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Adapt Right Hand-Technique to Strings?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Karl, Sep 9, 2005.


  1. Karl

    Karl

    Sep 9, 2005
    Berlin, Germany
    Hello Board, at first :)

    As said in the endurance-thread I have recently changed my string-tension, from soft to medium, trying to achieve a louder sound.
    Indeed, my bass is louder now, and especially the deeps sound much richer now. But the harder strings resolved in worse playability - if I pick the strings down at the end of the fretboard, where you suppose to, the sound is rough, I need very much strength in my left hand to hold the tone and letting it sustain resolving in endurance-problems, it has become very hard to get a legato sound like NHOP's. My first solution has been moving up my right hand, the sound is getting a bit softer and the tension needed is lower. Does this have any disadvantages I don't see?

    What experiences did you all make with string-tension, how should I adapt my overall setup to harder strings? And I've been seriously thinking about shifting back to soft strings again, what advantages/problems do you see that I maybe don't?

    Thanks for any help :)
     
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Which strings are you referring to?
     
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    And what were you playing before?
     
  4. Karl

    Karl

    Sep 9, 2005
    Berlin, Germany
    I was playing Thomastik Spirocore Weichs before shifting to the Mittels.
     
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Well, if you're doing things wrong with your left hand, the lighter strings will mask that to some extent. It could also be setup issues that are masked by the lighter strings as well.

    As far as right hand, different gauge strings will require an adjustment to get the sound that you want.

    Also, give it some time. I played Spiro Solos for better than a year. When I put the regular Spiros back on it took me about a month before I didn't notice the difference, but only a week or so to be 'back to normal'.
     
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Oh -- a couple more things.

    The change from Weichs to regular isn't THAT big a change. Could it be that you're not used to the rubbery-ness of the new set and are wearing yourself out that way? I know that fresh wires kinda kick my butt for a week or so because of this after I pull off an old set. Is there perhpas some psychology involved with moving to the heavier strings?
     
  7. Karl

    Karl

    Sep 9, 2005
    Berlin, Germany
    I might have forgotten: I changed the bass with the strings. But it was the same model from the same builder.
    People told me my strings were set up pretty high (distance from the fretboard) but that should be causing trouble with playability in thumb-position, which feels just perfect to me on that setup.

    But there could be some psychology involved. The sound is extremely much bigger than the sound of the other bass (&strings), maybe I try to make it even bigger than that? But I'm having trouble playing fast over a longer period of time. I've been practicing Stanley Clarke-solos on the other setup, went just fine but now I find myself hitting the notes and everything, but not getting the sound I want at the speed I want. My left hand technique is - my teacher told me - just fine, no tensions where there shouldnt be (I guess otherwise I would have never been able to play Stanley-Clarke solos on any setup).

    Is it simply preferable to play softer strings for fast playing? (I couldn't find out what string-tension the ultra-speed DB-players like Clarke or Vituos use) Is it something like a compromise, between ability to play fast and ability to get that huge sound out of the thing? On the other hand players like NHOP get their sound-bigness mostly out of articulating extremely legato, which I found easier to achieve with softer strings and so on.

    To be straight to the thing: I am just a total newbie to strings & setup and what is supposed good for me, and my teacher couldn't help me much as he was only suggesting his setup which was just totally impossible for me, sounded extremely harsh, I guess because of my much skinnier fingers.
    I did read all the strings discussions on the strings board but couldnt find any references to what strings for what kind of technical and musical aspect of the music.

    BTW: the Mittels are played in now, about 6 weeks or so of 3-6 hours daily, and my endurance-problems are decreasing, though not vanishing completely.

    Oh, that post is chaotic, hope you find your way through it. :)
     
  8. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    The way that most players come up with their ideal setup up is by spending lots of money on strings and trips to your luthier. If you're lucky you can find someone who has already gone through much of this process and has a bunch of old strings that you could try out. Good luck.