BY HEIDI SWEDBERG | PHOTOS STEVE SZILAGYI | FROM THE WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF UKULELE
Ready for a strap? 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.
1. 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.
2. Gently drill the pilot hole.
3. Screw the button in.
4. 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.)
5. Screw in strap button.
Ukulele Basics: Chords and Harmony is a collection of six easy-to-follow but in-depth Basics lessons from instructors and frequent Ukulele magazine teachers Jim D’Ville and Fred Sokolow, plus 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.