BY HEIDI SWEDBERG | PHOTOS STEVE SZILAGYI | FROM THE WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF UKULELE
Ready for a strap on your ukulele? Some straps don’t require buttons, but most do. You can take your instrument to a respected shop and have strap buttons installed, but it’s not a difficult job to tackle at home if you have a few tools and some courage. Follow these instructions from Elderly Instrument’s head repair tech, Joe Konkoly.
Here’s everything you need: strap, strap buttons with felt washers to protect the instrument, fine drill bit, Phillips head screw bit, and hand drill. Here are the steps to installing a strap on your ukulele. Check out the photos below for visual instruction.
- Take a look at the bottom of your instrument, known as the tailblock: That’s where the first button will go. Use a ruler to mark the midpoint of the center joint.
- Gently drill the pilot hole.
- Screw the button in.
- You will need another button on the neck heel, unless you opt to attach your strap to your headstock underneath the strings. Lay your instrument upside down on a padded surface and locate and mark the location for the button on the treble side of the neck heel. Gently drill at an angle about 1/4-inch into the wood. (Note the solid “sweet spot” where the button goes in.)
- Screw in strap button.
Ukulele Basics: Chords and Harmony is a collection of six easy-to-follow but in-depth lessons on the basics of chords and harmony. Instructors and Ukulele magazine contributors Jim D’Ville and Fred Sokolow, as well as the great composer/player Daniel Ho, will guide you through easy chord variations, harnessing the power of certain chords, demystifying the famous Circle of 5ths, and understanding moveable chord shapes.