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Left or right handed bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Kaboom, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    Ok, so i'm a confused kid and i don't know whether i'm left or right handed.
    i know this sounds really stupid, but when i was a kid it wasnt clear what hand i was most fluid at using, so my parents forced me to write with my right hand. So now up to this day I write with my right hand.
    HOEVER other activities such as drumming or brushing my teeth (and "others") i do with my left.
    I'm pretty sure i'm gonna start playing bass in a pretty short period of time, and i'm wondering when i get a bass, should it be right or left-handed?
  2. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    It doesn't matter. Just so you know, there's less of a lefty selection of lower end basses, but you can find plenty of stuff in the higher end of things.
    Jinglesmeowmeow likes this.
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i play left handed, not cause i want too, but because i have to...

    having said that - play a righty, you'll be thanking me later! :)
  4. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    mkay i just did a little test and i have quite a bit more agility on my left hand. I hope this helps
  5. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I would definitely learn right handed. I know a few people who were lefties but forced themselves to be righty like the local guitar teacher around here, my friend Dieter, and my sister. Just think about it; you won't be able to try any basses (usually) as a lefty... :bawl:
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I'd say play a right-handed one if you have the choice. The extra dexterity in your left hand will be more useful on a right-handed bass, and you will have a much bigger selection of basses as a righty (many companies charge more for lefty basses).
  7. Basically, unless you already feel much more comfortable playing left handed, I'd say right is a better choirce. If you can't really play either way, it's not too hard to learn one over the other, and right-handedness has many advantages. However, you might like the idea that your bass is unplayable to most of the population... if so, go left-handed!
    Jinglesmeowmeow likes this.
  8. slybass3000

    slybass3000 Banned

    Nov 5, 2004
    That is very interesting because I'm a right hand kind of guy most of the time but the first time I picked up a bass ,it felt natural to play it lefty !!
    So, go for what is natural before anything else. If you play lefty,you'll find a good bass no matter what.
    I can play a right handed bass lefty no problem even when i'm drunk, but there is no way I'll play right handed even with practice!!!!
    Jinglesmeowmeow likes this.


    Jun 27, 2005
    Well, I'm naturally right-handed but when I hold a guitar it doesn't feel natural unless I hold it left-handed. That being said, when I bought my bass I bought a lefty Ibanez because I figured that if the guitar just didn't feel natural in my hands then my desire would wane and the frustration with learning the instrument in the 1st place would make it easier to give up.

    A few things to remember:
    1. Lefty basses will cost more. Mine cost at least $50-75 more than a comparable right-hand model.
    2. Books/instructional videos are overwhelmingly right-hand biased. They say that all you have to do is "reverse" the diagrams for them to apply to the left-hand bassist but they rarely provide things as simple as chord diagrams or a fretboard mapping in "lefty style."
    3. Finding an instructor may be difficult. I've all but given up but wanted to learn to play even if I had to be self-taught.
    4. If you get really good and maybe even go professional, good luck finding a replacement bass on short-notice. I just read an article about a bassist that constantly worried that something would happen to his guitar because he was the only left-handed bassist on the Ozzfest bill.

    Left-handed bass playing just takes a little more effort and dedication on your part. I wouldn't choose to play right-handed just out of convenience or because a bunch of folks say that it's "easier". Do what feels most natural for you since you will have to be the one that lives with it...
  10. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Just like everyone else said, learn RIGHT handed right away! I'm a lefty (before learning bass, I used to play "air guitar" like a lefty), but I forced myself to learn righthanded, and now I'm 100% right handed on guitars and basses and 0% lefthanded.
  11. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Kaboom: when you're on the phone, which ear do you hold the phone to? Just wondering 'cause I heard or read something about lefty-ness being related to your 'favored' ear as well as the other things already mentioned above.

    Just wondering.
  12. Kaboom


    Jun 13, 2005
    always my left ear. I can hear better with my left, and i see better with my left eye too.
    Jinglesmeowmeow likes this.
  13. ladros2


    Jun 2, 2005
    i'm in a similar situation, born lefty, taught righty. i play right handed, and the dextirity in my left hand comes in very useful :bassist: , i really need to get my right hand to keep up... :p

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