My last post about how to install strap buttons on your ukulele assumes you’re using a traditional guitar-style strap with metal buttons at the bottom of the neck and on the tail of the instrument. I believe strap buttons are the most supportive and best option for a strap, but installation can be daunting. Luckily, there are alternatives. If the thought of drilling into your ukulele is too much, these ukulele straps offer no-drill installation while still providing varying levels of support.
Soundhole Hook Style Straps
Hook style straps need no installation at all. They loop around your neck and/or chest, underneath the instrument and up to the soundhole where the strap hooks onto the edge. The benefit of this strap is that there’s no installation and you can remove it without any effort. The drawback is that you still need to hold the instrument. These straps carry the weight of the instrument, which is definitely helpful, but you still need to hold the instrument or it could fall to the floor.
The Uke Loop
Instead of strap buttons, The Uke Loop strap uses one or two metal brackets that attach to the instrument via an adhesive pad. You can install the strap to balance the instrument from a single point as shown below or from two points for more stability. This offers as sturdy and stable a strap as strap buttons will, but has the drawback of one or two unattractive metal pieces permanently affixed to your instrument. You wouldn’t want to use this on a high-end uke as it would surely devalue the instrument.
The Uke Loop sells for $15 on Amazon.
The Uke Leash
The Uke Leash is the least supportive of the options listed thus far, but some players swear by it. The traditional way to support a ukulele is between your right arm and torso, and the Uke Leash still relies on that to hold up the tail end of the instrument. What it adds is support for the neck by looping around the headstock. This is where many ukulele players struggle – it can be hard to hold up the neck with the left hand while changing between complex fingerings.
Here’s an image from the Uke Leash website that shows how the strap works:
You can buy the Uke Leash direct from the creator at shop.ukeleash.com.
Ukulele Grip Strips
This last option isn’t a strap at all and provides the least amount of stability. Made by The Magic Fluke Company, these are two rubber adhesive strips that you put on the back of your instrument. The rubber grabs your clothing and helps to support the ukulele. If you don’t mind holding your ukulele but find it sliding around too much, these might just do the trick. And at $5, you can’t beat the price.
Have I missed any? If so, please leave a comment to let me know!