FLATWOUND CRISIS

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by TrappaJ, Jan 3, 2013.


  1. TrappaJ

    TrappaJ

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    so i gave myself tendinitis....

    or something. whatever the hell it is i have extreme discomfort to be modest, in my fretting pinky. for a year now i have kept the stock strings on my fender american jazz fretless, i assume they are fender 9050m (which are like bridge cables), please let me know if they are instead 9050ml.

    i am taking a break from the bass for god knows how long now to let my pinky recover. i come back to the bass to see if i can do it every so often but not only am i not much better after a month but the strings are way too high tension i have noticed. even when i lowered the action as low as it could go while allowing me to access every note up the neck, the tension is still unreal i have noticed compared to all roundwound strings i have ever used.

    i know i need new strings. i have considered ti jazz flats because of the low tension but i have heard they have no "thump" or "attack". the 9050's my bass came with were really great sounding but i obviously am injured from the tension. ADVICE! WISDOM! EXPERIENCE!
     
  2. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Just a BassGuy! Gold Supporting Member

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    Sadowsky Flats 40-100 - and lighten up on your grip!
     
  3. 4-string

    4-string Supporting Member

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    IMO, TI flats play like a dream, but the tension is too low for some. A light touch is needed, and that might be just what the doctor ordered...;)

    Some palm or foam mute and they thump. :)
     
  4. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

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    IMO you have heard incorrectly. :)
     
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  6. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks Supporting Member

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    Those Fender 9050m strings do have quite a high tension, especially the D and G strings. However, I don't think it is to blame just on the strings.

    I don't like to write this, :bag: but chances are that it is technique related as well. It takes less than 9 ounces to fret a 0.105 flatwound E string, with a tension of about 50 pounds. This is clearly less than the weight of a regular sized can of beer (13 oz). As this is proportional, it would still take some 7 ounces to fret a regular 0.100 roundwound E string. I'd have a closer look at my technique...
     
  7. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    Lightest gauge flats and call it a day..
     
  8. f64

    f64 Supporting Member

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    I had the same problem about 5 years ago. Any pressure I applied with that finger caused extreme pain. I went to several doctors who all said basically "give it a rest". Since part of my income depends on my playing and I had just gotten done paying for my sons college and had two more starting I wasn't happy.
    Talking around with friends one mentioned taking shark cartilage as a supplement. I'm not big on things like this but my doctors said it might help so I tried it. Turns out that all pain was gone in about a month and a half. Now, was it due to a rest or taking the shark cartilage - I don't know. Oddly, I did find out that they give it to patients suffering from osteoporosis. Heck, if it helps them maybe it was what worked for me. It's over the counter and CVS, Walgeens, etc... all carry it. Good luck with it and don't loose faith - you'll be back playing.
     
  9. peakdesign

    peakdesign

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    The Thomastik flats are killer strings, as long as you don't expect round wound zing, they have a lot of punch and mwah. What I would humbly suggest is that if you have this problem, it won't go away unless you make changes. The TI strings will help, but you may be expecting too much of your pinkie, some people are better off only using it on occasion, if at all. And finally what I'd suggest trying is a short scale fretless to get the tension down. I find my SX SMJB is what I am most comfortable on, they now call it an Ursa 4 JR. I use Thomastiks on it. It will take you a bit to get used to the low tension, but your hands will thank you later. For $139, after a little customizing (like a 4-piezo bridge wired in with the mag pickups) this one turned out killer for me.

    http://www.rondomusic.com/ursa4jrrnfl3ts.html
     
  10. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

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    Beer is volume ounces not weight.
     
  11. bassist4dalord

    bassist4dalord

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    Ahh, Fender lets us down again- The website says they are 8250 rounds. Of course, they are not. I know that they come with Fender flats, but I can't tell ya what gauge. Fender sells a 40-100 set of flats; maybe start there?

    Good luck!
     
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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  13. LoTone

    LoTone

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    Maybe you can take a look at this guy's approach to curing tendonitis.

    http://www.tendonitisexpert.com/site-map.html

    I had a wrist tendonitis a few years back and his method help me recover. In addition, he does have a section dedicated to guitar tendonitis.

