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flatwound string question

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by mlafrancis, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. mlafrancis


    Jun 26, 2008
    Hey I play in a Hard Rock band, and I recently got a new bass (MIM Fender Deluxe Precision Bass Special) and I'm going to be trying to find the best strings for the bass and band.

    I heard that flatwound strings were good for a hard rock band, is this true?

    I also heard that flatwound strings arent good for solo bassing, that they are just good for keeping the rhythm. Is this true?

    I'm trying to decide on what strings to try out. I diddnt want to waste money on the flat wound strings if those two things wernt true. I play a couple solo's, and have key parts in songs liek intro's and stuff, so I need a bass string that will be heard when needed, and add to the rhythm when needed.

    So do you think flatwound strings would be good for that? or....?

  2. My band are fast and loud, we play a lot of rock and punk covers and I have a few bass solos and I'm not one to play just to keep the rhythm, we have a drummer for that, so I always try and show of a bit. I use Rotosound flatwound strings (RS 77M) on my Mexican Febder Jazz Bass. I use a light gauge and I love them. Don't think i'll ever change to anything else. I originally used them because I slide a lot on my bass and roundwound strings were just painful after an hour or two playing the way I do, but they do sound good too. They are also a lot easier on your plucking hand if you play finger style, which is good for me since I sometimes use my ring finger to pluck the strings if I'm playing a fast part.

    I play a few songs where I do have to keep the rhythm in part, still sound good and loud.

    Edit: If you go for Rotosound then I suggest measuring your instruments distance from nut to bridge, I use medium scale strings but they are just slightly too short, I may try long scale next time.
  3. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    There are a lot of variables like gear, PUP's,string brand, etc. to determine if flats are for you or not. I solo on mine occassionaly, but I play in a swing-rockabilly type band so the old school tone works. If you are looking for that sounds that "cuts-through" I would not recommend flats.
  4. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    I disagree. If you like a lot of highs in your tone, flats aren't going to work, but if you usually dial down the tone knob, you'll find flats to work beautifully.
    Flats don't seem like they would work well when you play the bass by itself, but in the mix of guitars and drums you'll find that the flats seem to emphasize just the right frequencies to really make the bass stand out in the mix.
  5. With my setup I find that I just stick to the same general EQ adjustments that I would use for roundwound; boost my bass and treble, cut the middle slightly. Perhaps it is my jazz bass that makes me cut through the mix or the fact that my band is just a 3 piece. You can always play around with EQ if you aren't cutting through.
  6. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Normally I'd say use the flat wounds. I've been playing bass for over 45 years and prefer them over everything else, and I've tried pretty near everything else.

    But you're just 18 years old according to your profile. You might not yet appreciate the sound of good flatwounds and how to use them. You don't want to spend money and not be happy with the result. I use Thomastic flatwounds myself. They have a much different sound from other flatwounds. They "cut through the mix" more. I don't care about cutting through the mix myself and prefer my bass blends into the mix. I just love the sound and feel of the Thomastics.

    They last a very long time too. Over 8 years on my main bass. That was 8 years of constant gigging. At about $60 Canadian a set, that worked out to about $8 a year for strings. Pretty good deal I'd say. Other brands of flatwounds usually last longer too.
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Check out this megathread about flats...


    It's a lot of reading, but aside from a few of the typical TB arguments that pull it off track once in a while, it is a good discussion on the merits of flatwounds.

    There are flats that don't sound dull or muddy like old school thumpy flats of a long time ago. D'Addario Chromes and TI Jazz Flats come to mind as far as bright flats go. The Chromes "cut through the mix" better than any string I've ever used in 30 years of playing...rounds or flats.

    Having said that, check out some threads on flats before you decide. Rounds and Flats both have their place. If you want something that allows for string bending or chordal work, try using a lighter gauge (rounds or flats).
  8. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    If everyone in the band is aware of their role in creating a "balanced" EQ, then any string will work fine, and you will be heard. This is a big "if" in my experience, and I think why rounds have such a huge following.
  9. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    Ain't that the truth. I tried to explain this in Sundogue's flatwound thread,but was ganged up on by what seemed to me like a bunch of first time flatwound users. If you play with musicians who know how to find their place in the mix,the type of strings you choose to use,should not matter much. I find playing a number of different styles of music, and find that a good nickel plated steel roundwound works best for me. I do play with pro musicians though, who make a living playing music.
  10. question about flat wounds,
    I have read a lot f the posts, but am only about half way through the mega thread. I see lots of P bass stuff, but has anyone used flats on a bass with soap bars?
    I have a Schecter Elite 5, with EMG passives, but active preamp. currently strung with DR Low riders. I am thinking of trying flats, but haven't really seen anyone mention a bass even remotely similar to mine.
  11. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Flats will work on any bass, if that is the sound you want. It's worth a try.
  12. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I use Chromes on my active (with soapbar pickups) Washburn 5 string. Killer sounding.
  13. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Still being condescending I see.

    I used to make a living doing nothing but playing bass and traveled all over the country doing just that...with others who were also making a living from it. That's all I did for over ten years and I made a lot of money from it. You ain't the only one who's been a professional bass player or played with other professional musicians. So drop the attitude.

    I now have other, better things, to do with my life besides having to whore myself out to someone telling me what to play and how to sound. I still make good money at it, but music for me now is strictly an enjoyable, part time job that fulfills everything I need musically. I don't punch no fricking time clock nor does anyone tell me what to do anymore. I don't have a day job. I'm into other creative endeavors that are far more fulfilling than playing bass.

    I put my time in and paid my dues. It was a great ride, but I'm semi-retired from the music biz. So lay off me you self-righteous jerk.

    I'd say it via PM and not have yet another thread derailed by us, but I'd rather everyone publicly know I'm sick of your crap.
  14. david fitch

    david fitch

    Feb 20, 2007
    Way out of line. It sounds like this Sundogue is a frustrated and angry man. I would love it if playing bass was still my only source of income.
  15. OlSkewl56


    May 26, 2007
    South Texas
    I've got the same bass strung with DD Chromes and would not have it any other way.
  16. Demon_Hunter


    Jun 8, 2008
    I have Chromes now on all my basses
    Kubicki Factor
    Fender Jazz Bass Special

    They all kept their unique tonal qualities and the chromes are just so beautiful sounding on each one I wish I had discovered them 15 years ago.

    Oh...and the flatwounds don't tear up your fingers as some roundwounds feel like barbed wire sometimes.
  17. Bassist4Life


    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    I use flats for everything. I don't use them for slap; but then again, I don't really slap. So...

    TI Jazz Flats. I had 'em on my P-Bass for almost 4 years now. If you go to http://www.myspace.com/thegavinpetrietrio you can hear how they sound. They come through pretty clear in my composition "Husky".

    It's my P-Bass w/a Nordie J going through a slight amount of fuzz, into my GK head, into a 1x12 Berg cab. The cab was mic'd for the recording.

    It's "Jazz", but it has a hard edge sound in my opinion.


    PS. The recording is a "rough mix". We're expecting the mastered version in a week, so please be kind. :)
  18. p-bass

    p-bass Guest

    Feb 17, 2008
    Yawn.....Is this for real ? A couple weeks ago somebody who posted on this thread did send me a PM and apologized,and said he was having a tough time at work and felt he was taking it out on me. I only speak for myself and I have no dout there are great bass players on this forum who are pros, and play with pros. I have learned alot from the people on this site, and I appreciate all the information I have obtained on this site. I can not believe anybody would call somebody names among other things, because they simply disagree with that person because they have a different opinion on strings. Steve

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