View Full Version : Advice from other skinny people with long arms?

03-02-2011, 02:13 PM
Hi everyone -

So, I'm a pretty seriously skinny guy, with long monkey arms. There isn't a whole lot of chest for me to hold the ukulele against. When I do, I can't easily get the uke parallel to my body. And my arms are long enough that my strumming hand is closer to the headstock than the sound hole.

Any other skinny, long-armed people out there who can give me some advice? I intend to practice a bunch, and I hope it'll get easier over time. But I'd be interested to hear advice from anyone who's experienced a similar problem.

(I have read through most of the threads on the forum about this topic, and watched a few youtube videos. I also absolutely intend to get a strap of some kind to help with the problem, but I would like to be able to play without one)

03-03-2011, 06:54 AM
I think if you want to go strapless, you might consider going with a larger sized ukulele. To play without a strap means pinning the uke between your strumming arm and your body, or playing it seated, with the uke resting on your thigh. Ukuleles that are evenly balanced between the neck and the body will be easier to control. Bottom heavy ukes will stay in place on your lap better. You will get better volume if you don't have to smother the sound box with your body.


03-03-2011, 07:11 AM
I'm in the same boat as you. I don't have much of a belly to support the ukulele and my arms are pretty long. I do have a tenor ukulele so it is a little bit bigger. That helps but it's always been a challenge standing up and playing.

I generally try to apply a little bit of pressure to the top bottom edge of the ukulele with the bottom side of my forearm. This helps a little bit. I'd be interested to hear what other people do.

03-03-2011, 08:47 AM
As a fellow Gangly Uker (soprano all the way), I say embrace it. Literally and figuratively.
Fold around it until yr comfy. It's a really nice image. And you can do so much visually when you're not tied to the uke by a strap. In my band, I like to tuck my uke behind my back when I'm just singing, and when riding one chord I'll dangle the ukein front of me and strum it away from my body.

Mostly, I strum over the 13th-14th fret and place my right forearm where it's needed to hold it in place. But the left hand does come in to play for holding it as well.

Keep practicing. It'll all fall into place.

Yer Luvin',

03-03-2011, 09:28 AM
I prefer to just go ahead and sit.

I can clamp most size ukes under my forearm for short bits, but in the long run it's a bit unwieldy to do a lot of the more complicated things I like to do with my arm kind of glued to one place holding it up.
(I do use a strap with my tenor, but that's mostly because it's a thinline with a curved carbon fiber back that's way too slick to play otherwise even seated.)

03-03-2011, 10:23 AM
Of course, there is the option of eating a ton of pizza.....