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Any lefties that play right have problems with the simplest riffs?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Flux Jetson, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Sometimes the easiest bass lines elude me. I can't seem to get my right hand to cooperate. I do fine on the fretboard most of the time, it's doing some riffs that require tricky string skips that drive me bananas!

    Then I'll see some 16 year old girl on You Tube playing the same thing with relative ease and I just want to stuff my right hand in a running garbage disposal. Well, I suppose the once inch tear in my right rotator cuff isn't helping anything. Really need to save some money and get that surgery done.

    Any other lefties that play right hand basses that get frustrated with this type of thing? It's maddening! Or am I the odd man out? It wouldn't surprise me, seems I've been the 5 in the 4 club my whole life. Hahahaa!! :D

    Done whining ... :bawl:
  2. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Why not just play lefty? I play left handed on a correct left handed bass. I don't seek to change anyone who is lety and plays righty if it is working for them. It seems you might be due to try a true left handed bass. JM2C
  3. Betrayer_Bass

    Betrayer_Bass Profanity Fish.

    Sep 24, 2011
    Oslo, Norway
    Endorsing: Spector basses, Winspear Picks, Spector Formula 603 strings
    Makes perfect sense... If you're left handed, play a left handed instrument.
  4. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    well, I'm lefty, but started off the "right" way :)eyebrow:) and it seems I had the same amount of 'difficulties' to apply some of the technique as every other players.
    My suggestion is to take what ever is giving you trouble, slow it down concentrating on EACH movement…. do it with patience and take it up to speed (but be careful not loosing the concentration on how you do it)…

  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    lefty playing rightie here too; i'll admit to not even being interested in trying to learn slap, and my fingerstyle is not yet as good as my pick playing (i'm a guitar player too), but it's like anything else; start slow enough to play it perfectly (no matter how slow that is) and keep hammering at it, and it'll improve.
  6. Yea, thanks. As for changing over to left handed instruments. The cost would be insane. I have four guitars and three basses. I've been playing right handed since 1984 so training my hands to do it ~backwards~ would be a long process. But thanks for the replies about trying it. I have tried it and it feels totally foreign. Relearning chord shapes would be wierd, I already picture chords on the keyboard in my head and have to translate them to the fretboard. There would be this double-translation going on in my skull to decipher the chord structure images in that bucket I call my head. Not only that, the selection of decent instruments in left hand is slim. With a lot of basses you are limited to black, and a higher cost as well. I suppose I could build Warmoths.

    I do slow down, I focus on form before speed. I was just voicing frustration. Nearly every bass riff was written by a natural/natural player so the various moves and fingerings feel a different way. Such as slap/pop. Many lefties playing right have one heck of a time with that. It's not as easy as simply slowing down, try playing your bass ~the other way around~ and check out how alien it feels. It has a lot to do with the dexterity reduction in your weak hand.

    On the other hand (oh puhLEEZ!) Entwistle-type tapping is something I'm a demon at! Stuff like hammers, taps, pull-offs - anything that requires a lot of fret-hand finger strength and dexterity is something I do well. And like walterw I can pick better than I can fingerstyle, sometimes the fingers just don't want to play well with others.

    It's right handed world, I've been told my whole life "just do it like this" or "it's easy, just do this" (try playing short stop as a lefty and making that 3rd base side grounder catch and then making the throw to 1st base!).... don't even get me started about SCISSORS! Proper left handed scissors do NOT simply have reversed handles. The blades have to be completely mirror-imaged otherwise when they are closed they don't shear against one another to shear whatever it is that is being cut. But being a lefty has taught me to be an adaptor in many other aspects of life. That has come in very handy many times, I consider it an advantage at times.

    Public schools were fun too. I actually had teachers that would tape my left thumb in a beltloop to force me to use my right hand to write. Consequently I never learned to write very well - I got that whole chinese-mixed-with egyptian looking penmanship! Haahaa!

