Playing Ukulele Left Handed

Love to strum, whether LEFT or RIGHT

Upon written request prior to shipping your order, we’ll re-string your FLEA ukulele for FREE to strum left handed.

We’ll also suggest tips and materials designed for left handed players.


About 1 in 10 people are left handed. When it comes to playing some music instruments left handed, it’s not all that easy.

Take for example the traditional acoustic guitar designed for right handed play. You cannot just flip the instrument around, re-string or re-tune in reverse order and start playing. Many hindrances. One is the increasing string gauge. The 6th string is over four times larger in diameter than the 1st string, and guitars have several components designed around this parameter to play in tune. Left handed learners are often encouraged to play right handed. Or they must seek a guitar built for left handed play, among a very limited selection.


Good News! FLEA ukuleles are easy to re-tune for instant left handed play.

Just flip the ukulele around. Tune the strings in standard G-C-E-A order as you progress from the redefined top/4th string to the lower/1st string.


Why? Ukulele string diameters also vary, but to a much lesser degree. Plus, the ukulele’s reentrant tuning (4th string tuned an octive higher than following the natural sequence as you progress from strings 1-3) makes the string diameter pattern more symmetrical. Two inner strings have a diameter ranging 0.025 – 0.035″, whereas the outer two strings are thinner and have a diameter close to 0.020″.

To be more exact, you can re-string (when ready for new strings) in left handed order. Nut/bridge notches on the FLEA ukulele will accommodate the reversed sequence of string diameters without binding or making string fit sloppy.

We’ll re-string your FLEA ukulele for FREE to strum left handed. Send your request by AMAZON or eBay message AT THE SAME TIME you order from our online listings (packing and shipment often begins within hours).

The challenge remains for finding instructional materials (e.g., chord diagrams) and music published specifically for left handed play.

Fortunately, much music written for right handed ukulele play (e.g., lesson materials in Musician Maker Kits) is about using basic strumming techniques with simple chords. Envision and learn the “mirror image” of chords diagrammed for right-handed play, then jump right into playing the songs. Strumming methods taught in Musician Maker Kits are versatile … simply use your “natural” left hand to master the same up/down strumming patterns and rhythms.

Several other resources are available online (just click titles below) and written specifically for left handed play. The chord charts let you see actual chord fingerings … skipping the need to envision “mirror images”. Technique books also provide chord diagrams, but are designed mainly to help serious players understand chord theory and master chords up and down the fingerboard. They do not provide simple song collections for beginners.

GOOTAR Four String Chord Generator website – this cool tool lets you quickly see and hear virtually any ukulele chord for “lefty” strumming

Left Handed Ukulele Chord Chart – a very nice set of chord charts posted by a ukulele club at a New York elementary school

“A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties” by Curt Sheller – a 54 page method book that teaches chord understanding and proficiency for left handed play, plus an intro to jazz chords; also available as an instant downloadable eBook/PDF

“Neck Anywhere, Lefty!” by Washtub Jerry – a 28 page method book for learning how to master “movable rhythm chord shapes” up and down the ukulele fretboard (book is listed near the end of page entitled “Music and Book Projects”)

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

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5 Responses

  1. This unique blog, “Playing Ukulele Left Handed True Joy Acoustics – Community”
    ended up being perfect. I’m printing out a duplicate to clearly show my personal friends.

    Thank you,Alfie

    Like

  2. Thanks! I’ve re-strung many FLEA ukes for left-handed players. The bridge and nut design makes it very easy to do this, on top of all the other unique features of a FLEA. Buyers just need to send me their request when ordering on Amazon, eBay or direct … and it will get re-strung with a brand new set of Aquila Nylgut strings.

    Greg/TJA

    Like

  3. Is there any books or tutorials out there to help me learn to play the ukelele left handed? It’s a right handed ukelele and I’m just flipping it. Any advice?

    Like

    • Hi Sherol, resources listed at the end of this blog page are still active. They link to several resources for strumming & playing UKULELES THAT HAVE BEEN RE-STRUNG AND TUNED FOR LEFT-HANDED PLAYERS. I highly reco Curt Sheller’s materials; his book is available in hard copy and easy download version.

      It you are just flipping a right-handed uke around, you avoid re-stringing and tuning strings in reverse order. However, you are signing up for 2 playing challenges: (1) envisioning the mirror-image of standard chords written for right-handed players when looking down on the fingerboard (the lefty chord charts in the links do NOT apply); and (2) reversing the strumming directions and patterns. That can be quite a challenge. I’ve seen my Sam Ash sales rep do this on guitar, but just for short demos.

      The easiest route for playing left-handed is to have the uke properly strung for left handed strumming, and use learning materials that lay out chords/strumming for you to see directly (with no “envisioning mirror images” or tackling reverse strum patterns).

      I’ve re-strung many FLEA ukes for left-handed players. The bridge and nut design makes it very easy to do this, on top of all the other unique features of a FLEA. Buyers just need to send me their request when ordering on Amazon, eBay or direct … and it will get re-strung with a brand new set of Aquila Nylgut strings. This applies to all of my assorted FLEA uke listings:

      http://truejoyacoustics.com/kit.html

      Greg/TJA

      Like

  4. The Mel Bay’s Left Handed Ukulele chords book, available at Amazon, is a great guide, though when reading sheet music, you’ll still have to convert to lefty if you haven’t “memorized” the chords yet.

    Like

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