First time replacing strings..need advice

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by gkella, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. i have a Fender Jazz Bass purchased a couple of months ago.
    It has whatever stock strings Fender provides on their new basses.
    I am going to see a guitar tech next week to have the action lowered.
    I wanted to change the strings at the same time.
    Really torn as to what to buy.
    I am playing mostly blues, some classic rock tunes.
    I don't use a pick.
    I like a lower action.
    Someone suggested a medium light gauge.. 45 to 100.
    Not sure if I should go flat wound, round wound.
    Any advice would really be appreciated.
    Thanks Glen
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Nobody else can tell you what you're going to like the sound and feel of.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    As to string choice, you have to experiment. Bassists in both genres use both. But a traditional blues thump is more often flats, while round rounds are commonly used with modern rock. Rounds are certainly more versatile - it's easier to turn down the treble with them than to try to find highs with flats.

    As to setting up the bass, it isn't that difficult. Check out some YouTube videos - I think Fender has one on it's site, and others will soon chip in here with their favorites. This will keep more money in your pocket, and allow you to experiment.
  4. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    Did you like the stock strings? Would you like something brighter or something darker/thumpier? Use those as the basis for what direction to go next.
  5. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron

    Most stock strings are nickel (as in, nickel-plated steel) strings in medium gauge (45-65-85-105). Take what you like/dislike about those and go from there.
    Rich Fiscus likes this.
  6. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    If you love the few months old stock string sound and looking for flatwound, I would suggest fender 9050L 45-100, little higher in tension and some stiffness, not expensive, and it sound nice in jazz bass. I love it unfine and raw tone which sound similar with broke in stock roundwound string .

    michael_t likes this.
  7. Thanks for the responses.
    It is a bit overwhelming in terms of what is availalble when you check the string
    Section at your local music store.
    I realize it is a personal preference.
    Thanks Glen
  8. bonin in the boneyard

    bonin in the boneyard Supporting Member

    Check out sound demos on YouTube. Then start cheap. GHS, DR, and Dunlop all make excellent strings for not much money, and they're usually easy to find.

    Label and save all your old strings. Every time I get a new bass (and sometimes amp) I have to start over to find a good string match.
  9. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    In addition to watching a slew of YouTube videos on changing strings and setups, maybe you can see if someone will let you observe them doing that to your bass?

    I would think someone who understands your situation and thirst for knowledge wouldn't have an issue with that.
  10. BobKos

    BobKos Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    I have found that certain basses respond well to certain strings. When I had a stock fender Jazz Bass, it responded well to two strings. Fender 7250M roundwounds and R.Cocco Nickel Rounds in .105. The Coccos are really nice but a bit pricey and hard to find. The Fenders are cheap and available everywhere.

    Unfortunately, you will need to experiment a little bit to find what string meets your needs. If you follow the TB classifieds, sometimes you can pick up popular strings cheap to try them out. I would never recommend used strings though.
  11. For blues , classic rock and country I prefer the sound of flats. If I was doing funkier stuff or more modern stuff I might prefer rounds but that would be a hard choice for me because I really like the feel of flats better. The slight increase in tension of flats makes it easier for me to get lower action if needed. I broke my left hand a while back and when it came out of the cast , really low action was a necessity. Since the hand has gotten stronger I have raised the action back up a little. Slap and pop is better with rounds but I hardly do any of that so it's a set of D'Addario chromes (45-100's) for me. Please keep in mind that this is all quite subjective and everybody has their own preferences.
    physics likes this.
  12. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    flats around here, are (becoming) very popular, particularly putting them on P-basses (1st), Jazz (2nd) ....I have put flats on my Jazz and love them (so does the rest of the band)...I always say Fenders on a Fender, my 1st flats were Fender 9050L's. great sound and feel.....D'addario Chromes also v popular, But I haven't tried them yet...currently have Dunlop flats on my jazz, so far so good
    physics and TL23NC like this.
  13. Buy a set of TI jazz flats. And that's it for buying strings ever again. They last forever and sound better and better as they age. If you don't like them, someone here on TB will buy them.

    Look for Sheldon Dingwall's step by step set up videos on YouTube. You can do this stuff, it's simple. And your set up preferences will change with time, string changes, and the weather. Keep those tools handy.

    If you want inexpensive round wounds, try the DR Pure Blues. They have several gauges to choose from, start in the middle.
    Nashrakh likes this.
  14. D'Addario light gauge chromes (45-100) will work very nicely for blues and classic rock. I use them for all genres. :cool:
    physics likes this.
  15. As mentioned, take note of what you do and do not like about your current strings/tone. They will be noticeably less bright than when new. We were all in your shoes at some point. I made it a habit for a couple of years to try a different manufacturer/type of strings each time just to get as much experience as possible. It might be pretty vanilla but I'd suggest a fresh set of nickel plated rounds and go from there. As mentioned, it is a lot easier to tone down brightness than it is to try and get a typical flat up and zingy.
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses
    D'addario or DR are the only strings I use
    physics and scuzzy like this.
  17. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Some OEM websites also provide sound clips. DR, for example has a sound clips for their bass strings. Nice to compare the different models, though do not know what the strings are on.

    I pretty much only use DR strings. I have black beauties on my Carvin and Pure Blues on my Fender Jazz. The 4003s has the OEM.
    bonin in the boneyard likes this.
  18. Thank you.
    DRs are commonly available as well....which is good.
  19. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I would suggest a good nickel set of DR medium strings. Round core if you want flex, hex if you want a bit more stiff. Or go for the Dunlop super bright mediums, nickel. My 2¢
  20. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    South Shore MA
    There is no way to replace the experience of trying out a bunch of different strings. It's not just the flexibility and tone that differs but also the feel under the fingers of any given brand. There are a number of decent inexpensive (under $20) options out there for you to check out to start getting a sense of what works for you. Flats tend to be more expensive, unfortunately.