Strap Pros and Cons?

besley

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Slightly sideways from topic, does anyone else get frustrated at the 'button' created by the MiSi Acoustic Trio Air pickup? I love that pickup, but it just isn't as good as it should be as a strap button - it doesn't project quite far enough away from the uke!

Ben
I hate (HATE!) the endpin jacks that come with electrified ukes and guitars. They are just so frustratingly hard to get a strap on, and even when it is on, it isn't secure. On a couple of my instruments with endpin jacks I have mounted a separate standard endpin just to hold the strap.
 

ripock

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endpins have never worked for me. I also have a strap button separate from the jack. In the one case where I don't I use a fender washer: I position the strap over the endpin, then I put on a fender washer, then I plug the uke in through both the washer and strap. The jack locks it all in place. For the times when I do not plug in, I use a 1/4 inch headphone convertor plugged into the jack.
 

Rllink

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I can go either way. But when I'm playing out for people, gigging or busking, I use a strap just so that I can free up my hands for other things. I've noticed that early on I'll hike my uke up and play it with slack in the strap and let it hang when I'm not playing it and doing something else. But after a while I let it fall a little while I play and it hangs from the strap more. All in all, I move the uke around a lot while I play and it doesnt make much difference to me.
 

rafter

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Huh, it feels like everyone's pretty strap friendly. I do think they're useful. Especially if you're standing. That said, I don't have straps on any of my ukes, which include tenors, baritones, and a kiku. It's purely for cosmetic reasons--I don't like the way strap buttons look. I can't think of advantages to not having straps besides looks (cleaner/more pristine). Maybe it's ever so slightly easier to pick up and play, but yeah, I think the advantages of straps outweigh the disadvantages. And yet, my ukes are still all strapless. Maybe it's because aside from playing while walking into the other room once in a while, I mostly play sitting down. Sometimes I play lying down on a couch or bed.

I think someone mentioned guitars. All my guitars have straps. They're much heavier, and unlike ukes, I've had to play standing in front of people. Strap buttons aren't as objectionable on guitars. But I like that ukes aren't guitars and one cosmetic difference for me is lack of endpins.
 

RafterGirl

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All my ukes have 2 strap buttons.....tailblock & heel. I have tried a variety of straps and chords tied to the headstock & didn't like that. If I'm sitting and practicing or just dinking around, I'll just let the strap sit in my lap. But as soon as I'm playing for real, whether that's sitting or standing at a uke group jam, standing to play at church, or sitting in front of my computer for a Zoom open mic, I strap up. I can move my fretting hand wherever it needs to go, up or down the neck, without worry.
 

wqking

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Just go the way you feel the most comfortable.
I always use a "necklace" strap, which hooks the sound hole, and doesn't require strap buttons. It's not as stable as strap with buttons, but it frees my left hand from supporting the neck so that my left hand has the most dexterity to press difficult chords or shift for long distance.
 

donboody

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Only real con to a strap I guess is if your uke is wall mounted you have to take the strap off or it will look less cool when mounted
 

casualUkeDude

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I bought a Mobius Strap for my new baritone to try before I put strap buttons on.

Shouldn't be afraid of strap buttons! It's a simple mod to do if you take your time. Many YT vids on how to do.
 

casualUkeDude

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I have several ukeleashes, they are easy to use. I have used them with butt buttons and without.

I've moved on from there!
 

Picky

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I use a Uke Leash. I just can't bear the thought of drilling holes in that gorgeous wood.

Bluesy.
I am a fan of the Uke Leash and have one on all three of my ukes. For each of my two concerts, I bought a leash one size up (as Uke Leash creator Lori Apthorp recommends) so I could wrap the bottom end around the midsection of the uke instead of around my picking/strumming arm. For my soprano, I had Mim add a strap button at the base of the uke and ordered a guitar-style Uke Leash.

