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Thread: Is there a danger in having button straps put on my uke?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Smile Is there a danger in having button straps put on my uke?

    I'm new to the uke and recently acquired a Kala KA-SMHCE-E. I love it and having great fun learning the instrument. Only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't have button straps. I know that there are other types of straps that can be used, but I'm not a fan. I'm wondering if there's a danger in taking it to my local music store to have buttons installed? Would it somehow compromise the instrument?

  2. #2

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    The only potential negative side effect would be a result of poor shop work. Beyond that, it’s fine.

  3. #3
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    The only risk of having buttons fitted is that you'll be able to fit a strap and then play much more easily
    However, I'd suggest only having one button installed initially, at the end of the instrument, fastening the other end of the strap to the top of the neck. On a relatively small instrument like a ukulele, having the strap fastened at the base of the neck (heel) can make things a little cramped if playing "up the neck". There's always the opportunity to go back for a second button if you eventually decide it's what you would prefer

    Inevitably - YMMV -
    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!

  4. #4
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    There is no downside to having strap buttons fitted to your uke. It doesn't change the value of it. Or affect the beauty of your instrument. They might even enhance it.

    If you have a Hard case, it might be tight to fit your uke into it with buttons installed. Put the butt in first then lower the neck into place will usually solve it.

    It makes playing a lot easier.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  5. #5
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    I'm about to dive into the world of strap buttons myself. For me, the concern wasn't compromising the instrument, it's because I will be doing the job myself! I plan on doing it on 4 ukes. I'll pay a music store to do a proper setup but I couldn't bring myself to pay someone to drill a hole and screw in a screw which is about as basic as it gets. Still, it will be a bit nerve-wracking drilling into a cherished instrument!
    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a uke which is basically the same thing.

    Ukes are a lot like potato chips. It's hard to stop with just one!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    A guitar/uke setup man told me that he always checks inside the uke to make sure there is a decent block before he drills. I was surprised to hear that sometimes the wood there is very thin and he warns the customer before he will drill. I've just started adding lower bout buttons to a few of mine that I use regularly. So far, no problems of any kind.

    Although there a lots of different opinions on one or two buttons, I would agree with the using one button and the headstock. For me, it seems to solve the problem of the uke pivoting when changing left hand position.

    Doesn't the Kala KA-SMHCE already have a lower bout button for the electronics that you could use?
    Last edited by Ed1; 07-09-2020 at 04:58 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcw uke View Post
    I'm new to the uke and recently acquired a Kala KA-SMHCE-E. I love it and having great fun learning the instrument. Only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't have button straps. I know that there are other types of straps that can be used, but I'm not a fan. I'm wondering if there's a danger in taking it to my local music store to have buttons installed? Would it somehow compromise the instrument?
    If you want to add something to hook a strap without drilling try adding a Command hook (the kind you stick onto a wall to hang pictures) to the bottom. Just be sure to have the hook aimed the correct way. Comes off easy with no damage.

    https://www.instructables.com/id/Com...-Strap-Button/

  8. #8
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    I have installed two buttons on every uke I own, guitar style, heel of neck and bottom. Even sopranos get two buttons, just like a full size guitar. It puts the instrument in the very best most stable playing position. If you are having it done at a guitar shop you have nothing to worry about

    The own danger, as another member said is you might play more and get better faster.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  9. #9
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    Sep 2013
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    I install two strap buttons all the time, no problem what-so-ever, and it makes playing so much more comfortable. I tried having one button, but the other end on the head was very uncomfortable for me, the strap kept slipping off my left shoulder. I'm a two button person.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
    Last edited by kohanmike; 07-09-2020 at 08:39 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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    If you can hang a picture on a wall, you should be able to drill and screw in a strap pin.

    A few cautions/recommendations:
    - Make sure your uke has an internal end block. Most do, but it doesn't hurt to check.
    - Measure exactly where you want the pin mounted, then do it two more times just to make sure.
    - Put a piece of painter's masking tape over the target area to protect the surface in case a tool slips.
    - Use an awl or a sharp nail to make a small indent exactly where you want to drill. This will ensure that the drill bit doesn't slide around and make a mess.
    - Use a drill bit just a little smaller than the screw that holds the pin.
    - Drill slowly and carefully, making sure the ukulele is firmly supported and held in place. (I use a variable speed electric drill but it would work fine with a hand cranked one.)
    - Drill the hole the full length of the screw.
    - Remove the tape and clean up any debris or sawdust (drilldust?)
    - Rub the screw against a bar of soap or a parafin candle to provide some lubrication.
    - Make sure you use a felt washer (usually supplied with strap pins) to prevent marring the finish.
    - Screw in slowly, by hand, until the pin is tight and can no longer be easily rotated.
    - Attach your strap to the pin and you're good to go!
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
    • COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    • ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR (LOW "G")
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