Welcome to The Left-Handed Lowdown Newsletter!
The Lefty 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 Lefty Lowdown provides information hand over fist!
Is It Hard To Make A Right-Handed Ukulele Into A Left-Handed One?
The short answer, and one coming from someone who actually plays the ukulele left-handed, is: It isn't
hard at all!
Does It Matter Which Hand Strums or bows?
In the case of any stringed instrument, the answer is Yes! The two hands work very differently, and
strumming or bowing are fine motor skills, which the dominant hand does very, very well, will help
you to become the best player you can be. It will help you enjoy the learning process too.
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.*
Why? The internal structure of the ukulele is symmetrical, so switching strings won't alter the sound or
cause any other playing difficulties, unlike with some other stringed instruments. 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, and other places on the internet).
When you bring your new ukulele home 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. It's really easy,
and kind of zen. This is a good video about *how to change strings, but there are lots on the internet.
*When changing strings, 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!
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
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). So, get whatever you want from the music store,
workshops, or festivals, all the materials will work just fine for you, a left-handed ukulele player.
Have fun playing the ukulele! I know I do!
Did you miss a recent
Lefty Lowdown? Here's
your chance to catch up!
Dominant Hand and Playing
Cozy Work Areas and
Dominant Hand Mindfulness
Is Being Ambidextrous Really
The Reality of Finding
Left-Handed Office and School
Supplies, And Where To Find
Dominant Hand, Dominant Eye,
Dominant Leg: How Do They
Maximizing Scissor Using
Success, No Matter Which Hand
You Were Taught To Use
|Music is the language of love, and left-handed music players count! So this month the
Lefty Lowdown looks at how to make the ukulele, the most popular musical instrument
around, an equally good instrument for left-handed people as it is for right-handed
people. Here are some helpful tips!
(Copyright 2018 by Sheree Bradford-Lea)
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Sheree A. Bradford-Lea (SABL)
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