    Anyhow, I was just venting frustrations about how easily right handers can play certain riffs that are more difficult for lefties playing right. Some riffs are very difficult to master, ones that righties roll right through. I didn't know if other lefties/playing right went through the wierdness sometimes too. Thanks for the advice, I'll try what you said. :)
  7. Blind Rat

    Blind Rat

    Apr 23, 2009
    Don't fight nature !
  8. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    I'm in the" lefties who play righty" club here. Left or right makes no difference- its what you are comfortable with and how you approach te instrument.

    Q. How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

    A. Practice, practice, practice!

    Classical cats often do 6 to 8 hours of practice per day.

    My opinion? If you are practicing less than an hour a day playing scales, modes, arpeggios, and are having difficulty with certain figures, step up the practice time.
  9. I think I know what the OP is talking about. I'm a lefty who just felt more physically comfortable playing right handed and have done so for 20+ years, but I still get caught out very occasionally where my mind has trouble balancing the rational with the creative .

    The remedy I've found is practicing all the different combinations of shapes and string skips against simple minor/major pentatonics and hunt out which ones are weakest so you can work on them - kinda of like re-programming the brain :D
  10. I'm a lefty that plays right and don't have this problem.
  11. FunkRenegade


    Jul 7, 2012
    You've been playing since '84 and you just noticed this? Lefty or righty, that's enough time to get pretty good playing either way.:atoz:
    It's like saying you didn't know you were fat, until you turned 300lbs.
  12. exidor


    Jul 10, 2011
    I'm a lefty who plays righty I say stay righty!
    and do just what maurilio says " slow it down concentrating on EACH movement…. do it with patience and take it up to speed (but be careful not loosing the concentration on how you do it)" I add play it know it till you don't even have to think about it.
  13. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    I'm a righty who plays righty and I sometimes have that problem! There are tons of 16 year old girls who can out play me. There's a 15 year old violinist at church who can outplay pretty much everyone she meets. Since I have no excuses I have no choice but to admit that it is just practice, practice, practice in my case. Back when I played clarinet in school band the octaves that a lot of the pieces we played were written in had my left hand doing the bulk of the work, rhythmically as well as tonally. So I subscribe to the theory that either hand can play either role, but obviously there will be disagreement about that.

  14. eyvindwa


    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    Yes, I have that problem, and especially some "easy" string-crossing stuff escapes me. Also, lots of repeated notes in quick succession is difficult at times. I cannot play with a pick to save my life. On the other hand, being a lefty, I can play the most intricate stuff on the fingerboard with my left hand, stuff that I know other people struggle a lot with.

    Since I play originals, and write my own basslines (and songs for that matter), I have developed what I like to think is a somewhat personal style on the bass, and I believe that this is very much a reflection of the fact that what comes natural for many is awkward to me, and I will thus instead write something that comes natural for ME. That often turns out to be somewhat original, or so I have been told.

    The moral of this story is: Use it to your advantage!
  15. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Slow is fast. Slowly repeat each passage, and focus on bringing out the best in each note. Speed will come. Accuracy and tone need to come first.
  16. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    if you are having a hard time plucking with your right hand what makes you think you can properly frett notes with it?

    I'm a lefty that plays right.
  17. eyvindwa


    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    There is a reason almost every instrument is made that way. Some things are easier with your dominant hand.
  18. The Sailor

    The Sailor

    Feb 14, 2012
    Nor Cal
    If your playing right because the limited options of basses available, then the simple solution is to make like hendrix and play a right handed bass lefty. It may take awhile to get used to having the g closest to you, but i think its accomplishable
  19. Even when I started in the 90's, the options were very limited. To this day, many of the guitars and basses I love were never available left-handed.

    Flipping the bass over will generally cause neck dive due to the shorter bottom horn.
  20. greggster59


    Oct 31, 2006
    New Jersey
    Lefty playing righty, also.

    I have had to really work on, and ultimately tailor, my right hand technique and it is slowly improving.

    My teacher argues that for us lefty's the right hand is a challenge. For righty's the fretting initially takes a bit of work. Might be something to that.

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