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Best Strings to Play Surf Music?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by dejm1, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. dejm1


    Jun 3, 2006
    Is it safe to assume you'd want to use flatwound strings if you're looking for a traditional surf bass sound? To play Ventures style. Thanks!
  2. N.F.A.


    Jun 25, 2009
    In a blue funk
    I do believe that is a safe assumption...
  3. Incorrect, strings wound from the steel of Excalibur are the best. Now for a new question, what's the best bass for surf music?
  4. dejm1


    Jun 3, 2006
    good follow up question, but not sure what you mean by the steel of Excalibur... i get the reference though. so you think steel strings are good, too.

    was going to use a Fender Jazz bass for now.... but would love to hear some other suggestions. will be using a pick for sure.
  5. A hollowbody would suit you well I'd assume, but that's with my limited knowledge of surf music. You can't go wrong with a Precision of course.
  6. dejm1


    Jun 3, 2006
  7. Surf is what I play... and the playing style matters more than the bass. I do recommend flats... esp Labella flats. Rounds only work for me if they're a couple of years old so they are not bright and zingy. But surf works great on hollowbody, semi-hollow, solid body, doesn't matter... as long as you sell it and use a pick when you really need a percussive sound, it will work.

    I play surf on a Casady bass, a P, a Gretsch 2202 Jr. Jet, a Bronco, a J, a Rogue "Beatle bass", an Aria predecessor to the Hi-Flyer, a Schecter Diamond, and even on a '64 Gibson EB-0, although to tell the truth the mudbucker on the EB-0 is a bit woofy for some numbers, so I don't use it for everything. Most of those basses have flats on them.
  8. Right on, Pilgrim!

    Using flats or really dead rounds is the answer, and using a pick can really emphasize the small touch of reverb you can use in surf music.

    I like a nice slap-back using a Fender heavy pick and stay away from the Bright or High-Beam type strings.

    I try to palm-mute at the same time to get that 'pop' in the string which the slap-back picks up and just makes is 'Surf' to me.

    Bert Kamferdt (sp?) was the instigator of that sound originally with his 'Swinging Safari' and 'Sandy's Theme' with his German/Euro Pop orchestra, and it just carried over to surf and trash-rock.

    BTW: I just hit a new (to me) surf guitar site:: http://www.surfguitar.com/

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