Gabriella sent me the following request. “I would like to use a strap for ukulele, especially when I am on stage. But at the same time, I don’t feel like making a hole through my ukulele body… Can you give my any advice? How can I put on a strap without drilling?”
Playing the ukulele standing up
A lot of ukulele players like playing their ukulele standing up. There are also quite a few players who actually perform on stage with their ukulele. It is totally possible to play the ukulele on your feet by holding it firmly to your body with your elbow. But then again, it is a lot easier to fit a strap.
It is possible to drill a hole in your ukulele and fit a strap button, which will allow you to use guitar-style straps. However, this will also create a permanent hole in your precious ukulele. Probably that’s something you really don’t want do? Fortunately, there are more than enough no-drill options.
Ukuleles with strap buttons
While not as common as on guitars, some ukuleles do come with one or two strap preinstalled buttons. If this is the case, you can use a typical standard ukulele strap. There will always be one at the bottom of the body and optionally one at the start of the neck.
Hook the strap for ukulele into the sound hole
These are the most popular straps and they are very easy to fit (as in: you don’t need to do anything much at all). These straps hook into the bottom of the sound hole and go down under the body, then loop around the neck or chest. You still need to hold the ukulele, as it will flip over otherwise. So the strap only offers support. Nevertheless, it is very useful and there are many, many different models, ranging from very basic black nylon to some fancier necklace-type straps.
The UkeLoop ukulele strap system
This is a strap system which completely supports your ukulele. This strap for ukulele can be used for every type of instrument, as it comes with two metal brackets which need to be attached to the instrument with an adhesive pad. It is also possible to only use one bracket if you prefer. Although the metal pieces are semi-permanently attached to your ukulele, they can be removed if required. Do not use on high-end ukuleles with an expensive gloss finish.
Uke Leash by Lori Apthorp
The Uke Leash is a ukulele strap support system developed for the ukulele by Lori Apthorp. No drilled holes, adhesives or hooks are needed. You will still need to hold your instrument tightly between your body and arm as the strap only holds the ukulele at the headstock. This can be quite difficult, but according to the creator it should even enhance the sound of the ukulele compared to other straps.
Need more input?
Feel free to contact me whenever you need more information about how to choose a strap for your ukulele without having to drill a hole. By the way, don’t forget to check out the UkuTube to check out fellow ukulele players or share your own ukulele playing!
Also interested to know how to amplify or electrify your ukulele?