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"Digging in" with TI flats?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by csala, May 9, 2010.

  1. csala


    Aug 14, 2005
    Santa Monica, Ca

    I've been reading a bunch of threads on TI jazz flats, and the consensus seems to be that the tension of these strings is too low to allow for digging in or playing aggressively.

    Would raising the action on the bass solve some issues here?

  2. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    It would do you SOME good. But IME TI's are TIs, and if you hit 'em too hard, they're just gonna buzz.
  3. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I have no problems at all with these strings, and the bass I use them on has moderately low action. I suppose it depends on your playing style, but every time I read about the lower tension of TIs being a problem, I just scratch my head.
  4. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Sometimes when I get carried away I start pounding on them and my tone goes to heck, because you can't hear it through the buzzing, and I would say it becomes a "problem".

    But under normal conditions, they are some delicious strings.
  5. nic salsus

    nic salsus

    Mar 16, 2010
    You can dig in very effectively but they require you develop a very precise touch to control them. I can play TIs as hard as I can a stiff string like GHS flats. Unless the action is extremely low you shouldn't have to raise it....that said with my double bass-ish approach high action has worked well for me with TI flats.
  6. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I haven't ever had a problem with these strings and digging in. They never fret out or anything like that, I guess people that complain about it play hard and don't want that aggressive sound.

    I like the fact that they will work with me and my playing dynamics.
  7. daniva


    May 15, 2009
    I change from TI to labellas, the low tension was a problem for me, my right fingers felt very limited in terms of responding on time, the tone of TI are very beautiful , just the tension was a problem in my case, my bass never fret out with TI, I hope thomastik make an alternative set of strings with more tension in medium gauge
  8. If I were a more aggressive player, I'd just go with Chromes or GHS P-Flats.
  9. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Ditto, but I play very close to the bridge. I can see if you played up by the neck...but why would anyone do that? ;):cool:
  10. wideyes


    May 9, 2007
    Eugene, OR
    TIs are definitely more floppy than many flats, but also IME more "musical". They respond well to subtle changes. I do find that on my setup, they can get "farty" if I push them too hard. It's a very usable sound, but if you don't like that it could be a dealbreaker. I had very high action on my P with the TIs and I thought it worked well - I'm actually considering raising the action back up to where it was.

    I agree with above: if you like to play aggressively, you'd probably enjoy other flats like Chromes (which I find TOO aggressive for my tastes).
  11. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Unfortunately you'll have to try them to determine if they will be ok for your playing style for sure. I have a love hate thing going with TI flats. If you dig-in, you may not like them too much with standard tuning.

    I tried them tuned up, as in, I used the TI's E, A, and D strings in the A, D, G spots of the bass, then used a Labella E.

    It was interesting, and for those whom like to dig in, they were really the answer. Although not as mismatched as it would seem by mixing brands and construction types, I still prefer a nice matched set I so took them off.
  12. superiorpine

    superiorpine Superiorpine Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2007
    Milwaukee WI
    I use TIs, flats on my main bass and jazz rounds on my back-up. I play finger-style. Like nic salsus says above, they are very sensitive to the touch. Struck lightly, they have the old school thump. Struck harder they can really growl. The combination of your touch and your set-up can give you, IMO and IME more tonal options playing finger-style than almost any other string. Thump to grind depending on touch. Hmmm. I like 'em.
  13. daniva


    May 15, 2009
    I used the same TI in two basses, one was a squier VM maple neck and the other was a squier korean rosewood neck, in the VM the thomastiks were too floopy more that the squier korea, I dont know why, but, maybe in diferent basses the tension may change a little bit
  14. I've found TI flats can "bark" if you pluck them too hard, not a pleasant tone. But I can play them just as fast as any other string, requires a little technique adjustment but it can be done.

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