Left Handed Ukulele

Most ukuleles are fairly symmetrical – much more so than an instrument like the guitar. Because of the re-entrant strings – there’s very little adjustment needed to convert most ukuleles from a right handed uke to a left handed uke.

However, this is not always the case. Particularly with non-reentrant ukuleles like the baritone and low-G tenor. Because of the differences in string size, it’s much more difficult to convert and, therefore, you much more likely to find left handed versions of these ukuleles around.

Also, left handed versions are also made of ukuleles with a cutaway (i.e. part of the body is ‘cut away’ where the neck joins in order to allow the player to reach higher frets).

On eBay

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Left Handed Beginners

If you’re a newcomer to the uke and you’re wondering if you need a left handed ukulele, the answer is you probably don’t. For most ukuleles, you can just flip the uke, swap the order of the strings and it’ll be perfectly fine to play.


  1. karolina September 26th, 2012 7:57 pm

    Hi. I just have a question if you would be able to help, please.
    Trying to buy a lil present for a musician that is left handed. Was thinking of a ukulele but read somewhere that its impossible to get left handed one. You are saying its not a big problem. Can you maybe refer some ukulele – lefthanded that i could purchase from your site. Thank you for your time.

  2. Alistair January 15th, 2013 10:57 pm

    My Mum is starting to learn the ukulele. She’s left handed, but has been advised to try and learn to play right handed.

    Do you think this is the best way forward, or should we switch the strings around and play the instrument the other way round?

    Has anyone any experience of this?

  3. Mark G March 6th, 2013 1:16 am

    Alistair, I am a lefty uke player and i wouldn’t have it any other way. I also play the guitar left handed after having a miserable experience trying to learn as a righty. The simple fact that most right-handers do not take into account with southpaws is that our brains are wired differently. Imagine if Jimmy Hendrix or Paul McCartney actually listened to the naysayers? We wouldn’t have the Beatles and we wouldn’t be familiar with one of the greatest, if not the greatest guitarists that ever lived. There is an excellent book on amazon called Left Handed Chords for Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin and Banjo. Righties don’t understand that we lefties must convert everything when we read it. That makes this book indispensable for the new or seasoned uke player. Do not force a child or adult to play uke right handed. This is equal to forcing a southpaw to write with their right handed. I consider it abuse. Ukulele’s are easy to restring. Buy a good tuner and you’re set.

    Oh, and here’s the book I was speaking of.

    Oh, and Karolina, there’s no need to get a left handed uke unless you order one with electronics. It’s a simple restringing process that takes all of five minutes for the seasoned and fifteen minutes for the inexperienced. 🙂

  4. Lenny March 31st, 2013 6:13 pm

    For all those right handers that say we lefties should play right handed, I say to them try playing left handed then you will see how we feel.
    To all lefties I say, just play left handed and tune your yuke left handed. No problem, there is not much different in the strings. and if you cant read chord diagrams upside down then forget it. There are only four strings for God’s sake.

  5. kevin May 16th, 2013 2:41 am

    can you switch a right handed concert lanikai uke to a left handed one, people say i can’t since its due to the nut of the uke, is that true?

  6. Julie August 1st, 2013 12:22 am

    just a quick question once i flip the strings does that mean all the chord and scales notation that are found in books can be played just as they are written?

  7. Siapolima February 2nd, 2015 2:45 pm

    How can I learn how to use my left hand to play my ukulele

  8. Mike February 16th, 2015 10:02 pm

    I have two lefty’s grandkids….male and female…I purchased a Lanikai Tenor Ukulele…right handed…bought a set of DGBE “baritone style” for Tenor…. turned the string arrangement backwards…making it lefty…could not get those strings to sound right….I had a extra set of regular Baritone strings …and installed them on the Tenor Ukulele…it played fine…with no adjustment …I can not explain why the first set of Tenor strings failed to measure up….but the Baritone strings worked fine.

  9. Anubis8 August 15th, 2015 3:47 pm


    My wife gifted me with a Nohea Koa Tenor Ukulele but I am lefty. Can it be restrung?

    Thank you

  10. Rick Edwards April 29th, 2017 4:52 am

    I bought my first uke about 2009 because I had several brainstem/cerebellum strokes. It is a real nice Kala but it is right-handed. I am left-handed..but after the strokes I did that because after the strokes I couldn’t use my hands right. I wanted to do this to learn to move my hands again. Since then I bought a Fender uke. I love it’s sound. I wish they had then in left-handed models. There were issues with short term memory loss and trying to play righty was more of an exercise mentally. Well it has been a few years and now I would like to learn to play left handed. I wish I could switch the fender strings, but that isn’t possible. I just wonder why they don’t make a few for lefties?…

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