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Does anyone else hate their G-string?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by rexspangle, Jun 18, 2001.


  1. I personally cannot stand the sound of G-strings. On any bass or with any amp. They sound to "sharp" I have considered putting a low B, E, A, D. It it's place (but that requires a lot of relearning stuff) For me the sound of skinny strings sound like crap. And I don't want to down tune either.

    any ideas? fx units or whatever.....
     
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    G's can be a real pain. However, there are solutions. First, technique. I've had a very hard time getting a decent sound out of any G, on any bass, with a pick. However, I have been able to get them to sound OK fingerstyle, although that can take some work, too.

    Secondly, string choice can make a big difference. For me, heavier G's work better. I currently have .050-.105 flats on my bass, and I like the .050 G. Some brands have a better-sounding G than others, too. I tried some Ernie Ball Slinkys recently and thought they sounded pretty good all the way across the fretboard.

    If you want the fattest-sounding G string on the market, try Thomastik-Infeld Jazz flats. I'm not currently using them because they have such low tension, but they are exceptional strings. However, flatwounds in general don't necessarily have good G's. I have tried three sets that I didn't like - Fender 9050 L, D'Addario Chromes, and Carvin flats. All had twangy G's on my basses. I did, however, like the Fender 9050 ML's which are the same, but .005 bigger than the L's. I currently have Ernie Ball flats on my Precision, and they sound pretty good.

    A good preamp can help, also. I use an Ampeg, which seems to even out string-to-string response some.
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, people talk about this as a problem, but I see it as an advantage - this is how you get variety of tone just with your fingers without having to resort to effects.

    So if I want a rounded bassy tone then I will play the lower strings and just go up the neck - I will play lines starting at around the 12th fret on the E and B strings for a tone like an upright bass on Jazz walking lines or Latin "Tumbaos", But then if I'm playing a solo in the same song, I just switch to the G and D strings for a cutting tone that stands out and can be heard over whatever else is going on - drums/percussion, keyboards etc.

    To me, this is how it's meant to be and experimenting with playing lines at different places on the neck is a way of getting the right tone, without constantly fiddling with your amp - which can often be impractical at a gig with a dark stage and no breaks.
     
  4. the G string 9 is a standard part of the bass, it is taken for granted, therefore the amount of players playing E A D G out numbers those playing without the 'skinny' G and with the big 'fat' B

    your profile doesn't say what style of music your into, so I'm assuming that it's based around the lower register?

    but think of it this way, what happens if you called upon to play a song that spans the entire fret board, over 4 strings, you can't always start on the the B, most of the songs you play may not utilize the G but most do, so I say, don't get rid of the G, master it , if it's a problem get over it you'd be a fool to dismiss the idea of playing using the G, and if you like the B get a good 5 string, B-G

    you'll be a better player for it

    a problem with stringing you 4 as a 5 will be troublesome. As the scale is only 34? the B will have very little tension, so in the end you could end up with a floppy B and only 3 playable strings, you'd miss that G

    I know I mentioned the 5, but please don't think about F# B E A D :(
     
  5. If you're referring to women.. i LOVE (!) g-strings :D :D

    but in the bass.. i hardly use it.. in my kind of music ( metal ) you primarily use the EAD / BEA strings.. even in solo's...

    :)
     
  6. IMO, it depends on the style of music you play. I don't think I could play my music the way it is intended to be heard without the standard E,A,D,G Strings. For example, I use a some slap and pop octaves between the D and the G.
     
  7. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I'm not going to disagree with those who have posted above. However, I like the "one big string" concept where all the strings sound similar. For instance, in one song we play fairly frequently, I use a Bm7 arpeggio, where I start on the second fret of the A string continue across the D string to the G and end up back on the D string (I'm leaving out the specific notes for the sake of brevity), and I don't want a sudden twang in the middle. I have found strings (and techniques) that allow this.

    I also agree with those who say that technique is paramount. The G seems to take some finesse, even with the best strings, to get the most from. And, while I feel strongly that equipment is important, a little exposure to Jaco, Matthew Garrison, Bunny, and other greats reinforce the idea that tone is truly "in the hands."
     
