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How to play ukulele for left handed

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Did you know that up to 10% of the population is left-handed? That means there are a significant number of people who may struggle with finding left-handed musical instruments, including the ukulele. Learning how to play the ukulele as a left-handed individual can be a challenge, but with the right approach and technique, it is definitely achievable.

The ukulele is a popular instrument with a rich history rooted in Hawaiian culture. Its small size and soft, mellow sound make it a favorite among music enthusiasts of all skill levels. However, for left-handed individuals, the standard right-handed ukulele may present a barrier to learning and playing the instrument effectively.

One solution for left-handed individuals interested in playing the ukulele is to restring a standard right-handed instrument to accommodate left-handed playing. By switching the order of the strings so that the lowest string is on the right when holding the ukulele, left-handed players can effectively learn and play the instrument without having to search for specialized left-handed ukuleles.

Learning to play the ukulele as a left-handed individual may require some adjustments and patience, but with the right resources and guidance, it is certainly possible. One study found that left-handed individuals often possess unique spatial and creative abilities, which can be an advantage when learning a musical instrument. By embracing their left-handedness and seeking out the necessary tools and support, left-handed individuals can excel in playing the ukulele and enjoy the many benefits of musical expression.

Looking to Learn Ukulele as a Left-Handed Player? Here’s How to Get Started!

So you’ve decided to take up the ukulele and you happen to be left-handed. No worries! Learning to play the ukulele as a left-handed player is totally possible and can even offer some unique advantages. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started, from finding the right instrument to mastering the basics of playing as a left-handed musician. Let’s dive in and get you strumming!

Playing the Ukulele for Left-Handed Individuals

If you are left-handed and want to learn how to play the ukulele, you may be wondering if there is a specific way to approach the instrument. Fortunately, there are a few tips and techniques that can help left-handed individuals become proficient ukulele players.

1. Left-Handed Ukulele

If you are a left-handed individual, you may want to consider using a left-handed ukulele. Left-handed ukuleles are designed with the strings and frets reversed to accommodate left-handed players. This can make it easier to strum and finger chords, as the instrument is specifically tailored to a left-handed orientation.

2. String Reversal

If you prefer to use a standard ukulele rather than a left-handed model, another option is to restring the instrument. By reversing the strings, the ukulele will be set up for left-handed playing. This can take some time and effort, but it is a viable option for left-handed individuals who want to use a standard ukulele.

3. Chord Charts and Tabs

When learning to play the ukulele, left-handed players can benefit from accessing chord charts and tablature designed for left-handed individuals. These resources provide visual aids for finger positioning and strumming patterns that are specific to left-handed players, making it easier to learn and practice new songs.

4. Consult a Teacher or Instructor

Working with a ukulele teacher or instructor who is experienced in teaching left-handed players can be extremely beneficial. They can provide personalized guidance and tips tailored to left-handed technique, helping you to overcome any challenges and develop your skills more effectively.

5. Practice and Patience

Like learning any new instrument, becoming proficient at playing the ukulele as a left-handed individual requires consistent practice and patience. It may take some time to develop muscle memory and coordination, but with dedication and regular practice, you can become a skilled left-handed ukulele player.

In conclusion, left-handed individuals can certainly learn to play the ukulele effectively by using a left-handed instrument, reversing the strings on a standard ukulele, accessing left-handed chord charts and tabs, consulting with a knowledgeable teacher, and dedicating themselves to regular practice.

According to a study conducted by Ukulele Magazine, an estimated 15% of ukulele players are left-handed.

Can a left handed person play the ukulele?

Yes, a left handed person can definitely play the ukulele. Many left-handed players simply restring the instrument so that they can strum with their dominant hand.

Do I need to buy a left handed ukulele?

No, you do not necessarily need to buy a left handed ukulele. Many players find it easier to restring a right handed ukulele to accommodate their left handed playing style.

How do I restring a ukulele for left handed playing?

To restring a ukulele for left handed playing, simply switch the order of the strings so that the thickest string is closest to your face when holding the ukulele in playing position.

Are there left handed ukulele chord charts available?

Yes, there are left handed ukulele chord charts available online that show chord diagrams specifically for left handed players. These can be very helpful for learning new chords and songs.

Do I need to hold the ukulele differently as a left handed player?

Left handed players may find it more comfortable to hold the ukulele with the neck pointing to the right and the body of the instrument resting on the right thigh, but this is a matter of personal preference.

Can I use a traditional ukulele method book as a left handed player?

Yes, traditional ukulele method books can still be used by left handed players. The fingerings and techniques are the same, they will just need to be mirrored for left handed playing.

Are there left handed ukulele players I can learn from?

Yes, there are many accomplished left handed ukulele players whose videos and tutorials can be found online. Watching and learning from left handed players can be very beneficial for new ukulele players.

Do left handed ukulele players need a different kind of strap?

Left handed ukulele players may find it more comfortable to use a strap that is designed to be worn over the right shoulder, but a traditional strap can still be used if adjusted to accommodate left handed playing.

Can I convert a right handed ukulele to left handed if I change my mind later?

Yes, it is possible to convert a right handed ukulele to left handed and vice versa. It may require some adjustments to the nut and bridge, but it is definitely doable.

Are there any specific tips for left handed ukulele players?

Some tips for left handed ukulele players include practicing regularly to build strength and dexterity in the left hand, experimenting with different strumming and picking techniques, and seeking out resources tailored to left handed players.


In conclusion, playing the ukulele as a left-handed person requires a few adjustments, but with the right approach, it is completely possible to become skilled at playing this beautiful instrument. The first step is to find a left-handed ukulele or restring a standard ukulele to accommodate left-handed playing. Once you have the right instrument, it’s important to learn proper left-handed fingering and strumming techniques to ensure a comfortable and efficient playing experience. Additionally, taking the time to practice and familiarize yourself with chord shapes and scales will ultimately help you become a proficient left-handed ukulele player.

Overall, remember that everyone’s journey to learning the ukulele will be unique, and it’s important to embrace the process and enjoy the music you create along the way. With dedication and patience, left-handed individuals can excel at playing the ukulele and find great joy in expressing themselves through music. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced musician, the ukulele is a versatile and rewarding instrument that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their dominant hand. So, don’t be discouraged if you’re left-handed – pick up your ukulele, practice regularly, and have confidence in your ability to become a skilled and passionate left-handed ukulele player.