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Need advice on bass for left-handed teenager

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PRW94, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. PRW94


    Jul 20, 2012
    Hi, registered for the forum to see if I can get some advice on how to proceed here.

    My son, who will be 18 in August, has played guitar for years and is quite good at it. However, he's now had to take on bass duties with the praise team for morning and evening worship services and praise band for youth services at our church, at the request of our music director. He's picked it up quite quickly and is doing very well at it ... even though he's left-handed and is having to play a right-handed bass upside down, with the strings in the wrong places for him.

    Our music director has assured us that this is a regular thing that he'll be doing. So we're looking to get him a bass to go along with all his guitars (our house looks like a music store between his guitars and mine :).) His birthday is coming up, No. 18 is a big one, so my wife and I and his grandmother are going to put what we were going to do for his birthday present toward a bass, and he'll also likely be putting some of his savings toward the instrument as well. (He's done that on several guitars, including birthday and Christmas presents, and I've had folks get all indignant that "we'd make him pay for his own presents," but we've found that when you make a teenager put some skin in the game, he tends to take better care of things.)

    We're only going to do a bass right now, not an amp. The church owns an amp that he can use until we take step 2 (basically we're going to make sure that this actually IS going to be a regular situation).

    And we aren't wanting to put a mint into a bass, we're looking at a budget of $600 tops and hopefully less (for the same reason I cited in the above paragraph).

    So, we have looked at the following (will have to get online, no lefty basses to be found around here):

    Washburn T14 Taurus, can get one of those with case for a little over $300.

    Spector Legend Classic 4, can get one of those for right at top point of our budget.

    Hofner Icon Beatle Bass, I think they're a little tough to find right now but all the dealers say they're going to be getting more at some point, probably looking at $400 or thereabouts for one of those.

    A Dillion semi-hollow that's supposed to be an exclusive at Adirondack Guitar, which has a lot of lefties available on its site, also would be toward top of budget (I've advised against that because of potential feedback issues, but my son likes hollow bodies).

    A Schecter Stilleto Studio 4 that we can get from Sweetwater's outlet for about half the regular price. (Anyone have any experience with their outlet guitars?

    Can anyone (a.) offer any reviews if you've had experience with these particular instruments; or (b.) suggest anything else we might need to look at or any particular venues we'd need to check? (I did check the classifieds here, didn't see anything.)

    He's not really interested in a Fender-type bass, either Jazz or Precision (if it were me, that's what I would get because they're tested and true and I don't think you can beat the versatility, but unfortunately it's not me). And as far as his musical tastes and playing styles, he's probably going to be more in Paul McCartney/Brian Wilson territory because he's kind of musically out of step with his peers, he's into the Byrds, Tom Petty and the Beach Boys; with his guitars it's all about clean tones, no heavy metal thunder or distortion, and I daresay he'd lean the same way on bass.

    Thanks in advance for any help or input or guidance here.
  2. PJSim


    Jan 16, 2011
    Too bad he's not into fenders , the squier vm line is great and a Jazz or Precision fits the style of the 60's/70's.
    The only bass I've tried of those mentioned is the t-14 and my vm jag is far better sounding imho , also I dont like the neck shape on the t-14.
    If any of those basses mentioned are available in righthand in a store around where you live I suggest trying them just to get a feel of the neck and sound .

    Good luck :)

  3. the wako kid

    the wako kid

    May 11, 2011
    the hofner beatle bass is a good one,and they balance well even if you take a righty and play it lefty,plus,the tiny neck and shorter scale length is easier for transitioning guitarist.I've never tried shecter,but I've heard nothing but good things about the stilletto.spectors are badass basses as well,but based on sight unseen purchasing,I hate to say it but you cant go wrong with the classic looks and tone of fender/squier(in which case he might like a jaguar or mustang because they look a little different).
  4. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I liked the one Icon I tried, but I didn't get it because I liked the Eastwood Classic 4 hollow body more.
  5. velalv

    velalv Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Woodbridge, VA

    I am a lefty who plays at church as well and likes 60's music as well. I keep two fender around, a jazz with round wounds and a p with flats. I started 2.5 yrs ago to fill a need in church.

    I struggle every week with what to bring because I love the old school vibe of
    My p, but it tends not to work as well as my more modern set up at church unless it's just a a three piece, in which case it works great I guess that is why I have two basses. There are some CCM guys (bassist4dalord) who use a flatwound P as well.

    I haven't ever seen anyone use a hollow body, not saying it can't be done, just saying I have not seen it.
  6. UK_Lefty


    Jun 5, 2012
    The Hofner Club (not Beatle style) bass is also available in far east made lefty version... Could be worth considering as its a bit more unusual I think...
    I don't think you can go wrong with a Fender Jazz for versatility and classic sounds and stylings, and with the Squier VM series there are the 70s J bass and 60s style J bass available in lefty. The Mexican Fender Jazz bass is a good solid bass that you can upgrade over time, though maybe better value in the Squier range.
  7. starmann

    starmann Flats and Fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    Schecter makes a very high quality bass for the money. I've played a stilletto studio 4 and you can't beat it for its price.

    I've used Sweetwater in the past and have had good experiences. If you go that route, you get a "personalized" rep. I've used Brad Moline and have always been happy... If so, tell him Jeff from Nashville recommended him. His service has been very good.
  8. belimad


    Mar 2, 2011
    London, UK
    Quality-wise, the Schecter stiletto is the best of the lot. I would also consider second-hand (ebay and leftybassist.com are your best bet), you can get pretty decent basses in the 600 range.
  9. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Ibanez Sr and Esp Ltd do a few lefties in imports. Worth checking out.
  10. PRW94


    Jul 20, 2012
    Followup ... we visited the closest Guitar Center to us today, just to check out some things, he actually only played one lefty bass they happened to have, an Ibanez. I wanted him to try some righty ones just to get a feel of how they played and sounded. He also played a Fender, a Squier, a Schecter ... and a righty Hofner Icon they had. And he wants a Hofner. I tried it myself and the light weight did take some getting used to, plus I made sure he knew that he couldn't abuse this bass being that it was hollow and lightweight. But plugged in, it just had a different sound than all the others and he seemed to adapt to it so quickly and get the sound dialed in so quickly even though he still was playing upside down. He didn't want to put it down, I think it was the issue of it being maybe more easy to adapt from guitar to bass and back with the Hofner. So we're scouring for a lefty Hofner (eyeing some on eBay right now). Thanks for the input!
  11. I like the idea of a Hofner Club bass. I saw Wilco back in December. John Stirrat switched between a Darkstarred Lakland and a Hofner Club.

    No feedback issues at concert volume...

    It's cool that your son is a lefty who plays that way. When I first picked up guitar and bass, right-handed instruments were all that was available. I started on one of my brother's hand-me-downs. He's right-handed.
  12. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    Does he not like playing upside down? I've always wanted to try it. Dick dale plays upside down...just a fun fact
  13. PRW94


    Jul 20, 2012
    You wouldn't believe how many people tried to get us to force him into being right-handed when he was a toddler. But he's about as dominant a left-hander as it's possible to be, in everything he does, and we figure that's the way he was made and who were we to try to change him, LOL! We've been fortunate in finding some really good deals on quality lefty stuff for him, just takes a little shopping around.
  14. I'm surprised no one has suggested a ray 34 not a bad bass for the money either ! Plenty of those lefties available.


    Nov 6, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I own a lefty Schecter Stilleto 8-string and it's pretty well made, so ignore the "I've never heard anything good about them" guy. (hint: Anyone who just throws that out so matter-of-factly on any subject isn't helping the conversation.) That one is probably in the outlet due to finish flaw or something negligible like that. I have some pretty high-end Carvins to compare it to, and though it's not a 'boutique bass', it certainly holds it's own in the cost/quality ratio.

    Ibanez SG's can be picked up fairly cheap. I have one from the early 90's and still pick it up on occasion. Ibanez have skinny, fast necks and are easy to play.

    Another poster mentioned the Eastwood Classic 4. I've actually been considering one of those myself. There are a few video reviews of those if you look around. They seem decent for the price.
  16. velalv

    velalv Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2010
    Woodbridge, VA
    Call southpaw guitars in Houston. They have 3 or 4 Hofners in stock and are a wealth of knowledge. The owner also likes CCM and Beatles, and knows both genres intimately. I would trust his judgement.
  17. bootsox


    Apr 28, 2012
    Biloxi, MS
    I'd personally suggest the Spector or the Schecter. I'm not a fan of Washburn but that's just a personal thing. I can't stand Hofner basses and would be baffled if anyone said they liked them. I'm not familiar with Dillon basses.
  18. heynorm


    Oct 21, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    "You wouldn't believe how many people tried to get us to force him into being right-handed when he was a toddler. But he's about as dominant a left-hander as it's possible to be, in everything he does, and we figure that's the way he was made and who were we to try to change him, LOL! We've been fortunate in finding some really good deals on quality lefty stuff for him, just takes a little shopping around."

    Yes, too bad he's not into Fender as the Squier basses are a great deal these days. They play good too.
    FYI, I don't remember this so much but have been told when my kindergarten teacher kept trying to 'convert' me to righty my mom came down to the school and let them have it! I learned the 'wrong' way sneaking in my brother's room and teaching myself when he was at work.
  19. I'm very left hand dominant too. Although I'm able to do a lot of things right handed out of necessity.

    I wasn't forced to play right-handed instruments, but only instruments available and in my price range (free!) were right-handed.

    Please let us know which bass your son ends up with...

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