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Jazz String Choice for Pained Right Hand

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by pnchad, Nov 25, 2010.


  1. pnchad

    pnchad

    Nov 3, 2005
    I rarely start a thread but I have a possible career ending problem.

    Nerve & soft tissue damage to the right hand makes playing the 'big' bass almost impossible.

    I play almost exclusively jazz pizz on a very nice 1905 carved flatback Juzek which is quite open and excellent for this style.

    I used Helicore Hybrides for years and recently tried Eurosonics. The Euros sound nice and fat good old school thump - sustain not so much. But, the E is considerably quieter and although the tension is somewhat less than the HH, I'm still having pain.

    What would anyone recommend for low tension with good balance and a nice jazz tone.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Marton

    Marton

    Sep 20, 2005
    Quebec
    Gut ?
     
  3. pnchad

    pnchad

    Nov 3, 2005
    I've never played real gut. I came form the Ron Carter sound for years but now appreciate a more traditional tone.

    Are guts really easier on the pizz fingers?:help:
     
  4. Spirocore solos tuned at orch. pitch is a great place to start.
     
  5. ZUEG

    ZUEG

    Aug 29, 2010
    Just put LaBella Supernil's on my DB, nice tone. The volume isn't as much as the Black Diamond Doghouse strings I had on before. The supernils are nylon/nylon wound G&D, nylon/silver wound A&E. low tension. I'm far from being an expert in that I've only been playing around two months. Hope this info helps. Marty
     
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Also, Velvet Compas 180 Suit at orchestra pitch are very low tension and have a nice sound. Very easy on the hands.

    PS - Juzek labeled basses started appearing in the 1920s.
     
  7. pnchad

    pnchad

    Nov 3, 2005
    Sure wish there was a way to try various strings without spending a grand!

    But, thanks for all the input.
     
  8. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Drop by your friendly neighbourhood luthier and see what's available for test-playing. There's always at least 3 different kinds of strings on the instruments here, although they aren't necessarily on identical basses, but you can get a good idea of how they feel and sound.
     
  9. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I'll second that.
     
  10. swingingoodtime

    swingingoodtime Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    +1 (or should that be +3 given Salcott's seconding?)

    Super easy to play but I have to admit, they were a little metallic-twangy on my bass so pulled them off (although maybe I didn't give them time to break in properly). You may need to account for a decrease in output, though; due to the lower mass & tension, they seemed to impart less energy into the top and, with your right hand probs, you might therefore need to be careful of overplaying them to get volume. But definitely give them a go if the alternative is not playing altogether.:eek:
     
  11. JtheJazzMan

    JtheJazzMan

    Apr 10, 2006
    Australia
    As above - the solos with a full circle pickup will give you a nice round puffy tone.
     
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Depends on the bass. My bass speaks really clearly with less tension and tends to choke down as I go up. Tough to say what would happen on your bass. Luthier might be able to tweak your setup if you're commited to lower tension too.

    My suggestions:

    Certainly Spirocore Solos at Orchestral pitch.

    Velvets are a very good suggestion. I think if I was committed to that low of tension, Animas, Garbos, Compas 180s or some magic combination would be my first place to go. Very nice strings, but it's a commitment to that type of low tension setup.

    And someone suggested Gut. Probably depends on what specifically your hand problems are, but they do seem to be less work. The issue comes in if you're playing amplified with a loud band, that the darkness of gut sometimes gets buried an you can end up working harder (and/or playing out of tune). Depends on what you're doing.

    Pitch clarity under those circumstances might be better with Spirocores or Animas. There are other issues with gut that you can read about, but there is magic with them too.

    If you don't want to go quite that low, Spirocore Weichs or light gauge Heliocore Hybids might work for you too.

    Personally, I think I might start with a luthier installing Animas and setting up my bass to play nicely with them.
     
  13. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I'll second that, too-They have just so much output. Up to the cutoff point, which on my bass is pretty loud, they're great. After that point, they'll let you know there's no more.
     
  14. kwd

    kwd

    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    My teacher passed on an observation from one of his teachers who played in orchestras during the gut era. He said that before metal strings bass players didn't have all these "-itises". Meaning all the injuries and different flavors of RSIs. Solo strings tuned to orchestra pitch obviously work well for a lot of people. My opinion is that a metal string -even with reduced tension- is not going to have the elastic quality that a gut or nylon string would have. I used Supernils during my recovery and liked them. I wanted to keep up my arco chops so I eventually switched back to a lower tension metal string. I think a set of Supernils can be obtained for less than $100 so it's hardly an expensive experiment. If the Supernils work for you, you might then consider gut to improve your overall sound. Just my 2ยข.
     
  15. I was actually pretty pleased with the pizz sound of the Innovation Rockabilly strings...another imitation gut string at a reasonable price. The lower tension and the feel of the strings are very pleasing to the left hand and a lot easier to play than steel strings. The sound of guts or pseudo-guts is really the old traditonal bass sound, which I've warmed up to a lot in the last few years. Another string you might try in that catagory is the Cordes Lambert, which has gotten very good reviews...I've got a set being shipped right now for my other bass. And at $75 a set they're very affordable.
     
  16. pnchad

    pnchad

    Nov 3, 2005
    The RS damage is a nerve in my right hand along the index finger from playing Bebop at 300bpm (and probably poor technic). So, it's all about the pizz feel.

    So it travels all the way up the arm to the elbow, shoulder and even the back sometimes.

    Reason I explain is that the texture of steel seems to immediately set it off. I have Eurosonics on now but they only produce one sound and the E is weak.

    I have used tape wounds on the EBs which seem to feel better.

    Thanks for all the ideas. Unfortunately I live in culturally challanged south Florida - no quality string shop I know of down here for test driving strings.
     
  17. pnchad

    pnchad

    Nov 3, 2005
    [QUOTE

    PS - Juzek labeled basses started appearing in the 1920s.[/QUOTE]
     
  18. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I find Eurosonics just too floppy.

    If you think that the feel of the copper wound Velvets might be an issue then maybe the nylon wound Innovation Silver Slaps might work for you. They are very similar in tension to the Velvet Anima and Garbo but are a little more 'stretchy' and elastic under the right hand.
     
  19. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Most definitely. In fact, I feel like playing on gut strings somehow rejuvenates my fingers and forearms; after four hours of playing, I somehow feel better. Whereas a long gig on steel strings makes me not want to look at a bass for a few days.

    Oh yeah, and the thing about Juzeks that Eric mentioned is correct; ain't no such thing as a 1905 Juzek. But there are basses from 1905 which are basically exactly what a Juzek is.
     
  20. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago

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