I got a ukulele a few weeks back and have been learning to play. One issue I have run into is with holding the instrument while playing. The instrument is rather small and doesn’t sit well on its own. My left hand ends up holding up and stabilizing the instrument as well as trying to hold the strings for chords. It makes playing difficult and tiresome.
In comes a strap to keep things stable and supported. My ukulele didn’t have a strap or even a button, so I decided to install one. An experienced musician friend of mine warned against messing with buttons in instruments. It seems like it should be a simple enough woodworking operation.
After watching a few guides I decided to create my own video with some steps that would be natural for woodworker, but that musicians might not be as familiar with.
- Use painters tape to mask off the area
- Measure twice and carefully mark your button location with a pencil
- Use a nail or awl to create a small indent
- Drill slowly with a bit just smaller than the shaft of the screw, hold both up to a light to check
- Use some kind of wax to help the install, very little is needed
- Install screw slowly by hand, you can always tighten more later
Things you will need: masking tape, pencil, awl or small nail, drill, drill bit, wax, and screwdriver. A ruler would be helpful.
I hope this helps others be more confident about installing a strap button. The method can be used to install a button anywhere on the instrument. Just go slow, tape the area and be mindful.