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Found out why I suck so bad... or Need Left Handed Bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ely, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Heh. This whole time I've wondered why bass has felt so wrong to me. I've always loved it, but my fretting hand always tried to go in the opposite direction of what I was playing. So I always thought it was just that I sucked. But I can play other instruments good enough. Why can't I play bass or guitar? Then I went to the store to try out basses and I picked up a p-bass. I wasn't paying attention at the time, but it was a lefty. It felt so much more natural in my hands, and I could actually play and sound GOOD. It was crazy! Ever since then I started watching my hands more, and I came to realize that I use my left hand for almost everything! I use my right hand to write and to pick up heavy objects, but I use my left hand primarily to type and other such activities.

    Well anyway, getting to the point now. I just recently got a $400 5-string bass, and I haven't played it that much. And now I want to start over, this time with a 4-string lefty. Have any suggestions? I'm getting a job soon so my price limit should be abot $600-800, but I want a GOOD left for my money.

    Thanks for any suggestions, and sorry for rambling. Anyways, it's 5:27AM and I'm gettin tired.

  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Hm, usually writing and lifting heavy things is done with your strong hand, unless you've been "righted" in school. That would make you a weak right-hander or ambidextral.

    I'm a lefty who plays right-handed (there's a lot of people like that, even here at TB), and I don't think it hindered me, in fact I think it's an advantage, even if it's only that you don't need a lefty bass.
  3. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    hrm. Well Ambidexterity does run in my family, my father is a lefty, but he learned to play right handed just as good as he could left handed, and he can do anything but write with his right hand just as good as he can with his left. Well I guess I'll just keep on trying with the righty for the time being.
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Ely, what about picking up an inexpensive lefty (Essex, Steinberger Spirit, whatever) to test your theory?
  5. If you can play right try it, but if you can't don't. But remember that leftys are seriously descriminated against in almost every facet of bass playing. From selection to options, they miss out. A friend of mine is constantly complaining about how he has to test most of the basses he plays upside down just because a store doesn't carry the lefty version.

    For example, I went to check out a local music store for Sterlings, and they had 3 or 4 righty ones, and no leftys. Another store I went to when I was checking out some P basses had a grand total of 1 lefty bass in the entire store, a MIM Jazz. That was out of about 30 instruments.

    So just a word of caution before you jump into the not-so-fun world of lefty bassist.
  6. IMO, Carvin is worth checking out, since all options are also available for lefties (err, I think?).
  7. lsimy

    lsimy Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Virginia, USA
    It's totally understandable. I'm a righty who plays bass lefty. In fact I have met a few people who are the same. For me, I cannot fret for beans with my left hand and years ago when I picked up a friend's righty guitar in the lefty direction, it just felt right.

    One time, I asked a girl I was dating, "do you think I should just buckle down and learn to play righty?" Her response was, "I don't think so. Tell me, how do you feel when you find a lefty bass somewhere?" I mentioned, "like a lost rare treasure discovered and a treat!" She replied, "my thoughts exactly."

    I have a number of lefties and I don't think I will ever switch now since many companies are catering to the lefties now at little to no extra cost.

    Good luck with it !!!!
  8. you're left-handed!
  9. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Yeup.. checkout Carvin. All of the their options are available for left handed basses, and there is no additional charge for a left handed bass!

  10. HighestGround


    May 10, 2003
    Yes being lefty is a huge problem I face everyday, I've spent about 6 months trying to find a place I can test a left handed Stingray in London and I've just found one! However it does help when your teacher is left handed and enjoys lending his Wal Custom 5-String with Seymour Duncan pickups to me!*dances*

  11. whiteshadow


    Jul 3, 2001
    My dad and I are both lefties who play right-handed. I'm just assuming that I play right-handed because my dad always did, and he plays right because when he was a kid he mangled a finger on his right hand that makes him unable to fret with his right hand. I've always wondered if I could be better if I played left, but I'll never know. I tried a lefty bass once, and it sure felt like crap. O well...
  12. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    Consider Warmoth, you can get any of their parts in lefty at no additional charge. From what I hear, Warmoth has excelent quality, and I'm sure it shouldn't cost much more than your budget.
  13. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Sounds like somebody is maybe a winds player...? I know when I first started guitar I was a bit backwards kinda like how he explained it, just came from being used to going "down" an instrument making the notes lower, maybe took me about a month to break that though. I dunno, just a thought.
    Personally I would much rather (even if I was a lefty) learn how to play right handed stringed instruments, just because of the fact that you have many more instrument options, but that may be besides the point.
    IMHO playing an instrument is foreign to the body either way. So just all it takes is to get accustomed to the way the instrument is meant to be played then practice until its comfortable. But, as I said, just my own stupid opinions. :)
    Good luck with whichever you choose.
  14. when I went to buy my first bass, I immediately called for lefty basses...and the manager told me that he's a lefty that plays righty, and that my best bet would be to play righty...there are many advantages, you know.

    I mean, we play sports right hand oriented, we hold video game remotes right hand oriented, scissors, car driving, a lot of things. I honestly don't see what the big deal is or anything about a lefty not going to play righty.. overtime all you do is develope more coordination, at least that's what I have noticed.

    We are lefties in a right hand oriented world and there really isn't much we can do.
  15. What's so hard about buying a lefty bass?

    In this day and age there really is no excuse for lefties playing righty unless they just flat-out want to.

    If you do certain significant things (like eating, writing, pitching) left-handed then you'd be better off playing a lefty bass.

    Not playing lefty due to "poor instrument selection" is a weak excuse. Name a mainstream manufacturer or a high-end builder who offers no lefties.

    I don't think I'll ever believe that a genuine lefty person would be at some kind of musical bass playing advantage by playing a righty instrument. To me that seems like complicating matters, handicapping one's abilty, or just making things unduly more challenging.
  16. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Another vote for Carvin!
  17. Well, it is certainly better to be a righty!

    1- More options: Although some companies don't have this policy, a LOT do. I couldn't get my current bass if I was left handed!)

    2- Cheaper: Sure, some companies again don't practice this, enough still do to make it a pain.

    3- Testing: Let's face it, most people aren't ording custom instruments, therefore they are getting them out of a music store. It is VERY difficult to test out instruments at a music store, and you might end up just testing it upside down. You also will probably end up ordering a LOT more instruments rather then just picking them up at the shop the day you look. This is esspecially troublesome on higher end factory instruments where you want to be sure you like it but perhaps the only lefty you could find was the wrong options, if you find one at all.

    Certainly if you play better left-handed go for it. However if you feel you can develop just as well as a righty, I'd recommend that always. No matter what others say, there is still many problems for leftys simply because they are a minority customer for basses.
  18. That's a big "if". The practicality of a true left-handed person developing as readily doing anything right-handed is routinely overstated.
    The reasons you cited all relate to just the shopping aspect. How about the developing as a bassist aspect? What's a few weeks or months to get the most appropriate instrument?

    Besides, I live in a big music town with as many music stores as any city. I'm the only lefty I know. Every week I hear righties complain about poor selection in the stores. Stores filled with hundreds of right-handed instruments.
  19. HighestGround


    May 10, 2003
    Fender America has stopped producing Left-Handed Basses.

  20. That's because they're waiting for the demand to catch up with the supply. Ask Fender how many are in the warehouse. And it'll take at least two years for all the lefty Fender American basses that are currently hanging in stores to be sold. By that time they'll resume production. In the meantime there will be plenty of lefty models available from Fender. Few manufacturers love to discontinue\recontinue as much as Fender.

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