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Flatwound strings in modern music

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by raul, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. raul


    Aug 30, 2006
    Planet Earth
    We all know that many people use flats. They were the strings of the 60 ' s and most of the 70's. But...who's using them these days as far as high profile players? What about in the rock world, with all of it's genres and sub genres? Or in pop besides Pino...metal besides Steve Harris...funk...rock...who's playing flats?
  2. Dan_reeves


    Jun 14, 2013
    The bass player for AC/DC uses them in studio, but not live, if I recall.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Tim LeFebvre uses them.
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    What does Jamareo Artis use? Treasure sounds like a P with flats to me.
  5. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Yeah, he does, DR Legends I think.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Pino uses them a lot when he's not playing with the Who. Even uses them with Nine Inch Nails. Justin Meldal-Johnsen uses them for many of his tracks. Most people still use rounds, though.
  7. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    Ya ... they are a new band ...
  8. BKBassDude


    Jun 17, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Fitz and the Tantrums first album sounded like a P with flats to me for most of it.

    As did Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears.

    Also Snarky Puppy. And Vulfpeck.

    All new bands with decidedly retro vibes though.
    M0ses likes this.
  9. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    I've used them in my band before, sounds great! But gone back to rounds as I missed the sound of rounds in a band
  10. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I have to admit I have a hard time in the live and budget studio-type arena that I am usually recording in, to give flats the attack and the frontal presence in the mix I'd like them to have. Probably a lot I need to learn about proper EQ-ing. I can only think of the Incubus guy, Ben Kenney. I'd be curious for some more real-world examples too.
  11. acleex38


    Jul 28, 2006
    Mike Gordon and Reed Mathis both use flats (usually but not exclusively with a pick).
  12. Sean Hurley on Born and Raised by John Mayer.
  13. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    Since we're on the subject, does anyone know what strings Davey Faragher uses when playing with Elvis Costello? His sound is so fat compared to Bruce Thomas's roundwound sound that I'm guessing flats.
  14. Juan Alderete uses flats a lot, and in various genres.
    M0ses likes this.
  15. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    In my jam band, which is essentially a RHCP tribute band that excludes songs with slap bass (cuz I suck at it), I play my jazz bass with labella flats. We sound pretty awesome.
  16. Actually, most of RHCP's Stadium Arcadium was recorded in a jazz strung with flats (or so I think). Is it modern enough? ;)
  17. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    So you guys know, what, four songs?
    OOD and Need Gigs like this.
  18. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    I'm not a high profile player...but here's what I experience:

    IMHO it doesn't really matter what string you use in 'modern music'. Flats, rounds, or else. Whichever you need & want. Or in my case is also what the Producer who hires me needs/wants.
    Well, we know that computerized, programmed synth/sampled bass is very common in modern music, no matter what the genre.
    In this context, flatwounds even have the advantages, because it has smooth character that almost can imitate that synth bass sine wave (sound) and frequencies.
    (Of course you also can make the flat wound to 'growl' (almost) like a round wound or other type of strings with proper setup. (Although if that's the case, better use the real round LOL).
    To achieve that 'synth' kind of sound more, sometime - and at first I was forced to do it then - I even play with my thumb (all downstroke) near the neck...
    It eventually becomes my main habit and one of weapons in my arsenal :D
    Now, because flats can be sound like synth bass, it's a 'plus' because being played by a real human, the producer (who likes it) get the best of both world. The sound and the performance. Everyone's happy :)
    Klonk likes this.
  19. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    On Costello's "When I Was Cruel" album, Farragher is listed as using a Fender P. Pics I've seen of him in performance appear to show his P strung with flats.
  20. Interesting topic ! I consider flats a lot today (I'm thinking about Thomastik Flats) but I'm afraid that flats are "the strings of the past" and in today music they're too vintage, oldschool and not versatile as roundwounds. I've got only one bass so it's hard to me to choose if I have to stay with rounds or put TI flats and forget about change my strings for next 5-8 years lol :p I tried D'Addario Chromes couple years ago and I like them. I don't know... What do you guys think about that ? I'm quite versatile player - sometimes I play with rock bands then other day I play with alternative band, blues, funk, r&b hip-hop, reggae then maby jazzy things or even wedding party ?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015