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Describing strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Microbass, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. Hi all, I'm thinking about how I could describe strings, as I remember once that I did a reveiw.. and my gosh is was aweful :)

    I know about feel on the strings, but what others thing should I think about the tone?

    And I know what instrument I use counts to, but I'm focused on how I could describe the tone.

    Thanks for any feedback :D
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    There are a lot of terms in fairly common use that may help:

    Bright - this term means that a string has a lot of treble

    Deep - this term means that a string has a lot of low bass, the kind you feel more than hear, the kind that makes your pant legs flap

    Dark - this term means not having a lot of treble.

    Thumpy - usually refers to an abundance of low-mids that cause the "thump-in-the-chest" feeling

    Thuddy - sort of like thumpy but with a lower frequency emphasis. Implies strong attack and short sustain. Less musical than thumpy

    Punchy - lots of mids, tending to imply good note definition

    Boomy - usually not a positive. Refers to excessive bass emphasis, causing "ear-overload"

    Tight - well-defined sound, usually with somewhat rolled-off lows and solid mids

    Loose - opposite of tight. Taking up too much sonic space, leading to boominess and poorly defined sound

    These are just a few terms I'm familiar with. This is my interpretation of their meanings, as I don't know of a standard reference for such terminology. YMMV, as always.
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I always think of them as being kinda, well ... stringy.

  4. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Hadn't thought of that. Would've saved me a lot of typing ;) .

    Wasn't it Paul McCartney who said he used "long, shiny ones," in response to a question about what strings he used?

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