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Help - I'm a beginner and a leftie! Is there hope?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bogmon, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Bogmon


    Apr 7, 2005
    Hereford UK
    Hi guys. I'm new here and need some help...
    Just starting out and I want to learn bass real quick as my son is now getting real hot on the drums. He doesn't seem to mind the prospect of the occasional session with an old fart, so here goes....
    I'm determined to learn on a good 5 string, but can't find a left hander. Yamaha do a nice one, but is out of my price range at £800+. My max is around £350. Are there any leftie 5 stringers out there?
    I love the playing of Jaco, Victor Bailey, Tom Kennedy, Richard Bona etc.
  2. Musicfreak1988


    Feb 2, 2005
    Yep, there's hope. I'm a lefthanded bassplayer myself and a couple of years ago, I bought a cheap lefthanded model. Currently, I'm using a lefthanded Musicman Stingray... (I still have my first bass, though ... and I'm beginning to feel G.A.S. for a Yamaha fiver...) At the moment, I'd say try one of those Yamaha BB-414 or even a BB-614. They come in lefthanded versions. If you have more bucks to spend, you can take a look at the Yamaha TRB-1005 or a secondhand TRB-5II. To prove I'm not a Yamaha-promo-man: Fender makes lefthanded American P-basses, lefthanded American Deluxe J-basses, Mexican J-basses and the Squier division also makes something lefthanded. Then there's Hot Wire, Sandberg, G&L, Musicman, Valenti, Warwick, Lakland, Sadowsky, ... I'm sure I haven't even mentioned a third of all the brands that make lefthanded basses... Take a look on www.leftybass.com too... For £350, which is around 560 euros, I don't have any idea... That's the bad part of being a lefthanded player. It's a cheap bass, or an expensive one... The fact that you're looking for a fiver makes it even harder... I'd say check eBay or look for a secondhand model...
  3. :cool: What you could do is what a few guys I know did, they're both left-handed. One bought what is commonly called a "right-handed" bass, the other a "right-handed" guitar. Since both were beginners, they had no mental or physical prejudice to overcome. Both are doing fine.

    You see, left-handed, right-handed business is really a misnomer. There is really no such thing in instruments. People call 'em that, but check your history.

    I've talked with a couple of neurologists about this and both told me that it's really a mental thing for the most part, not physical. In fact, one told me that a left-hander should actually have a better time with a "right-handed" guitar than a "left-handed" one. Since the fingering is far more complicated than the picking, requiring more dexterity, the left hand doing the fingering should do a better job.

    But you do whatever you feel comfortable with. Just thought I'd pass this on.
  4. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    Warwick's RockBass Corvette comes in a lefty model with no upcharge, according to the website.

    Of if you can find a used German Warwick... I know Warwick's German line is very lefty friendly in that they don't have an upcharge for lefty models on any of their basses. But Warwicks are a whole 'nother price point.

    MTD's Kingson bass comes in a lefty version with an upcharge.
  5. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    I do almost everything with my left hand

    I play bass right handed

    its easier than you think.
  6. indeed, just play a righty bass, you'll get over it :p
  7. darkfish01


    Feb 11, 2005
    San Marcos, Tx
    I'm lefthanded and use a righty bass. If you can't beat em, join em I say!
  8. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I am a lefty, I play righty bass. Theres so many advantages to this. You can play anybody elses bass (assuming that they are right handed). It's easier to buy and sell right handed basses. You just have to get over a small speed bump, because you naturally will want to play a lefty bass at fitst, but after even a month learning the righty way, you will only be able to play the righty way.
  9. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    On the other hand, if you don't want anyone and everyone handling your bass, then the lefty model bass has the advantage.
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I'm a mutant: genetically left handed, conditioned right because of an early childhood injury. I only do two things right handed: play bass and write. Everything else I do as though I were still left handed.
    If you've not established the neural pathways yet you are neither left nor right handed for a given task.
  11. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Schecter makes quite a few lefty handed bass models. You can find some pretty good deals on them.
  12. Bogmon


    Apr 7, 2005
    Hereford UK
    Thanks for great advice.
    There are underlying questions of principle and psychology going on here, which are possibly interesting subjects for further threads. The upshot for me and possibly other lefties is that I don't see why right should be seen as right and left should be seen as wrong.
    I really am very left handed and it would be a struggle to switch to playing a rightie instrument (I used to play leftie acoustic, so the neural pathways are probably now etched in stone from that).
    Thanks to your help guys, I now have some great leads on some great leftie basses. Keep it coming.....
  13. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I play lefty, and have had no problems findring good instruments. If you want to play lefty, don't allow anybody to talk you out of it. I find myself getting more and more frustrated by people trying to get lefties to play righty; I never see those guys tell a righty to play lefty!

