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Best Strings for Fretless?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bob_Bass, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Bob_Bass


    Jun 27, 2012
    Hi there - new member first post etc... so apologies if this has been covered before.

    After playing for 21 years on fretted J and P basses, I've decided to de-fret an old P bass that has been sat in a cupboard doing nothing for a decade or so. I collect the neck from the workshop tomorrow but need a little help with string selection. I'm aiming for an earthy, simplistic not too "trebly" tone. I'm guessing flatwounds would be best but would appreciate any suggestions as to what others use.


  2. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    D'addario Chromes seem to have an excellent reputation and following. I haven't used them yet but I think they're going to be my next set to try out.

    Good luck!
  3. aRandomAggie


    Apr 5, 2011
    I have Chromes on my fretless Jazz, and I'd definitely recommend giving them a shot.
  4. hotbass57


    Nov 27, 2011
    I bought some Dean Markley steels from bassstringsonline.com for $12 a set. I love them on my Yamaha fretless. Nice blance and not clanky like some SS strings. I have chromes on my Hofner and they're perfect for that.
  5. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I've been using D'Addario half-wounds on mine. I love them.
  6. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Whatever strings you like are perfect for fretless.

    I'm not trying to be flip. I'm totally serious. Strings will have the same effects upon your sound on a fretless bass as they will on a fretted, for the most part. Use whatever strings you find comfortable for your fretless playing and then focus your attention on the differences in technique between fretted and fretless. THAT'S really where the rubber meets the road.
  7. Like LO-E said, you should use what you normally use now. You might want to use slightly lighter gauges compared to what you use now because of the mwah factor.

    My prefences for rounds are light gauge nickels for that reason, and they tend to be less of a problem for eating on the fretboard than stainless. My current rounds are SIT Powerwound nickels.

    My favorite flats are TI Jazz flats for a brighter sound and GHS precision flats for traditional sounds.

    Tapewounds are also fun on a fretless. My Carvin 5 string has a set of GHS tapes currently, and I am really enjoying them. I've also used LaBella and Fender tapes as well, and have nothing but good things to say about them.

    Whatever you decide to use, I wish you well and hope you find "that sound" you are looking for.
  8. beefandbones


    Aug 14, 2008
    I have Chromes on my fretless. They're fine, but stiffer than I'd like. It's interesting to experiment with other strings, but I after a few weeks I usually find myself wishing I'd put Thomastik Jazz Flats on instead.
  9. SeaBassTheFish


    May 19, 2011
    I have the exact same experience. It has happened enough that I'm a lot less curious about trying new strings for the time being.

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