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View Full Version : Problem with holding the uke and changing chords.



dlknight
10-10-2011, 02:30 PM
Every time I try and change chords the head of the uke moves. I was trying to learn guitar and the same thing would happen. I have my thumb on the neck, the uke I guess you could say cradled in my right arm and I strum in front of the soundhold. Never fails, every time I take my fingers off the fretboard to change chords, the head, neck, and basically the uke moves away from the body.

Lori
10-10-2011, 03:13 PM
Welcome to UU dlknight!

First of all, you should be strumming over the 12th fret/ or where the neck meets the body of the uke. That is the "sweet spot" for the sound. Very different than guitars, I know. That will change how you hold the uke, and you might get a better grip clamping it with your strumming elbow.

If you still have trouble (like I did), a strap makes a big difference. Get a strap button installed by your local music store, and look at mandolin straps. If you don't want to drill a hole in your uke, you could check out my Uke Leash (see link below). It solved the problem for me, and I have sold quite a few. The Uke Leash can also be converted to a full strap using a strap button adapter, and many people purchase both items together.

–Lori

Markr1
10-10-2011, 04:19 PM
What about if I'm mostly fingerpicking and some strumming mixed? I find it really difficult fingerpicking on the fretboard but but not so much around the soundhole. The fretboard gets in the way of my fingers and they always hit it.

saltytri
10-10-2011, 04:32 PM
Lori is being too modest. Her Uke Leash is the bees knees. It really does help with the problem that you describe.

tigersister
10-10-2011, 05:11 PM
+1 to what saltytri said above.

I love mine. I had a similar problem until I started using the Uke Leash.

bazmaz
10-10-2011, 11:51 PM
+1 for the uke leash!

Despite what you might read in tutor books, there is no right and wrong way to hold the uke, just important you are comfortable and you don't compromise your fretting.

I discuss uke holding here http://www.gotaukulele.com/2011/01/ukulele-beginners-how-to-hold-and-strum.html

Tack
10-11-2011, 12:46 AM
Lori is being too modest. Her Uke Leash is the bees knees. It really does help with the problem that you describe.
:agree:
And Lori's comment above is spot on too IMHO :D

Markr1
10-11-2011, 02:32 AM
What about if I'm mostly fingerpicking and some strumming mixed? I find it really difficult fingerpicking on the fretboard but but not so much around the soundhole. The fretboard gets in the way of my fingers and they always hit it.
Sorry about asking a question on someone elses post even tho it's related. Wasn't trying to steal anyones spotlight.

PoiDog
10-11-2011, 05:01 AM
Here's yet another unsolicited but very enthusiastic recommendation for the uke leash. It just flat out is a great way to help stabilize the uke.

Other than that, Lori's comment about where to strum is also dead-on. Strum where the neck and body meet ... anywhere from the 12th to 14th fret (depending on size). If you strum over the soundhole it means the okole isn't really being held properly by your elbow, and that is where most of the actual support comes from. A rule of thumb is that when held properly, you can remove one or the other hand arm completely from the instrument and it will stay in place.

vanflynn
10-11-2011, 05:13 AM
I'll also recommend the uke leash. There's a thread on it if you search "review of uke leash" I'd post it direct but don't know how. I personnally didn't want a strap button on my ukes.

coolkayaker1
10-11-2011, 05:21 AM
I bought four uke leashes (discount for for 4+ order) for all my ukes about three months ago. I adore them, and can now change positions and fret chords smoothly.

Frankly, I am new and mean this with the utmost respect, but anyone playing uke without some form of strap really could improve their playing by supporting the neck with some form of strap.

Tiny Tim and Arthur Godfrey may be exceptions.

Shastastan
10-11-2011, 10:37 AM
I bought four uke leashes (discount for for 4+ order) for all my ukes about three months ago. I adore them, and can now change positions and fret chords smoothly.

Frankly, I am new and mean this with the utmost respect, but anyone playing uke without some form of strap really could improve their playing by supporting the neck with some form of strap.

Tiny Tim and Arthur Godfrey may be exceptions.

Initially, I didn't want any kind of strap. Then I decided to try playing while standing. I decided on a strap over a uke leash for whatever reason. It did cost me $8, total, for the button and to have it installed. I couldn't bring myself to drill the hole myself although I have the tools for it. What a difference the strap makes. Fretting is now a lot easier for me. I'm wondering if I had started with a strap is I might be further ahead now--maybe, maybe not. YMMV

cantsing
10-11-2011, 11:21 AM
I struggled with my first uke (a tenor) for weeks before I finally bought a Uke Leash, and my only regret is that I waited so long. Ukulele straps seem relatively rare in videos, so I was sure I was doing something wrong whenever the uke slipped during chord changes. Maybe I was, but the Uke Leash solved my problem and allowed me to concentrate on fretting instead of holding.

I am now using a strap on a smaller ukulele. I recently bought a Mainland mahogany concert and asked Mainland Mike to install a strap button before shipping it. I then ordered an adapter to turn my Uke Leash into a full strap. Works for me!

kaizersoza
10-11-2011, 11:23 AM
totally agree the uke leash IS the way to go, it will improve your fretting FACT

OldePhart
10-11-2011, 05:16 PM
ON tenors I use a strap (guitar style). I've heard alot of good things about the leash but I haven't tried one. What I have done on all my ukes is use rubber trim adehesive to attach a 1" wide strip of that anti-slip rubber shelf lining material to the back, from near the neck joint to near the end of the upper rear bout. Yes, this includes my KoAloha - I own my ukes they don't own me! :)

The rubber strips work great and I don't have to wonder which ukulele case has my strap, today.

John

Craig Chee
10-13-2011, 01:46 PM
I haven't really given straps a fair chance yet but there is a way to hold the next up with your left hand (kinda where the pointer finger attaches to your palm) so that you're not relying on just the tension between your thumb and fingers. I could put up a quick vid if you have any further questions about it. Best of luck!!

metricfuture
10-13-2011, 03:42 PM
At the risk of making this thread sound like a broken record, I've also got to recommend the uke leash. Improved my playing pretty dramatically (at least as far as the speed at which I can change chords). I can't believe I went without one for so long.

dlknight
10-13-2011, 05:20 PM
OK, I have been working long hours the past 3 days, but I just ordered a Uke Lesh from Lori. :)