    Dean makes an inexpensive 5 that sounds good. Musicyo sells a Steinberger lefty 5, and a Tobias lefty 5; I'm sure the Tobias is nice, but don't know about the Steinberger. I think they have a Kramer also, but I'm not a fan of those at all. Rondo music sells several lefty instruments for dirt cheap. I believe Rondo and Musicyo ship worldwide.
  14. Mobay45

    Mobay45 The artist formerly known as "Big Daddy"

    Apr 28, 2004
    Irving, TX
    I'm another lefty playing righty. But when I started playing back in '80, a lefty bass was hard to find and only came in top end models. Now you can find lefty basses in all price ranges. Whichever way you learn is good though.
  15. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Even before I knew which way was left or right, I picked up and played instruments lefty, and it was natural to me. When I tried it righty, it felt unnatural, uncomfortable and just "not right" :p
    So there you have it.
    Maybe as above some think of this the other way, but I think that is bs. It comes down to the individual player, and how it feels.

    As for basses:
    Warwick Rockbass - can be a bit hard to find, but ask dealers nearby.
    used Warwick - maybe you find one around
    importing from SX / Essex: They are cheap, but very good price/value ratio
    Yamahas are good, but unfortunately a bit pricey in Europe

    Look out for used basses; also, eBay can be useful.

    Good luck!
  16. WarwickFan


    Feb 7, 2005
    You know there might some of truth to that. A good friend and ex-bandmate of mine is a lefty and plays right. Also, another guy I know has an acoustic guitar and he plays it left handed and he is a righty. They both say kind of the same thing, feels more natural to have your dominant hand on the neck. Me I'm a righty and play righty.
  17. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Yamaha RBX 270L
    left handed 4 string;
    bolt-on neck,
    24 frets;
    PJ pickups;
    alder body;
    available in two colours

    £249 from the Bass Gallery in London.
  18. :cool: Before any of you "lefties" get your liver in a quiver, let me explain where I'm coming from.

    My Son is a lefty; and I've never done anything to force him to do anything one way or the other. He writes lefthanded, throws a baseball lefthanded, is a switch hitter in baseball (but is better at batting righthanded), uses sissors lefthanded, handles tools lefthanded. Overall, he's definitely a lefty, with a few exceptions.

    However, as you all know, the world is more geared to a righthanded person. Not saying it's right, or wrong, just a fact. When he indicated a desire a few years ago to play the guitar, and/or bass, I was curious about which way to start him. I again, didn't want to force anything. Again, as you all know, the guitar/bass world is far better, selection wise, for a righthander than a lefthander.

    So, I decided to do some research. I dug into various things and even tracked down a couple of neurologists who were willing to give me some of their time. Result was that I decided just to hand him a guitar, in this case right handed. His hands had no training, so the neurologist told me it shouldn't really matter, especially since he shows "righty" tendancies with some things. He didn't do well. I then bought him a "lefty" guitar. He still didn't do well. He decided to stick with his drums.

    As stated, he's also a drummer (been playing drums since the 4th grade and is a 9th grader now) and he plays his drums just like vitually every drummer I've ever worked with in the 45+ years I've been playing. I'm also a clarinetist and a saxophonist, and their ain't no lefty or righty versions of these two instruments that I've ever seen. I haven't seen any lefty vs righty pianos or organs. I haven't seen any lefty vs righty brass instuments either, although a few of them can fairly easily be played either way.

    I guess the bulk of what I've read, on-line, in the library, and what I've been told by people who are supposedly knowledgeable about these things, is that: Whether or not you do some things with your left or right hand will come naturally. Other things you will chose based upon what other's will lead you into. Musical instruments is one of the "lead into" classes of activities according to most of the "experts".

    Believe what you want to, trust what you believe. I was only trying to pass on what I've learned in trying to do the best I can as a caring Father for my Son. I certainly wasn't trying to "force" anyone to do anything. I also wasn't tying to make "light" of the problems that lefty's face in this predominantly righty world.

    Good luck to anyone who ventures into music. It's a wonderful experience fraught with more pitfalls due to gear selection than one can imagine. I wish all of you lefty's the best, especially my Son!!!!