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Thread: Can't hold Ukulele tight when I play.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Default Can't hold Ukulele tight when I play.

    I've never played guitar before so ukulele is my first plucking instrument.

    I found it's really hard to hold the ukulele steady when I play, it's a tenor, but is still small for me, and the head would drop down when my left hand left the board.

    Since I use 4 fingers approach with my right hand, so I can't hold it with my right, and I don't like to use a strap.

    The only way seems effective is to play topless and put the uku on my belly, but that's awkward, you can't play in front of many when you are topless.

    I've even thought about to put a piece of double tape on the back of the uku to stick it on my shirt, or rope the uku with my chest.

    Any other crazy ideas?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delich View Post
    Any other crazy ideas?
    Give up and buy a harmonica! ... seriously though, all the symptoms you describe would be solved with a strap ... if you get a really thick one you could even use it topless
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delich View Post

    Any other crazy ideas?
    Has your uke been set up? If so, you might try some different strings.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  4. #4
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    I get shelf liners or rubbery rug underlays from the dollar stores and cut them about the size of the back of the uke. I put it under the bottom of the uke if sitting down, or on the back of the uke if standing. Helps with slippage.
    Last edited by actadh; 10-16-2018 at 08:13 AM.
    - Laura

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Since you have eschewed the obvious solution--viz., the glory and beauty of the strap, there are a few workarounds available to you.

    1. Sit down while you play and position the uke like a classical guitar
    2. look at the recent thread entitled "sticky pad"
    3. improve your technique so that you can squeeze the uke with your right forearm while you're plucking with your right hand
    4. look at the youtube channel of Uncle Raggy. He improvises with some velcro affixed to the back of his uke and a lanyard (but if you're going to do this, why not just get a strap)

    There's a few options for you. I play tenors exclusively and I never have this problem. I use straps but when I pick up my deskside crappy uke to mess around, I basically just set it in my lap so that the neck is more or less parallel with the floor with the lower bout resting on my right thigh. Or sometimes it seems like I put the crotch of the bouts on my left thigh. Neither one of these postures is best ergonomically, but it works.

  6. #6
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    Strap, strap, strap. I played guitar for almost 50 years, and uke for 5, the most efficient way to hold either is with a strap.


    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

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  7. #7
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    Ukes are fairly light, even a tenor. If you can learn to wedge the lower bout between your shoulder and chest by hunching forward and lightly supporting the neck in your fretting Palm. Check out banjolele players like Formby or Andy Eastwood. Otherwise use a strap.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kypfer View Post
    Give up and buy a harmonica! ... seriously though, all the symptoms you describe would be solved with a strap ... if you get a really thick one you could even use it topless
    I think ya got it, kypfer.
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  9. #9
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    I really don't know what to make of the topless comment. How does that help?

    There are other kinds of straps if you really don't like the traditional guitar-like strap. Google "ukulele strap hook" or "ukulele strap mobius" for examples
    Ukelele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    I really don't know what to make of the topless comment. How does that help?
    The OP made reference to not being able to play in front of many people when topless ... I thought I'd expand the idea ... indeed a wide mobius loop could solve all problems
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

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