different fingering, so I've been trying to play it that way as to be correct, but I'm having more trouble with it. Just wondering if the way I was doing it is acceptable, or if I'd be doing myself a disservice not learning the right way, or maybe there's an even better way.
Thanks!

Nickie
03-03-2011, 05:29 AM
de24,
You can get this product called a "Uke Leash", and Lori, one of our members makes it. There is also a thing called, I believe, a Uke Yoke, that attaches to the soundhole, but I would forget and let go and drop my uke with that. I gave up and had a strap button put on (by a luthier) for $10. I bought a strap for less than that, and it can be adjusted to cradle the concave curve of the uke just under my breast, and it doesn't squirm around near as much. Mine has a satin finish, but I don't think that matters. The gloss finish ukes I've seen seem to have a "tacky" feel to them. I think you're supposed to squeeze the uke to your body with the right arm, like you squeeze your knees together on a horse, but I don't have enough strength in that arm anymore, since I had an accident that is catching up with me in my "middle" age.

de24
03-03-2011, 09:09 AM
Could you possibly share that tip for a better fingering for the Fm6 chord?


The fingering suggested by Uncle Rod was this:

1st fret: 1020
2nd fret: 0300
3rd fret: 0004

Those are finger numbers. Initially I'd trying to barre the first fret with my first (pointer) finger but although I can play barre chords, I found it very tough to barre the first fret (higher string tension closer to the nut).

Thanks for the Ukeleash suggestion Nickie, I will look into it!

waveydavey
03-03-2011, 09:36 AM
The fingering suggested by Uncle Rod was this:

1st fret: 1020
2nd fret: 0300
3rd fret: 0004

Those are finger numbers. Initially I'd trying to barre the first fret with my first (pointer) finger but although I can play barre chords, I found it very tough to barre the first fret (higher string tension closer to the nut).

Thanks for the Ukeleash suggestion Nickie, I will look into it!

Thanks! That fingering seems to work better for me as well.

Sweeper
03-03-2011, 02:03 PM
I must really be doing something wrong ! My problem is the neck slips around in my fretting hand. Are you supposed to hold the Uke firmly enough with your strumming arm that you should not need any support of the neck with your fretting hand? Sometimes when I lift my fingers to change chords the neck drops downward making the chord change difficult. My Uke does have a glossly finish and is very slippery. Does anyone have any suggestions?

fitncrafty
03-03-2011, 03:01 PM
I must really be doing something wrong ! My problem is the neck slips around in my fretting hand. Are you supposed to hold the Uke firmly enough with your strumming arm that you should not need any support of the neck with your fretting hand? Sometimes when I lift my fingers to change chords the neck drops downward making the chord change difficult. My Uke does have a glossly finish and is very slippery. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Sweeper.. I had/have that problem too. I got a ukeleash and I no longer have that problem!

Sweeper
03-03-2011, 03:21 PM
Sweeper.. I had/have that problem too. I got a ukeleash and I no longer have that problem!

Thanks fitncrafty. I have been thinking of a strap of some sort. In fact I think I've made up my mind. A strap it will be!

Viola Harpstrings
03-03-2011, 05:40 PM
I used to have this cheap Yamaha guitar. I had the opposite problem with the neck. My hand stuck to it, making chord progressions impossible. It didn't matter how many times I cleaned it. I even put lemon oil on it, but my hand soaked it all up. Then I decided to sand. I sanded all the finish off that neck, and voila... problem solved!

de24
03-06-2011, 04:45 PM
My problem is the neck slips around in my fretting hand. Are you supposed to hold the Uke firmly enough with your strumming arm that you should not need any support of the neck with your fretting hand? Sometimes when I lift my fingers to change chords the neck drops downward making the chord change difficult. My Uke does have a glossly finish and is very slippery. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I've been dealing with this issue too, and I think it's part of why the uke is moving around in my lap. For me, I don't think it's a finish issue. Its a question of weight. The geared tuners on the headstock of my Kala laminate uke are probably 3 times heavier than the body of the uke itself. Therefore when moving my L fretting hand around, the headstock constantly wants to plummet downward.

I'm going to try a Ukeleash, but I've played some different ukes in a local store (I'm currently on a soprano sized model) and I think a larger uke (either concert or tenor) is easier for me to hold and play. The solid wood ukes also seem to be a bit weightier and perhaps more evenly balanced. This question of balance is actually extremely important to me and perhaps could be considered a part of what other uke-ers call "playability".

Let me know if other have solved this problem without the use of a strap. I'd love to be able to do without. Not having luck holding the thing with my forearm. Uke too small, and causes my strumming arm to tense up.

joeybug
03-06-2011, 10:12 PM
I have a similar problem, which was also solved by getting an Uke Leash from Lori...they really are an ingenious solution...