PDA

View Full Version : Strap for a soprano worth it?



oldetymey
04-14-2013, 02:20 AM
Back around Xmas time I was on a kick to put a strap on my mainland cedar soprano. The thinking in my mind was not only to ease holding it up while playing, but moreso the idea that if I wasnt pinching the uke against my body I could get a fuller more resonant sound. So of course for xmas two straps show up under my tree. One was the type that hooks in under the soundhole. Im not a big fan of it, it feels unbalanced to me with the heavy headstock and neck of the mainland. The other was a nice handmade leather mando strap, but I would need to install at least one strap button to use it which means drilling a hole in my uke. That has pretty much held me back, but Im back thinking about it now. What do you guys think? Is it worth the effort to strap a soprano? Has anyone out there tried it before? I know some folks will recommend the uke leash style, I tried this as well albeit a homemade version, but that doesnt help really since you still have to pinch the uke under your arm, and I think it would just sound fuller if it were allowed to vibrate and ring. Does this make sense? Maybe some of the builders out there will put in an opinion I hope.

C.A.McLane
04-14-2013, 03:23 AM
Thanks so much for this question. It prompted me to try one out that attaches to the endpin of the Misi and around the head stock. It's GREAT and I love it. Although I have a bit of a natural shelf to rest the soprano on, it's not quite large enough and I am trying to lose it anyway. The strap makes playing while standing SO much easier.
Why don't you use a bit of tape to stick it to the point where the end pin would go and try it out? I am sure if you only leave the tape on for a few minutes you won't damage the finish. If you like it, you can think about whether you want to install an endpin or not.
Andreas

Patrick Madsen
04-14-2013, 06:14 AM
The new Mobius strap is pretty cool. I bought one for a friend who has a soprano and she loves it. No need for an end pin with the Mobius. For myself, I like an endpin on my tenors in case I ever decide to use a strap.

ukuhippo
04-14-2013, 06:17 AM
Tie a large shoelace around the waist of your uke, and the other end around the headstock.
Easy try-out strap before installing pins.

Pondoro
04-14-2013, 06:25 AM
I have straps on all my ukes, I cannot play without one. OK, I can play a tenor or a baritone seated with the uke on my leg, but I play better with a strap.

janeray1940
04-14-2013, 07:51 AM
I mainly play soprano, and I have strap buttons installed on all my ukes. I use mando straps. Wouldn't have it any other way - I mainly do finger picking, and a strap gives me a lot more control.

FWIW - there's a belief out there that strap buttons devalue a uke. I've re-sold several K-brands with strap buttons for more than I paid for them - so, there goes that theory :)

Dan Uke
04-14-2013, 08:49 AM
FWIW - there's a belief out there that strap buttons devalue a uke. I've re-sold several K-brands with strap buttons for more than I paid for them - so, there goes that theory :)

Remind me not to buy a uke from you! Hope to see you Tues! ;)

Newportlocal
04-14-2013, 08:59 AM
Remind me not to buy a uke from you! Hope to see you Tues! ;)

Daniel didn't you have Chuck install a strap button on your Moore Bettah? Btw it was great meeting you, and your family. Hope to see you again soon with my custom. Sorry you couldn't make the luau it was actually very nice with Damon, and great authentic food.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
04-14-2013, 09:03 AM
Mainland ukes (and to my mind, all ukes) aren't collectables---they're instruments that are meant to be played and enjoyed. If a strap will help you enjoy your uke, go for it. Install an endpin, tie that mando strap to the headstock, stand up, and have a blast!

Dan Uke
04-14-2013, 09:09 AM
Daniel didn't you have Chuck install a strap button on your Moore Bettah? Btw it was great meeting you, and your family. Hope to see you again soon with my custom. Sorry you couldn't make the luau it was actually very nice with Damon, and great authentic food.

I love strap buttons! I was joking about her selling ukes more than what she paid...I'm hoping to get the friend discount!

Glad you had a good time. I've been busy w family matters.

Newportlocal
04-14-2013, 09:13 AM
I love strap buttons! I was joking about her selling ukes more than what she paid...I'm hoping to get the friend discount!

Glad you had a good time. I've been busy w family matters.

Glad to hear you are a fan of strap buttons. I am too. Hope everything is o.k.

janeray1940
04-14-2013, 09:34 AM
I love strap buttons! I was joking about her selling ukes more than what she paid...I'm hoping to get the friend discount!


LOL! Moot point since I'm clean out of ukes to sell. But I've always offered mine for sale with a "locals" discount, since not dealing with shipping is worth it :)

Lori
04-14-2013, 10:20 AM
Straps with buttons are the most secure. Beware of button placement options. I have seen several ukes that use 2 buttons, and the placement of the heel button caused the uke to barrel roll if you lean forward (very tiresome!). I prefer one button on the bottom of the uke, and the other end attached to the headstock. For standing, the full strap is best for me. For sitting I prefer the stability and flexibility of the Uke Leash half strap. It allows be to move the sound box away from my body for better tone and volume.

If you need a uke-sized full strap, Uke Leash offers Guitar Style Straps with either standard button hole or larger amp hole option. See link in signature.

