Holding A Ukulele Properly

Holding A Ukulele Properly: One of the pros of a ukulele is a small size that allows it to be held easily. There are multiple types of ukuleles you can choose from such as baritone ukulele, bass ukulele, soprano ukulele, and tenor ukulele. But no matter which one you opt for you must know how to hold the musical instrument otherwise the produced sound will not be true to its ability. 

The ukulele should be held upright against your chest in a relaxed manner. The thumb of the strumming hand should be kept behind the neck of the instrument while the fingers of the fretting hand should be parallel to the fret. With that being said, let’s walk you through everything you need to know in regards to holding a ukulele. 

How To Hold A Ukulele Properly 

Hold It Against Your Chest

The ukulele should be positioned in a way that the neck is running parallel to the floor. You should hold the body of the ukulele lightly against your chest while carrying its weight on your right arm. If you are left-handed it should be the other way round which we will cover later in this article. 

Use the Left Hand To Hold The Neck 

You should hold the ukulele on the neck and not the headstock. The thumb should be at the back of the neck somewhere between the nut and the 3rd fret while the fingers should be curled around the neck to cover the fretboard. Since various chords require various finger positions, adjust your fingers as necessary. 

The chord arrangement from closest to your body to nearest to the floor should be as follows: G string, C string, E string, and A string. Depending on the chord you’re playing you may need to adjust your wrist especially if you’re trying to play a higher string. 

Bend Your Strumming Arm At The Elbow

The lower part of your right arm should be kept parallel to the ukulele for the most effective strumming position. Place the fingers of your right hand on the strings of the ukulele somewhere a little above the soundhole of the musical instrument. The right hand should be kept loose because you’ll be playing different notes where the index finger plays a major role. 

Since you’ll be using your right hand for strumming, it should be easily able to reach the point where the neck of the ukulele starts. However, your strumming fingers shouldn’t cross the neck because if they are close to the bridge, the sound that will be produced would be low in volume as well as tone. 

Holding The Ukulele While Sitting Down

Holding the ukulele while sitting down is much easier in comparison to a standing position. This is because the body of the musical instrument can rest on your thigh allowing the juggling much effortless. Even when you’re in this position, you should maintain all the points of contact while angling the ukulele away from your body. Holding it while sitting down allows you to rest it on your thigh so even trying to maintain all the points of contact comes easy in this position. 

Holding The Ukulele While Standing Up 

Holding the ukulele while standing up maybe a bit tougher than doing so while sitting down. For example, if a certain fretting technique requires strength on the fingers, you won’t be able to hold the neck of the ukulele easily therefore you will have to apply more strength on the strumming hand so the instrument doesn’t slip. 

How To Hold The Ukulele If You’re Left-Handed 

For left-handed ukulele players, the standard ukulele will suffice; there’s no need for a special left-handed ukulele. All you need to do is flip the ukulele so that the body of the musical instrument is against your chest with your left hand as the strumming hand, while the neck of the ukulele is held by your right hand which will be the fretting hand. However, you should consider the change in position of the strings because in this case the G-string will be closest to you and the A-string will be nearest to the floor. The tuning should be done in descending order as follows: G4, C4, E4, A4. With that being said, there’s no need for adjustments on the strings because they are so closely placed as it is. 

Some people prefer buying a specially made ukulele if they are left-handed. But practically, there’s no need for that because most parts of the musical instrument are the same no matter how you hold it. Moreover, it is also advised to play the ukulele with the right hand i.e. strumming with the right hand and fretting with the left hand because this instrument requires the use of both hands anyway so you might as well get accustomed to using it as any right-handed player would. 

Tips For Holding The Ukulele 

  • Hold the ukulele in a relaxed manner. 
  • Do not hold the ukulele tightly against your chest as it smothers the volume. 
  • Angle the ukulele away from your body so that the neck further away than the body of the musical instrument. 
  • Do not hold your elbow out; keep it in front of you or all the way in.
  • Find a balance between supporting the ukulele with your hands with a good grip while keeping them relaxed at the same time. 

Also Read: How To Pick On Ukulele


As you can see from this article, there’s a certain posture that should be maintained while holding a ukulele correctly. Whether you are a right-handed player or a left-handed player, this article should help you figure out holding a Ukulele Properly. If you have been holding the ukulele wrong all this time, apply the knowledge that you’ve gained from this article and see the difference.

3 thoughts on “Holding A Ukulele Properly”

Leave a Comment