  8. i have been playing bass for a few weeks now and ive never really coem along many G string notes. the music i play (punk/rock) is usually e,a and often d also like the other guy said.

    and i wont go as far as the panties :-D

    yer and i do think the G string sound poo.

    ;-)

    heh

    Jay!
     
  9. well thanx for your help I think I will try some different strings and work on my technique more. (Don't worry Tyburn I wouldn't go F# B E A D on a 5'er although it sounds very tempting :))

    Well I still feel the same about G-strings I hate how they sound and I don't think either me or my bass should ever be wearing one.

    thanx everone for your help :)
     
  10. Or, you could grab a compressor. But that's cheating.

    I hate G strings. They are murder on my haemorrhoids.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    My G sounds OK to be, not twangy at all, at least, not after my strings broke in.
     
  11. i like G strings, but if yours is too twangy, try plucking it near the neck, that'll mello it out.
     
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I love my G string as much as all others...:D

    Try using a lighter touch, your (overall) tone will improve.

    Rolling off treble a bit or some good compression from a (rackmount, not stomp box) compressor will help too.

    But if your playing technique is good, you won't need FX to get good tone, even on the G.
     
  13. My main axe is a Ibanez Soundgear 5 string and I love the sound of my G! But the B on my bass is absolutely terrible. Thats why I'm saving up to buy a Warwick Streamer Stage 1
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well rather than starting at the 2nd fret on the A string, why not start at the 7th fret on the E string or as I would - the 12th fret on the B string? If you don't want a "twang" there is always a way to do this and keep the "twang" for when you want this, rather than limiting the tonal variety that you have as options!

    So if you keep the G string bright, you can use this on songs that need it - for soloing or slap/pop for example and just look at different fingerings for lines that require a rounder darker tone - so I might have several songs that require a "flatwound-type" tone, but I can get this using the lower strings higher up the neck and by using techniques like palm-muting and plucking with my thumb - this opens up a whole wold of tonal variety that I would hate to lose by just playing "dead" strings.
     
  15. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    This is one of those issues where I think we should agree to disagree. And I'm not really disagreeing with you, just not looking for the same thing from my instrument or strings.

    rexspangle asked if anyone had noticed this same thing with the G and considered it a problem. I answered in the affirmative. You have noticed the relative brightness of the G, but don't consider it a problem. Our opinions differ, but that's OK, right?

    And yes, my Precision is currently somewhat limited in tone - it sounds like a Precision with flatwounds, which is what I wanted. I have other basses that I can explore other sonic possiblities with if I feel like it. I play the Precision out, and it currently handles what I need - relatively simple lines with a Jamerson-esque (hopefully) tone.
     
  16. yah, i do. My G is quite twangy (it's a 40) and i hate it. The thing is that GHS and Dean Markley are the only types of flatwound string available in my town. I have only tried the GHS ones, and my G is freaking twangy.
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Try a .50. Twang that.

    ;)
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well OK, but I think for anyone else - it's better general advice to explore the possibilities of playing lines higher up the neck on teh lower strings or in every position, rather than carry around several basses.

    Maybe I'm starting to understand why some people feel the need for several basses, whereas I always feel happy with just one..? If you always play everything at 5th fret or below, then it would seem very limited to me - if you've got 24 frets then my view is use them! ;)
     
  19. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Bruce, I haven't attempted to discourage anyone from exploring the sonic possibilities of their instrument - just because I like the sound of a Bm7 arpeggio in first position doesn't mean I think everyone should spend all their time below the fifth fret. You're absolutely right, one should learn how to use the whole instrument. Fingering the neck in different positions changes your sound, as does the way you pluck (or pick or slap) the strings.

    On the other hand, if rexspangle wants a fatter-sounding G string, I don't see why he shouldn't have one. If you want a thin-sounding (or bright, or twangy or whatever) G, cool.
     
  20. My g string feels real nasty, but that because it's been way up in there.

    Sometimes a "g" can be twangy if it's too close to the pickup. Jazz basses are famous for this because of their flat pickups. I space the "e" and "g
    a bit further away, while keeping with the radius of my fretboard.