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Funky String choices Need Help!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by fleafan7159, May 4, 2010.

  1. Another thread on my quest to sound like flea. Im gonna restring my SBMM SB14 and i want some funky flea like strings. I know that more recently flea used flatwounds especially on his 61' j bass. Im going for more of the earlier funk tone heard from Californication and Prior.

    So basically I have narrowed it down to nickel flatwounds but idk what brand to get. Here's a few I've considered.

    GHS Flea Signature Boomers M3045F
    D'addario XL 170
    Modulus Guitars Extra Long scale

    there was an faq about modulus basses that said the last two listed above were what they use, and the xl 170 was similar to what they use.

    So yea, any recommendations on funky punchy strings that will sound like flea on BSSM, Mothers milk, RHCP, OR even Californication.

    Im not really on much of budget but i don't want to be gouged :smug:
  2. bump
  3. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    I'm going to say the obvious before someone else says it; no strings will make you sound like flea, its technique etc.

    With that out the way, Boomers (not his signature ones) are what he used on the earlier albums. But keeping in mind your probably not going to be able to sound like him (which is no bad thing), why not put your own twist on his tracks with your own choice of strings? And experiment with different brands and gauges until you find a string you like rather than one someone else does.

    Personally I would do my own thing and use stainless strings, as I prefer their tone for slapping and Flea like stuff, but the key thing IMO is to experiment.

    Sorry if I was stating the obvious and hope this helps :).
  4. zenrad

    zenrad Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bergen County, NJ

    Strings in and of themselves aren't funky. The funk is from within.
  5. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Lubbock, TX
    Find some nickel rounds taht you like. IMO, DR nickel Lo Riders are pretty funky. DR Sunbeams are nice too if you like the flexibilty of a round core.

    Of course, the obvious choice is Ernie Ball Slinkies. I always thought the EB strings sounded pretty darned good on EB basses, but that's probably what's on there already.
    Technique isues aside, if you're trying to cop the ton off of an album then you're going to have trouble. There's a big difference between live tone and studio tone. RHCP albums in particular are heavily produced.
  6. GroovinOnFunk


    Apr 30, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Endorses Cleartone and SIT Strings
    I know you said you want nickel wound strings but for a really funky tone, might I suggest you reconsider and go for stainless steel? I use Rotosound RS66LD strings myself (same strings used by Jaco, Geddy Lee, John Paul Jones, and Chris Squire among others) and absolutely love them. When I can't get those I use D'Addario Pro Steels.

    I don't know if that's helpful but at least consider them if you haven't yet.

    Regarding the suggestions other people have made, I agree with DR Lo-Beams as far as nickels go.
  7. Conce


    Nov 20, 2008
    DR Lo Riders for sure...absolutely amazing for funk and pop/slap. They may be a bit more expensive than D'Addario's or Slinkys, but in my opinion they last a lot longer.
  8. zenrad

    zenrad Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bergen County, NJ
    Ok, can someone explain what a funky string is?

    Funk can be played on flats, stainless or nickels. Depending on the bass and the EQ settings - and your hands - they can sound very similar.

    Funk played on a Musicman, a Jazz, a Precision, a (fill in the blank)...it's all different sounding to some extent. Different string sets will sound different on various brands of basses as well. DRs sound like crap on my Jazz bass IMO, but I loved them on my SR800.

    The OP is looking to get Flea's sound - and asked about "funky" strings. There is no such thing as funky strings (unless you mean what happens if you never clean or change them for years). "What's the best strings for funk" is like "what's the best bass for metal."

    If someone is looking to get Fleas sound then they will need to start by playing the instrument he used with the strings he used through the amps he used. Even then it will probably not sound exactly the same.

    I think Meatrus hit the nail on the head earlier.
  9. aight yea i get what u mean by there's no such thing was funky strings, i meant to get funky tone, but thats mostly technique. i got y'all. But im thinkin maybe 2 sets to switch between cause i already have super slinkies on my bass so yea... im guess here are the choices

    Rotosound RS66LD
    DR Lo Riders
    DR Lo-Beams
    DR Sunbeams

    and just for the record I'm really inspired by flea and i'm just curious to try out what he used as far as strings go and see how i can use those influences to shape my tone. I'm getting there.
  10. GroovinOnFunk


    Apr 30, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Endorses Cleartone and SIT Strings

    IMHO, it sounds like you'll be happiest with the sound of stainless steel. the Rotos are an awesome choice. best of all though, they don't cost all that much so if you decide you don't like them, you won't be out that much dough.

    +1 for the Rotos IMO
  11. Aight cool. Do u think u could find some on eBay perhaps or some other site with a good price? I'm kinda at work on my itouch lol.
  12. zenrad

    zenrad Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bergen County, NJ
    I've heard that Flea used GHS strings...

    but I've also read that he played whatever strings come on the bass he's playing at the time, so go figure.

    Anyhow, juststrings.com has some good prices if you can't find strings locally.
  13. yea, im probably gonna get two pairs so yea the GHS Flea sig's have a possibility of being up there.

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