One of the most helpful ukulele accessories is the ukulele strap.
Straps have three benefits. First, they assure that you won’t accidentally drop your ukulele while you’re playing. Second, a strap frees up your playing. You can move your left hand as necessary, which is great for people who are learning barre chords. A strap makes it easier to stand and play, or to walk around with a ukulele. Finally, straps come in a variety of patterns that can show off your individual style.
Once you have a strap, if you want to play without it, all you need to do is to take it off. If you use a strap, avoid bumping your ukulele into things (doors, stands, etc.). If your strap has loose fitting ends, you can place a rubber washer over the end of the strap button to lock it into place. There are several kinds of ukulele straps. Neck lanyards go around your neck, under the ukulele, and clip into the sound hole. These straps stabilize the ukulele but do not hold the ukulele—if you let go, the ukulele will flip over and fall off the strap. There are several “drill-less” straps on the market.
The most common type of ukulele strap is a 1” to 1.5” strap with leather or synthetic leather ends. The ends have slots that slip over a strap button. You connect one end to a button on the bottom of the ukulele, but you get to decide how to connect the strap to the top: a strap button on the heel, or to the headstock with a string or a headstock connector. Strap pins can be installed on most ukuleles by the owner of the ukulele or by a music store/luthier. On a wood ukulele, make sure the ukulele has a tail block before adding a strap button.
If you weren’t aware, Flight offers stylish ukulele straps that can be used with any brand of ukulele, and every strap comes with a headstock connector. And best of all, Flight ukulele straps are priced affordably! As always, we encourage you to work with your local music store to order a strap—and if they don’t carry them, ask them to!
Monthly Flight Uke Tips are written by our friend Chris from Ukestuff.info, photo also by Chris Russell.