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Cheap(ish) beginner leftie bass..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Cyne, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Cyne


    Jul 1, 2008
    I'm looking for a bass (my first) but it's proving to be a lot harder than expected.
    I'm getting a leftie bass and I'm willing to spend around 600$ on it. Thing is, I'm in Japan so you can't really rely on the American prices - it's more expensive here.
    I've been to a lot of shops and only one seemed to have any leftie basses worth a second glance. They were nice, but I'd like to have some more to choose from before I make my final decision.

    SO, I figured that if I get desperate enough, I'll have a shop order home a bass for me. Only as a last resort, if I can't find anything in any shops.

    So my question/request is for some suggestions to good leftie basses that aren't too expensive, and where I'm not running a huge risk ordering it without having played it before...

    Oh, and I know you shouldn't be superficial and just choose a bass based on how it looks BUT if I should, it would probably be something like the Ibanez SR Prestige (http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/page_jp.php?&data_id=101&color=CL01&year=2008&cat_id=2&series_id=29)


    P.s. I'm not gonna play righthand style. Leftie or nothing (ok nothing isn't really an option either....)


    Currently considering buying a fretless righty and stringing it lefty.
    BAD IDEA? Or might work?
  2. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Ibanez GSR200L.
    MIM Fender Jazz.
  3. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I have read what you have written. However, as one left-hander to another, especially if you're just beginning, learn to play right-handed. It's worth the effort and you're now seeing just one of huge the reasons why. View learning to play right-handed as a challenge worth taking that can have some significant rewards. Bass is too much fun to let left-handedness and the limited availabilty of left-handed instruments dictate whether or not you'll play.
  4. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    one lefty to another, to another Craig. I had the same trouble years ago BEFORE lefty stuff was cheap, popular, and sounded good qualitywise, so you are correct as saying learn the normal way---HOWEVER for those of us who cannot play righthanded as it was and always will be awkward, he should do what I did, and take ANY righty bass, and flip it over and play inverted.

    OR he could do a JimiHendrix, and buy ANY cheap righty bass, and reverse the strings so the E is on top << that is also another alternative.

    it was just as easy to learn inverted UNLESS you 100% rely on the EVIL TABS, and cannot play by ear.

    when I watch righthanders play, it is a mirror of me, and that was an easy way for me to "learn" the neck.

    please don't think any of this is any "ultimate" solution to the lack of lefty bass problems he has, but it gives him alternatives to spending a huge amount of money in the beginning stages.
  5. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I completely disagree with Craig. While lefty basses are harder to find they are out there. Here's a list of lefty basses I currently own:

    Brice violin bass(LH)
    Davison Hollowbody bass(LH)
    Eastwood EEB-1 bass(LH)
    Fender Jazz Bass(LH)
    Fender Jazz Bass FSR(LH)
    Fender P-Bass Special(LH)
    Hofner 500/1 V63 reissue Beatle Bass(LH)
    Ibanez GSR200L bass(LH)
    Ibanez Jazz Bass(LH)
    Peavey Millennium BXP bass(LH)
    Rickenbacker 4001CS bass(LH)
    Rickenbacker 4001S bass(LH)
    Rickenbacker 4003 bass(LH)
    SX Jazz Bass(LH)
    SX Jazz Bass-Fretless(LH)
    SX P-Bass(LH)
    SX P/J-Bass(LH)
    SX Scorpion Bass(LH)
  6. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I think his main problem is are any of those are readily available where he lives, and he was looking for a cheapy-starter lefty bass over there, which is not common as he stated.
  7. Lefty Geek

    Lefty Geek

    Feb 13, 2006
    I always found it funny when people say lefties are hard to find, then come to my place which is full of lefty guitars and basses.

    Being a lefty in Japan is very easy. For some reason, there are many lefties in Japan and many of the Japan makers (especially Fender Japan) cater to them. Here is one Japanese store that specializes in lefties:


    I would look into getting a Fender Japan bass. Easy to find, great value. Perfect for a cheapie bass IMHO. They do have lefty Ibanezes, but not quite the model you linked to. There is a Yamaha bass that is close.
  8. 'nother lefty here. Truth be told, guitar and bass feel equally awkward in either direction. Having your dominant hand for fretting has its' perks, though!!! Try right, give it a try, more often than not, it should work alright.
  9. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Well, a pretty good chunk of mine come from Asia.
  10. enen


    Mar 2, 2008
    hmm.. there's always SX for a starter bass :)

    But I entirely agree the limited of selection of lefty basses. Especially those in the 2nd hand market.
  11. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I think what the OP should do is not rely on the stock inside a store..

    YES it is great when you can play what you buy, but in his case, there are a lot of online places that sell lefty stuff, and he should look into those options, he said 600$ spending limit, but there are a lot of online places that sell 199.00 lefty basses for beginners, and from all the people who have actually bought them who post here with good results, they seem to be winners every time..
  12. Cyne


    Jul 1, 2008
    Whoa thanks for all your replies guys!

