Beginner Left Handed Ukulele Buyer Guide

Knowing how to choose your first left handed ukulele can be quite a daunting task. But it needn’t be! I’ve put together this quick guide which explains the various different sizes of ukes available, and lists a few affordable choices for new players. You can be playing your new left handed ukulele tomorrow!

If a ukulele is going to be your very first stringed instrument, and you’ve landed on this page wondering if you should be playing right or left handed ukulele – read this article first.

If at the end you still have questions, leave a comment at the bottom of the page!

Beginner Left Handed Ukulele

Best Left Handed Ukulele 2021

These are my current top picks for the best left handed ukuleles of 2021!

  • Ranch Concert Ukulele – Best Budget Option
  • Oscar Schmidt OU2 – Best All-Round Choice
  • Luna Tattoo – Best Electro-Acoustic Ukulele
  • Oscar Schmidt OU7T – Best Lefty Tenor Ukulele

Find out more about these ukuleles below, but first let’s answer a few questions you probably have!

Do I Need A Left Handed Ukulele?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to southpaw ukuleles:

1. Get a right handed uke and flip it over – but don’t restring!
The big advantage to this is that you will be able to play any uke, wherever you are. The downside is that you’ll need to learn the chords upside down. However, as there are fewer strings, this isn’t a hugely daunting task.

Another problem here is that if you flip a righty, (in most cases) you’ll have no side dots on the fretboard to help guide you. The dots which should be helping you navigate the fretboard are now facing the floor. It doesn’t sound that troublesome, but trust me, you’ll miss those little dots!

2. String a righty for left handed play, or just get a lefty.

Ukes are fairly simple instruments that are more often than not pretty much symmetrical in design.  This means that unlike with a 6-string guitar, flipping a ukulele generally will only involve reversing the strings. In some cases, if the strings aren’t sitting snugly, you may need to also flip the nut. On most ukes, the nut is held in place by string tension, so you should be able to remove it simply by loosening the strings.

The benefit here is that learning chords will be easier.  Watching ukulele lesson videos is made simple by the fact that the instructor will mirror you on-screen. However, you won’t be able to walk into a store and test out other ukuleles without a quick restring.

If possible, it would definitely be preferable to get a lefty (or ambidextrous!) design just to ensure that you can utilise the side position markers. However, if you have to flip a righty you can always add your own dots with a permanent marker, or some small round stickers.

What Size Of Ukulele Do I Need?

There are four main sizes to choose from.  In order from smallest to largest you have:
Soprano > Concert > Tenor > Baritone

Common Ukulele Sizes

The Soprano is the smallest instrument at around 21 inches in total length. This is the size that most people will associate the ukulele with, as it makes that typical classic ukulele sound. Because of its smaller size, it is perfect for travelling with.

The Concert is a little bit bigger at 23 inches, which makes it a little less cramped than the Soprano above. It also produces that classic ukulele sound, but is a bit louder and deeper than the smaller Soprano.

Even bigger again is the Tenor at 26 inches. At this size, the Tenor begins to sound a little less Uke-like and a little deeper, like a classical guitar. It is generally favored by professional players.

Lastly, we have the Baritone at 30 inches. Its larger size and different tuning makes it sound closer to a classical guitar than a ukulele. It is also tuned slightly differently to the 3 smaller styles above.

Check out the following video from our friends over at Reverb. In this you can clearly hear the differences between the four difference sizes to help you make your decision.

Best Beginner Left Handed Ukulele

When starting out with ukulele you are probably going to want to opt for one of the two smallest sizes – Soprano or Concert. These will give you that traditional ukulele sound, and a more compact, comfortable size.

I’ve listed a few great, affordable choices below which you can pick up today using the links supplied.

Any of these instruments will make for a great introduction to ukulele.

Ranch Concert Ukulele Left Handed – Best Budget Option

Best budget left handed ukulele

Link Click Here For Pricing

The most affordable route into left handed ukulele is going to be this concert sized beauty from Ranch. Despite its low price, the Ranch also comes with a fantastic quality padded gig bag for easy transport.

Main features include a classy sapele body with full body binding, okoume neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and quality Aquila nylon strings.

A really nice touch on the Ranch is the Hawaiian-inspired etching around the soundhole, as well as the etched logos on the headstock. This combined with the full body binding really give the ukulele the appearance of a much more expensive instrument.

Here’s a great video which will let you hear how great it sounds. Note that the left handed version is not available as a package, so the headstock tuner and strap mentioned in this video aren’t included. See the section below on tuning for my recommendation for a super-affordable tuner option.

  • Body : Sapele (Fully Bound)
  • Neck : Okoume
  • Fingerboard : Rosewood (18 Nickel Silver Frets)
  • Bridge : Rosewood

The left handed Ranch ukulele is absolutely perfect for new players on a tight budget. Check out the glowing customer reviews at the link above!

Oscar Schmidt Concert OU2 – Most Popular Choice

Best Beginner Left Handed Ukulele

Link Click Here For Pricing

The most popular traditional lefty uke on this list is the concert sized Oscar Schmidt OU2.

It’s priced very competitively, and features a high quality satin finish, all-mahogany construction, with a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. This tried-and-tested combination of tone woods provides an energetic full body sound that resonates well, with plenty of sparkling highs and warm lows.

A nice touch on the OU2 is the bound fretboard which really helps to give this ukulele a premium look and feel. It also comes with quality GHS strings out of the box.

  • Body : Mahogany
  • Neck : Mahogany
  • Fingerboard : Bound Rosewood (17 Frets)
  • Bridge : Rosewood

For those not in the know, Oscar Schmidt is produced by Washburn Guitars, so you can be assured that these are quality instruments. They are so confident in this model that it actually comes with a lifetime warranty.

A slight downside is that, despite being almost twice the price of the Ranch above, it doesn’t come bundled with a protective gig bag.

Check it out at the link above if the Oscar Schmidt OU2 sounds like the uke for you.

Luna Tattoo – Electro-Acoustic Ukulele Choice

Luna Tattoo Left Handed Ukulele

Link Click Here for Pricing

The Luna A/E Tattoo is a great, affordable choice if you’d prefer your ukulele to have electronics. It’s certainly one of the better looking instruments in this list with it’s Hawaiian-inspired body etching!

This ukulele has an all-mahogany body, with a walnut fingerboard featuring shark tooth inlays. This classic tone wood combination gives the Tattoo a clear, and resonant sound.

An on-board pre-amp allows the uke to be plugged in to an amp or practice/recording device. There are also EQ sliders which will allow you to shape the bass and presence, as well as adjust volume.

Other standout features include a cutaway for improved upper fret access, geared tuners, and a Luna branded gig bag for easy transport. It comes strung with quality Aquila super nylgut strings as well.

  • Body : Mahogany
  • Neck : Mahogany
  • Fingerboard : Walnut (18 Frets)
  • Bridge : Walnut

Check out the video below for a quick overview and sound demonstration of this beautiful little uke.

Although I’ve suggested it as a great choice for a left handed electro-acoustic ukulele, it is also available without electronics if you’d prefer. Check it out here.

Also note that while it does have a pre-amp, there is no built-in tuner, so you will need to pick up one of these separately if you do not already have one. See the section below on tuning for my recommendation.

If the Luna Concert Tattoo left handed ukulele sounds like the instrument for you, be sure to check it out at the link above!

Left Handed Tenor Ukulele

Oscar Schmidt OU7 Left Handed Tenor Ukulele

Left Handed Tenor Ukulele

Link Click Here for Pricing

If you’re after a slightly larger left handed tenor ukulele, then here is a great option from Oscar Schmidt (a brand by Washburn).

It’s a little more pricey than the other instruments on this page, but the materials used are also a lot more premium. For example, it features a stunning spalted mango body and neck, abalone binding and rosette, and Grover tuners with black ebonite buttons. It’s certainly a standout ukulele!

In addition, the OU7T is shipped with a very high quality Oscar Schmidt bag. As with the OU2 above, it also comes with a lifetime warranty.

  • Body : Spalted Mango
  • Neck : Spalted Mango
  • Fingerboard : Rosewood (19 Frets)
  • Bridge : Rosewood

If you’d prefer a tenor ukulele, then why not check it out at the link above.

How To Tune A Left Handed Ukulele

If you’d like to purchase a separate tuner, I recommend the Fender FT-1 clip-on headstock tuner. Works perfectly on a ukulele, and costs less than the price of a pack of good strings!

Standard tuning on a ukulele is G-C-E-A (from top to bottom). For extra clarity, check out the image below which shows tuning on a lefty uke.

How To Tune a Left Handed ukulele

Left Handed Ukulele Lessons

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on the site, lefties generally have an easier time learning from right handed teachers. For this reason there is nothing stopping you from using one of the many free lessons on sites such as Youtube.

Learn To Play Ukulele Left Handed

However, if you want to make sure you are starting off on the right path, there is a great book from Hal Leonard for beginner lefty players which you can check out here. It is chock full of left handed ukulele chords, scales and more!

The book, by Hal Leonard is aimed squarely at brand new left handed ukulele players. It includes 46 tracks of online audio which can be streamed or downloaded for playing along with. A wide range of beginner lessons are covered from the history of the ukulele, how to read music, different tunings, chords, scales, strumming techniques and much more. A perfect place for any new player to begin!

Left Handed Ukulele Chords

You can also find a free left handed ukulele chord chart right here on LeftyFretz. On this page you’ll learn some really useful chords to help get you started.

Click here to check it out.

More Expensive Options

If you’re looking to spend a little more cash, here are a few brands which will happily supply you with a southpaw uke. Send me an email if I have missed anyone.

Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far you’ve managed to find your perfect left handed ukulele. Good luck, and have fun!