    Good luck.
     
  14. mccartneyman

    mccartneyman

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    The attached clip is my Lakland 55-94 strung with TI Jazz Flats through an Ampeg SVT head and 115 cab. The bass is set pretty much flat and the amp has some bass boost. I was sitting -- when I run my own amp, the bass has more punch and attack. I think that by working with your bass and amp EQ, the TIs will give you all the punch and attack you need. I have recorded with them many, many times. Sadowsky flats will give you a bit more snap on the top end but tension is higher, and they don't sound quite as warm IMHO.

     
  15. timbass

    timbass

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    I suffered from pinky issues (after digging into a Martin acoustic too hard fro too long). Swollen finger, pinched nerves, ulnar nerve pain, tingling.
    I had to stop playing for about 6 mos. When I started back, I mostly abandonded one finger per fret so that I could avoid pinky as much as possible (depends on style your playing I guess as well). But if you're hitting the notes you want and it sounds good...I slowly reintroduced pinky to riffs and playing over time. I use medium to med lt round wounds also now. I can get old school thump w older strings and palm muting, etc. (or even the old foam chunk by bridge trick) Lastl, learn how to properly stretch your fingers and do it often (careful not to overextend). More water, less caffeine (never give up beer...). Anyway, hope this helps a little.
     
  16. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks Supporting Member

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    Understood, but I meant the weight of an average can of beer. It serves as an indication, not an exact number.
     
  17. peakdesign

    peakdesign

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    Regarding Thomastik flat wounds, they are the strings used by Carol Kaye, studio bassist on the greatest US hits of the 60s and 70s. They certainly are punchy enough.

    As to lower tension on short scale, it's easier on your left hand. A lot of bassists won't even try short scale, IMHO by a sort of bigger is better attitude. It's up to you and the right electronics to get the tone you want. I was having trouble with my hand playing 34" scale, and that 30" SX fretless changed my life. I can choose whichever bass for the task at hand, but for long sessions, the short scale is a God-send.
     
  18. PBnJBassist

    PBnJBassist

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    +1 To that - and there are so many options and ways to get a customized or semi-customized set.

    GHS offers singles for their flatwounds, I personally use 35-55-75-95 set. Lots of thump in those strings and dead right out of the pack.

    La Bella offers a .039 .056 .077 .096 on their extra light set.

    TI Jazz flatwounds (as others have mentioned) are also available.

    As an alternative, I suggest looking into Nylon Tapewound strings. Lots of thump, plenty of articulation, and WAY more flexible than any flatwound out there with a good amount of thickness in the strings if thin strings aren't your preference.

    Black Nylon Tapewounds
     
  19. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    Yes, it's all in the touch. :bassist:
     
  20. TrappaJ

    TrappaJ

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    glad you mentioned that. playing fretless i have noticed i can be really expressive with my fretting fingers, so i will have to be mindful of my grip.

    i have been playing bass for 10 years now and never had a problem until i got this bass, which leads me to think the high tension strings and high action were to blame.

    on top of that, ever since i got this fretless i have been pushing myself ridiculously hard, studying jacos playing. also i noticed going fretless has me using my pinky a LOT more than i did before, often substituting it for my third finger. so yeah dont play "teen town" on bridge cables.
     
  21. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

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    I did the same thing to my pinky trying to get into upright acoustic. Once inflamed it carried over to bass guitar. Never had hand pain before. Gave up on the upright, put TI jazz flats on and really, really lightened up on my touch. Re-learned touch.

    That did it. The Ti's reward a light touch with a great, full round and meaty sound. They get better and better over time. You can push them harder for a splashy sound, that I find really cool. They do a fine thumb style. I can't say enough good things about them.

    Downside is they are: costly (but economical over their long life) not going to do the round wound thing, no matter what, and you are forever spoiled about what strings you will use.

    My action is lower than ever, and I've gotten faster but mostly because I'm playing
    much lighter and practicing more with less fatigue. I wish I had clued in years ago.
     

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