View Full Version : Any Leftys Here?

Theory Grl
12-21-2016, 02:46 PM
I'm new at this forum. I actually haven't played a ukulele yet, but have a left handed one in a box to be opened 12-25. I couldn't possibly play right handed because my left wrist has been broken twice and would't bend enough to use it on the fret board. Since I'm left handed anyway, it will be much easier and more natural to play that way. I would like any suggestions form other leftys out there who play the ukulele. I play piano and am well versed in theory. Knowledge of chord progressions are no problem. I'll just need lots of practice on the mechanics of playing and any advice would be appreciated. Thanks a bunch.

Brad Bordessa
12-21-2016, 03:18 PM
I'm a left handed person, but I play the uke right. I never knew better and am really glad I learned the normal way. If you're physically limited, that's a compromise you have to make and it's not the end of the world. But for ease of learning, I would certainly go righty if it's at all possible. You say "it will be much easier and more natural to play that way," but I think that's an assumption (I'm a lefty in a right-handed world too!) that's easy to make. In a couple days of practice whatever "advantage" your left handedness would have will be nullified. In a month you'd wonder how you ever thought you could do it the other way. Plus too, personally, I'd rather have my strong hand on the fretboard - righty! But your body is the boss, for sure.

Happy Christmas! Welcome to the club!

G Hill
12-21-2016, 09:18 PM
I'm a Lefty and play left handed. It feels right to me too. Don't listen to the "Righty" Police, go with what feels most comfortable to you.
I've don't think there are any disadvantages to playing Lefty. Some say it's a disadvantage not to be able to play other peoples instruments, but then again I don't
attend any uke clubs, so for me personally that's not a factor.
The biggest tip I can give you is to learn to read Right handed chord charts as you'll find most learning resources use them.

Pirate Jim
12-21-2016, 09:36 PM
Lefty who plays lefty here too. Played lefty guitar for 20 years, uke for about 5 years. I've done classical grades left handed, played in multiple bands left handed, never had a single issue with it. Gary is right - don't let the Right Hand police get you down, it's all good. I can play passably upside-down on the uke to try others' instruments too - that's a neat trick worth learning!

Croaky Keith
12-21-2016, 10:55 PM
I'm not - but I would suggest that you find or make a fretboard map & chord charts for your instrument from the beginning.

Trying to learn & having to convert at the same time will be really awkward - it's hard enough when all the info is right handed. ;)

Just found these.

Pirate Jim
12-21-2016, 11:10 PM
If you've not learned chord diagrams before then there's nothing to convert - you just learn it the way it is.

12-22-2016, 12:05 AM
I'm left handed and play right handed. Don't let the 'Don't let the Right handed police..' crew get you down.

12-22-2016, 02:53 AM

I'm a lefty and play left-handed. I must admit to being something of a militant lefty but rather than getting on my soapbox I'll try to offer some practical advice.

Re the physical instrument: Since most ukes are essentially symmetrical (cutaways being the most obvious exception) it's really just a case of flipping the strings around. One thing to bear in mind is that any fretboard side dots are gonna be facing the floor and it's worth considering putting some of your own on. See this recent thread. (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124609-Stick-on-side-fret-markers&highlight=dots)

One other thing to be mindful of, but only after UAS has taken hold (and it will...), is compensated saddles.

Re playing: You can find left-handed chord sheets online. Here's one for beginners. (http://www.learntouke.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Left-Handed-Ukulele-Chord-Chart-for-Absolute-Beginners-from-Learn-To-Uke1.pdf) The strings on a uke are numbered upside down :p (wait 'til you start looking at tab) so it can be bloody confusing for a complete beginner anyway, regardless of handedness... IMHO.

So, yeah, there is "right-hand technique" and "left-hand technique" (just remember to swap the terms around in your head :)) - both are important. Learning a new strumming pattern can be just as challenging as learning a new chord shape.

Good luck - enjoy unwrapping your present. Yay Christmas!

Theory Grl
12-22-2016, 05:56 AM
Thank you everyone for your responses and all the links to the useful information. I didn't realize that many others played left handed instruments. I'm so used to reversing instructions for most everything I've done in the past such as hand sewing, embroidery, crocheting, and even batting a ball, that I think I can use any and all chord charts or instructions. I can't wait to try my hand at playing. Hurry up and get here Christmas!

Croaky Keith
12-22-2016, 08:15 AM
Just a reminder - don't forget to buy a digital tuner to go with that new uke. :)

12-23-2016, 07:26 AM
I'm a Southpaw too but like most (if not all?) of us Leftys have learned to adapt in a wrong-handed world. So, I simply play ukulele and bass right handed. Works for me, but not for everyone. Just know, you are not alone! Here's the big list of lefty musicians: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musicians_who_play_left-handed