As I said in part one of this series of guides, you really don’t want to get a cheap first guitar just to save a few bucks, the advantages to buying a cheaper guitar are FAR outweighed by the disadvantages.
This list comprises a number of great quality lefty bass guitars that are still reasonably priced. Any one of them will make a fantastic first guitar and should give you the best possible introduction to your new hobby. I think £250/$400 is a good budget in order to ensure we get something respectable, so all of these guitars weigh in at under this price. Obviously they can be had for much less second hand. These guitars will all hold their value well as they are all well known, respected brands.
Before we look at some choices there are few ideas to take into consideration…
A guitar that appeals to you aesthetically is more likely to be played than one you chose for function, so try and buy a model which you love the looks of if possible. There’s no point in buying an expensive bass which won’t get you inspired to play. There are many different body shapes available so it all boils down to personal preference.
As with electric guitars you will need to buy a bass guitar which has a shape fit for its purpose. For example if you are going to be sitting down practicing in your bedroom then you’ll need to buy a shape that will comfortably sit within your lap and doesn’t dig into your chest.
Number of Strings
Your traditional bass guitar will generally have 4 strings tuned EADG from low to high. Bass guitars are available with 5, 6 or more strings but if you are starting out it is generally recommended to start out with the standard 4-string so as not to go into information overload! In saying that, you don’t have to use the extra strings until you are ready, so it’s down to the individual.
Number of Pickups
Some bass guitars will have a single pickup whilst others may have two. If you simply want concentrate on learning to play rather you may find that a single pickup bass will suit your needs fine. If you’d like a little more versatility and tweakability then you may want to consider a model with two pickups.
Full Size or Short Scale?
If you already play guitar you might be interested in choosing a short scale bass so as not to mess up your muscle memory. Likewise if you are a smaller person these may be a good option to start out on. However, their smaller size does come with a few trade-offs and they won’t sound quite as good as their big brothers..
Here are a few great beginner bass models for the aspiring lefty bassist…
This handsome natural-finish bass features a soft maple body and one-piece maple neck with sharp-looking black binding and block inlays on the 20-fret maple fingerboard. That soulful sound emanates from a pair of single-coil Duncan Designed™ Jazz Bass pickups; other features include chrome hardware and machine heads, a three-ply pickguard and a four-saddle chrome bridge.
Easy to play, the left-handed Squier P-Bass Special is responsive and flexible. The slim, comfortable neck is matched to a solid agathis body fitted with a traditional split single-coil P-Bass pickup and a J-Bass® pickup in the bridge position for tonal versatility. Quality touches include multi-ply pickguards, chrome dome knobs and a choice of four finish options.
The Ibanez GSR200 4-String Bass is a hot little bass with nice balance and feel for a very friendly price. Features an agathis body, super comfy one-piece maple neck, rosewood fretboard, pearl dot inlay, split-coil and single-coil pickup array, active EQ with Phat II Bass Boost, chrome hardware, a fully adjustable bridge, and medium frets.
The SR300 4-string electric bass is priced like a beginner’s instrument, but it has features that make it anything but a cut-rate starter axe. First off, it has a 5-piece SR4 maple/rosewood neck and light, agathis body with smooth rounded edges, and a deep, lower cutaway for better access to the upper frets. The dual EXF-4 pickups and an upgraded 3-band Style Sweeper EQ deliver improved overall sound whether you’re grooving on the low-end for some crunchy classic rock, or working the full fretboard for a more pop sound.
A terrifically playable starter instrument with a 34″ scale and a hard rock-maple neck with rosewood fretboard. The basswood body has a quilt top that delivers the visuals while string-thru-body routing and 2 hum-canceling single-coil pickups deliver the goods sonically.
The Vintage EST96 features genuine Wilkinson hardware, tuners and pickups for added tone and response and ease of playability. The substantial-looking Wilkinson WSM4 bass guitar pickup offers equally substantial bass sounds. Large diameter polepieces arranged in humcancelling double coil format offer the bassist a meaty range of solid bass tones.The Vintage EST96 bass will get you right where you want to be on bass – in the thick of the musical action.
If a P-Bass design is more your thing then you may consider picking up a Vintage V4 P-Bass replica. The classic split coil pickup design V4 bass guitar, powered by Alnico V magnets for maximum low end tone, is very much in keeping with the authentic looks and feel of this style of versatile and capable.
This one is for all of you USA residents. Just as with left handed electric guitars, RondoMusic is absolutely one of the best places to obtain well-priced quality left handed bass guitars. Prices range from $100 to $400 and almost any style of bass can be found here, whatever your budget. http://www.rondomusic.com/BassLeft.html
Hopefully a few of these will tickle your fancy and get you on the road to 4-string heaven and beyond! Leave a comment if you feel there is a model that should be added to the list
Part One : Important Tips Before You Buy
Part Two : Beginner Electric Guitars
Part Three : Beginner Acoustic Guitars
Part Four : Beginner Bass Guitars
Part Five : Amps
Part Six : Effects
Part Seven : Accessories
Part Eight : Lessons