    I'd sort of decided to buy a bass today, but I didn't know if I should go for the Fernandes or Danelectro that I'd been looking at. To be honest I was a bit in doubt if I even wanted either of them. The feeling wasn't 100% there if you know what I mean.
    So I went to Ocha no Mizu (for those of you who aren't familiar with this place it's basically a whole street more or less dedicated to instrument shops). I saw this awesome fretless Ibanez. Of course righty.
    After having walked around for a bit I found a shop which had a reeeaaaally nice looking Greg Bennett (righty as well). I tried it and I liked it a lot. But it was a bit more than $600 and and I wasn't convinced (it was a rightie after all).
    So I went to Taniguchi Gakki (see link in lefty geek's post). I'd been there before and looked at the Fernandes and Danelectro, but yeah, went again. I tried an Ibanez, the Danelectro (again) and a Fender Squier (forgot which model...sigh). Liked the Squier the best but again... not completely convinced.
    By the end I was so tired I just went back home figuring I'd check the inet and see what it had to offer....

    Oh, before going to Ocha no Mizu I went to this used instrument shop (in shin-okubo for those of you who're interested) but they only had 1 leftie bass. With a warped neck. It was around $50 so I ALMOST bought it just because it's cheap and leftie. But the guy in the shop told me it was unplayable (if that's even a word) so in the end I didn't buy it. Still considering though. Perhaps I could give it a new neck? Or that might be too much effort?

    Ok, enough rambling, comments on posts:

    I used to play a little guitar; righty style. I never really felt I could get the rhythm down. I'm blaming my right hand. Really, it feels better lefty style, that's why I decided to make the switch to lefty style when I switc(hed) from guitar to bass....

    I'm thinking of doing it Hendrix style if I can't find anything leftie worth my money.
    The thing that's sorta keeping from doing a Hendrix is the cable, the tone (etc.) knobs and the knob for the strap.
    I THINK the strap problem could be worked around, but I'm afraid I'll accidentally hit the knobs when I play slap bass (which I will)...
    My issue with the cable is me being afraid of resting my arm on it thus breaking it (and the jack).
    Do you think these concerns will be issues or will it be all right? Think I'm gonna search the forum for some more posts by people who're playing this way.

    Lefty Geek:
    Being a lefty in Japan is not easy =(
    I think I've been to around 20 instrument shops (not kidding here) and very VERY few of them had any lefty basses. Do you know any shops other than Taniguchi Gakki?

    As I'm just getting into the "world of bass" I'm not really familiar with the ones you own BUT I think they're in the $600<??? price range, hence too expensive for me. If I was gonna shell out... 3x/4x what I am my options would be better but... for now... =(

    soooo.... I'm gonna check out the inet, see what I can find and maybe also take a look at TB's classifieds section.
    Thanks for all your inputs guys, keep 'em coming...

    P.s. This is really irrelevant but I'm a 'she'. My profile's lying for some reason. Gonna change it now.:bassist:
  13. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    yep, musicians have no gender barrier :D

    See you DO have a few lefty choices, so doing it my way would be at the end of the list. The knobs and stuff do not get in the way and I can play gently, or beat the heck out of the thing and it is not a factor, but use my suggestion as a last resort, since it seems you do have other alternatives.
  14. roro92


    Sep 14, 2008
    Does Ibanez make a lefthanded ATK 300?
  15. Cyne


    Jul 1, 2008
    I'm not sure... they make a left handed SR-300. That's all I know....

    checked out your youtube! Badass playing! Seriously! flipped around bass and everything..
    I see you worked around the knob (for the strap) problem. Just added another knob yourself or??
  16. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I think you mean the strap "buttons".

    as far as the tone knobs, input jack and switches, I know they are there, and on the basses I play, they are positioned where I never hit them with my arm.

    If I play a bass where the strap button is on the wing and in the way, I just move it to the back.
  17. Cyne


    Jul 1, 2008
    Yes.. I did mean the strap buttons. Still trying to get the lingo down.. ahahah!
    How is slapping (and popping) when the bass is strung as yours is? Stil possible?
    Seriously SERIOUSLY considering just pulling a Hendrix here (your style is a bit too advanced)...so much easier getting nice righty basses...:bassist:
  18. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    yes it is, and I have a few videos of me doing it but I don't do it as my main form of playing. remember Hendrix style is a righty bass with the strings on the correct way ( is there really a correct way ?) ....read your PM I just sent you.

    AND if you only spend a hundred or so on the bass, you'll have money leftover to get a better amp than a 25 watt buzz-o-matic special to play thru.

    that is my next question, your starting out..what AMPS are you looking at also?
  19. neonrust


    Jul 25, 2008
  20. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    Do they? No. Did they? Yes.

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