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Brand new left handed player on a righty- just flip it??

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by HoggyPhaze, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. HoggyPhaze


    Jan 12, 2019
    So I have a short necked (or shortstacked idk i'm new and that sounds like pancakes-might also be hungry ) acoustic/electric beauty. Like the title says I'm a lefty, and not particularly ambidextrous. So I tried to play it "righty" and it honestly drove me up a flipping wall, I just couldn't get my hand to pluck the rythm I was thinking of .So the last few days I have literally just flipped it so the heavy E is on the bottom and my right hand is fretting. I managed to actually teach myself the cycle for "stand by me" pretty well just today.
    I guess the question is, is it totally silly to be lazy and just leave the strings where they are? Tabs are written that way anyways, and I know there is a left handed guitarist or two that just flipped it over. It's all greek to me now anyways, I just started taking the time to practice this week !
  2. Smack it up, flip it, rub it down.

    You should probably switch your strings around, but you don't HAVE to.

    Keith Horne does just fine without stringing lefty:

    Mr_Moo, HolmeBass, okcrum and 2 others like this.
  3. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Why not just play righty? You will get used to it I think.
    And I, St_G, packhowitzer and 5 others like this.
  4. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Guitarist Coco Montoya a former member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers does a spectacular job playing guitar upside down.
    Welcome To The Secret Society
    Peace N Chicken Grease
    Kukulkan61 likes this.
  5. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Many south paws do, my older brother does it way better than righty me.
    And I and packhowitzer like this.
  6. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    As does my guitarist friend and this recommended by my band’s guitarist who is a teacher.
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Check out Mono Neon - plays a left flipped righty because he wants to. :) I have a lefty jazz I restrung and play righty because I like how it looks, but it doesn't balance so well on a strap.
  8. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Im a lefty that plays with the strings lefty.

    My bias is for the way i play. A smaller slice of lefties leaves the strings righty. A case can be made either way.

    Just dont hold it righty.
  9. saabfender

    saabfender Inactive

    Jan 10, 2018
    You're just starting out. You can fix this. Play right-handed. My daughter's a lefty who learned right-handed, and she's a girl.
    And I, packhowitzer and Mushroo like this.
  10. Welcome to Talkbass!

    My advice (take it or leave it) is: Make decisions based on your future goals, not on what is easiest for you right now as a beginner.

    What does your teacher think? Are they up to the challenge of teaching an "upside down" bassist, or can they give you better quality instruction if you use the standard method?
  11. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    If a "teacher" cant teach someone because theyre lefty, then they have a problem. Its exactly like looking in a mirror.

    Lefty instruments abound via the net.
    Dont play righty, its plebeian.
    Jim Kernan likes this.
  12. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Well, it's like looking in a mirror and seeing someone else in there, which is odd. :p
    mikewalker, rufus.K and saabfender like this.
  13. I guess I have a problem, then! ;)

    I could teach a "regular lefty" no problem, but I would have a very hard time teaching an "upside down lefty" player. For example, if I tell the student "use your thumb to slap the E string, and your 1st finger to pop the G string," how does that work if the E string is on the bottom and the G string is on top? I just don't know (having never played upside-down lefty myself) so I wouldn't be able to teach it.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    tradernick, Jhengsman, And I and 2 others like this.
  14. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    I believe one wouldnt slap with anything other than the thumb, so it wont matter. Those are just hammer ons and pull offs. If youre giving lessons at that level, then they already have the motor coordination to pick a plucking digit, yes?

    As a lifelong lefty, ones brain flips around backwards rightes automatically on sight. Righties just dont develop that skill because they dont encounter it.
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  15. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    Jimmy Haslip plays lefty with the strings stuing right-handed, as did the guy who taught me to slap so many years ago. He was amazing, though the way he slapped was of course different than how I had to do it.

    But my advice would be to just play right-handed. Both hands have complex tasks when playing an instrument like bass or guitar, so I've never really understand "handedness" in terms of bass. I'm left hand dominant, but somewhat ambidextrous. I play "right handed." The fact that the left hand has demanding work to do when playing right handed, plus the much larger pool of right handed instruments, decided this for me way back when I started.

    All this is just imho, with a huge emphasis on the "h" lol. Because, also imho, there's not a right answer here ... Just various pros and cons that each player will have to answer for themselves. Best wishes, whatever path you choose! :bassist:
    Jhengsman and ELG60 like this.
  16. Please don’t listen to these people telling you to “just play righty.” And, people saying it, let’s not get into this discussion again. I suggest either get a left handed instrument or see if you can (or have a luthier) flip the string, nut etc around for you. For the record, I am a lefty who “just learned righty” (and my son is a lefty who learned lefty with great results, from righty teachers, what a shock) and I don’t think there is any real reason to do so these days. Plenty of fine lefty instruments out there. Follow your handedness.

    As usual, shocked by the attitudes about this on here. Believe me, there are LOTS of people who don’t agree with “just play righty” but almost all of us have given up arguing about it on TB.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    Mr_Moo, mcarp555 and dxb like this.
  17. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    There's no right answer or wrong answer. It sounds like you've tried to play righty and it didn't work for you. Let that option be and ignore anyone on here who says different. I would think flipping the strings would be best for instructional purposes if nothing else, but obviously others have managed with upside down strings.
  18. I agree there is no right or wrong answer but I appreciate that you actually acknowledge that he tried righty and it felt uncomfortable. If a kid tends to throw left handed, we don’t just ignore it and tell them to throw with their right hand, because that’s how we did it. There is no real obstacle to playing left handed these days.
    Mr_Moo, alaskaleftybass and mcarp555 like this.
  19. I agree with everything you just said, but I also think a beginner is not yet ready to make that decision. Everything feels uncomfortable when you are just starting out! If my teacher told me, "I think you should try it this way for a while," I would trust my teacher and give it a shot.

    It really all depends on how you view the teacher/student relationship. I grew up watching Karate Kid, so I tend to trust my teachers, having faith that all the pieces will come together in the end, even if I don't see see the pattern yet. There's another school of thought, that the teacher is your employee, and the student should "drive" the lessons.

    Also, I think your sports analogy is flawed, because "southpaws" have tangible advantages in certain sports.
  20. Radio60


    Nov 11, 2017
    As you're finding out, it's certainly possible to play a flipped right-hand bass, meaning the E string is on the bottom (next to your palm). But consider the long-term consequences of doing this. You'll have to invert all playing patterns, making it just that more difficult to learn from, and communicate with, others. Perhaps more important is that you may very well find it harder to play more challenging riffs than "Stand by Me" that exploit the standard string arrangement and tuning, as well as the natural way your fingers grasp the fingerboard. So, given that you're totally new to bass playing and at your most formative stage of learning, I'd recommend you avoid these potential problems now and continue to play your flipped bass but with the strings reversed. In other words, play "standard lefty."

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