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IamNoMan
10-02-2014, 08:54 AM
I Have a Dream!
I am a lefthanded musician who has always played righthanded. Sadly my lefthand is no longer flexible and I am contemplating learning to play a lefthanded uke lefthanded.

Considerations:
1. I have a battered "no name" baritone uke to convert for the experiment. This will be a beater uke. Sound quality is secondary at this time. If I can learn to play lefthanded with any competence I will convert my Martin Tenor IZ and Melody Junior later.
2. Existing uke has wound 3rd and 4th strings, plastic 1st and 2nd strings. I would like to go all plastic strings to ease the learning process on uncallussed fingers and avoid internal bracing issues. Is bracing even a issue for uke conversions?

3. The existing nut needs replaced. It is chipped. The saddle (that the strings rest on) is inset into the bridge, (terminology wrong?), If needs replaced, will do so. Maybe this not necessary for for the experiment? I don't know. There is a moderate surface crack on Sound board and two minor surface cracks on the bottom of uke. I assume a hot hide glue fill is appropriate for these.
4. I am an amateur Luthier, with a couple of Dulcimers to my credit and a crash and burn fiddle repair to to my name. I will job out all but simple repairs. If the plan works I will have Matrtin convert the IZ. I have connections to pursue suitable whaling motif inlay work for this as well. (ref. Dick Sinetti at Mystic Seaport Museum). I would also like to use ballina for nut/bridge/saddle replacements if available and suitable for the purpose.
5. The Melody Junior banjolele is in fair to good condition. It appears to have a plastic head with a hide/vellum surface. It is in good condition as are the 1930s vintage machine pegs. It tunes to standard concert pitch but stays in tune like, well, like a banjo... Not! :p It has a peculiarity. The 3rd and 4th strings are the same gage plastic. Am I missing something here? I am thinking about using the higher pitched George Formby tuning but I'm not sure. I don't need the volume, I am a uke-newb, so I probably don't the added complexity; but I am a History/Old Time/British Music Hall nut. So? I would appreciate suggestions for what type and gage plastic strings to use for this instrument.

There you have it, My Dream. The only real question is: Can you teach an old Southpaw new tricks? Sure Uke can!

Allen
10-02-2014, 09:41 AM
You shouldn't ever run up against bracing issues on the uke.

For the crack repairs, HHG is usually the best option, but without pictures or better yet seeing it in person, that's just a comment.

Nuts and saddles are easy to replace, and in most cases should be because the nut slots and compensation on the saddle would need to be changed.

Can't offer any informed advice about banjo's.

ericchico
10-02-2014, 10:19 AM
Just do what Jimi did and play it upside down

IamNoMan
10-03-2014, 05:23 AM
@ericchico: if that is a joke. :cool:

Playing Libba "Cotton picking style" is really only an option for brand new, entry level southpaw musicians. Anyone who plays by ear would have to unlearn almost everything they know about making music. All the muscle memory would need recoded and most importantly it makes it nearly impossible to get help from othermusicians.

Either way, thanks for the comment.

ericchico
10-03-2014, 05:30 AM
@ericchico: if that is a joke. :cool:

Playing Libba "Cotton picking style" is really only an option for brand new, entry level southpaw musicians. Anyone who plays by ear would have to unlearn almost everything they know about making music. All the muscle memory would need recoded and most importantly it makes it nearly impossible to get help from othermusicians.

Either way, thanks for the comment.
Yeah it was a joke even though Jimi played his Fenders upside down I believe the strings were strung up normal. I think if the saddle was straight not slanted then all you would need is a new nut and your off. Hopefully you get the answer your looking for and everything works out. Good luck.