Many players always sit when they are playing their ukuleles. While this is fine when doing this for your own pleasure or at ukulele group sessions, it is not ideal in a performance situation and it is better for you physically to stand.
We are repeatedly being told by health care professionals that sitting around for long periods is bad for our health and that it is important to keep moving. Sitting for a long time can make you feel more tired than when doing some physical activity. Playing the ukulele standing up allows your body to move easily in time to the music and is a fun way to lessen sedentary behavior. In addition, it is more difficult to sing strongly in a sitting position because this can constrict the diaphragm. When standing up you can take deeper breaths and it is easier to sing and maintain breath control, something that is also good for the health.
In a performance situation it is usually necessary to stand, especially when playing with a large group that takes up the whole stage or where there are several players on a small stage. Often there is not enough room for everyone to sit, or a supply of chairs to make this possible. If there is no stage at all or one that is low, standing puts the players above the audience and makes it possible to connect with those beyond the front row. It is easier when standing to share music stands amongst several people if needed. This also allows different song leaders on a set list to change positions on stage without any fuss.
Some people find it difficult to play standing up, often because they find it hard to hold their ukulele without resting it on their seated body. It can be tricky balancing your uke without any support, especially the larger sizes, so the obvious solution is to buy a strap. If you have a strap button at the base of the uke, you can use the kind that is a smaller version of a guitar strap and tie the top end under the strings above the neck. Also smaller Mandolin straps are sometimes suitable.
If there is no button on your ukulele it is not recommended that you have one attached, as there might by no internal support into which you can drill the hole. Doing so might cause damage to the body of the ukulele and rather than taking this risk it is better to use the kind of strap that hangs around your neck with an end that hooks into the sound hole to hold the uke. Various types of ukulele straps can be purchased from the same music stores that sell ukuleles, or you can choose from the vast assortment to be found online. Having a strap will allow you to learn to play the ukulele in the standing position and contribute to your enjoyment and performances.
You can build up your stamina by standing for short periods, then increasing the length of time as you get used to this position. Once you can play the ukulele while standing, you will find it is much more fun to be able to move around with the uke, and you will feel more energetic and healthier as a result.
Note: If you need to sit for health reasons make sure that you have frequent breaks from playing and move around.
Kat & Zilla
Bayside Ukes members