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Guitar strings for a bass player?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by keyofnight, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. keyofnight


    Jun 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    So, I've been noodling around on the bass for a while, and I want to play guitar. I'm trying to learn to play finger style in the hopes that my finger style picking technique on the guitar will help with my bass technique in the long run. I find that the skinny strings I have on my Strat right now are very easy to "overfret," though—I press so hard on them that I bend notes. I have to play very gently, and it's aggravating. I also miss the feel of flatwounds on the bass, but people say those sound terrible on the guitar. (I've heard that country players use them to great effect, but I'm not sure I can hear much of a difference.)

    Have any of you bass players run into the same issue? What strings do you use on your guitars? Any of you using flats? ;)
  2. I had a set of flats on an acoustic/electric. They sounded OK plugged in, but not very good acoustic.

    I gave the strings to my brother, and he put them on a regular electric and liked them.
  3. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I find for me, having a medium set (11s) helps make the transition a bit easier from bass to guitar. Currently, I have a set of our Big Core Nickel Rockers (pure nickel, heavier core wrapped strings and beefier plain steels) and find that works well for me.
  4. keyofnight


    Jun 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Cool! Thicker and flatwound. I'll pick some up soon. ;)
  5. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    Flats were used a lot in the 60's. The Beatles are a great example, Pyramid Gold on every guitar.

    today you can hear then for example in the Strokes albums.
    every jazz guitarist uses flats, they are the "smooth sound" of jazz.

    If you're looking for a brigth sound, they are not good.
  6. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    only strings I can use are 13's on my Strat. Tried lighter gauges but hands and fingers are too big. I can still bend 13's very easily. I use drop tune Blue Steels 13-56. Plus I like the unique sound of thick gauges. you can get a monster sound with the right EQ settings and effects.
  7. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    I just got back into guitar after a long hiatus myself. My problem is the thing just feels so claustrophobic. I picked up a bunch of different strings to try too. The OP should try a nickel rollerwound string. They'll sound half way between a roundwound and a flatwound and have a similar half way between feel.
  8. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Actually, the Beatles were not that particular with strings. I believe the UK branch of Selmer sold "Beatle" sets, and they may have been used as well as others. Yes, they used Pyramids, but to say exclusively would not be an accurate statement.

    In any event, yes, as a bass player, I use D'Addario 11's, in their XL115W set with a wound 3rd G string for my electric guitars, as well as GHS Brite Flats 11's on one guitar. My acoustic guitars wear 12's. If you want a good mellow tone, DR flats in 11's are a good balanced set.
  9. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    actually those Selmer were Pyramids. Selmer only supplied Pyramids, the same way Hofner labeled strings are produced by Pyramid.

    Lennon was so in love with them thay he used Gold Flatwound even on his Gibson j160, an acoustic guitar!

    he used, if I don't get wrong, in 11-48 gauge
  10. keyofnight


    Jun 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    So, I tried out a pair of medium gauge chromes (.013-.056). They're so thick, they feel so smooth, and I definitely can't fret the strings sharp with my heavy hands. Also, the extra tension gives me so much feedback for fingerstyle playing. I love these.

    It's really weird to play these on this Strat, thoguh. It's a Japanese HSS Strat with a Floyd Rose on it. I had to put all 5 springs on the tremolo to keep it floating. Serious tension. The pickup is a Duncan JB, and so it had a really rough (almost annoying) edge with roundwounds. With flats, the brightness it still there, it just doesn't hurt as much.

    Next time, I'll try Pyramids or Rollerwounds. Thanks, folks! :D

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