View Full Version : Left Handed Ukulele Players

S. Beane
09-07-2013, 07:29 PM
First of all I am a right handed player but have worked teaching left handed players guitar and ukulele. While not ideal, finding an inexpensive starter ukulele that can be switched to play left handed is not so horrible to get through the "do I really want to do this" period. If the player becomes hooked, there are many left handed ukuleles across the entire price and quality range available for purchase. I came across Pineapple Pete's take on the issue of left handed ukulele players and am completely flabbergasted. He comes off like a Nun beating a left handed child's hand with a ruler because they are using the "devils" hand:


Here's some quotes that struck home:

"I do not believe that you need a ukulele that is set up backwards to almost every other ukulele in the world."

Wow! Not backwards to the left handed player. Let's see, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix (rest his soul), Tony Iommi and on and on.

"If you really insist on learning to play that way, and do succeed in securing an instrument that is set up that way and plays nicely - you'll be all alone. You will not be able to find song books."

Alone? Song Books? OMG - give them a Left Handed chord chart.

"When you meet some cute member of the opposite gender on a train in some exotic location, and they just happen to have a ukulele with them, you will not be able to treat them to a song."

What self respecting ukulele lothario will be traveling without his personal tool of seduction. Also, what if the opposite gender is left handed too, ah.. serendipity!

"And despite having sight-read scores with fancy swing bands, I could not for the life of me work out even the easiest songs from left-handed song books. To a left-handed player, almost every instrument, and every book, in the world was confusing and useless."


"The world is a lonely, resourceless place for people who make a simple decision a certain way at the very very very beginning of learning to play an instrument."

Very Very Very?

Am I being too critical here? I'd like to get your opinions please.

09-07-2013, 08:05 PM
My uke teacher is left handed and can play either way. He plays better right handed than most people I know and shreds left handed.

Not sure if this matter, but he teaches us to read sheet music and rarely makes a chord chart. However, when he does make a chord chart, he writes it the standard way. I guess left handed players need the ability to translate that? It is a disadvantage, I guess, but one they are used to as life is pretty much lived in a right handed world.

09-08-2013, 07:36 PM
I got a chuckle. The man is demented. The chord shapes are the same either way. Actually the first uke I ever picked up was strung left-handed. I didn't realize it and tuned it right-handed. It was a cheap cheap Guitar Center special with plasticky black strings, so it made no difference in the sound.

we tigers
09-08-2013, 08:03 PM
The man is apparently a bit off his rockers.

Actually, I'm left handed but play right handed. Not just uke, but bass and guitar as well.
As a teenager I started figuring stuff out on a guitar that was lying around and that was strung right handed.
No big problem.

09-08-2013, 11:33 PM
Before I started learning the uke a couple of years ago I prowled the forums looking for advice on how, I , a left hander could approach this mystery. The best advice I got was, "There are no left handed ukulele players" Both hands are busy and as you learn forget about being left handed as it is no excuse for your struggles. Still struggling but with tougher stuff and loving it.

Go for it, siesta171

G Hill
09-09-2013, 02:00 AM
I play left-handed and all my ukes are right handed ukes strung 'leftie'. I read right handed chord charts without problems, I don't see where this guy is coming from LOL.

09-09-2013, 05:29 AM
I hadn't given it much thought- the only leftie uke player I knew was a very accomplished old Hawaiian player, and didn't change a thing on his uke so he could flip it back and forth to teach. I wonder if it'd be worth it to make up some left-handed chord charts...

mm stan
09-09-2013, 05:57 AM
I am a soft lefty...when I was young about 5 my mother started to hit my hand with a ruler everytime I picked up things with my left hand..I was a totally confused kid....and I started to write
backwards....I flunked first grade because of this and they thought I was mental...LOL believe me, my mother had good intentions but was very wrong....now I do some things
right while others leftie...

09-09-2013, 06:00 AM
I'm a LEFTY....will always be a lefty....the nuns AND Pineapple Pete can beat me with their rulers for all they're worth!!!! They'll be exhausted before I switch!!! Hahahaha!
I have two ukes that I purchased from Mim, both are righties that have been set up as lefties- she did a fantastic job!!!!
As a matter of fact- it's my lunch hour- time to strum!!!!:D

09-09-2013, 07:10 AM
One member of our club is a lefty.For the song sheets
which I prepare as jpgs in Windows 'Paint' program I
simply mirror the chord diagrams for him in the program
and leave the chord title alone! Simple.The world is full
of idiots though,as a warning to the rest of us I think?

09-09-2013, 09:18 AM
I am a beginner lefty and i have had a few false starts and tough moments but honestly, the difference for me with playing left vs. right, I can relax and enjoy it playing left, playing right is just hard work. I play the uke (badly) to have fun, not work, so it's a lefty i am. And if i have to sit and figure stuff out for a while because everything is back-to-front, meh...