Sometimes, when playing tennis, one of the participants may wish to play a jaunty tune to raise the spirits of their partner (in a doubles match), or perhaps they may wish to play a mocking tune to demoralize their opponent.
However, currently this is not possible, as holding a tennis racquet precludes the playing of almost all instruments.
Fig 1: A ukulele, which is the smallest widely-available member of the guitar family.
Fig 2: A tennis racquet. Typically larger than a ukulele but less thick.
By combining the tennis racquet and ukulele, we can create a tool that can be used both in racquet sports and for impromptu string music. The active “mode” of the “racq-u-lele” can be changed simply by flipping it over.
Fig 3: The ukulele and tennis racquet overlap perfectly, although at 180° relative to each other. But this will probably not be an issue for the serious tennis / ukulele aficionado.
Fig 4: Technical diagram: side view of the racq-u-lele. The large gray rectangle at the top is the main body of the ukulele. Details: A) “Head” of the ukulele. B) Strings. C: Ukulele sound hole, in gray. D) Tennis racquet head. E) Tennis racquet strings. F) Tennis racquet grip / ukulele neck.
Fig 5: Artist’s conception of the final product. A) Racquet strings. B) Ukulele body. C) Tennis racquet handle, which also serves as the neck of the ukulele.
Finally, tennis and stringed instrument playing can be combined into a hybrid hobby for truly cultured individuals.
PROS: Increases the skill ceiling of tennis by requiring mastery of a musical discipline to rise to the highest levels. Allows players to have something to do in the boring period of time during a tennis match when the ball is in flight to the opponent.
CONS: May make rage-induced racquet smashing substantially more expensive. May also affect the ergonomics of the racquet, particularly with regard to backhand strokes.