Boobs vs Ukulele: an ancient battle

Danochka

New member
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
9
Points
0
It seems to be fairly well known that women have a harder time holding ukuleles. Boobs, while usually an asset, are a serious obstacle when it comes to ukes.

I am well endowed, and I just started playing the ukulele. My first couple weeks of playing have reduced me other to a hunchback, stooped over a uke resting in my lap, or some sort of greased pig wrestler, chasing the damn uke all over my body as it slipped, slid and slanted into a hundred different unplayable positions.

Just holding it: it slides down until it's resting under my rack, either way too low to play or with the strings actually facing the floor. Easily dropped.

Squashing/squeezing it under my elbow: This does result in a securely held uke, but it's one that pokes straight out from under my armpit as though it is a machine gun and I am holding the rest of the world at gunpoint. If I hold it parallel to my body, my elbow has nothing solid to press it against and it makes a dive for the floor.

Cradling it from below with said elbow: My arms are not long enough to do this without also holding it in place with my chin. Uncomfortable, to say the least.

Uke thong: I had to make one, since I am in a country where they are not sold and things can't be ordered from abroad. I put together a working model, had a brief moment of hope that it would work... and then realized that, while I was nowhere near as likely to drop it, its back rested against my bits and caused it to slant down and attempt to flip over. I hoisted it up so that it was on the opposite curve and would point upwards- and found that, once again, I'd be better off just tucking the damn thing under my chin.

Upside down uke thong: Tried hooking it from the top. Almost worked. Almost. Still way too squirrely, making it impossible to support it enough for quick chord changes. Plus I had to tighten the strap so much it was like I was wearing a choker with a life-size ukulele pendant.

I'm stranded in Russia, where I was lucky to find a ukulele and some strings. They do not sell ukulele thongs here. I have not found a luthier, let alone one that I would trust to install a strap button on my precious. I felt that I was out of options. I started to think that I was never going to be able to play without wrapping my entire body around the ukulele and holding it in place with an elbow, a wrist, and a leg. In desperation, I tried

Just running a strap around the whole damn thing. I took the hook off of my handmade uke thong and just ran it under the strings and around the body. Comfy, secure, perfect. I need a thinner strap so that it won't interfere with the strings as much, but it's magical. It's rock solid and placed just right, doesn't tilt, and doesn't seem to bother my neck. It may mute the uke a little, but certainly not enough to cause problems unless I was going to try and play for an audience in a noisy room. This being unlikely, I am now satisfied. When I return to America, a strap button is on the top of my list.

And that's that. I hope that my tribulations might help some other struggling members of the curvier sex. :D
 

austin1

New member
Joined
May 14, 2009
Messages
6,665
Points
0
I had this problem for forever, then I installed a strap button, and voila! instant win! I don't know what the situation looks like in Russia, but if you can find a guitar guy, he can probably install it for you. guitars and ukes are apples and---smaller apples. At any rate, nicht oranges.
 
Last edited:

Skitzic

New member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
28,901
Points
0
Yeah a strap button install is pretty simple. You could probably do it yourself!
 

Mouthy1

New member
Joined
Jun 27, 2009
Messages
813
Points
0
I am going to continue to try not to ask for pictures to help clear up this important problem. Must resist.....
 

coriandre

New member
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
534
Points
0
I am going to continue to try not to ask for pictures to help clear up this important problem. Must resist.....

Damn you Mouthy, you wouldnt beleive how hard I laughed when I read your comment.:D
 

Lori

Uke Crazy
UU VIP
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
3,979
Points
38
You could check out my Uke Leash. I have been shipping all over the world. If your country isn't on the web store as an option, just email me and I will add it.
My design is very helpful for women. If you can still cradle your uke a little in your strumming arm, the Uke Leash will hold the neck in place, and there is no interference with the strings.
ukeleash
ukeleash@mac.com
–Lori
 

Danochka

New member
Joined
Oct 13, 2011
Messages
9
Points
0
I'd love to try a uke leash, but the customs fees are prohibitive. Like, buy-another-uke-with-that-money prohibitive.

And Mouthy, I tried to post illustrations, because I know this is the internet. Blame my uncooperative webcam. *grin*
 

Rick Turner

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
2,699
Points
0
Velcro on back of uke, Velcro on special uke player's blouse... "Look, Ma, no hands!"
 

Skottoman

New member
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
458
Points
0

ichadwick

Active member
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,852
Points
38
I'm not sure why, but this thread makes me want to learn a James Brown song on my ukulele...
 

mds725

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
11,807
Points
48
Boobs vs Ukulele: an ancient battle

I don't have to choose sides, do I?

Would love to see the custom creation, but alas, all the pictures have been de-linked... :

Here's the URL for Bradford Donaldson's website. http://donaldsonukuleles.com He's the luthier who builds "Amy" ukuleles.

Here's a photo of two Amy ukuleles. The backs curve inward to accommodate the user's curves.
attachment.php
 
Last edited:

bbycrts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
58,999
Points
48

OldePhart

New member
Joined
Nov 18, 2010
Messages
8,342
Points
0
Velcro on back of uke, Velcro on special uke player's blouse... "Look, Ma, no hands!"
A strip of soft rubbery non-slip shelf lining material glued to the back of the uke works pretty well no matter what you're wearing, and won't snag sweaters, etc.

As for well endowed ladies, I've seen some that hold the uke above the endowment, up almost by their cheek.

John
 

sukie

Aloha
UU VIP
Joined
Apr 18, 2008
Messages
29,649
Points
0
A strip of soft rubbery non-slip shelf lining material glued to the back of the uke works pretty well no matter what you're wearing, and won't snag sweaters, etc.

As for well endowed ladies, I've seen some that hold the uke above the endowment, up almost by their cheek.

John

I'm not well-endowed, but I still play sitting down with my ukulele on my lap. With time I've found holding my ukulele gets a lot easier.
 

ckellogg

New member
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
431
Points
0
Hi Danochka, this is Tinochka (only my mother can call me that now). I have the same well-endowed problem as you. I put a hook on the ukulele, where a strap button would go. We have hooks that stick on to walls, I stuck it on my ukulele. Worked great until I could get a strap button. Yep, you need either a strap button or one of those hooks. Use a ribbon (or a shoestring or anything), tie the other end around the part where the tuners are, then put the strap over your head (and under your right arm) - ocheen harasho!
 

ukegirl

New member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
594
Points
0
Those Amy Ukes are sweet!! I have the same issue...but a lot worse trying to wrestle a martin D-18!
 

hmgberg

Active member
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
1,774
Points
38
When I saw the title to this thread, I thought you were deciding whether to buy a new ukulele or new boobs; was thinking, that's some cheap plastic surgery or a very expensive uke.

I don't even know what to suggest. It's nice that the ladies are offering suggestions.

Keep us abreast ...sorry, couldn't resist.
 
R

RyanMFT

Guest
I actually see this problem for my wife.....when she tries to play a uke.....seems like it is over or under. None of my ukes have a strap button but I think a full strap would help.
 
Last edited: