Wait… hang on a sec.
You have a right-hand bass, but do you also have access to a left-handed bass?
Having a pinkie on your fretting hand is definitely an advantage. It’s not to say that it can’t be done without a pinkie, but you’ve got more of a challenge. So… if there is a possibility to use a lefthanded bass to fret with the right hand, I’d say, give it a shot!
I believe @DannyS is writing of his frustration with the left handed bass, and asking if he would be ok to use the right, less a pinky, because of coordination issues on the left hand instrument @peterhuppertz .
I know you can become a very skilled bass player, even less a pinky. There have been guitarists with less fingers.
If frustration with the left hand bass is going to drive you to quit, I say go pinkiless on the righty.
You will just become a shifter, slightly larger then micro shifts, but it can be done.
BTW, I love the movie “The Sweet And Low Down”. With Sean Penn, where he plays the eccentric drunk guitarist, who both worships and fears Django more then anybody in the world. Always cursing him as the Gypsie guirarist.
Yes I had a lefty Bass, but my arthritis is pretty painful to use the frets. I tried for several months and used all every gadget to try were all not working. I am now using my 5 string that I got from the guys at work for my retirement. I am going to do every trick to finish this course.
@DannyS don’t worry, you will soon be able to play circles around many of us with your index, middle, and ring fingers on the fretboard. You just have to do more microshifting to make up for it, but you can do it!
Don’t give up!
Nope. As Eric says, that’s a fair indication that you might be ambidextrous.
However, if, as you state, your arthritis in your right hand is affecting your fine motor control, playing as if you were right-handed is probably the best idea.
Having to play without the pinky is going to make you do more shifting, and stretching. In a worst-case situation (small hands, limited stretching capability and a missing pinky), a short-scale bass might be a solution. But by all means, get started and see where you end up.
You will find that, as you go along, things that seem physically impossible now will get easier than you thought they would be!
I am the same way (except for the missing pinky). I write left handed so am considered a lefty, but I’m all over the place. Throwing a baseball or football overhand I do lefty, yet shooting a basketball, throwing a frisbee, golf, hockey, swinging a bat all righty. It is kind of ambidextrous, because I will likely be better at something with my off hand than most people are with their off hand, but there are very few things I do well with both… there is always a dominate hand for each activity.
That all being said, I’ve never had any luck playing bass lefty, righty is natural for me there. I would say if righty feels more natural to you on the bass, you should stick with that even with the disadvantage of the missing pinky. Like others said, you will just need to get better at shifting and do more of it than most of us.