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Thread: What exactly is neck heavy?

  1. #11
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    I recently got a head clamp to hold my iPhone 6 so I can read lead sheets off it while playing. With the clamp and iPhone on there, it is definitely “neck heavy!”
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  2. #12
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    I test this by balancing it between my thumb and index finger right where the neck meets the body. You can do this from above (being careful not to drop it) or from underneath.

    Example of sopranos : Caramel CS419 (slotted head) and Vita-Uke VK-70R are balanced, and a Flight Travel Soprano is body heavy.
    Last edited by Wiggy; 03-02-2021 at 06:36 AM.

  3. #13
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    I don't understand why it would be important, or even remarkable, to have a Uke that was actually "balanced" between neck and body. You have to hold the Uke unless its on a strap. My Ukes have different balance points, and I just adjust the way I'm holding them to compensate. I really haven't used straps very much. But, they are nice on my heavier Ukes. My Tenor resonator Uke would be totally unmanageable without its strap, as would my Lanikai Concert banjolele with its removable back in place. But that has to do with gross weight, not balance. IMHO, anyone who is the least bit fussy about balance should simply use a strap.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGeorge View Post
    I don't understand why it would be important, or even remarkable, to have a Uke that was actually "balanced" between neck and body. You have to hold the Uke unless its on a strap. My Ukes have different balance points, and I just adjust the way I'm holding them to compensate. I really haven't used straps very much. But, they are nice on my heavier Ukes. My Tenor resonator Uke would be totally unmanageable without its strap, as would my Lanikai Concert banjolele with its removable back in place. But that has to do with gross weight, not balance. IMHO, anyone who is the least bit fussy about balance should simply use a strap.
    I don't really see the reason to be so absolutist about the subject. I prefer to play sitting down and don't like to use straps at all, so why do you insist I'd have to do so? Having a uke be balanced means that I don't have to constantly struggle with holding the neck. It makes playability infinitely better. Even a body heavy uke is ok since the body is held against my thigh anyway. A neck heavy uke is definitely more of a chore to play, and I don't really fancy installing straps on my sopranos. And even if I did use straps I wouldn't use one that attaches to the neck or heel which wouldn't help with a heavy neck anyway.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggy View Post
    I test this by balancing it between my thumb and index finger right where the neck meets the body. You can do this from above (being careful not to drop it) or from underneath.

    Example of sopranos : Caramel CS419 (slotted head) and Vita-Uke VK-70R are balanced, and a Flight Travel Soprano is body heavy.
    I used to think your way when I first found ukes aren't balanced well. Then I realized that (at least for me) it isn't entirely about the location of the center of gravity; I now think it is the entire instrument taken as a whole (i.e. its depth, weight distribution, shape, scale length). Although center of gravity is a quick summary, but it isn't precise enough to determine whether a uke is easy to play from an ergo perspective.

  6. #16
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    I think the problem is you soprano players where your headstock is longer than your fretboard.

    From a tenor's point of view, my uke is hanging from its strap, one hand has a cigar and the other a double shot of scotch. My wife comes in and says why can't you do right, like other men do? I raise my hands in the typical "oy vey" posture of the orans figure...and my ukulele neck is still at 45 degrees. There's no heavy neck.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohle View Post
    I don't really see the reason to be so absolutist about the subject. I prefer to play sitting down and don't like to use straps at all, so why do you insist I'd have to do so?
    Oh, please, suit yourself. I was thinking of playing while standing, not sitting. Sitting offers quite a bit more support and alternatives for holding a Uke, and I wouldn't imagine that many sitting players would use a strap. And, obviously, sitting solves the gross weight problem. Those heavy Ukes are only a problem to hold while standing.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGeorge View Post
    Oh, please, suit yourself. I was thinking of playing while standing, not sitting. Sitting offers quite a bit more support and alternatives for holding a Uke, and I wouldn't imagine that many sitting players would use a strap. And, obviously, sitting solves the gross weight problem. Those heavy Ukes are only a problem to hold while standing.
    Absolutely agreed. I still think that balance in terms of weight is a somewhat important aspect with an instrument - not the most important but important nonetheless. Of course especially with all these long neck models and such it's sometimes more difficult to achieve. If I had a neck heavy uke and wanted to play it while standing I'd definitely get a strap for it, no argument there.

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