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lefty DB's

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Erythuria, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. hey anyone ever come across a left handed DB? if nto do you think its possible to simply restring a standard one and adjust the nut and bridge?
    i've always wanted to play in an orchestra, but i dont know if they would accept a lefty, what do you think? :bag:
  2. There's only one lefty I can think of by name off hand...Earl May, a jazz bassist who use to work with pianist Billy Taylor. I'm sure there are more...of course. We may even have some here on TB. Also, once our luthiers read your post, i'm sure between them, they've either set up DBs for lefties or know someone who has. I've often wondered about this myself. Hopefully, we'll get some answers.
  3. Gufenov


    Jun 8, 2003
    I think an orchestra would accept you if you held the instrument with your feet and wedged the bow into your navel - if your ability to perform is at an acceptable level. It's not about which hand you use, it's the results that count.

    The newbie links and the search feature will take care of the rest of your questions.
  4. I think an orchestra would accept you if you held the instrument with your feet and wedged the bow into your navel -
    The newbie links and the search feature will take care of the rest of your questions.[/QUOTE]

    You can see by the above comment we're a bunch of serious musicians here. :meh:
    And Do do the search and Newbie Links and let us know!
  5. Wyzird05


    Dec 1, 2003
    South Bend, IN
    I've seen a couple, one was made for a guy that played electric left-handed and didnn't want to try and make the switch. His was made buy Strunal and I've also heard rumors that Englehardt will make a left-handed bass. The Strunal didn't cost him much more than a right-handed bass of the same model. Other than shaping the nut and bridge differently you have to keep in mind switching the bass bar and sound post to the opposite side.
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    There's a guy in San Antonio (Joel Dilly) who plays a 5 string, left handed Pollmann.
  7. mpm


    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Paesold has made them in the past. Jennifer Leitham has one.
  8. Having a lefty in the bass section might wreak a certain amount of havoc, though. He'd (or she'd) always be playing the opposite bow direction, and most of the orchestras I've played with have frowned upon that.
  9. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    I think most orchestras would be less than thrilled about having a single player on the opposite side of his instrument. As Mike side, your bowing would be different- a big distraction both for the other players and also for the audience. Plus, you would have to contort your position to maintain eye contact with the conductor, etc, etc. Have you thought about playing 'righty'. With practice I bet you could play as well as any natural righty.
  10. megan


    Feb 29, 2004
    LA, CA
    just to echo mpm's message. Here's the link to J. Leitham's webpage. http://www.jenniferleitham.com/
  11. Mike, I knew there was something obvious and something we've already covered here on TB....You can't get any more obvious than Jennifer!! Right on Jen!!!
  12. There's a very talented lefty bassist named Steve Varner, based in New Jersey but originally from Harrisburg, who has a lefty bass. It's a prewar Juzek that he bought in a state of disrepair and then had Mike Shank redo it as a left-hander. He told me the worst part was redoing the bass-bar, otherwise the alterations were pretty minor. It's a beautiful instrument, both cosmetically and in tone. I think he ended up spending more to have it redone that he spent for the box itself.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    A friend of mine is left-handed and has his Double Basses set up for left-handed playing -although he only plays Jazz, not orchestral. He said it didn't cost that much more than having the bass set up normally - certainly not prohibitive.
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Ed Howard (Roy Haynes, etc.) is another lefty, but he plays an instrument set up for right handers, just backwards.

    As PETEBEE implies, there's more to making a righty into a lefty than switching the strings. You gotta move the bass bar and the soundpost. Both of which require popping the top, which ain't a cheap proposition.

    As far as orchestral possibilities, that sounds like a searchable/googleable proposition. But I gotta say, most of the time you don't even see cats playing different bows, I'm not sure about how well that bodes for le main gauche.
  15. Nick Ara

    Nick Ara

    Jul 22, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Originally posted by Paul Warburton:

    "There's only one lefty I can think of by name off hand...Earl May, a jazz bassist who use to work with pianist Billy Taylor"

    I almost took lessons from Earl May a couple of years ago. Nice guy and all, and lives just over the Hudson from me. But I found the 'left hand" approach to be a bit disconcerting, for some reason. Then again, face-to-face, it would be like looking into a mirror, right? :rolleyes:

  16. This also make me wonder....Has anyone ever seen like a Kay or an Englehardt in a major orchestra? And would the Principal be the person in charge of weeding out the riff-raff?
    What would he/she say? Hey...You can't bring that in here? What would the standards be?
  17. Kays or Englehardts are extremely rare up here.
    Students play those Strunals, Cremonas ( from Czechoslovakia ) and other plywood basses in student orchestras, though.
    Never seen one in a major orch.
  18. I'm thinking alot of people in charge of orchestras might be a bit anal about it. It seems to me that they want left-handed strings players to learn right-handed technique. I know several violinists who are in this situation, and they do just fine playing it right-handed.

    But that's not my opinion, that's just what I've seen. I have a feeling that they would be more tolerant in a jazz setting, and if you can find an orchestra that's cool with left-handed instruments, then by all means, go for it!

  19. I am a lefty and for 40 years my only bass was a 1956 German plywood of unknown (to me) make. I simply reversed the strings but always yearned for a bass built for left handed playing.

    In 1997 I had Kolstein's build me a 5 string left handed version of their Panormo model. The bass sounds very good to me, and infinitely better than the German plywood. I play, or more correctly, try to play, jazz.

    I have switched a few times between using a high 'C' and a low 'B'. The high 'C' sounds like a banjo string and I have finally settled on the low 'B'. I find that the low 'B' helps my facility on the 'E' string since it is further in from the edge of the fingerboard and there is another string to snap your fingers onto. The 'E' now feels like the 'A' on a four string bass. The 'B' does not speak fast enough for fast passages but is greatly improved when amplified.

    Sorry for mixing two subjects together in my reply.

  20. I know what you mean Howard...that's one of my favorite things about my fiver. And it's one of the most confusing things for someone sitting in on a fiver. They start thinking the B is the E and the E is the A....etc. It's fun to watch them...they'll be plucking on the E and fingering on the A. I've watched some of the greats try to play my Bohmann...it wasn't as easy as it looked. Ron Carter was a riot!!
    I'm sorry as well for getting off on another subject.

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