Welcome to The Left-Handed Lowdown Newsletter!
The Left-Handed Lowdown was formed to examine old, incorrect information about left-handedness; examine new,
correct information; use the true information to give support and options; and share effective teaching tips.
This researched information is not only for the at least 1 in 8 wonderful people who are part of the left-handed group;
it is also to inform wonderful right-handed people. The Left-Handed Lowdown provides information hand over fist!
The Top Ten Reasons to Play the Ukulele Right-Handed, Even If You Are Part of the Left-Handed Group
Hmmmm…..okay, moving on!
The Top Reasons to Play the Ukulele Left-Handed, If You Are Part of the Left-Handed Group
1. You will be able to play naturally, relaxed, and know you’re learning and playing to the best of your
ability. Stringed instruments in particular require the dominant hand to work differently from the non-
dominant hand, which definitely affects playing.
2. If you take a moment to switch the strings on a right-handed ukulele you will be able to play left-
handed, but read all the right-handed chord charts. The internal structure of the ukulele is symmetrical, so
switching strings won't alter the sound or cause any other playing difficulties. This means you will be able
to try out and buy any right-handed non-electric ukulele, you won't have to wait for a 'specialty' instrument,
or concern yourself about added cost (left-handed electric ukuleles can be ordered from Amazon). You will
need to switch the strings around, since the strings will have been set up to accommodate right-handed
strumming and picking, but I do it, and it's really easy.
This is a good video about *how to change strings, but there are lots on the internet.
*Just remember, you'll be strumming or picking your ukulele with your left hand but not upside down, so
when changing your strings put the bottom of your ukulele closest to your left hand, and the fret board
closest to your right hand. Unless you have a bass ukulele, which is tuned differently, set your strings in
the order G, C, E, A, with the G string the closest to your body.
And, in case you want to buy new strings (the strings that come with ukuleles usually aren’t great),
here are some tips from Ukulele Hunt!
3. Once you switch the strings, you will be able to use all of the regular song books and chord sheets.
This means you will learn in exactly the same way as right-handed players do, using the same learning
and playing materials, since the chords are read left to right, and the strings will now be in the same
position (GCEA). So, you can ignore all the ‘left-handed chord books’ out there—they are only for
left-handed players who are playing upside down (strumming or picking with the left hand, but without
switching their strings around. Not switching the strings would mean they'd be in a mirror image position
(AECG), which would force the player to read the chords right to left).
4. You (and any teacher you have) will be able to clearly address any learning challenges effectively,
instead of trying to figure out how much is due to ‘awkwardness’ because you’re trying to learn to strum
and pick right-handed.
5. You will be able to have the same sense of relaxed joy that right-handed players feel; learning will
feel like a good challenge, not a struggle.
6. You will have the same good self-confidence as the right-handed players, because you will be
getting the same opportunity to learn.
7. You’ll get to blend in with everyone else as a natural looking left-handed ukulele player, rather
than possibly stick out as an awkward looking right-handed ukulele player. Much like left-handed film stars
who write and use other instruments (even weapons) left-handed in their movies or on tv--Angelina Jolie,
Bruce Willis and Charlie Chaplin are three--playing left-handed will not even be noticed by an audience,
or by other ukulele players.
8. You will be less likely to suffer from physical problems, such as wrist or hand pain, associated with
left-handed people trying to contort to use right-handed tools.
And just to mention, I’ve played my concert and tenor ukuleles in close quarters at ukulele nights, group
rehearsals, workshops, shows with right-handed players—we have never arranged ourselves in any special
way because I’m a left-handed player and they aren't, and no one has ever ‘clunked’ instruments!
9. You’ll be able to participate in all the regular lessons, workshops and festivals, buy any strings,
ukuleles, song books, tuners, have a great time, and inspire other left-handed and right-handed players
to play at their best level and be themselves.
10. The ukulele will be a fun, relaxing, happy instrument for you, and because of that you’ll want to
play it more and more. I know I do!
Did you miss a recent
Lefty Lowdown? Here's
your chance to catch
|Ah, February! Music is the language of love, and February is when the winter stops
seeming quite so long. So this month the Lefty Lowdown looks at how to make the
ukulele, the most popular musical instrument around, as fun an instrument for
left-handers to play as it is for right-handers. Here are some helpful ukulele playing tips,
including how to easily make a right-handed ukulele into a left-handed ukulele!
(Copyright 2018 by Sheree Bradford-Lea)
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Sheree A. Bradford-Lea (SABL)
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