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View Full Version : Making it Stick - How to Keep You Ukulele from Sliding to the Floor



OldePhart
09-22-2012, 03:27 PM
The topic of sliding ukes, especially sopranos, seems to come up fairly often. When it does I usually jump in and mention my experience using non-stick shelf liner. Here's a vid showing what I mean and revealing whether sticking shelf liner to your uke is likely to damage it (on-camera reveal of removing such a strip from a KoAloha after about 18 months).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O4oqvI6Cfo&list=UUAgBWJlWUS5d95ixRC0Gg8Q&index=1&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O4oqvI6Cfo&list=UUAgBWJlWUS5d95ixRC0Gg8Q&index=1&feature=plcp

Patrick Madsen
09-22-2012, 08:18 PM
Great idea. Sure beats laying down on the floor to play so it wouldn't slide lol. I wonder if the rubbing alcohol would damage a French polished finish?

OldePhart
09-23-2012, 09:10 AM
Great idea. Sure beats laying down on the floor to play so it wouldn't slide lol. I wonder if the rubbing alcohol would damage a French polished finish?

If it's a true French polish I suspect it might. On the other hand, a lot of what is called French polish these days really isn't...

John

Tootler
09-23-2012, 01:31 PM
The topic of sliding ukes, especially sopranos, seems to come up fairly often. When it does I usually jump in and mention my experience using non-stick shelf liner. Here's a vid showing what I mean and revealing whether sticking shelf liner to your uke is likely to damage it (on-camera reveal of removing such a strip from a KoAloha after about 18 months).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O4oqvI6Cfo&list=UUAgBWJlWUS5d95ixRC0Gg8Q&index=1&feature=plcp

That looks a good idea. I stuck the hooky side of a self-adhesive velcro pad to a concert uke. It worked but your idea looks a lot better as the pad is much bigger. I should have a roll of sticky back green baize somewhere. I wonder if that will work?

Briangriffinukuleles
09-23-2012, 07:29 PM
How about just using a strap? It would sure look better on that pretty uke.

Tootler
09-23-2012, 11:43 PM
How about just using a strap? It would sure look better on that pretty uke.

Ukes don't normally come with a strap button so it means extra expense having one fitted - this solution is cheaper. If I owned that uke, there's no way I would risk damaging it by attempting to drill a hole in the body. Obviously, I can't speak for the OP, he may have the necessary woodworking skills. Speaking personally, I don't think a strap looks right on a small uke. I have a uke leash which works well but, on whole I prefer to nestle the uke in my arm.

ralphk
09-24-2012, 12:46 AM
I don't understand the concern over putting a strap button on a uke. This is a piece of cake -- verify it has a heel pad, drill a hole (the proper size), screw in the button, attach the strap (material to be a personal choice, from a string, wide shoelace, mandolin leather strap, or whatever). A couple bucks at the maximum.

Uke Whisperer
09-24-2012, 03:04 AM
I am finding that I can play better if I keep by thumb pressure behind the strings with my wrist somewhat "up and over". However, I can't seem to keep the thumb from sliding when I do that. I tried one of those rubber thumb covers (made not to slip on paper) but that didn't help. I experimented with kind-of wrapping thumb with other things, including the rubber shelve liner like used in the video, but it too slid around on the back of the neck.

John, have you, or has anyone, tried gluing a strip of the shelve liner on the back of the neck for the purpose I noted?

I have heard of someone sticking a strip of the non-skid tape like used on boats, etc. but I've been to scared to try that on my KoAloha.

bazmaz
09-24-2012, 05:29 AM
attaching strap button is extra expense?? I put them on mine. Last button I bought cost me one pound...

re the thread more generally - a full strap just makes so much more sense. I've just come back from a weekend of playing - fingers are raw. Uke stayed round my neck for all of the weeked. When not playing, sling around back. When playing and between songs, to turn song sheets, adjust microphones etc - hands free. Perfect!

OldePhart
09-24-2012, 06:16 AM
It wasn't anything to do with supposed expense of endpin jacks - I have some spare ones in my parts box. Neither was it anything to do with difficulty - I've installed many. I just really dislike over-the-shoulder straps on sopranos. They're okay on tenors and baritones but I find that on sopranos they just don't work for me - they do little to stabilize the uke and just generally get in the way. I've tried both around-the-neck and the "mandolin sling" style shoulder straps and on sopranos they just don't cut it for me.

The comment about a strap looking better on the pretty uke made me chuckle - how is it that a strap that shows looks better than something attached to the back of the uke where no one sees it anyway? LOL

Seriously, if this ain't your cup of tea that's fine - I'm just trying to present some options so folks can decide for themselves. For me, a shoulder strap on a soprano is more trouble than it's worth for the tiny bit of stability it brings. The soundhole style leash works better for me on the sopranos but I'm not even that crazy about those. In fact, I'd probably only use it as a strain relief for the cord as mentioned in the video.

John

OldePhart
09-24-2012, 06:20 AM
I am finding that I can play better if I keep by thumb pressure behind the strings with my wrist somewhat "up and over". However, I can't seem to keep the thumb from sliding when I do that. I tried one of those rubber thumb covers (made not to slip on paper) but that didn't help. I experimented with kind-of wrapping thumb with other things, including the rubber shelve liner like used in the video, but it too slid around on the back of the neck.

John, have you, or has anyone, tried gluing a strip of the shelve liner on the back of the neck for the purpose I noted?

I have heard of someone sticking a strip of the non-skid tape like used on boats, etc. but I've been to scared to try that on my KoAloha.

You could try it, it can be pretty easily removed if it doesn't work. However, I'd be kind of surprised if it didn't actually make things worse - your hand really needs to be able to move around and up and down the back of the neck. In fact, that may be your problem is that you're trying to keep the thumb behind the neck to rigidly - granted, that's a good place for it for many chords but for some chords you need to change the shape of your hand and let the neck slide deeper in the pocket. Realistically, the left hand should be doing little to stabilize the uke other than supporting the back of the neck - that's why I don't care for shoulder straps on sopranos - they are so short that the strap simply doesn't have enough break angle to do much to stabilize the uke - keep it from falling to the ground, yes, keep it from squirming as you finger fast chord changes - not so much.

John

Uke Whisperer
09-24-2012, 06:56 AM
You could try it, it can be pretty easily removed if it doesn't work. However, I'd be kind of surprised if it didn't actually make things worse - your hand really needs to be able to move around and up and down the back of the neck. In fact, that may be your problem is that you're trying to keep the thumb behind the neck to rigidly - granted, that's a good place for it for many chords but for some chords you need to change the shape of your hand and let the neck slide deeper in the pocket. Realistically, the left hand should be doing little to stabilize the uke other than supporting the back of the neck - that's why I don't care for shoulder straps on sopranos - they are so short that the strap simply doesn't have enough break angle to do much to stabilize the uke - keep it from falling to the ground, yes, keep it from squirming as you finger fast chord changes - not so much.

John


Hi John,

Thanks for your thoughts. Well taken. Haven't thought about the possibility of not being able to move the thumb up and down the neck. Just played some chords and slides and realized what that would be like.
I have short and stubby fingers and found it difficult when reaching over for something like a Bb, E, or for barring some chords without having to "like" let go of neck to shift my thumb around far enough. I may have to put the leash back on or add a strap on the long neck and planned Tenor purchase. Perhaps round "patch" on back will give me what I need. I'll try that first.
Again, thanks.