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Funky Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Drake, Dec 13, 2000.

  1. I am a funk bassist of 6 months, and sadly I know not a lot about string selection. Frankly I have never really done string shopping, I have only replaced them one other time.

    Now I need new ones that suit my funky needs. That includes jazzy funk and P-funk styles, mostly fingerstyle and a bit of slapping. I have an Ibanez sr400 with actives and the 3 band eq onboard.

    Can I get some recomendations, and why they are funky?

    That would be highly appreciated.

    I like things that are between bootzilla and Verdine White.


    PS-I like envelope filters and love my bassballs.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well to me - whether a bass line is funky is to do with the player and their timimg and syncopation and nothing at all to do with what strings they are using. I've heard really funky bassists with completely dead strings - no treble whatsoever, and others with very bright metallic strings. It's how you play them that makes it funky or not.

  3. Either way I am new at bass, and I am in the process of learning how to play as a funk bassist. I have been working on funk for the last 4 months maybe more. I will admit that I have poor timing and that is the area I need to work on most, but either way I have no experience with strings, and no time or money to try all of them so some leads in a funky direction, even just to get me started, would be appreciated.


  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well if you're going for the classic slap/pop sound of 70s/80s funk, then you really need roundwound strings - anything else just won't get that bright and sharp "pop" from the G string.

    Then it's a question of how bright you want the strings, Now although I do some slapping/popping I prefer to do more fingerstyle funk and so go for strings that aren't so bright , but are still roundwounds, so I prefer nickel coated strings. But the brightest are usually stainless steel. However, you will find that the brighter the strings, the more you will have to concentrate on muting unplayed strings which will otherwise ring annoyingly - especially in slap - if you don't mute properly.

    The thing to think about is maybe what you like about your current strings and what you don't like. If you could decribe this, then it might be possible to tie down your choice a bit further. You have to realise though, that there are a lot of things contributing to your overall sound besides strings - although they are an important factor.
  5. i've gone through the same thing,, i;ve been playing bass intensly for about 14 months,, but i played guitar for about 2-3 from the age of 10 so i've picked up the bass very, very quickly and i'm not afraid to say that i'm better than alot of bass players who have been playing 5 years,, but that just me

    but what i'm trying to say is that even though there are player that "play with dead strings" when your starting out you want to get your technique perfect and with old strings covered with crud you dont get the results because your technique isn't acurate enough. just the same as when u string out your bass with brand new strings they sound metalic, and fake

    u need strings that make the sound you want when u hit them, not the sound they want

    so i think we can come up with some suggestions to get drake goin
    i tried rotosound swing 66's and i found them griany as hell, there not very good on pops IMHO

    i went for Elites stadium series the likes of mark king are using them, Nathan east got his own custom set
    u can get them from the elites site http://www.basscentre.com

    cheers ty
  6. ok my strings:

    They are no fame .55-.110's they were the cheapest in the store, but my bass teacher who worked out of the store said I should get them because they are very good for the price and some local pros come in to buy them. I really liked them. They are nickel roundwounds and they are really bright. I was thinking that for funk I might want some lighter gauge strings than those heavies, but am not sure. I think the problem i have with them is that they are a little too metallic sounding.

    I already figured that I wanted nickel round wounds.

    Anyway thanks for the help and keep the advice coming.

  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have tried Elites, but don't really like them. I have been using D'Addario Slowounds. I bought mny last bass from the Bass Centre in London and they put a new set of Elites on and it sounded horrible - really scratchy. The difference when I put the Slowounds on was enormous, mellower, but still bright enough for slap/pop and with great harmonics. Good for both finger funk and all other types.

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