There’s no denying that playing a ukulele whilst standing up can be pretty difficult. You have to be able to support the instrument and also leave both hands free enough to take care of their duties. For that reason quite a few players turn to using a strap to help them out. The beauty of a ukulele a strap is that it allows your to focus entirely on making music rather than worrying about supporting your ukulele.
I thought it would be worth looking at the different options that players have when it comes to ukulele straps…
A regular ukulele strap requires your ukulele to have strap buttons in place to attach your strap to. The strap buttons are generally located at the base of the neck heel and at the base of your ukulele. If your ukulele doesn’t have strap buttons on it they’re easy enough to install. Here’s a great video showing you just how to go about installing a strap button…
Installing A Ukulele Strap Button
Regular straps tend to be cheap and you can get away with using a guitar strap, although they tend to be a little too wide in my opinion.
Expect to spend: Anywhere from around $5 upwards.
Single Strap Button Strap
Straps that are attached with 2 strap buttons can be a little bit imbalanced. In some cases the weight of the neck will force the ukulele to tip forwards when unsupported. This generally comes down to the balance and weight distribution of the ukulele in question. One way to combat this is by using a strap that only requires a single strap button.
The other end attaches via a string or lace right behind the nut on your ukulele. This is simply tied in place and provides a nice balance that doesn’t tip when unsupported. The beauty of using a strap that uses a single strap button is that you can use a regular strap and you’re not having to drill additional holes in your ukulele.
Expect to spend: Anywhere from around $5 upwards.
No Drill Straps
There are a number of options for those that want to avoid drilling any holes in their ukulele…
The HUG strap is a hands-free shoulder strap that doesn’t need strap buttons (or any other kind of attachment). It simply wraps around your ukulele (underneath the strings) and forms a kind of sling. It’s worth noting that if you’re a fan of pineapple ukuleles it won’t work. It only works with ukuleles that have some form of waist (that rules out those of you that own flying v ukuleles too). It’s easy to fit and does a good job of supporting your ukulele.
Expect to spend: From $24 upwards
Like the HUG strap, hook style straps simply attach to your ukulele without the need for any strap buttons. Rather than fitting around the body of the ukulele though, hook style straps go behind and under your ukulele and hook into the sound hole. Although hook straps do support your ukulele you still need to hold the instrument yourself to keep it in place. These straps are sometimes called thong straps.
Expect to spend: From around $15 upwards (there are a lot of these type of straps on Etsy)
The Uke Leash is a bit of a hybrid strap. It only supports part of your ukulele. The leash supports the headstock end of your ukulele leaving you to take care of the body. One end of the leash attaches just behind the nut of your ukulele (like the single strap button strap) and the other attaches to your upper arm and behind your neck. I think this is a really nice concept and will help you learn to begin supporting your ukulele on your own without doing all the work for you.
Expect to spend: From $15 upwards
Make Your Own Ukulele Strap
If you’re a little strapped for cash (pun intended). The how about making your own ukulele strap? I’ve seen people turn dog leashes, bits of fabric, ribbon, shoe laces and more into perfectly workable ukulele straps.
Expect to spend: Nothing if you already have the materials in
How To Make A DIY Ukulele Strap
So there you have it, a whole load of options if you’re looking for a little bit of help when it comes to holding your ukulele. I myself don’t play with a strap but only because I play sitting down the majority of the time. There are some players out there who frown upon using a strap but honestly, who cares? If it helps you play do what you want. Gaffer tape the ukulele to your body if you need to!
9 thoughts on “Ukulele Straps”
I have two straps I like.
The Uke Leash – I use in the same way as the HUG strap, and it works great; light weight you dont’ know it’s there.
The Mobius Strap – Nifty design and light weight http://www.mobiusstrap.com/index.html
My last uke, I had 2 strap buttons installed, which works great. I bought one of the hook straps for my soprano, which works well enough when you’re holding it, but you can’t let go or the uke flips over. Also, even though the ukulele is very light, I prefer the strap to go behind my back, rather than around my neck. Still, part of me doesn’t like the idea of installing 2 strap buttons, or even one on an ukulele so I have yet to find the perfect strap for me. I don’t like the look of the strap around the body and sort of don’t like it around the headstock either, so having 2 strap buttons is probably what I need to deal with. It’s such a personal thing. The DIY straps were pretty interesting. Hadn’t seen sticky hooks used like that before.
I made my own strap out of heavy cord. I made a Loup around the headstock then a knot around a screw in button. The key is to put crazy glue on the knots so they don’t loosen.
The right knot, properly tied will not loosen
I love everything about this website!!! There is so much to learn without paying 50$ per private lesson. I love this website and I want to send my appreciation to the extremely organized, detail oriented, and passionate people behind this! big fan will recommend this site to all my students! Thank you! Uke for life!
anyone know where to go to have a single strap button installed? I’m too scared to do it myself 🙂
Most decent music shops that sell stringed instruments should be able to sort this for you Kristen.
I’ve had good results using the Command Outdoor Light Hooks (better design for a strap than their other hooks) along with a Command strip. I have two Flukes and I didn’t want to drill into them so I came up with this crazy idea and it works! The uke is light enough for the Command strip and I can remove it without a mark if I so choose. My strips have been on for several years now. Before attaching the strip, I would advise gently washing the area (I used a little rubbing alcohol, but that might damage some finishes. It didn’t matter with the plastic back of the Fluke.) Then you can tie whatever you want to the hook– dog leash, ribbon, belt, chain, etc. I find that the best tie is a length of leather lacing; it has good traction on the hook. Best of luck!
These are some great tips Laurie, I might well have a go at making my own using your method.