Lefty but AllRighty

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by joshuadick, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. joshuadick


    Mar 15, 2005
    I'm new to double bass (been playing electric for 12 years), and I'm left handed, so some would say I was bound to have a negative first experience in buying an upright.

    I played alot of student/intermediate level basses and decided that for the features I wanted and the price I was willing/able to pay, the Engelhardt ES1 was the one for me: ebony fingerboard and tailpiece, solid construction, etc.
    I called around and found that the folks at Upton Bass www.uptonbass.com in Connecticut were very informative and patient with me. Very cool "real" people. Talked to me 4-5 times before I even placed an order.

    I waited just over a month to have the bass custom made left handed from the factory, but it was worth the wait! I had been practicing on an EUB for a while, but when this bass came, it felt so much more natural and my practice time was much more effective. I've really turned a corner on the instrument and I feel confident that having a great bass like this is much of the reason.

    The bass I bought from Upton played so much better than other ones I'd played locally (Atlanta). It was setup very (VERY) nicely, and Upton actually replaced alot of the stock parts with upgraded parts. The point here is that setup is EVERYTHING on these basses. DO NOT judge this bass unless it's been properly setup by a professional. The purchase price on mine included setup, many upgrades, and even shipping and wasn't much more than what I could have bought a stock bass for locally just a few miles from my house!

    Even my bass teacher is impressed with this bass and all the upgrades that were included in the setup. He's tough to please, and he's even considering buying one of these basses...

    I hope this review helps some folks that are going through what I went through trying to find a bass!
  2. ctcruiser


    Jan 16, 2005
    West Haven, CT
    Welcome fellow southpaw.

    I bought a ES-1 as my first double bass. You are right, it is playable out of the box. But, with a little proper set up work, it sounded so much better. I guess I was lucky, my bass came in after just a few weeks. They must have had it in stock.

    I bought mine from a luthier who was closer to home for me than Upton (and a little cheaper since he is a one-man operation with very low overhead). I had all of the same set up work done that Upton performed on yours except for the tailpiece cable. I will probably go for it when it comes time for new strings.

    For the price, you can't go wrong with an Engelhardt ES-1 for a first bass.
  3. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA
    Another lefty here and I also have been looking at DBs including Upton. I wonder which bass you purchased and if there is an upcharge for the lefty model. I have tried to email Upton but neither of their webpages that have contact information worked for me the other day.

  4. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    Vice President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.

    We were having some probs with the contact forms. Someone exploited a weakness in the script and was using our mail domain to send out thousands of spam emails. :(

    Most of the contact forms are fixed as of today, but one still has problems. you can try us at info@uptonbass.com for direct eMailing.
  5. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    Questions for the leftys:
    are you guys classical players? If so, how do you solve the problem of playing in a section? do you have do go up when they go down and vice versa so it's visually the same? How do you avoid running in to eachother if everyone else plays right handed?
    thanks guys.
  6. avid

    avid born lefty

    Jun 22, 2005
    Ashland, Oregon USA
    I suggest you post your question under a new topic in the Double Bass forum. My research here says that this is question that has come up before with no resolution. Maybe there is no such thing as a classical lefty bassist.
  7. I think if you're interested in ever playing classical it'd be almost mandatory to learn to play right handed, since you're never going to find any really good old instruments that are left handed, not to mention the issues of playing in a section. I've know guys who were left handed, and they all just learned to play right handed, even if they might play electric lefty. Ack, the more I think about it, I think I'd kill myself if my stand partner were left handed... :help:
  8. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    I got a phone call a few years ago from a young teenager that wanted to take up DB. He had been playing BG for a few years, and seemed really keen to play double bass.. He didn't have a bass of his own, but eventually found one in a school that he could borrow to practice.

    So he arrives at the first lesson, and I'm showing him the parts etc, and then ask him to take the bass and OH NO! He's a lefty, and had been playing lefty BG for 3 years. Because I knew that there was no way that he could afford a left handed upright, I decided to try teach him right handed. Turned out he had no problems, progressed really fast, AND he was still practicing BG left handed. The mind boggles.. but imagine the coordination this guy will have if he sticks with it! he could do some serious novelty stuff at gigs!:cool:

    Also, I played in an orchestra with a lefty at college, and he was always a bit bummed that he had to have a stand on his own at the back of the section so that there wouldn't be bowtasrophys. And visually it looks plain weird to see him play like a mirror of the guy next to him!
  9. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    Congrats on getting your lefty bass! That was actually quite fast. Took almost six months to get my Christopher through Bob Beerman's shop in Greensboro. He did a great job on the setup and I like the fatter neck of the Chrissy better than the Englehardts. Bob had ordered a lefty Englehardt because the Chrissy took so long to ship. According to his web site he has a lefty Englehardt and a Strunal in stock.

    No plans to play classical here. I'm playing jazz and bluegrass enough that I'm neglecting my arco practice.
  10. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    +1 on the positive vibe from Upton. I live nearby and just dropped off my beater Kay there. They offered to fix the main thing that needed repair (regluing some delaminating ribs) overnight!