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Thread: Holding my uke...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    413

    Default Holding my uke...

    ...hi, new here and I have a question about how to hold the uke. I have a concert but have started using a strap because I couldn't figure out how to get my chord hand to move when I held it without the strap.

    I was resting the bottom of the neck on the bottom of my left index finger. When I did that I could do the easy chords like C, F, and G7 but not Em or anything requiring movement (like picking). So with the strap I barely hold the neck and can move much better.

    Just wondering if other newbies have had similar problems.

    CUA94

    PS When I look at the pics in Ukulele for Dummies I realize I don't like having my thumb stick out over the top of the neck.
    Last edited by cua94; 07-09-2013 at 09:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    near Boston
    Posts
    403

    Default

    I play a concert, and I always use a strap--it lets me concentrate on fretting instead of holding, and I need all the help I can get! When I started playing, I struggled until I got a Uke Leash (a "half strap" that doesn't require any modifications to the uke). I had a strap button installed on my next uke and I bought (from Lori at UkeLeash.com) an adapter that converted my Uke Leash into a full strap. You can google "how to hold a ukulele" to get plenty of suggestions on holding a ukulele without a strap, but I'm happy with a strap.
    Live long, prosper, and play your ukulele.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    DFW, TX, USA
    Posts
    8,342

    Default

    Whatever works for you is fine. I am not crazy about straps on the small ukes (concert and soprano) so I glue non-skid rubber shelf liner to the backs of them (yes...I'm not kidding...even my $700 KoAloha has a nice big patch of non-skid rubber glued to the back).

    For tenors and baritones I use a strap.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    11,922

    Default

    Check some of these tutorials out:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...be.Zh2CHQfXCf4

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    I play soprano (and sometimes concert) and have strap buttons on all three of my ukes. Using a strap for the first time was like a revelation for me - my playing improved considerably once holding on to the slippery little thing was no longer an issue!

    As for your thumb - I've never seen Ukulele For Dummies, but - none of my instructors have ever told me that my thumb should stick out over the neck. I was taught to keep the thumb firmly behind the neck, more or less in the middle, as in this photo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Just north of Boston,Ma.
    Posts
    329

    Default

    I cannot play without a strap. I had a button installed and made my own straps from strapping that I got from a material store and a plastic buckle. Just slice a hole in one end of the strap and slip it over the button and run the other end under the strings on the head stock and fasten with your plastic buckle. Only cost around $2.00 for both.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    24

    Default

    hi guys, I have the same problem. I don't have a strap and I have some difficulties in going from G to D7 with the barre. There is a little leap in time between the two chords because of finding the right balance in switching position with the left hand. Do you have the same issue? I might get a strap too!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    413

    Default Hi, thanks for your comments

    I use one of the Uke Leashes that I got for my slippery soprano but it works just as well on my concert. It has helped my speed as well.
    Liz

    Ohana Tenor TK50 MG - solid cedar top
    Red Soprano Mahalo
    Kala Waterman
    Green Kala KA-CEM Exotic Mahogany Concert (Low G)
    Purple Bugsgear Soprano
    Tan Bruko Soprano

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    104

    Default

    I have the same issue. When I had to reposition from one chord to the other everything felt so unstable it was a distraction. So I installed a strap and button and its much better since it allows me to focus a bit better on the other techniques.

    I'd like to be able to play without it and i dont like it tangling around things when i want to put the uke down. I figure it will come with time once my fretting hand figures out how it's supposed to behave and discovers its home position. Waiting for that Aha moment.

    My biggest problem is patience, there is so much I want to learn....right now :-)

    I like the sticky pad idea though

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Redding, CA
    Posts
    534

    Default

    Different folks, different preferences. Sometimes I sense an undercurrent of reluctance to use a strap from folks who have not tried one--almost like you shouldn't have to use one since you should be able to play just fine without one. Does anyone else sense that? Just wondering why?
    Stan

    Mainland Mahogany Tenor Cutaway
    Mainland Concert, Red Cedar/Rosewood
    Flea Natural w/tenor neck
    OU-53 Oscar Schmidt Baritone (GCEA, Low G)
    OU-6W Oscar Schmidt Tenor (wide neck)

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