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Thread: Left Handed Ukulele Players

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Left Handed Ukulele Players

    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.
    Last edited by S. Beane; 09-07-2013 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Bay Area, CA


    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.
    Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. -- Henry Van Dyke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Long Island, NY


    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.

    What the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.

    - James Stephens, from The Crock of Gold

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Breda, The Netherlands


    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.

    Kiwaya KS-1 (Soprano)
    Brüko (soprano)
    Covered Bridge mahogany and curly koa pineapple (concert)
    Kanile'a K1 deluxe (concert)
    Rob Collins / Tin Guitar walnut five string (tenor)
    Brüko no.16 (baritone)
    Pono Nui BN-10D (pro classic "big baritone")
    Kala Ubass

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Alicante Spain


    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Kirkland, WA


    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...
    Playlists: Me and My Ukulele | Chordious 2 Tutorials
    Primary Ukes: Black Bear #146 Baritone DGBd | KoAloha KCM-00 Concert gcea | Kamaka HP-1 Pineapple Soprano gcea
    Others: Lanikai LU-11 Soprano | Kamaka White-Label HF-1 Soprano | Kala KA-BE Baritone | Taylor GS Mini-e Koa Guitar
    For Sale: Kamaka HF-38 Liliu VIII | KoAloha KTM-06 Imaikalani

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii 5min away from waikiki


    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 I do some things
    right while others leftie...
    Making music is a gift in itself, and when you can share it is your gift to others

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Geneva, Florida

    Default Lefties YEAH!!!!!

    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!!!!

  10. #10
    Manalishi Guest


    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?

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