Uke straps are very plain, and finding the best ukulele strap isn’t rocket science per se. However, there are certain things you should consider before you jump to the conclusion – such things are uke strap type, aesthetics, and durability.
Types of ukulele straps & their benefits
Standard ukulele straps
“Standard” ukulele straps are basically two-button straps that the majority of uke players use. Plainly put, these straps are very simple in nature, they’re very affordable, and they won’t lower your uke’s balance like some other strap types might.
A “standard” ukulele strap – one button is found at the point where the neck and body join, the other is at the regular “tail” position
Among the most notable benefits of “Standard Ukulele Straps”, we could include easiness of use, it’s not a hindrance to the balance of your uke, it costs pretty cheap, and it looks quite discreet.
There are several potential disadvantages as well, though. First of all, most people (who are against using ukulele straps) state that you’ll have a hard time going back to playing without one. Even though this applies to all ukulele straps, the “standard uke strap” is, perhaps hit the most, since it makes you rely on it more than other ukulele strap types.
One-button ukulele straps
One-button uke straps are much similar to “standard” ukulele straps. Basically, they also feature two connecting points, but unlike the standard straps, they require only a single button. These uke straps are absolutely ideal for people who own ukuleles that don’t come with buttons (which basically means less drilling).
The reason why these ukulele straps are called “one button” but have to attachment points is simple – you only need one button to begin with, the other attachment point is a sort of a loop-strap which envelops the headstock (almost exclusively, although exceptions are possible).
People who’re wondering whether to get a regular strap or the one-button ukulele strap rely on their subjective preference more than anything else. Namely, both regular and one-button ukulele straps start at the uke’s tail, but they end in different positions – the standard uke straps end at the beginning of the bridge (fretboard) while the one-button strap ends at the headstock.
One-button ukulele strap resembles “regular” uke straps in more than one way. However, they’re very different
One of the greatest benefits of one-button ukulele straps is that they don’t add imbalance to your uke’s weight, thus leave your playing style unhindered. The center points of gravity are supported from the ends rather from one and & the center (the situation with “regular straps”). This is also a similarity shared by these uke straps and guitar straps.
Hook straps are a variant of no-button ukulele straps – that means that a ukulele without any buttons could easily accept them. These straps are attached to the bottom of the sound hole, the strap goes right underneath it and goes up around the players neck. That, however means, that you’ll still need to hold the uke firmly, else it would just flip over (but not fall).
The only problem with hook straps is that they don’t provide sufficient support. The straps are there to prevent the ukulele from falling if you would let it go – it’s still better than having no strap at all, though.
Ukulele hook strap – the hooks are gentle on the soundboard (sound hole), thus completely negating the risk of any damage to the construction
One of the greatest benefits of using a hook ukulele strap is that you’ll be able to strap your ukulele without drilling any holes. People who own ukuleles without a hardened ending (tail) are often limited to hook straps and uke leashes as drilling holes would ruin the instrument.
Uke leashes are very interesting – these no-hole straps are a sort of a hybrid between a thin leather strap and headstock loop straps. One ending envelops the headstock while the other goes over the shoulder closer to the headstock and underneath the opposite shoulder, strapping onto itself.
Leashes are fairly cheap, although they don’t provide any substantial benefits apart from the easiness of use. Just like other no-hole strap types, you don’t need to have ukulele strap buttons or drill any holes.
Aesthetics – important or not?
People almost always pay much regard to how their instruments and accessories look, and ukuleles (and uke straps) aren’t an exception.
It’s only normal that you’d want a beautiful ukulele strap, but the real question is – how important is the outward appearance of ukulele straps?
As you could’ve probably guessed, most people associate ukuleles with Hawaiian people – the cheerful folk who always look all too happy while playing this instrument. These guys are, more often than not, depicted as players who sport colourful clothing, “leis” (garlands) in particular.
That’s the reason why most ukulele strap manufacturers make their uke straps in such a beautiful way. Of course, people who value simplicity can choose from a vast array of plain uke straps which resemble guitar straps in many ways.
In conclusion, aesthetics are definitely an important part of uke strap, as it’s kind of a part of the uke playing tradition. On the other hand, is there a reason why you shouldn’t consider owning a more beautiful strap since they already come cheap?
Durability – flimsy, sturdy, or somewhere in between?
Durability refers to an objects resistance to physical damage – weather it’s protection from ripping or wear and tear, it doesn’t matter much.
A durable uke strap is the one which could last you for years, maybe decades to come. It’s only normal that people neglect the importance of uke strap’s durability, since ukuleles are among the lightest instruments out there, but we implore you to think otherwise.
The best way to determine the durability of a strap is to inquire about the build materials. Some are made of high-quality leather, others from all kinds of nylon, and it’s safe to assume that leather-based straps excel the most in this sphere of performance.
Picking a good ukulele strap isn’t too hard, but picking the best ukulele strap might be a bit harder than you’d think. However, for as long as you stick with our little buying guide, you’ll be able to find the model which suits you best in no time. We wish you all the luck with finding the best ukulele strap!