December 19, 2010 by Tim
Every so often I am contacted by people to review their product. Not a bad gig really considering that most of the review stuff I get I have an exchange of 10+ e-mails back and forth to actually send me something. Having someone ask you to review something is refreshing.
Lori contacted me a month or so ago and asked me to review the uke Leash, I was a little apprehensive because honestly I thought they were weird. Why would I want to support my uke by the head? I would think that I would want to have the back end supported. I decided that if she believes in it enough to send it to me then I would give it the good old college try and see what this thing was.
Designed Way on a Standard Ukulele
I will start with how it is suppose to be used; one side goes on the head and the other goes around your arm on your shoulder. At first it feels strange and you have to adjust the size of the loop to a comfortable size that will not cut the circulation to your arm and not too loose. Once you have that you get the loop on your arm/shoulder area and pull the strap over your head (look at the instructions for clarification) Make sure that the top of the loop, the part that clips together around your arm/shoulder, is pointing up to your ear so it will not get all bound up on your arm. Once you also have a comfortable length (done easily and has a nice clip to hold the excess) you can start playing. In all honesty I tried it several times and am not a fan. I like to have the head free to move, but that is me and this is far from over. I have found many other way to use this very versatile accessory.
“Regular” Strap Way on a Standard Ukulele
Since the uke is a light instrument it does not need a heavy strap. The thin Uke Leash is very well suited to be used on a ukulele, and if you have a strap button on the butt of the uke you can take the part that goes a round the arm and hook it to the button with a little piece that you can get from Lori to make it a “regular” strap. One advantage is that it is easy to untangle since it just snaps a part where it is attached at the head. I like how thin it is and that it is very small and light weight. I do see a small thing that I am not a huge fan of, you really can’t leave it on the uke when you put it in a case. the plastic clips could rub on the finish and scratch it if you are not careful, but really since it is so small you would just unclip it and put it in the pocket of the case. As a “regular” uke strap it is really exactly what most people would want and it has a ton more adjustments than a standard ukulele strap.
Modified Designed Way on a Banjo Ukulele
So let’s get to where I think the Uke Leash will change peoples lives. If you play banjo ukulele than the normal way of using a Uke Leash will not work. The body of most banjo ukes is the heaviest part and is what needs support. After a bit of experimenting I found a great way to use the Uke Leash that in my opinion is what this thing is made for. If you take the part that is suppose to go on the head and put it on one of the j-hook bolts (the things that hold the head down) then use it like you are suppose to, with the other loop around your arm/shoulder, it works out great! I found for this Morgan Monroe I have in for review that the j-hook next to the neck was the best spot, I would think that you would want to experiment on others and find the balance you like. I really like using the Uke Leash like this because it holds the body in place, it leaves it so you can easily move it, and it keeps you from muting or distorting the strings since there is no good place to put your arm on a normal banjo uke. As you can see I am using the leather one in the pictures. I found that since the banjo uke is heavier that it was more comfortable than the nylon one. Oh, and leather looks way more bad ass.
“Regular” Strap Way on a Banjo Ukulele
The other way to use it is to make it like a “regular” strap and take an extra head loop and loop it on the tail piece and put a head loop on the head and clip them to make a “regular” strap.
I know I will get e-mails about how I should like the Uke Leash when used the way it is designed, but really I think it is a great product and another option for people to use. There are a ton of reviews of people who really like it. I think for banjo uke players this is a must have accessory. All in all I think Lori is doing an awesome job of getting this into people’s hands and they are so well made that you cannot deny that the uke leash is a great product, and in my eyes not a one trick pony. I was able to use it so many ways that I did not talk about that for $21 (Polypro leash, extra headstock strap, and button adapter) you can use it so many ways that it will make your head spin.
Check the Uke Leash out at UkeLeash.com