We’ll help you strum Ukulele LEFT Handed

Love to strum, whether LEFT or RIGHT handed

Upon written request prior to shipping your order, we’ll re-string your 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! Concert size FLEA ukuleles packed with our exclusive Musician Maker Kits are very 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 even re-string your brand new ukulele for FREE to strum left handed! Send your written request prior to shipment. Email us at info@truejoyacoustics.com if buying direct. Or send your request by Amazon or eBay message AT THE SAME TIME you order from our online listings (we ship within 1-2 business days).

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

Fortunately, much of the 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

Free Online Ukulele Tuner

Here’s a convenient tool when playing ukulele (+ other instruments) by the computer.

Click the following banner link, scroll down, select the “play” icon underneath each open string note. It will repeat the tone until you move to another string (or click “Stop Sound”) … makes it easy for you to adjust the tension on your corresponding ukulele string until you have a precise match. Set up for standard G-C-E-A tuning, but can be modified to any tuning. Hats off to Scott at http://www.get-tuned.com for creating this!

And here’s an easy way to remember the standard tuning notes for ukulele. The following letters are the open string notes (i.e., playing each string open without fretting) as you progress from the top (4th) string closest to your face while holding the ukulele … to the bottom (1st) string which is farthest from your face:

G-C-E-A stands for Good Children Eat Apples.

You’re all set. Just bookmark this page, stop back and always strum your tunes true.

Greg H., True Joy Acoustics founder

Managing New String “Creeps”

New to the world of stringed instruments?

If purchasing a factory-fresh ukulele model or doing your first string change, you’ll soon notice it takes a few days and some “break in” playing time for strings to maintain a steady pitch.

Applies to most, if not all, musical instrument strings –– not just ukulele nylons.

Why? Instruments are shipped with relaxed string tension to minimize transit risks and preserve string life. When unpacked and tuned up, each string undergoes a material science effect known as CREEP.

Creep is simply the string material undergoing “inelastic stretching” … just like a fresh rubber band that gets stretched and does not fully return to its original smaller size when force is removed. Microscopically, this is due to various regions within the material slipping and responding differently to higher tension stresses. After time and a few workouts, neighboring regions within the material stabilize. Strings then undergo “elastic stretching” when played, and alas, stay reasonably in tune.

Don’t let creepy strings get you down. Keep your tuner handy the first few days, tune up before each practice session.

Musician Maker Kits make tuning a breeze by providing a Qwik-Tune electronic tuner in every kit, easy instructions, plus a belt-loop Accessory Pouch to tote it anywhere. And with high quality Grover tuners on every FLEA ukulele, you’ll soon find that you rarely need to adjust the tuning after the creeps are gone!

Greg, True Joy Acoustics founder

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