I’m left handed. Can I play the ukulele?

I want to start this blog by saying, honestly that I’m right handed. I don’t want anyone to think I’m implying that I’m left handed, as I’m not. I just care about my students, so I’ve done a lot of research on this subject.

In terms of my experience, I’ve been teaching since 2008 and I know A LOT of left handed ukulele players, both from my classes and also from Ukulele Wednesdays. As I wanted to get it right in the early days, I asked a lot of questions, and I’ve sat in on many hours of debate about what is the right thing to do for lefties. From this, I’ve deduced that there are two schools of thought:

Camp 1:

Believe that left handed ukulele players should play their ukuleles in a right handed tuning. The justification for this is that you don’t see any left handed pianos, or left handed violin players in an orchestra.

Pros:

1. There are more tabs available to you
2. You can play more people’s ukuleles – as there are more people who play right handed
3. Your stronger hand makes the chords

Cons:

1. If this doesn’t feel natural to you, you’re fighting your instinct and that can make strumming harder (though if you’re happy playing righty, that’s great)
2. You’ll find it odd playing lefty after you’ve trained yourself righty

Camp 2:

Believe that left handed ukulele players should play their ukuleles in a left handed tuning. The simplest way to do this is to switch the middle two strings around, as the outside two strings are very similar in thickness. Ideally you’d adjust the bridge and neck, too, but if you’re looking for simplicity you won’t want to do that yourself, so just switch the middle two strings for now. You can see how to change strings here.

Pros:

1. If this feels the most natural way for you to hold it, you’re following your instinct.
2. You can play other left handed people’s ukuleles – as the righties can’t
3. Your stronger hand does the strumming

Cons:

1. There aren’t many ukulele tabs that are written up for left handed players.
2. You’d find it difficult testing out right handed ukuleles, say, in a shop before buying, for example.

So, there you have it, in a nutshell. 3 pro’s and 2 cons of playing left vs right. I think the short answer is to do what feels natural for you. Some people honestly prefer to play right handed when they’re left handed, yet some naturally prefer to play lefty. The right thing to do is what is right for you. Here at Learn To Uke, we’ll support you no matter which hand you choose to strum with.

Grab yourself a left handed chord chart from here.

What if you want to get more technical than just swapping the strings around? Read more here.

More blogs to help you:

How to play the G chord, here.

See how to play Bb chord on the ukulele, here.

How to play the E chord, on the ukulele here.

Get a free ukulele chord chart (and help with how to read it) from here.

Do you want 6 basic strum patterns to get you going? See more here.

Have you already got a ukulele? You can find our recommendations, here.

If you’re in London, UK, you’ll learn this in our courses. Book your course to join us in London.

If you’re not, please support us on Patreon so you can get access to all our upcoming online tutorials and challenges.

At Home Ukulele Lessons in London For Children

Will you come to my house and teach my children how to play the ukulele?

At the moment, we don’t teach children privately, only in whole class situations at school. Sadly, we don’t have any vacancies for new private students or the time to travel around London teaching at various people’s houses during the evening. We get lots of requests from lovely people, like you, who contact us for private lessons for their children, but they generally live quite far away from one another. We may consider running half term holiday schools for children in the future, if there is sufficient demand for these types of schools, but for now, it’s probably easiest if we just say ‘no’ we don’t teach them at all.

BUT, all is not lost… Please read on:

You should come along to learn how to play the ukulele yourself, and teach your child(ren). You’ll play your first song in an hour, even with no prior musical experience. We teach adults, in groups, after work in the evenings. It’s masses of fun, so you’ll get out of the house and meet other adults. You’re likely to make a few friends and you will pick up and play a popular song on the ukulele within an hour. The knowledge that you gain in that first hour can last for about 4-5 hours of lessons with your child. This will be a bonus to your family as this time you spend with your child will be constructive and fun – you’ll be spending quality time together, you’ll be singing and playing. It’s scientifically proven that you like people when you sing and make music together, so it’s a great way to get together with your family.

When you’ve learned how to play the ukulele, you can grab one of Lorraine’s books, Ukulele Basics and teach your child(ren) using the repertoire and resources in it. There’s a special CD Rom that will help you to pass on your skills, whether you are a parent or a teacher looking to teach ukulele to children at school.

We hope to see you at one of our 4-week ukulele courses very soon, and we hope this will be a valuable investment, 8 hours of your time with us, then the time you spend with your child using Ukulele Basics.

 

Tonight is Ukulele Wednesdays SEVENTH Birthday!

Here’s some old photos to commemorate it.

Seven years ago, to the day, we formed our little group, huddled around a table at the Royal George. Today, Ukulele Wednesdays spans 3 venues and attracts hundreds of ukulele players each week.

Want to take a quick look back? Here’s the very first Ukulele Wednesdays!

 

 

How to play Get Lucky, by Daft Punk on the Ukulele

For anyone who would like to play Get Lucky, by Daft Punk, ft Pharrell and Nile Rodgers.

The chords are, Bm, D, F#m and E.

You can find a song sheet, here – Get Lucky Ukulele Chords – Daft Punk, Pharell and Nile Rodgers

And see some tips here –

Then, play along with the song, here –