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Anybody find the middle ground? Jazz and Slap.

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by mebusdriver, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. I've been reading a lot of threads about strings and recommendations for slap. Has anyone found a set that works for both jazz and slap? I'm new to upright, just bought my bass yesterday, and I'm about to get new strings, bridge, and a pick up to get a set up done. 75% of my time will be spent playing rockabilly but I will also be playjng jazz from time to time. I've read tons of reviews but most people just give their opinion on what works for one style and not the other. So has anyone found a set that can do both?
  2. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    A lot of jazzers use gut strings, which are the preferred strings for rockabilly/slap...

    Blast Cult

    Those are a few good examples...good luck!
  3. ricobasso


    Jan 18, 2007
    UK, South East
    +1 on gut strings for Jazz, Bluegrass/Old-Timey/Folk and Rockabilly

    I don't like them for Classical/Arco though.
  4. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    My arco playing is so bad I have no business chiming in here, but I have some great sounding youtube clips with serious classical bassists bowing guts and sounding amazing...There are a couple orchestras where the entire string section use gut strings...I sound equally bad on any string :)
  5. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Hey Busdriver,

    Honestly, finding a string for jazz pizz that slaps well is easy! Finding one that does this and bows well is the challenge!

    Here are a few that I have used that I thought were great at slapping and pizz:

    Eurosonics- the light set- nice and growly pizz with a good amount of sustain and great for slap- full disclosure: I never used the low E, but the rest of the set ROCKS imho! The ultra light set gets love too.

    Thomastik Spirocore
    Weich gauge or use the strings called "solo" which are designed to be played tuned higher- if you tune them to regular pitch they are crazy light and nice for slap...

    Velvet Blue- also good- I've played them a bunch but never on one of my basses.

    Then there are all the Innovation brand strings- I haven't used any but they get high marks here on the forum.

    I also hear that Pirastro Evah Pirazzi in the weich gauge work great- I've yet to try these too...

    Of course, then there's gut...:D
    I'm a big fan of Gamut strings- I use the Pistoy variety as I really need a bowable string myself...I had to go through most of the above listed strings before I got to Gamuts, as well as lots of other guts.

    If you have no intention of playing arco try one of the above listed strings, or just get a set of Lezners if you decide to go gut! Great and inexpensive (for guts that is :D)!

    Good luck in your search!


    PS: Thanks for your service!
  6. Awesome. Thanks so much guys. Looks like I'm gonna start with the Eurosonics and work my way down the list. Hahahah
  7. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    I hope the Eurosonics work out for you!

    It's impossible for me to know if they will be a good match for your bass, or how you will like them but I really enjoyed them! I found them to be very "gut-like" in all the good ways but without the tuning instability.

    If I hadn't had such a tough time getting them to play arco consistently I'd still be using them!

    Best of luck!

  8. I've had good luck with the Evah Pirazzi stings for both slap and pizz, and arco too! Both the Weich and the Solo gauges do all three great...although for old-school slap sound nothing beats the guts, and there's lots of great players playing pizz and arco on those, too. I just like the more defined sound of the Evahs for what I do, and the lack of tuning and maintenance problems is a plus too! Currently one of my basses has Innovation Goldenslaps on it, as those have even lower tension and I'm recovering from an injury, so it's a little easier playing. They sound a little more gut-like, and they do pizz and slap well, but not arco. If you get those, try rubbing a little paraffin (just a little) into the strings if they're too scratchy sounding...it works...

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