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Best String for Finger style Play?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by campbems, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. campbems

    campbems Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2013
    I have seen several posts about best string but I think it differs according to what style you play. What is the best sounding string out there for straight finger style playing? What does everyone prefer.
  2. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    The G string

    tbasstreble11 likes this.
  3. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Depends on what "sound" you are looking for. IME, if I want maximum brightness and growl, I use stainless steel. If I want a medium-bright tone, I use nickel-wound. If I want more of an Evan Marien, Hadrien Feraud kind of tone, I use strings that have protective coating on them, such as Warwick EMP, DR Black Beauties, etc. - as these strings have a warmer tone but not so warm that they sound dead right out of the box. Although, with the DR Black Beauties, some of their strings, in particular the G string, are dead out of the box. This is the only bad thing about the DRs.

    For steel and nickel strings, the best value in my opinion is D'Addario. Their price point given how long they last and retain their brightness is just superb. (No, I am not an endorser. Just a long-time happy customer)
  4. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    I'll vote for GHS flats, my favorite all-around string. For fingerstyle playing, these have the sound I look for.
  5. I'm with jgroh! :D
  6. LaBella or Sadowsky flats for me.
  7. ac11367

    ac11367 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2007
    Flushing, NY
    Haha, he said finger, not tongue.

    Anyway, I prefer nickel-wounds, as they're just bright enough without much of that zing, especially when plucking the D- or G-string.
  8. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    Personally, I'm a BIG fan of the stainless Elixirs - I like some brightness and bite, and my sweaty hands (EWW! ;) ) eat through non-coated strings like nobody's business (on a gig in the summer of 2012, during a heat wave and the air conditioning broke in a building with no windows, I killed a fresh set - no lie).

    The Elixirs, however, sound exactly how I want them to for a REALLY long time. And at bassstringsonline.com, the price is plenty manageable.
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I find the best string is the one a player prefers the most.
  10. Levin


    Oct 30, 2012
    So far, for me, on active basses that's too bright the Fodera nickels, and for passive basses that are too... unmeaty, like my jazz was, LaBella Deep Talkin' rounds.
    For versitaly (in fingerstyle) for most basses, I'd go with the Foderas. Great all-around even sound and it has worked extremely well on a lot of totally different basses for me, and I play mostly fingerstyle.
  11. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I like a really aggressive tone, but with good definition and clarity, so I'll throw my hat in with the DRs. Hi beams and Lo Riders are my favorite, always in stainless steel.
  12. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
  13. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    I have Elixirs on my Ibby.......and I finger pick 99.999% of the time.

    They are pretty good.......the coating helps.

    They pick "faster" than a noncoated round.

    But I'm still thinking to get faster smoother sound I will try with a set of D'addario flats at some point.........(I can get those around here locally).

    But the Elixirs aren't too bad at all.......they are lasting quite awhile.
  14. Levin


    Oct 30, 2012
    While the Elixirs last for some time, after two years of using them exclusivly on all my basses I got frankly, bored.
    It's a consisent sound for sure, and you get used to the coating. But to me they were consistenly boring in their sound, but quite versatile. Like a jack-of-all-trades that's slightly better than the average.
    For the idea that they 'pick faster' than a noncoated round, that's only a matter of setup and the tension of the strings, is it not? It has always been to me, but I'm no expert of the quickness of punch in the tone and how to affect it. To me that has always been however the stiffness increasing=quicker attack, stiffness decreasing=slower, more mwah-attack. And the stiffnes often decrease if you have thinner gauges of a string. So for example a fretless, for maximum mwah I would go with a thin string, and for extreme tight, quick punch I would go (on a fretted) with a thicker gauge.
    Enough thoughts on my experiences of the elixirs and other off-topic things, sorry...
  15. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
    I just find that my fingers slide faster because they are coated......compared to non-coated.

    For the sound I like the Elixirs are pretty good for me....but what people want in a sound is so open to taste that they aren't going to suit everybody , that's for sure.
  16. Kinda like asking the best kind of food, car, amp, bass, woman, or job. What's best for one person wouldn't be best for the next. I prefer eastern European women, maybe the next guy prefers Asian, and the next guy prefers men. So of course the answer is, there's no "best", just individual preferences, so in reference to the OP....TI jazz flats are the best....for me.
  17. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    For me, it's flats. And I can't believe I'm typing that. My main bass has roundwounds. But I slap that bass. Upon careful consideration, I realize that almost every bass I own that I don't intend to slap (except for one) has flats on it. (I rarely play with a pick, but when I do, it's usually on one of my flatwound-strung basses too).
  18. xav_paris

    xav_paris Gold Supporting Member

    May 9, 2003
    FRANCE, near PARIS
    TI's JR 344: unknown jazz rounds, as good as the JF 344 , but more growl

    Sadowsky blue label nickel round also

    I would say nickel more than stainless
  19. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    D'Addario XL is my round preference. Great tone, relatively easy on the frets and my fingers, available everywhere, priced right.

    I run D'Addario Chromes on my ABG, now talk about easy on the fingers but they are so easy it's almost cheating.
  20. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings

    Evan actually uses GHS Boomers in an extra-light gauge (I think it's 35-50-70-90 or something like that) and has a light touch, which is probably how he gets that warm sound that isn't too bright but still focused.

    To the OP, you're going to get varied responses as it's such a personal preference with no right or wrong answer. Use the type and gauge of string that suit your playing the best. I prefer light gauge strings as they fit my style better. As for string types, I let the bass determine that; darker sounding instruments get brighter strings, and vice versa.