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A new use for old string(s)? Try it out yourself!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BassicBitch, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. BassicBitch


    Mar 3, 2016
    aka how to make roundwounds sound like flatwounds

    So today I was practicing bass when i came up with an ingenious idea. What about using a piece of old string as a palm-mute-thingy. I don't know where this thought came from, however I am glad that I had it.


    (please excuse the dirty bass, I haven't really played let alone cleaned it in a good few months. BTW the little piece of plastic between the saddles hasn't got anything to do with this string mod thingy)

    I grabbed the nearest old string to me (happened to be an old D'Addario D-string), and placed it between the strings near the bridge as shown in the photo attached. I recommend placing the string as close to the bridge as possible in order not to lose too much sustain or volume.The result was a tone reminiscent of flatwound strings (my bass is currently strung with Rotosound roundwounds).

    Try this out for yourself, as I assume there is a high chance you have an old string laying around somewhere.

    I found that this string-palm-mute thingy brought my tone really close to JPJ's tone as heard on Led Zep II, specifically in Ramble On, as it was the first riff I played with the string 'mod'.

    So, what do you guys think of my discovery? Has someone else done this before me?
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
    Yahboy likes this.
  2. jazzyvee


    Aug 11, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I've never tried it but think if the string moved away from the bridge whilst playing it there is a chance of it loosening up and vibrating against the strings and giving you funny overtones on your notes. That said it looks interesting and I might give it a try.
  3. JPJ on Ramble On... That's the tune that inspired me to come up with the ingenious idea of putting flats on my Fender Jazz. ;)
  4. How easy would it be to thread that old string across all strings when you need it for just one song during a set, and have to take it off again for the next song?
  5. BassicBitch


    Mar 3, 2016
    It literally takes a few seconds, but i recommend turning ur volume down while you do it, and if you cut the string to length, bend it at the end to avoid stabbing yourself in the hand or scratching your finish
  6. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    I'd just as well add some foam in the same manner you've added the extra string to this bass. Less chance of: 1. Stabbing yourself on the cut string; 2. Having metal on metal overtones occur.
    And I bet the sound will be just as close to the P tone you're looking for.

    Also, if you have a blend knob on your bass, you could blend 75% toward the Neck pickup and roll off the high eq to around 25-40%. That should get you close enough to the tone for cover gigs. Without the need of modification.

    Or you could buy a used P bass on the cheap and not worry about modifications. I think there's a Warmoth P 5 string available for $650 on the Classifieds right now. If I didn't just buy a Kingston Z5 I'd be all over that.

  7. Never throw old strings away, instead use them.
    Every time you change strings put at least one of them around your wrist.
    Eventually you'll be able to show off how many times you've changed strings, when your entire forearm is covered in them.

  8. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Future portrait of KBD:

    BrentSimons likes this.