So, you’ve bought a ukulele intending to take lessons and learning how to play. Deciding to pick up an instrument is a fun and exciting one but you will need to equip yourself with the right gear.
You will need to buy yourself a ukulele strap. There are different types out there and they all install differently. There are some straps that require you to do a little bit of drilling and others where this isn’t required.
To help you get your instrument up and ready to be played, here is a quick guide on all you need to know about attaching a strap.
1. Hooking On the Sound Hole
This is the most popular ukulele strap on the market because it's so easy to put on. It doesn't require you to do any drilling into the instrument at all. All you have to do is hook it to the very bottom of the sound hole.
After you've attached it there bring it under the body of the instrument and loop it where it will fit over your neck or chest. Whichever you prefer.
The only problem with using this method is that your Ukulele will flip over if you're not holding it. This shouldn't be too much of an issue though since you'll be holding it when you play it.
This system will support your ukulele a little better than hooking it on the sound hole. The strap will come with a few metal brackets that attach to the instrument by an adhesive. Again, no drilling required.
These are a permanent part of the instrument once you put them on. There are ways to take them off but it's easier to leave it.
Keep in mind that you don't want to use this system if your instrument has any kind of glossy finish. It will ruin it.
3. Ukelele Leash
If you have a ukulele with a glossy finish, don't want to put an adhesive on it, or the sound hole method doesn't work for you then you can use a Ukelele Leash.
It looks sort of like a dog leash. You'll attach the long end to the headstock of the instrument and then put your arm through the loop on the other end. Bring the strap over your head and behind your neck.
You'll have to support the Ukulele with your strumming arm but there is no further installation or attachments involved with this method.
4. Installing a Button
There are some straps that will require you to install buttons. These are the regular Ukelele straps and the single button ones. The regular straps need a two-point installation, but they are the most affordable on the market.
As the name suggests, the single button straps only require a single button to be attached. They are thought to provide a bit more support than the regular ones, and the price is about the same.
For this instruction, we will go over how to install buttons for a regular strap. Grab your drill and let's get started.
Choosing the Buttons
Buttons usually come in black or chrome so pick whichever suits your fancy. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to make sure that the ones you buy come with the screw that you'll need. They should also include washers that provide a cushion between the buttons and the instrument.
Once you've got everything you need it's time to pick up your drill and get to work. You'll be putting holes into the wood of your instrument to make way for the buttons.
Look at the size of the drill bit. If it's too large then the screw will be too loose when you get around to installing it. If it's too small then you'll crack the wood and ruin your ukulele.
The drill bit should be the same size as the core of the screw. If it's a little bit bigger than that's fine too. If you're not sure which one to use start with something small and go up if it feels like it will be too tight.
The hole that will house your bottom button should be at the center bottom of the ukulele. You can see where you need to put it by looking through the sound hole of the instrument. Most of the time there is a little bit of extra wood there.
The wood is the thickest at the base of the neck so that's where you want to drill your hole. It should go on the bottom side part of the neck. Which side depends on if you're left or right-handed.
Once you've got your holes drilled you can screw in the buttons. Use a regular hand screwdriver for this job rather than a power one so you'll know if things are getting tight enough to crack the wood.
Again, make sure that there is a washer between the button and the ukulele to protect the wood. After you've got these buttons installed you can put on the strap.
Attaching Your Ukulele Strap
You must get a ukulele strap if you will use your new instrument. You could go without it but it makes things difficult. Use this guide so you can quickly attach your strap and get on to the most important part. Learning to play.
Do you not have a strap to go on your ukulele yet? Nothing is better than custom made. Go here to design your very own.