Ukulele Strap/ Thong

Holding a ukulele while standing up can be a bit tricky – particularly if you’re playing something intricate. So many people decide to use a ukulele strap. Unfortunately, most ukuleles are built with traditional over-the-shoulder type straps in mind. So if you want one of those you’ll have to install strap buttons on your uke.

A less drastic option is to buy a ‘ukulele thong’. These go under the ukulele and latch on to the soundhole. They’re sturdy and do the job well. And, also, it gives you the excuse to say ‘thong’ a lot.

On eBay
[phpbay]thong ukulele, 3, “”, “”[/phpbay]

On Video

10 Comments

  1. Dag April 27th, 2010 5:14 pm

    A strap for a ukulele is nice to have when you know you are going to play for a time while standing up. Most commercially available uke straps are re-labeled classical straps.

    This type of straps uses a hook placed on the f-hole (sound hole) edge and the strap wraps around under the body to the neck hang. Because of this design, you cannot fully let go of a uke like you can a guitar on a strap. If you do, the uke will tumble downward and will, more than likely, fall off the hook and crash to the floor.

    I personally don’t like the idea of a piece of nylon or leather rubbing constantly against the body. I think it will eventually leave abrasions and scuffs on the places where the strap makes contact with the wood. I’ve seen evidence of this on classical guitars where the owner used a strap.

    As such, I made my own “strap” (for lack of a better word) out of a wire coat hanger and then made a soft-cloth sleeve for it. I created a bracket that hooks to the f-hole and follows the angles of the body to reach the back. My first one had the back part of the bracket fully attached, but getting the uke to seat in the bracket caused rubbing along the edges. As such, the saddle of the bracket now has a hinge where the back piece is connected. This allows me to slip the bracket on and off the uke with relative ease and no potential harm to the wood. The cloth covering helps eliminate any wear by the bracket since the body of the uke does not rub against the metal frame… the cloth does. I made the neck strap non-adjustable, but it works for all my ukes.

    All in all it was not a hard project to complete. I still can’t fully let go of the uke while playing, but it nicely frees up one hand. It also helped improve my picking ability for some reason. I think it is because I am not concentrating on both picking the strings, finger the notes and keeping the instrument held all at the same time.

  2. David October 25th, 2010 5:52 pm

    I have found that uke thong works very well. There are few instruments that you can “let go of” and not have them tumble to the ground.
    I have been using a thong for several years and have not had the rubbing problem discribed above, but in fairness I play several ukes so no one uke gets all the use.

  3. Foinnse December 5th, 2010 7:50 pm

    Hey,
    While searching for a new strap for my uke I came across this “Ukestar” thong. Seems to be getting very good reviews so thought I’d drop a link here.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/ukestar

    Cheers, -F

  4. Ann February 10th, 2011 11:40 pm

    I just found these really cute uke straps on Etsy! I like playing standing up so I had strap buttons put on mine at the Guitar Center Store. The thongs don’t do it for me because you can’t let go! I play guitar too and am used to a strap actually holding the instrument. And btw leather won’t cause any wear if it rubs on the body of the uke or guitar! These straps are all bright and tropical looking > http://www.crimsonoriginals.etsy.com

  5. Cardinal Fang September 9th, 2012 11:12 am

    Has anyone tired a Ukulele Leash (http://ukeleash.com/)?

    How do they compare to a ukulele thong?

  6. Gail in Florida November 11th, 2012 6:32 pm

    I have the UkeLeash (http://ukeleash.com/) and I love it. I can’t tolerate pressure on the back of my neck, so the thong style didn’t appeal to me. I play for long periods of time and the UkeLeash has been comfortable and secure.

  7. martykiel December 20th, 2012 10:47 pm

    I tried thong, and leash, and another type strap that wraps around the torso, with only a modest benefit. Finally, I went to my local guitar shop to install 2 strap buttons ($10 apiece) just like on guitars, and I got a soft comfortable adjustable guitar strap (many to choose from) and I am pleased as can be.

  8. Tim Mullins March 19th, 2013 3:36 pm

    Herman Vandecauter suggested that I might send my solution to this problem in to Ukulele Hunt. I also wanted something that would allow me freedom with both hands yet not have to modify my instrument. I came up with a loop of polypropylene webbing that runs under the strings, around the uke body and over your shoulders and does it in such a way that it holds the ukulele in a stable and comfortable playing position. Because of the geometry of the way it runs it has to have a built-in half twist which then disappears when in use. I call it the Mobius Strap and full information with instructions and videos of it in use are on my website at http://www.mobiusstrap.com. Please have a look!

  9. Tobias June 12th, 2013 12:48 pm

    I bought one of Tim’s Mobius loops for my Tanglewood tenor TWU4 and it is excellent. I suffer from a frozen right shoulder and this loop is excellent even with that disability. His invention holds the uke close to your body in a firm but gentle grip and keeps the whole rig stable.

    THe strap does not interfere with playing in any way and will not wreck the sound hole like a hook if you ‘accidentally’ push down too hard.

    My only negative about it is when you are not using it but keep it on the uke (as with all straps) it trails along the floor – but that is mebeing too lazy to take the strap off when I finish playing.

    Tim, you’ve made a great accessory and I’ll be buying another strap for my new Tanglewood Concert TWU3.

    I thoroughly recommend this strap as a fantastically usefull alternative to other straps.

  10. Tony February 20th, 2014 7:02 am

    I lead at least four uke jams a month. A strap is a must for me while juggling my uke, song sheets, 3-ring binders, iPad and whatever else a jam leader holds, passes on, etc. My Mya-Moe ukes came with strap buttons on the heel of the neck and the end block of the body, so it made sense to use a strap that attached at those two points. I liked using a strap attached to the heel and end block so well that I added strap buttons in these locations to all of my ukes. I have a Buffalo hide strap for my guitar from Lakota Leathers, near Knoxville, Tennessee (www.LakotaLeathers.com). I really like it, so I ordered one of their Bison hide mandolin straps for $30.00 US. They say, “You may request not to have a loop if your mandolin [ukulele] has two strap buttons.” Since receiving and extensively using their Bison Hide non-braided mando strap, I have purchased a number more for my other ukes. I have no vested interest in promoting Lakota Leather straps, and I highly recommend them. Great product! Nice people to deal with!

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