I like it when people create new products for themselves and market them, so was delighted to be recently asked to review a new Ukulele strap by Hannah Barrell of Ukestar straps.
First off, this isn't a full strap, its more of a support. The design is typical of other such supports, in that you loop the adjustable band over your neck, and at one end there is a padded hook that you run under the instrument and latch on to the soundhole as shown below with my battered looking Flea Ukulele. Because of the design, you need no strap buttons on your instrument for this to work.
The strap is fully adjustable with a standard strap buckle in order for you to get the uke positioned just where you want it.
What I really like about the Ukestar strap is the quality of it. Hannah offers the strap in a huge range of fabrics (17 of them) and the one shown is called Argyle Corduroy and looks very funky. There are also some fabulous Hawaiian type prints, but if you want plain, then that is catered for too. The fabric is thick and of very good quality with a real soft finish to it - no scuffs and rubbing on the neck with this strap! The buckles for adjustment are also substantial and the hook for attaching to the uke is nicely padded to protect the finish.
I also very much like the branding, and each strap is fitted with a nice metal star badge, rather like a Sherriffs star - that faces front when you wear it - very cool
Attached to the strap when it arrives is a nice Ukestar logo card, which on opening provides the fitting instructions.
The strap comes in 4 sizes - Child (xtra small), Small, Medium and Large and her webstore has sizing instructions to make sure you get the right one.
I have tried the strap on all of my ukes, and it really does provide for a nice playing experience. You still need to hold the uke, but it acts like it is floating on your chest. It really makes fretting, particularly more complex chord shapes, much much easier.
All in all a very nice product. Sure, there are other straps on the market, but this one oozes quality, and the range of colours is great. Besides that, I think it's great to support new independent businesses rather than the faceless corporations!
You can order a Ukestar strap from Hannah on her page here - Ukestar straps, and there is also a Facebook page here - Ukestar Facebook page
Thanks Hannah - and good luck with them!
AND - keep an eye on this blog, as I will be running a competition shortly to win a Ukestar strap like the one in the photos above!