1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Which hand to play with?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ZUR13L, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. ZUR13L


    Feb 29, 2008

    I am lefty and can't decide whether to play left-handed or right-handed. I have much better rhythm with my right hand (so playing righty would make sense) but whenever I play um, air-bass :eyebrow: my right hand is fretting. It just feels more natural that way. I have spent hours in stores looking like a weirdo strapping on a lefty bass, then right, then left.

    I know it sounds silly, I just don't want to spend countless more hours learning one way, only to decide to go the other.

    So, I guess it boils down to: Which is more important, that the picking hand have good rhythm or that holding the entire instrument feel natural?


  2. nickn


    Oct 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    If it feels more natural playing left-handed, then play left-handed. I'm right-handed, but when I play hockey I play as a lefty because it feels more natural to me that way -- and I'm a far better player when I play lefty. :)
  3. Well, IMHO, you should check if you could use your left hand as your fretting hand,
    if this does works. Go right-handed. Rhythm is very important, so that's a plus in my book.
    A friend of mine is a lefty and plays right-handed. He never regreted it. It's also easier to find right-handed bass guitars.
    But you should choose whichever feels best.
  4. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    I'm left handed, but I play righty. I didn'nt have much of a choice back when I started playing, (30 years ago!), lefty basses were kinda hard to come by. If it doesn't feel too wierd, you may want to think about playing righty just out of convenience. More basses to choose from in the stores, you can jam on other peoples basses more readily, and you can stand on the hi-hat side of the drummer without your bass hitting the cymbals!
  5. artdrtr


    Jan 24, 2008
    Redondo Beach, CA
    I am left handed and play left handed -- its cool and all, but unless you want serious GAS pains that can never be cured...play right handed.
  6. von buck

    von buck

    Feb 22, 2008
    wolcott ct.
    If that's the case your halfway there. Lefties have learnt right handed, but it's an extra stuggle. If your left handed and it feels comfortable then learn that way.
    Sure, your limited in what you can find at the stores, but left handed stuff is out.
  7. ZUR13L


    Feb 29, 2008
    If anyone else has any more input, I'd like to hear it.

    This one threw me though. lol Gas pains?
  8. GAS = gear acquisition syndrome. It's when you want to buy gear badly.

    Check this thread.

    There are many leftys who play right handed. Go with your gut and stick with it. I'm lefty. There's been times where I thought about switching to left handed basses even though I play right handed, but it's all a matter of time and dedication to practice.
  9. sarcastro83


    Jul 27, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Generally you'd want to use the hand opposite the one you refer to as your "Pimp Hand". I've found that the movements and muscle memory involved in pimping are cancelled out by bass playing.
  10. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    I'm also a lefty playing righty, as I've said several times before here. (There has been a lot of threads on this subject).

    I guess if I would have started with a left-handed guitar when I was a kid, I would likely:

    + have a faster plucking hand (I'm rather slow).
    + be a better slapper (I just don't feel I have the coordination as good as it should be for slapping. It's a bit like the fact you never learn to write really properly with your wrong hand).
    + have learned to play in time quicker. Nowadays I'm quite good at it, I used to be much sloppier.
    - have a stiffer and slower fretting hand.

    This is however very individual and other lefties playing righty don't necessarily share these views...
  11. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm a lefty and play righty and glad of it. The whole left versus right is a mind issue more than physical thing. If you wanted to play most other instrument there is no choice and you just play righty without thinking about it. Then there is the issue of getting lefty gear your choices are limited compared to righty. Some say it is advantage for a lefty to play righty, that your dominant hand will be for the fingerboard.
  12. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Uh, our drummer is left handed. And he sets his drums up left handed. Which is no big deal for a drummer, unlike a guitarist or bassist. And I'm a right handed bassist. And I sometimes hit his cymbals with my headstock.

    What you need to do is play left handed AND find a left handed drummer. Problem solved.

    I'm not makin' trouble, I'm just sayin'...;)
  13. scrove


    Mar 7, 2005
    Also lefty playing righty. I picked up my first bassin 4th grade, and never thought of playing it the other way. (Wow, I guess I've been playing for like 14 years now. yikes.)

    I actually like it because I feel that it's better that my fretting hand is my dominant hand.

    Also, do you have any idea how hard it is to find a left handed amp?!
  14. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    I'd like to add a few words to my previous post.

    I've always felt rather limited when it comes to speed and endurance. I'm quite sure that if I had been given a left-handed instrument when I was young, I would have been much faster. There is a clear difference between the right and left hand. For some people the difference isn't that big but for others like me it is. For instance, I simply can't tap my fingers on the table as fast and consistently with my right hand as I can with my left hand. That's how I'm built. Although it is possible to get better with practicing, I feel my hands will will never become equal in this perspective.

    I have improved a lot after doing of speed and endurance exercises (check the exercise sticky in the "technique" forum) and I have adapted the "economy of motion" thinking, but I still haven't been able to play 16ths in a tempo over 100bpm for a whole song. I can temporarily do a few sixteenths at 140-150bpm but that's about it. Speed isn't everything, but I feel my lack of speed is my biggest limiting factor.
  15. ZUR13L


    Feb 29, 2008
    And that, right there, is my concern. I am the reverse; I am left-handed, moreover, I am left armed. That is to say, I play air bass lefty.

    However, I tap my fingers much more quickly and consistently with my right hand than I do with my left. :confused:

    The other thing you said regarding practice intrigues me though. It would be an interesting experiment to see play out; I am left-handed. I spend the next, say, 5 years practicing plucking with both hands. My right is faster now; will my left eventually surpass it? :eyebrow:

    Righties everywhere are checking into chiropractic clinics with herniated disks from rolling their eyes so hard...

  16. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    Lefty playing righty. Vast majority do down here.

    For me, it's however I learn the instrument/sport. I cut using normal scissors.....no prob. I bowl both......golf right..... shoot left (that's an eye issue though)... use a bow and arrow right... whatever. I even use a pencil sharpener righty.......that's the way the thing works.

    It's all going to feel awkward at first. But, like I told a girl today who said she would have to play left handed because she is ( and she didn't want to stand out so she wasn't gonna learn bass ?!)..... the left hand moves more and does a lot more work! Uses all four fingers too. A "smarter" left hand comes in handy. It's all in the brain...... if everytime you're not fast enough your going to blame the fact that you are a lefty playing righty.....that's brain power better used to practice with. I don't care which hand you are......it will just feel awkward and slow at first :).

    Consider this also.......you'd have a heck of a time sharing a stage with two right handed guitar players.

    I am confused on something.......why on earth would it matter which hand a drummer is (as for whacking cymbals)? Every kit I've seen (including mine) has cymbals on both sides......so why would you be whacking into a cymbal with a headstock more on a lefty kit? Oh yea.......I play drumset right handed too. Don't get the whole lefty thing on instruments.........:bag:
  17. nbw


    Nov 10, 2003
    Arlington Texas
    Another lefty who plays right handed. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO glad that I did too.
    In all honesty though, both hands do weird things, be it tapping/finger plucking/slapping or strumming.. It isn't like one hand is doing the majority of the work.
  18. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I'm left handed and play right handed. Like people said, it's going to be awkward when you start no matter what hand you choose.

    I do everything lefty (and look like a fool when I try the opposite... except drive I guess?) but with bass, I just worked at it a lot and I haven't come into any abnormal problems with speed, slap, picking, plucking. The only thing I noticed is that my left hand seemed to have a bit better rhthym (don't know how) but even that I've made huge strides in lately.

    To each's own I suppose. Hell, worst case you can always switch. :)
  19. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Playing bass is a two-handed activity, requiring strength and accuracy from both hands. Don't believe that you should play left handed bass just because you write with your left hand.

    I write with my left hand but play bass right handed. I throw with my left, play pool with my left, hold tools with my left... but with my right I swing a cricket/baseball bat, throw a punch, touch myself inappropriately, etc. It totally depends on what feels comfortable for you.
  20. Fnord Explorer

    Fnord Explorer

    Feb 3, 2008
    I'm a lefty that learned guitar as a lefty and when I finally wanted to buy a "real" instrument, I couldn't afford lefty instruments.

    So I just retaught myself right-handed and adapted alright. I don't really believe in left-vs.-right handed in terms of instruments anyway. Do they make left-handed pianos?

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.