name, city, instrument, years of playing, current band, gear
 #95959  by sherster2
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:42 am
I've been cruising around the forums recently and decided to join in on the fun. I'm a huge Deadhead, and after reading Phil's book was inspired to pick up the bass. I'm 27 and picking up a new instrument... so any help you folks can send my way, please do! My bass is on order and should come in around mid April (sucks being a lefty... they never have anything in stock). I'm in VA and am looking forward to Hampton this Friday! Hope to see some of you folks there...

Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go, we just ride.
 #95961  by Grateful Dad
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:02 am
It's great that you are going to be playing bass. There are several very good bass players on this site who will definitely help you as they helped me "search for the sound" too.

I recommend:

learning the basics first (bass clef reading/theory/progressions) from a Mel Bay type book. Only because I did it when I was invited to join a band and play bass in it. One book in particular sped up my bass playing and understanding of bass melody/grooves was "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" a tribute to the works of James Jamerson (by just about every top bassist in the business).

And play with others as much as possible.

Good luck, and enjoy the site.

G. Dad

 #95962  by gr8fullfred
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:08 am
If you have already ordered a new bass its too late for this advise, but here goes anyway.

It does not matter if you are left handed or right handed, you can still learn to play right handed "regular" guitar. I am left handed and learned to play "regular" guitar. Since you are just picking up the instrument, and you have to learn from the beginning, it does not matter which way you learn. I am proof that a left handed person can learn to play right handed guitar. Since both of your hands need to learn alot, I see no basic advantage that your normal dominate hand need to be the fretting hand. Chances are, if you really wanted to, (and I am not suggesting that you do this), you could change from being a left handed person to a right handed person.

The advantage in learning to play right handed ("regular") is that you can pick up most anyone's instrument and be able to play it. For guitarists this is big, if you are sitting around the campfire thing and just want to play a couple of songs or whatever. Or if you want to sit in for a song or two here or there. Not to mention you options in the used market for instruments is larger for right handed instruments.

One friend of mine plays plays left handed, but its the reverse stringed flip the right handed guitar over style. He is a great player, but it drives you insane if you look at his hands.

Wishing you the best, Fred
 #95963  by strumminsix
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:17 am
Welcome! I agree with Fred.

I'd learn righty unless your whole life you've been air-guitaring left handed!
 #95964  by sherster2
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:22 am
Fred and Strumminsix - I actually toyed with the guitar (right-handed) in High School and took lessons every week and everything, but it never felt natural. Therefore, I could never get committed to really playing a lot. And indeed, I have been air guitaring lefty for my whole life... so I'm gonna stick with lefty playing and see how it works out for me. Again, thanks for the tips though!

Grateful Dad - Thanks for the advice on what books to check out. I'll definitely pick those up. I'm going to head over to the "Phil's Sound" board to seek more bass advice.
 #95965  by tcsned
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:29 am
Welcome aboard! What part of VA do you hail from? There's a ton of folks on the board from the great Commonwealth of VA. I'm in Hokie-land (Blacksburg). We'll be in Hampton for the shows.

As to the lefty-righty thing, I am a natural lefty but play right handed, as is gr8fulfred - there's a bunch of others some famous ones including one of my favorite guitarists, Steve Morse. I am an odd case as I went to catholic schools and had the "Sisters of No Mercy" beat left-handedness out of me so I do a lot of things right handed. I didn't know that there were such things as left handed or right handed guitars when I started playing and just picked up my brother's and went at it. Some folks make a conscious choice. Having your dominant hand on the fretboard has some advantages especially for a guitar player, for bass I would almost think that having your dominant hand playing the strings might be better as solid timing is most crucial for bass. I could be wrong, I'm a shitty bassist . . . I like to blame the nuns :lol: Once you start down a path it's hard to switch up - I'm a total spaz when I try to play left handed. It is possible to go either way when you start, proof of this is the fact that they don't make left handed violins, violas, cellos, or upright basses (at least in the classical world) for the simple reason of orchestra symmetry - you can't have one lefty violin going the wrong way, it doesn't look right.

 #95966  by sherster2
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:36 am
Hey there tcsned in Blacksburg, I'm in Lynchburg, so about 2 hours away from Blacksburg. Glad to know that VA is representing strong here, and thanks for the bass tips. See ya' in Hampton...
 #95967  by tcsned
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:47 am
sherster2 wrote:Hey there tcsned in Blacksburg, I'm in Lynchburg, so about 2 hours away from Blacksburg. Glad to know that VA is representing strong here, and thanks for the bass tips. See ya' in Hampton...
Right on! My wife is from Lynchburg (Amherst and Madison Heights more than the actual city). We visit there all the time. I love the Texas T-Room for cheesey westerns and chili dogs. We got married at her brother's house in Madison H. My band plays in Roanoke a lot which isn't too far. Our bassist is really good - he's a much better musician than I am and is worth checking out sometime. I think we'll be in Rke on Arpil 30th at some club called Schooners.
 #95977  by ugly rumor
 Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:01 am
Welcome to the forum!! So you know, Phil is also left-handed, but plays right-handed. I found this out when he signed my bass, many years ago in Philly. A very innovative and unconventional bassist. I don't know what part of Virginia you are in, but if you are anywhere close to Arlington, don't miss the upcoming MOONALICE show at IOTA. Pete Sears is an incredible bassist; he'll blow you away! not in the Phil Zone, but one of the best I've ever seen. I'm from Roanoke, but live in Colorado now. Happy exploring in the bottom end!