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Best strings for jazz playing?!

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by LaurenDaBassist, May 17, 2011.

  1. LaurenDaBassist


    May 17, 2011
    Im purchasing my first acoustic bass next month, and I know that I will be playing it for mostly, or all jazz. Just wondering what strings would fit best in a jazz setting! The bass is an Eastman, laminate with a carved top. I want the strings to have a good full tone for swing tunes but nit to be extremely thick!! Any advice will be much appreciated :)
  2. Thomastik-Infeld Spirocores are considered a gold standard for jazz.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Given that you're new to the instrument and want to play jazz (pizz. I assume), then go for a set of the venerable Spirocore Mittels. Then, maybe you can do what many here have. That is, spend a bunch of $$$ on other strings and a decade (or two or three) or so later come right back to the Spiro Mitts. :)
  4. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    A-Men! I fear the same fate awaits me..
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Are you planning on playing arco? Your profile says that you're in orchestra. The bow-ability of Spiro's is a matter of some controversy. Folks like me complain that they are scratchy under the bow. I play jazz, but make extensive use of the bow, and practice classical at home.

    Others find that they get good bowed tone out of Spiro's, but that it requires good bowing technique. I'm happy with a mixed set of Spiro Mitts on E and A, and Pirastro Obligato on D and G. That's what I might recommend to a student who is studying both classical and jazz bass.

    All the best with the new bass!
  6. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    I am equally a Classical and a Jazz player. Spent similar amount of time playing both.
    I can tell you that Spiro's can sound great with a bow, but you will sweat some till you get there.
    Try Helicore Hybrid's - considerably easier to bow and easier for pizz too, but sound close to Spiro's.
    Patitucci played them for a while on standup and sounder pretty sweet to me.
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    To me the D'Addario Helicores do not have the complexity of tone that the Spiros do. Also, if you've never played upright bass before, consider a Weich set to start on rather than the Mittels. There are those who also say that the Weichs bow better than the Mittels.
  8. darkocuk

    darkocuk Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Kelowna, B.C., CANADA
    Yeah. D'Addario do sound a little bit less expressive maybe, but you can get a nice uniform sound with them right away, even with bad pizz technique.
  9. +1 for that! I use Spiro Mittels since Rome was built, I also spent loads on money experimenting with other strings but I always end up jumping out of bed in the middle of the night to put the Mittels back! Now I can't be bothered with other strings! Might just be me but I love Mittels even more when they older!
  10. John Chambliss

    John Chambliss Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Lauren - What strings are on your school bass and what do like or not like about them? I have a bunch of lightly used strings I'll let you try one at a time if you cover the shipping. Includes a set of Spiro Weichs, Obligato D/G, Velvet Blue D/G, and a set of Labella 7710s (not my fav). Go with something else on your bass and then start experimenting with different combos. Send me a PM.
  11. Raka


    Aug 28, 2008
    I've been playing only for a year, both pizz and arco. I use the Thomastik Superflexibles which came with the bass I bought, and I'm very happy with those. Even with my limited bow technique (I studied violin years ago, though), sound good. And I really like the pizz of them also.

    And they are cheap.
  12. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Spirocores are the standard for jazz. I play classical music and jazz, so for me the Dominant GDA and Spiro Long C work best. When you are ready to try out some strings, just buy a few different "D" strings, that way you'll get a feel for each type without having to dish out for all four strings.
  13. I see the OP was dated 5/17. Did you buy your bass yet? Did you make a string decision?

    I'm here from the gut lobby to encourage you to try gut strings. Paul Chambers played on guts. I put on a set of Lenzner wound EA plain DG in January, and I am very happy with the pizz sound. It takes a lot of skill to pull out a decent arco sound, but it can be done (even by me...sometimes). I am also playing an Eastman hybrid.

    Join us. Play guts. Don't be afraid.
  14. John Chambliss

    John Chambliss Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Guts - That's why I have spare steel strings :)
  15. :D

  16. I'd go with this suggestion. .... Weichs are less tension and easier for working in and breaking into upright. .....

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