–Lori

oldetymey
04-14-2013, 11:33 AM
Wow didnt expect such a positive reaction to this thread. Thanks! Thought it would be more like im nuts for wanting to strap a soprano! Does anyone have any thought though as to the idea of improving sound by using a strap?

Tim Mullins
04-14-2013, 01:46 PM
Wow didnt expect such a positive reaction to this thread. Thanks! Thought it would be more like im nuts for wanting to strap a soprano! Does anyone have any thought though as to the idea of improving sound by using a strap?

Here's a video of a Martin soprano using Mobius Strap to give you an idea of how it works and how the ukulele sounds while using one.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeriA2ZfxAg

PBandChelly
04-14-2013, 03:30 PM
I'm glad you made this thread, It confirms that I am not nuts for wanting to strap up a soprano. I think I'm going to go ahead and have buttons put in mine. I've been having a hard time holding my uke comfortably (my chest seems to always be in the way), and not many of the button-free ways seem to work well for pineapples.

TheCraftedCow
04-14-2013, 08:00 PM
We have been making instrument straps for 35 years on a custom order basis. The majority of what we now do is for ukuleles. Custom order seems to be which of the 19 different colours one wants their poly webbing to be. Leather is still pretty much an individual order. A strap does take the pressure from the strumming hand/body holding forearm. Upright pianos should NOT be placed against a wall. They need to space for the air to vibrate behind the upright sound board. The back of a ukulele gets the same diminishing effect by being held tightly to the body. It smothers any sound which made off of the back. An interesting variation is to only fasten to the tailbutton with one loop behind;the other across your front , and the loop goes over the shoulder of the arm which does the chord forming or picking. There is nothing goes to the headstock. It is a one button ,one secure point strap as well as capable of being worn just over the neck like a sash cord. I can also just be draped around the neck... $13.00 USDollars choice of 19 colours which also includes a tail button and a leather bushing for between the button and the body.

thecraftedcow@comcast.net

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
04-14-2013, 08:15 PM
Wow didnt expect such a positive reaction to this thread. Thanks! Thought it would be more like im nuts for wanting to strap a soprano! Does anyone have any thought though as to the idea of improving sound by using a strap?

Depends on the uke. My main uke, a Kamaka HF-1, sounds a little more resonant if it's not smashed up against my chest---but I do love the feeling of my uke vibrating against my chest---makes singing along easier, too. My travel uke, a Kiwaya KS-0P, has a deeper, sweeter sound when I hold it tight against my chest---exactly the opposite effect. Weird. Fun. Gotta love ukuleles.

oldetymey
04-14-2013, 11:30 PM
We have been making instrument straps for 35 years on a custom order basis. The majority of what we now do is for ukuleles. Custom order seems to be which of the 19 different colours one wants their poly webbing to be. Leather is still pretty much an individual order. A strap does take the pressure from the strumming hand/body holding forearm. Upright pianos should NOT be placed against a wall. They need to space for the air to vibrate behind the upright sound board. The back of a ukulele gets the same diminishing effect by being held tightly to the body. It smothers any sound which made off of the back. An interesting variation is to only fasten to the tailbutton with one loop behind;the other across your front , and the loop goes over the shoulder of the arm which does the chord forming or picking. There is nothing goes to the headstock. It is a one button ,one secure point strap as well as capable of being worn just over the neck like a sash cord. I can also just be draped around the neck... $13.00 USDollars choice of 19 colours which also includes a tail button and a leather bushing for between the button and the body.

thecraftedcow@comcast.net



That right there is what I was wondering, thanks for that insight.

oldetymey
04-14-2013, 11:33 PM
Mainland ukes (and to my mind, all ukes) aren't collectables---they're instruments that are meant to be played and enjoyed. If a strap will help you enjoy your uke, go for it. Install an endpin, tie that mando strap to the headstock, stand up, and have a blast!

Totally! thats how I feel about it too, but then I get out the drill bits, and second guess it. Based on the info from this thread though Ill probably go for it.....

Pondoro
04-15-2013, 01:25 AM
Using a strap to improve sound.
Firstly if you set it up well, the strap will hold the instrument in the correct position, allowing you to focus your hands on playing only. You will find you can easily adjust the strumming position of your right hand, which can have a big impact on sound. Without a strap, your right hand location can be very limited.
I am not sure about the sound change caused by holding the instrument against your upper body. Your lungs are hollow and might resonate, or your heart and other bits might absorb the sound. Female anatomy may further complicate the discussion.
For me the most important reason for a strap is to keep the uke close so I don't need to put it down while I turn a page or move around.
All my customs have a strap button on the bottom. This requires a case that is about 1 cm longer, which is the only complication for me.

On my sopranino I notice a big increase in volume if it is played away from my chest (versus against it). I haven't noticed this with my larger ukes but I haven't really experimented either.

wayfarer75
04-15-2013, 03:40 AM
I haven't felt the need for a strap for my soprano, but my concert... I'm thinking about it, especially since I'm doing more fingerpicking with that one. I figure since I play seated, I have less need for one. If I performed/played standing up, then definitely I would want a strap--regardless of ukulele size.

Some clarinetists play with straps, some don't. It can keep your right hand looser if you use a strap. Personal preference, of course, as with a uke.

drbekken
04-15-2013, 04:58 AM
When I play tuba, a strap comes in handy.:cool: