Studies indicate that about 70-90% of the world’s population is right handed, leaving left handed people at a disadvantage when it comes to using various tools and gizmos. The same applies to musical instruments, especially stringed instruments such as the guitar, violin, and ukulele.
When it comes to playing any stringed instrument, most musicians make use of their right hands for strumming and their left hands for fretting. It’s the total opposite for left handed people, which is why it’s extremely challenging to adapt a right-handed instrument for left handed playing.
And even if you succeed, as a left handed musician, to adapt to a standard ukulele, your playing won’t sound as good as it would be with a left handed ukulele. With that said, it’s about time you learn about the best left handed ukuleles, so you don’t have to struggle with a standard one.
Best Left Handed Ukulele in 2020
Here is our list of the 5 best left handed ukulele that you can buy in 2020.
|Best Overall||Best Overall||Oscar Schmidt OU2LH||
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|Budget Friendly||Runner Up||Caramel CB500L||
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|My Choice||For Beginners||Mahalo MK1PTBK||
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Oscar Schmidt OU2LH is arguably the most popular concert left handed ukulele on the market, as it offers excellent value without breaking the bank. The body of the Oscar Schmidt is made out of mahogany, whereas the fretboard and bridge are made of rosewood. Quite an aesthetic combination.
Concert ukuleles are known for their fairly rich sound, and the mahogany body helps add a bit of a darker, warmer tone to the left handed ukulele. The Oscar Schmidt fretboard features 18 frets with inlay dot markers and side binding. Oscar Schmidt has a set of closed-gear tuners for convenience, in addition to a plastic saddle and nut.
This Oscar Schmidt ukulele does a brilliant job of producing sparkly highs and warm low tones. The strings on it are quite satisfactory, but they’re not the best. We recommend investing in after-market strings if you want this Oscar Schmidt concert ukulele to reach its full potential. Overall, an excellent product for the price.
- Excellent mahogany construction of Oscar Schmidt
- Flaunts chrome closed-gear tuners
- Aesthetically pleasing construction
- Sparkly highs and rich, warm lows
- We’re not quite fond of the strings
Considering its price, the Oscar Schmidt OU2LH left handed ukulele does an outstanding job of showcasing excellent craftsmanship, sound quality, and durability. Definitely worth your money.
In search of the best left handed ukulele? This baritone ukulele features everything you may need. It’s made with rosewood, which is the reason behind its darker color. The upper edge of the top features a series of sound holes in addition to botanical design inspired by Hawaii.
Caramel CB500L left handed ukulele features onboard electronics that allow for plugged or acoustic playing. To be more specific, it’s equipped with a built-in tuner and 3-band EQ. This ukulele also comes with an adjustable truss rod that offers support for your neck. It comes with the adjustment wrench.
As far as sound quality, the Caramel CB500L left handed baritone ukulele sounds amazing, both plugged and unplugged. Both the bridge and fretboard are built from solid walnut. The fretboard features position markers and unique body binding. And lastly, it comes with a handy gig bag so you won’t need a separate ukulele case for it.
- Offers acoustic and plugged playing
- Backed by tons of neat accessories
- High-quality rosewood construction
- Well-suited for professional players
- Electronics aren’t best out there
The Caramel CB500L left handed ukulele is one of the most cost-effective left handed ukuleles out there. It comes with lots of awesome gizmos and can be played acoustically and plugged in.
The Kahiko MK1PTBK left handed soprano ukulele from Mahalo is found in two stunning color variants: transparent black and transparent purple. The ukulele features a Graph Tech Nubone nut and saddle. It also features Aquila strings, which are better than the OU2LH’s aquila strings.
This soprano left handed ukulele doesn’t sound all that exciting. It’s decent-sounding considering its highly affordable price tag. It’s not built from the best materials out there, but it’s considerably durable, so you don’t have to worry about it being rendered useless from a few falls or knocks.
The package includes a handy ukulele carrying bag, so you won’t have to buy one separately. It bums us out that the fretboard doesn’t feature position marketers, but it’s a minor complaint. You may have to endure this ukulele’s strings going out of tune during the settling-in period of this left handed ukulele .
- One of the most affordable concert ukulele to play for a left handed
- Comes with a great convenient carry bag
- Featured in engaging colors variants
- An optimal ukulele for left handed children to play
- Doesn’t feature position marketers
The Mahalo Kahiko MK1PTBK soprano ukulele might not be the most impressive instrument out there, but in the hands of a beginner ukulele player, it offers great value at an affordable price, making it the right choice.
This is yet another excellent baritone ukulele from Caramel. It flaunts an Acacia body that offers a rich, beautiful tone. This ukulele comes with two high-quality sets of strings: one installed and one additional. The first set of strings is D-G-B-E, whereas the additional one is G-C-E-A.
The fretboard and bridge are made with walnut, and they feature a buffalo bone nut and saddle, granting this ukulele a very unique look. This ukulele comes with a bonus kit that offers a strap with pegs, wall hanger, additional aquila strings, picks, tuner, body gig bag, and EQ cable.
The lefty ukulele can be purchased with and without the accessories kit, which is pretty convenient if you already have the accessories you need. The ukulele has electrical components that enable plugged-in playing. The components may not be the best, but they’re pretty satisfactory.
- Played plugged and acoustically
- Durable and great solid-wood construction
- Comes with lots of accessories
- Comes with an extra set of great aquila strings
- Not the best onboard electronics
Not only does this lefty baritone ukulele sound incredible quality wise to play, but it also comes with plenty of convenient extras like additional aquila strings and a gig bag. Not to mention that it’s an acoustic-electric lefty uke.
The Ortega Guitars RU10L left handed soprano uke may be the final product on our play list, but it’s arguably the best solid-wood mahogany ukulele out there. It features premium build quality and high-end components that make it one of the best left handed ukuleles on the market today for a lefty.
The sound quality is out of this world of this left handed ukulele. Considering it’s a soprano concert ukulele, you should expect a clear and bright sound quality. Sound quality aside, this ukulele just looks amazing with its satin finish and rosette sound-hole design. It also features a mahogany neck with a 17-fret walnut fretboard.
The Ortega Guitars RU10L soprano lefty uke is equipped with a set of open-gear indirect tuners. Not only that, but it has a walnut bridge that has a synthetic saddle and nut. The package includes a free deluxe gig bag for ease of portability. Highly recommended for professional players.
- This left handed ukulele is built with premium components
- Rugged mahogany soundboard
- Comes with a premium gig bag
- Flaunts open-gear indirect tuners
- Not the most budget-friendly left handed ukulele for a lefty
While the rest of the concert ukulele on our play list are geared towards beginners and intermediates, this is an excellent ukulele for professionals. Its beautiful soprano tone is simply out of this world.
How to Pick a Left Handed Ukulele
Selecting a lefty ukulele that’s designed for left handed playing isn’t different from picking a standard ukulele. You pretty much have to consider the same factors. Here are the factors to consider.
Size and Tone
If you’ve never picked up a ukulele before, be it a standard model or a left handed model, you’re required to have a solid understanding of the four different left handed ukulele sizes and tonal ranges in which most concert ukuleles are available, which are soprano (standard), concert, tenor, and baritone.
The soprano was the original ukulele, and it’s the smallest of the four concert ukulele. Soprano models tend to have an overall length of about 21 inches and a scale length of around 13 inches. This is a type of ukulele that carries the distinct bright sound that’s usually associated with ukes.
The concert ukulele instrument tends to have an overall length of 23 inches and a scale length of about 15 inches. Its tone is a bit deeper and louder than a soprano’s tone. Tenor concert ukulele instrument has an overall length of 26 inches and a scale of 17 inches, and they offer a deeper, more resonant tone.
Lastly, baritone uke span 30 inches in overall length and 19 inches in scale length, making them the largest of the four types. Baritones are the go-to pick when it comes to playing deeper, bass notes. Baritones are tuned similarly to guitars, making them optimal for guitarists.
So which left handed ukulele instrument type should you get? Due to their small size, tenor concert ukulele is optimal for smaller hands, so they’re suited for most children. Concert ukulele instrument is also relatively small, so smaller hands won’t have a problem with it. Both tenor and baritone models are ideal for larger hands.
Aside from size, the tone of a left handed ukulele is very important to consider, especially if you’re playing it professionally. If you’d like your ukulele instrument to produce a brighter sound, you should opt for soprano or concert ukuleles. If you’d like a deeper sound, tenor and baritones are the way to go.
Ukuleles are constructed using an outstanding variety of woods and techniques. There are even left handed ukulele models that are constructed from synthetic materials and metal that you can get. We’re going to address some of the most popular variations and combinations of wood found in uke shortly.
We need you to grasp that, in terms of wooden construction, there are two types of uke that you can find. There are uke that are built from solid woods, and there are ones that are built from laminated wood, with the former type being of much higher quality than the latter type.
Models that are made of laminated wood tend to be considerably more affordable than the ones that are made of solid wood. This is because they’re made from laminates, which are thin layers of wood that are glued together and topped with grained veneers to enhance aesthetic appeal.
Well, there are differences between the two methods of construction that you must consider. Models that are built from laminates tend to be stronger than models that are made of solid woods. But in terms of resonance and tone, solid-wood ukuleles are a lot better than laminated models.
Moreover, high quality solid-wood best left handed ukuleles tend to mellow with time, like all other stringed instruments. The mellowing changes the tone of the ukulele instrument significantly, making it richer in most cases. Ukuleles that are made of laminates, however, aren’t affected by age and will always sound the same.
There are left handed ukulele instrument that well-combine the two methods of construction, where the body of the ukulele instrument is made of laminates while the top is made out of solid tonewood like cedar or spruce, as it’s the area that most influences the ukulele’s tone. This is a pretty cost-effective left handed ukulele instrument combination.
Type of Wood
- Mahogany: Due to the many varieties of mahogany, it’s quite hard to generalize its tone in uke. It’s often used for uke necks, and it influences a darker, warmer tone.
- Spruce: Spruce is known for its dense grain, which aids in producing louder and brighter tones gracefully. Spruce is a tonewood that’s super popular amongst guitar builders.
- Koa: This Hawaiian native was the traditional right choice of tonewood for most ukuleles player, and to this day, it remains one of the most popular right choices due to its wide range of colors.
- Cedar: Cedar is a softer alternative to spruce, hence it offers tones that are rounder and more mellow. It’s an excellent tonewood for constructing tenor and baritone ukuleles.
- Rosewood: This is a dense wood that’s often used for ukulele instrument fretboards, and it can be used for ukulele instrument bodies. It’s not only rich in color but also quite aesthetically appealing.
- Maple: Maple is one of the most popular woods used in guitars. Due to its hardness, it’s often used in ukulele fretboards and bridges. Its dense grain is very appealing, as well.
- Redwood: This tonewood is somewhere between cedar and spruce in the sense that it offers the warmth of cedar and the clarity of spruce to play. It’s pretty scarce and expensive play.
Well, if you’re still in the beginning stages of learning left handed ukulele using these best ukulele apps, or if playing concerts or recording in a studio are things that aren’t on the horizon, for the time being, then don’t concern yourself with specialty left handed ukulele. All you really need is a fully acoustic high quality left handed ukulele, and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, if your ultimate goal is to play concerts and record, you may want to get and invest in an acoustic-electric ukulele, as these models feature an in-built pickup system. This is way more convenient than having to set up microphones in order for your ukulele instrument playing to be heard.
left handed Acoustic-electric uke feature a pickup and a direct 1/4-inch instrument output that you could hook to a speaker system for live performances, or you could hook to an interface or recorder for recording purposes. Left handed acoustic-electric ukes aren’t scarce, so it’ll be an easy find.
It’s also worth pointing out that there are six-string and eight-string uke available, which are also considered specialty ukes. Such ukes are usually found in tenor and baritone scale lengths. They also tend to be quite compact, which makes them very convenient travel companions.
As with any great left handed ukulele, you get right what you pay for. If you get a cheap uke, don’t expect to be wowed by its tone or build quality. Ukuleles that cost under $100 don’t really have much to provide but a tempting price tag. Their sound quality, action, intonation, and construction are all very poor.
Also, if you get one of the best ukuleles under $100 for left handed player, don’t expect its strings to stay in tune for long, right. And even if you stretch the strings, it won’t do any good. Such ukuleles are only good for children, as they’re quite toy-like. It’s not really suited for those who are trying to make music or play live.
Well, the $100-$300 range is the right price point for beginner ukulele instrument players who want to get serious about their playing. The strings should remain in tune, at least after stretching them right. The action, intonation, and sound are also ample. Lanikai and Bushman left handed ukuleles are good brands at this price point to get.
The $300-$500 price point is where high-quality concert ukuleles from eminent brands such as GString, Kamaka, and KoAloha reside for both right handed and left handed players. You can also find vintage and custom-made right ukuleles in this price range, such as the ones built by Martin. All left handed ukuleles within this price range are extremely reliable and right ones to go with.
In a world where left handed people are a minority as compared to right handed ones, finding the best left handed ukulele instrument can be a challenging task. However, we’re confident that one of the above-mentioned concert ukuleles is going to meet your needs. We’d highly recommend the Oscar Schmidt OU2LH for most left handed ukulele players.
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