Left Handed Ukulele!
I have been playing the ukulele for many years and have many years and experience building all types of guitars. Over the years I began to feel for left handed ukulele players. Converting a right handed ukulele to a left handed ukulele setup usually takes a lot of money, time, and frustration.
Because of this, I have decided to create this page completely dedicated to the lefty ukulele and lefty ukulele players new and old. Here you will find where to buy and what to look for in a left handed ukulele. lefty ukulele tenor, kala left handed ukulele, left handed soprano ukulele, and every variant of the left handed ukulele.
What we will cover here:
Left handed ukulele cost and setup prices
Lefty ukulele string order details
Difference between right handed and left handed ukulele performance
Best left handed ukuleles
The Best ukulele for left handed beginners
Where to buy left handed ukuleles on sale
Typical left handed ukulele setup costs.
The cost to convert a right handed ukulele to a left handed ukulele will differ depending on the person completing the work, the size and type of the ukulele, and any special options or features the ukulele may have. The cost to convert a ukulele is usually dependent on a few things, some being the nut replacement, the saddle slot angle, pickguards and trim. Depending on what needs to be changed, left handed ukulele users should look to spend anywhere from 100$-250$ to convert a right handed ukulele to a left handed ukulele.
Most lefty players will fall in love with a ukulele only to find out its setup for right handed players. In this case, it would be your best bet to find a right handed ukulele with no strings and no pickguard if possible.
String order differences between right handed and left handed ukulele setups.
One of the main issues with switching a right handed guitar to a left handed one is rearranging the string order. This ends up being a nightmare for seasoned ukulele players as once you change the string order, you have to re-tune the strings, adjust the nuts, and calibrate all the other strings to create the perfect pitch.
A good rule of thumb to be able to distinguish if your ukulele is right handed or left handed is by first holding the ukulele up vertically in front of you, then observing the string order from thickest to the most thin. If the thickest string is furthest to the right, most likely the ukulele is set up for lefty players vice versa.
Differences between learning right handed and left handed ukulele playing styles.
Any ukulele, guitar, or music enthusiast knows that there is no shortage of famous and talented left handed guitar players. Jimi Hendrix being one of the most notable and well known left handed musicians. As a right handed ukulele and guitar player, listening to Hendrix play makes you wonder if switching to a left handed playing style would give you a secret advantage to playing the guitar well.
If a guitar player is naturally left handed, it makes more sense for them to learn and play the ukulele with their left hand as they are already more coordinated with that hand. As you know, playing with your dominant hand makes finger style, sweeping, and challenging picking techniques easier to learn. Being a left handed player and learning to play the guitar or ukulele may be inherently more difficult as most players are right handed. Most teachers will be right handed, and most beginner guitar lessons online will be from right handed instructors. This can make replicating their motions, finger placement, etc difficult to follow since everything is inverted for left handed players.
Best left handed ukuleles for beginners.
Depending on your prior experience with playing musical instruments it will depend. Finding the best ukulele for you should be a meticulous process of deciding what style, size, options, neck width, and type of ukulele feels most comfortable and most fun for you. Choosing the right size is sometimes an overlooked aspect beginners make when choosing the best ukulele for them. The entire fretboard should be easy to reach and the strings should be a comfortable distance from the fretboard.
If you are looking for the best used ukulele for a beginner, there are a few things to consider. Typically aged guitars and ukuleles will be in great playing condition if the previous owner had kept it in good condition. Either way, some things you should be weary of when buying a used ukulele is the condition of the fret board and nuts. The ukulele should be able to stay in tune for some time to the point where you don’t need to adjust your strings before playing each time.
Where to buy left handed ukuleles on sale.
Buying new or used left handed ukuleles has drastically changed over the years. Previously, ukulele and guitar players would visit their local guitar shop, handle and play a few different ukuleles, then decide on which one they like the most. The guitar shops did not have as much competition and could charge slightly more on their products. Today, with the power and ease of access of google, anyone can search the internet on websites like ebay, amazon, craigslist to find exclusive deals and sales on ukuleles.
Companies like Kaka’ako Instruments are based in Hawaii, offer discounted deals to ukulele shops and players typically paired with special offers as well. Right now we offer a free left handed ukulele setup service with a purchase of any new ukulele on our website.