I mostly play seated, but I enjoy the extra security the strap gives me. It also means I don't have to set the uke down when I get up to put the kettle on for tea and then pick it back up when I return. I just wear my uke to the kitchen and back. :)
 
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For some reason, the phrase ‘going strapless’ brings images other than ukulele.

And in regards to impact on the value of the instrument,
I‘m not a mover and shaker, buyer and seller.
I buy and hold - usually with strap - and play. I’ve donated a few, but never sold.

my cars are twenty years old, I have stocks that are thirty.
I do cringe at the thought of impacting the beauty of the instrument, but I value function over form.
 

Jim Yates

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I also value function over form, but I don't think that a strap button has any impact on the beauty of an instrument. Leaving a clip-on tuner on the peghead is a lot more ugly. (More reversible too, but...)
 

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chris667

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Here's my considered opinion, based on many, many years of being a solid middle-laner.

It doesn't matter that someone like Jake Shimabakuro chooses to play while wearing a strap. He could play without one.

Fit one if you want one, but don't use it to mask bad form. If you don't work out how to hold a uke, you will be held back when you start learning your way around the fretboard a bit more.
 

Neil_O

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My main couch guitar doesn't have an endpin button, to protect the leather from getting poked.
 

Jim Yates

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Here's my considered opinion, based on many, many years of being a solid middle-laner.

It doesn't matter that someone like Jake Shimabakuro chooses to play while wearing a strap. He could play without one.

Fit one if you want one, but don't use it to mask bad form. If you don't work out how to hold a uke, you will be held back when you start learning your way around the fretboard a bit more.
Strap Pros: You don't have to hold the uke up with your hands, which may help you when you are first learning to play uke.
Strap Cons: You won't learn how to hold the uke and play comfortably without a strap, then if you pick up and play a uke without a strap, it will be harder to get around the fretboard and it may sound like poop because you never learned to play without one.
Advice: Learn to play without a strap, and get comfortable holding it while moving around the fretboard without one. Then if you find that you still want one, get one.
You could say this about any instrument. "Learn to play mandolin/guitar/bass-guitar/banjo/etc. without a strap, then if you pick up and play a mandolin/guitar/bass-guitar/banjo/etc. without a strap, it will be harder to get around the fretboard and it may sound like poop because you never learned to play without one."
"If you don't work out how to hold a uke, you will be held back when you start learning your way around the fretboard a bit more." You won't be held back if you have a strap (or if you play sitting down).

How does using a strap mask bad form? Playing simple first position chords is quite possible without a strap, but to play chord melody or higher position chords or melody, I'd advise you to either play sitting down or get a strap. Using your hands to support the uke will take away from their ability to move freely around the neck. Of course if you play while seated, it doesn't make a lot of difference.
I must admit that I use my strap even while sitting most of the time, although you don't really need one if you're sitting.
 

Mike $

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You could say this about any instrument. "Learn to play mandolin/guitar/bass-guitar/banjo/etc. without a strap, then if you pick up and play a mandolin/guitar/bass-guitar/banjo/etc. without a strap, it will be harder to get around the fretboard and it may sound like poop because you never learned to play without one."
Is your complaint, that you can say this about any instrument? I think most people would realize that guitars, bass guitars and banjos are too large and too heavy to play for any length of time, while standing, without a strap. Who would tell them to try that? A ukulele is a totally different story. They weigh about a pound, maybe a little less, they are the perfect size to hold in the bend of your arm. It is very easy to learn to play while holding it without a strap, including: chord melodies, single string solos, strumming chords...etc., and as far as the left hand is concerned, it hardly does anything to support the uke other than what it does to support it when you play while the body of the uke is in your lap. A minimum of effort. I think it is a disservice to people to tell them to forget about learning how to hold a uke and just jump into using a strap without even trying. Just a bit of effort is all it takes. It's not difficult to do, unless you don't even try.
 

chris667

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@Jim Yates I wish I had seen this video when I started learning. It would have saved me years.


So often, I see ukulele players with a death-grip on the neck with their left hand. It isn't necessary and it holds you back when you get beyond cowboy chords.