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Thread: Playing left-handed...

  1. #1

    Default Playing left-handed...

    Hi there.

    I bought an Ukulele some weeks ago and I am finding it extremely enjoyable as an grab-and-play-wherever-you-are-instrument. There is one thing, however; I am left-handed and play the Ukulele as a left-hander, but I haven't swapped the strings. So the strings are like the right-handers have it, but I turn the Ukulele like a left-hander.

    So far, I haven't had any problems playing it like this, but I was wondering whether it was stupid of me keep the strings like they are?

    Should I swap the strings even though, so far, it has been OK playing it like this?

    Best regards,
    Ritloof.

    P.S.
    Sorry for my bad English.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    There have been some very famous left hander who have played the guitar upside down "Jimi Henrix".
    But I think as you are just beginning, it may be best to change the strings around and play left handed.
    If you are not having any problems the way it is, you will have no problems the right way round.
    http://www.youtube.com/errol4bz
    http://leroy4bz.blogspot.com/
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The good thing about music is when it hits you, you feel no pain!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default

    Welcome to UU, Ritloof!

    While playing "upside down" is possible, the fact is that your strumming is not going to sound the same. I'm with UkuEroll and think you should just go ahead and reverse the strings.

    If your uke was set up for re-entrant (high g) tuning, there shouldn't really be any problem with the slots in the nut or saddle.

    P.S. Your English is just fine!

  4. #4
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    Lansing, Michigan
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    Talking Playing left handed...

    almost feels like someone else is playing it...

  5. #5
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    I'm a lefty that plays my instruments standard. When I started taking classical guitar, that's what my teachers recommended and I never saw any reason to change it up.

    If you're going to play left-handed, I'd suggest one thing. You might want to turn the saddle around when you reverse the strings. On acoustic guitars, the saddle is specifically designed to support the strings a specific way. I'm not sure if this is the same for ukuleles (and will defer to others' knowledge), but I'd assume that it would work on the same kind of logic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Murfreesboro, TN USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkuEroll View Post
    There have been some very famous left hander who have played the guitar upside down "Jimi Henrix".
    Hendrix flipped his Strat but he actually did restring it and play it with the bass strings on top. Paul McCartney did the same thing with his late-60's D-28. On the other hand, there ARE some lefties who simply flip over an instrument and play it with the treble strings on top: Elizabeth Cotten, a Piedmont-style country blues fingerpicker was one back in the day, and Doyle Bramhall II (blues guy and sometime-sideman for Eric Clapton) is another.

    Most of us who actually PLAY left-handed, however, restring an instrument when we flip it. I have a flipped National Reso-phonic Delphi metal-bodied resonator guitar and a flipped Ko'Aloha soprano uke. Both instruments are essentially symmetrical, unlike a lot of guitars, so they work great flipped and restrung.
    ~Herb
    Ko'Aloha Soprano
    Glyph Custom Mezzo-Soprano - The Goddess
    Martin 3 Cherry

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jddennis View Post
    I'm a lefty that plays my instruments standard. When I started taking classical guitar, that's what my teachers recommended and I never saw any reason to change it up.

    If you're going to play left-handed, I'd suggest one thing. You might want to turn the saddle around when you reverse the strings. On acoustic guitars, the saddle is specifically designed to support the strings a specific way. I'm not sure if this is the same for ukuleles (and will defer to others' knowledge), but I'd assume that it would work on the same kind of logic.
    If the saddle is angled, it's a compensated saddle. If you don't fill the slot and re-route it for the correct angle, intonation will be off. The further up the neck you play, the worse it'll be. Most ukes have a straight saddle so it doesn't matter.
    ~Herb
    Ko'Aloha Soprano
    Glyph Custom Mezzo-Soprano - The Goddess
    Martin 3 Cherry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    London
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    This has slightly confused me, as I too play left handed.

    i bought my Uke a month ago, it was only a cheap little soprano uke and having no previous musical training I looked at the strings and assumed they were all the same... which as far as I can tell...they are. All i did was swap the tuning around and flipped the uke... Is my uke the only uke where all the strings are technically exactly the same?

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Southwest Michigan (St. Joseph)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interstella View Post
    This has slightly confused me, as I too play left handed.

    i bought my Uke a month ago, it was only a cheap little soprano uke and having no previous musical training I looked at the strings and assumed they were all the same... which as far as I can tell...they are. All i did was swap the tuning around and flipped the uke... Is my uke the only uke where all the strings are technically exactly the same?
    It's not unheard of in cheap ukes for all the strings to be basically "fishing line". This, however, is not the norm. I would recommend you get yourself a set of Aquilas or Worths and change your strings...you'll be amazed at how much better it will sound. It will also make it "feel" better when you play as all the strings will be under the same amount of tension.

    Oh...and welcome to UU!!!
    -KP (aka KC8AFW)

    My YouTube Channel

    Lanikai LU-21 Soprano | Mainland Mahogany Concert | 1930s Favilla U-2 Soprano | 1950s No-name Soprano | Ohana SK-38 Soprano

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    London
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    Default

    Thanks for the advice, I had assumed the strings should have been more like guitar strings but when I looked to buy some off the net it was not clear!

    Do you know any good UK sites that sell those strings? I am pretty poor at the moment but am happy to upgrade my strings to something better yet still fairly cheap if it will sound better?!

    P.S
    thanks for the welcome! I have a strange feeling that I am going to enjoy it here

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