Flats for a player in a band with crunchy guitar?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by lonestarwings, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. lonestarwings

    lonestarwings Guest

    Dec 30, 2007
    Austin, TX, USA

    I've been playing for a bit over a year now and am thinking of trying flats for the first time on my precision. I'm wondering if this is a good idea given the band I play in.

    My concern is that I will lose any ability to cut through (although that might be a good thing with my skill :bag:) in the mix, since our guitarist goes for a pretty crunchy sound layering on recordings, even if though there is only one guitarist. I'm also concerned that the flats might make th mix sound a little thin in a live setting when the guitarist goes into a solo and it's just drum & bass underneath his "shredding" :ninja:. Here's our myspace for a sound reference: http://www.myspace.com/daybreakdesire

    Personally, I end up playing in that bottom octave most of the time, with occasional fills in the 2nd octave, but I never really venture into those upper registers, definetly a lot of grooving on open E. I've always been a fan of that Eric Wilson (sublime) type of monster sub-bassment sound, but I get the complaints of muddiness from bandmates sometimes. Was wondering if the flats might be a good compromise?

    So far I've tried:

    Dean Markley Fretmasters
    DR High Beams
    DR Lo-Riders
    Dr Fat beams
    D'Adarrio Prosteels

    I'd say my favorites for the P-bass so far have probably been the Lo-Riders. Sorry for being so long winded, thanks for any help.

    Also, I do have a Jazz that I keep rounds on so switching basses is a possibility if I needed different sounds from song to song.
  2. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    I didn't listen to your music, but if you want to poke out of the mix with loud crunch guitars, rounds are the way to go and bump your mids.
  3. lonestarwings

    lonestarwings Guest

    Dec 30, 2007
    Austin, TX, USA
    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm actually pretty satisifed with the way I sit in the mix with 2 or 3 month old rounds, but wouldn't want a big drop off in midrange/treble from that. The main rason I'm considering flats is I wonder if they'd richen the low end and give it more oomph. On some songs we play I find myself plucking near at the end of the fretboard to get the sound I want with the rounds.
  4. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    Rudy Sarzo used flats on his Fretless Music Man when playing with Randy Rhodes on the song 'Believer'.
  5. LowG


    Dec 8, 2006
    Milwaukee, WI
    You just have to try it. It's not an incredible investment if you buy a normal set. Can anyone say Iron Maiden?
  6. markdavid


    Jun 29, 2007
    You just gotta try a set and see , avoid the more traditional sounding flats like Fender and Labella and go for the more modern flats like Daddario Chromes or Ernie ball flats
  7. lonestarwings

    lonestarwings Guest

    Dec 30, 2007
    Austin, TX, USA
    Yeah? I like the tone on that song. Guess I will just break down and try them. In the worst case, I switch back to rounds right away and am out a few bucks, like the poster above me said.
  8. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I'd look at DA Chromes or even TI Jazz Flats. They'll give you a bit more to cut through those guitars. The TI's will do it with nice sweet mids, and the Chromes will do it with some high mids.

    You could also try something in a round with a bit more thump and less zing.... like Infeld Super Alloys or DR Sunbeams.

  9. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Steve Harris...enough said!

    I was hesitant to try flats. I just purchased a bass with flatwounds on it however, and this thing speaks! I'm gonna try it out tonight during band practice.
  10. 4stringman

    4stringman Guest

    Oct 12, 2008
    Memphis, Tn
    rotosound swingbass 77's
    steve harris.....
    need i say more?