Left-handed ukuleles are the subject of some debate for musicians. If you are a lefty, you will have some choices to make when evaluating which left-handed ukulele to buy. Also, you may be able to buy a right-handed ukulele and restring it, if you are inclined to do so. We’re looking at the pros and cons of a left-handed design as well as exploring some great options in this guide.
In a Hurry? Here Are the Best Left Handed Ukuleles
What’s the Difference Between Left and Right Handed Ukuleles?
Most instruments are made with right-handed players in mind. This means that the right hand is the strumming hand, and the left hand is for chords and finger positions. It is assumed that most players will be righties, but this is obviously not always the case.
Left-handed instruments, including ukuleles, are made to be mirror images. The sound hole is on the left, meaning you can strum with your left hand and use the right for the frets. Naturally, you might wonder what the difference really is. Some designs are asymmetrical, so flipping it would change the design, but if the ukulele is designed in a symmetrical way then the key difference is the strings.
Can I Play a Right Handed Ukulele if I’m a Lefty?
Left-handed models exist to avoid this issue. However, if you want to, you can alter a ukulele (or alter the way you play) to use a right-handed model.
If you flip a right-handed model, you will simply need to restring it. The standard tuning for uke is gCEA. If you flip your instrument, this will be reversed. The strings will be in the wrong order, and you won’t be able to play it easily. Plus, if you are reading tabs or chords you may will have to alter your playing.
The best advice is to simply restring to gCEA again. What would be the bottom of the ukulele becomes the top. This requires a little bit of work, but left-handed players can do this to effectively turn their righty instrument into a lefty.
An alternative is to learn to play the instrument right-handed. There’s no hard rule to say you have to strum with your strong hand. There are plenty of examples of left-handed people playing the instrument in the “traditional” way.
What is the Best Way to Hold The Ukulele?
As backed up by the information provided in this post, a lot comes down to personal preference, and what feels right. If you don’t own a ukulele yet, try and borrow one or go to a store and pick one up. Don’t worry about whether it is left-handed or right-handed, just focus on holding it. Which way feels natural? Do you prefer the neck and fretboard in your right hand or in your left? Choose which model you would like based on this.
The option to restring your ukulele to turn any model into a left-handed ukulele means that you can always adjust if you start holding it right-handed and then designed to switch.
Our guide shows you the correct technique for holding your instrument. Getting this correct is vitally important.
Left-Handed Ukulele Sizes
What sizes can you get left-handed ukulele models in? Luckily, the best left-handed options we’ve explored in this post are in a multitude of sizes.
It is definitely true that you can’t find quite as many left-handed ukulele models as you can right, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good choices on the market. All of the main sizes are covered, so you can find a soprano ukulele, concert ukulele, tenor ukulele or even a baritone ukulele suitable for a lefty.
Which size you get is likely to be based on the tone you want and how big your hands are. This guide to ukulele sizes might be helpful if you are still unsure about sizes.
Best Left-Handed Uke Reviews
1. Oscar Schmidt OU2LH Left-Handed Mahogany Concert Ukulele
The Oscar Schmidt brand has some excellent ukuleles, and the OU2LH is an affordable and well-made left-handed ukulele. It offers a rich sound and even has some slightly surprising characteristics for a concert ukulele.
The mid-range and even the lows of this ukulele are quite full, giving a lot of body to the sound. This is something you might associate with bigger ukes.
This is definitely one of the best options if you are looking for a choice of bundles, too. You can buy the ukulele on its own or you can purchase it in a number of different combos with accessories.
- Available with a hard-shell case, a soft gig bag or as a standalone instrument.
- A fuller tone than you may expect from a concert ukulele.
- Quality mahogany body and sides combined with a rosewood bridge. This instrument has a satin finish.
- The included strings are okay, but you will get better results restringing with high-quality Aquila strings.
- Not everyone finds the concert size comfortable. It depends on your hand size and preference.
Oscar Schmidt is one of the biggest manufacturers of ukes that offers a left-handed concert ukulele. It has a bright and vibrant tone, and is available at a surprisingly reasonable price, meaning we’ve named it the best concert-sized left-handed ukulele on our list.
2. Caramel CT402L All Solid Mahogany Tenor Acoustic & Electric Ukulele
This is a good option for people looking for one of the larger designs of ukulele. The CT402L is a left-handed ukulele in the tenor size. It has a beautiful design and electric features allowing you to easily connect this to effects pedals, PA systems, and amplifiers.
As well as the electric system and pickup included, this tenor ukulele has some great features for beginners. It’s one of the best options if you are looking for a bundle, as it is sold with accessories.
If you have slightly larger hands and want the comfort of a larger fretboard then this size could be good for you. The Caramel CT402L also has a rich tone. The mid-range is full, and the projection is loud and clear.
- It comes with accessories including a gig bag, wall hanger, and a strap.
- Inbuilt tuner and EQ are part of the electric system of this ukulele. No need for an external tuner.
- Great materials, including a buffalo bone nut and saddle, rich mahogany and an included set of Aquila strings.
- Adjustable truss rod, this enables you to alter the action of the ukulele and the distance of the strings from the neck, to get the perfect feel to your ukulele.
- Tuners are not as high quality as some of the other parts.
- Not the signature sound for a ukulele due to the larger size, it feels like a cross between a classical guitar and a uke.
If you are looking for the best electric-acoustic ukulele, this is a good choice for left-handed players. You can open up a world of possibilities with looper pedals, effects, and amplification. Otherwise, just make the most of the inbuilt EQ. This ukulele is well-built, and considering the electric capabilities, it is pretty competitively priced, too.
3. Hola! Music Left Handed HM-124LFT+ Bundle – Affordable Bundle
This is a concert-sized ukulele. It’s a good left-handed ukulele bundle at a very reasonable price, meaning that even lefty players can get started on their uke journey without having to spend a fortune. Hola! Music is known more for the affordable options than they are for elite instruments, but don’t let that put you off. The 124LFT+ is one of the best under $100.
The HM-124LFT+ also allows you to get started on your journey of learning how to play. It’s a great choice for beginners as it offers two months of free access to TakeLessons.com and their huge amount of ukulele lessons.
- Comes with a padded gig bag to protect your left-handed ukulele.
- Beautiful instrument including white bindings and rosette etchings.
- Bundle includes picks, a strap, and a mounting strap pin.
- Not an elite sound compared to the very best on the market. Definitely more of a beginner’s instrument.
- In an ideal world, this could do with an adjustable truss rod to adjust the action to your preference.
If you are looking for a beginners bundle, and the best left-handed concert ukulele for getting started, this could be the choice for you. It’s not quite as good as some of the very best sounding ukuleles, but the bundle saves you some money, and the included lessons are a bonus.
Your decision will partially come down to which size and style of ukulele you feel is suitable for you, whether you are a lefty or a righty!
If you are looking for an excellent sounding left-handed ukulele with a traditional, bright sound, then the Oscar Schmidt OU2LH could be the ideal choice. Its subtle adjustments for a left-handed player combine with a surprisingly good sound projection to create a fantastic instrument.
If you are looking for left-handed ukuleles with a pickup included for easy tuning and amplification, it’s definitely worth considering the Caramel CT402L.
For beginners, the Hola! Music Left Handed HM-124LFT+ provides a bundle with all you need to get started and a good uke for the price.