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Flatwounds For Funk?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jon Lucas, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Jon Lucas

    Jon Lucas

    Jun 2, 2010
    What's up guys! Question, so I'm debating on getting some D'Addario Chromes for my 6 string, but I'm concerned that I may not be able to get a good slap sound out of them, because their flats, does anyone know if they are ok for slap? And if not, are there any flatwound sets out there that are? Thanks for reading!
  2. ncapone


    Nov 17, 2010
    Bernard Edwards used flatwounds, but he didn't slap. I'd try it and if it doesn't work out you'd have a spare set.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Slap on flats is a unique sound you'll either love or hate. (I hate it, personally, so I just quit slapping rather than go back to rounds ;))
    conte2music likes this.
  4. eeerg. Pet hate. Funk and slap are different things.

    Funk emerged in the late 60s and was all about flatwounds. Slap emerged in the early/mid 70's.
    TheDominoKid likes this.
  5. GroovinOnFunk

    GroovinOnFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Endorses ClearTone and SIT Strings
    Really? You must mean he didn't slap much cuz I've definitely seen videos that would prove otherwise. But with that said, I did not realize that he used flatwounds (edit: that's because he actually didn't...). That's awesome! I really WANT to like flatwounds... but as of yet, I don't. I just bought a stingray actually because Louis Johnson and Bernard Edwards are 2 of my idols and I just joined a funk band (and came across a ridiculous deal... I know that the gear doesn't make the player... but whatever...).

    Anyway, there's nothing wrong with flatwounds for funk. But boy... I'd recommend the lightest gauge you're comfortable with if you plan on slapping them. But that is definitely just IMO :bassist:
  6. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    See "Peg". Check out the chorus. Flatwounds, slap, funk. There you go.

  7. digitalmoney


    Nov 13, 2011
    Appleton WI
    I got D'Addario chrome flats 4 string for less than 20 bucks
    Tried on my Thunderchief did not like them
    Switched to my Ibanez I slapped them and was surprised they sounded fine.
    Chromes are on the bright side for flats.
  8. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    I'm not convinced he was using flats all the time on all of his Stingrays. Check out the live version of Family, particularly starting around 3:26. Also notice around 3:35 and it sure like he has non-stock tuners too.

  9. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    For an old school (ish) funk sound, try a dead set of steel rounds.
  10. Maybe try some half rounds instead of true flats and see if you like it... Mike Gordon from Phish slaps on halfs very convincingly...
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Not sure I believe this. John Taylor of Duran Duran got his StingRay after he passed, and I'm pretty sure the story goes that John's tech cut Bernard's ancient as heck roundwounds of the bass unbeknownst to John one day.
  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    What kind of strings does he use?
  13. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Mike gordon uses ken Smith slickrounds.

    Chuck Rainey had Labella flats on his P bass for "Peg"

    Lots of old funk and disco tunes were played on flats

    I use Labellas on a Jazz bass and they sound plenty funky

    If you like your slap tone with some zing than flats
    probably arent for you, they have there own unique tone.
  14. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Just get some TI's and be done with it.
  15. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    You can definitly slap flats. Don't listen to what other people say. You won't get the high freq sizzle but you can make it work no problem.

    I've said this a million times, Flats sound good for everything.
  16. What he said :D:D

    You don't need thumbs to be funky....

    BTW...in the 80's, Bernard was asked in an interview what kind of strings he used. He replied "don't know. What kind of strings come on a Musicman?"
  17. billgwx


    Apr 10, 2009
    Centereach NY
    Chromes still have enough brightness to sound good to my ears when slapping on a J-bass, even when broken in, though they certainly won't have the same steely snap you'd get when slapping with stainless steel rounds. They also have a midrange emphasis that you can get away with on a J because it compensates for the midrange scoop you get when both J pickups are on full, but IMO does not work for my ears on a P-bass whose pickups already emphasize the mid-range.
  18. GroovinOnFunk

    GroovinOnFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Endorses ClearTone and SIT Strings
    The problem with the internet is anyone can say things as though it's a fact... Unfortunately, this is wrong on all accounts actually. Not only did Bernard Edwards actually use roundwound strings (all the time, from what I can tell), but here he is just doing a little slap for ya.
  19. heckraiser


    Aug 28, 2009
    You might want to try GHS PressureWounds. I use them on my 78' Musicmaster. They are brighter than flats but still give most of the flatwound sound. I use them to tone down the brightness on the Musicmaster and bring more of the low end out.
    Coward Of Reali likes this.
  20. FWIW, I can slap on Chromes on my Jazz bass. I had to get used to the feel and adjust my technique a bit, but it works. Chromes are brighter than many other flats, but you still won't get that full on, snappy round slap sound. But it is workable.