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 do, however, care about my students’ wellbeing and ease of playing, so I’ve done a lot of anecdotal research on this subject over the years.

I’ve been teaching since 2009 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, (especially prior to spending years teaching in primary schools, as I didn’t want to scar or ruin anyone’s chances at a musical future) I asked a lot of questions. I’ve accidentally 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. I’ve tried to list the pros and cons of each so that you can come to your own conclusions:

Camp 1:

They believe left-handed ukulele players should play their ukuleles right-handed, using the right hand to strum with. The justification for this is that you don’t see any left-handed pianos, or left-handed violin players in an orchestra.


1. There are more ukulele tabs, readily 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


1. If this doesn’t feel natural to you, you’re fighting your instinct and that can make rhythms and strumming harder (though if neither hand feels natural, it doesn’t really matter)
2. You’ll find it odd playing lefty after you’ve trained yourself righty

Camp 2:

They believe that left-handed ukulele players should play their ukuleles using the left hand to strum with. If you want to, and you’ve bought a right-handed ukulele, the quickest and simplest way to change it from right-handed to be a left-handed ukulele is to switch the middle two strings around, as the outside two strings are very similar in thickness. Ideally, you’d ask a luthier to 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


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


1. There aren’t many ukulele tabs that are written up for left-handed players.
2. You may find it difficult to test 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 left-handed because it feels weird to fight nature. The right thing to do is what feels right for you, so you’ll be happy and comfortable playing. 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

If you’ve enjoyed this, here are some more posts of ours that might help:

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

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.

Here is our Amazon Affiliates shopfront, with lots of other ukuleles and accessories to choose from. In the interests of transparency, we are part of the amazon referral scheme so if hundreds or thousands of you buy based on links you clicked via us, we may make a few pence. In the unlikely event that millions of you click, we may make a few pounds. If you’ve found this information useful, please share it around liberally, as we like the idea of this unlikely instance.

Updated on 27/9/2019.

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 –