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Miroslav Vitous

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by JAS, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. JAS


    Jul 3, 2001
    Does any one one know what strings miroslav vitous uses?
  2. LaBella 7720.
    I don't know if he uses the medium or light gauge set, though.
    I've read that he likes them because they are very bright and his bass is very dark.
  3. :meh:
    are the labella 7720 black in color? they are chrome, yes?
    watching the chick corea dvd "now he sings" trio, those strings appear to be black (nylon) vs chrome (metal). they also sound more like a nylon/gut, than metal to me.

    from seeing that dvd & also hearing miro's cd, "universal syncopations", my guess is he uses labella black nylon 7710.
  4. The 7720 are chrome, yes.
    The 7710 are black nylon on steel rope-core.
    Well, since Miroslav plays a lot of arco, and knowing the black nylon 7710s are everything but arco friendly, I'm not sure.
    He now has a website but no email link to join him!
  5. francois...you are right on with your questions...same as me,
    after i saw the corea dvd. have you seen this dvd from 2001?
    fantastic pizz, but no arco at all...which is somewhat odd as miro plays fantastic arco as we all know. plus those strings on that dvd look like like black nylon (which might explain no arco as you noted). and they sound "non-metallic"...to me.

    in addition to his personal website, he does have a "my space" website, where i asked him the string question about a week ago...but no reply...yet. thanks for responding.
  6. jazzbass72


    Jun 26, 2003
    New York, NY
    I remember reading an interview from 7-8 years ago in which he mentioned using a A-D-G-C set (bottom to top) tuned a 4th lower... that explains many things about his sound, facility and double and triple stops (totally effortless).

    From what I understand, Miroslav has now settled in my home country of Italy. I bet he must be liking the food there.

  7. Are you saying he tunes a 4th down from a "fifth" tuning set...top-to-bottom, as you list them. How could you get any sound? :eek: I've reached a new circle of confusion.
  8. jazzbass72


    Jun 26, 2003
    New York, NY
    Sorry, I meant that he tuned an A string down to an E, a D string down to an A, a G string down to a D, and a C string down to a G. Hope that makes more sense to you.

  9. Well, that's kinda what I meant. Tuning down that low...how could he maintain any tension and get a sound? It'd be like a bunch of rubber bands.
  10. spaghettiwestern

    spaghettiwestern Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Greater Boston Area
    Now I'm confused: is his lowest note a G or an E?
  11. jazzbass72


    Jun 26, 2003
    New York, NY
    Alright, where you would normally have an E string, he would use an A string tuned down to E; where you would have an A string, he would use a D string tuned down to A, and so forth. Sure, floppiness is guaranteed with such a set up, but if he was into it, he had good reasons for it (chording, triple stops, maybe a bass with a lot of tension). I've owned a bass where Spirocore Weichs would have more tension than Spirocore Orchestra on another bass.
  12. spaghettiwestern

    spaghettiwestern Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Greater Boston Area
    If you check out the video on his website (called "these hands"), you can see how low tension his strings are. It's kind of a weird sound (at least through my little computer speakers).
  13. Miroslav (born Czech) can do HIS sound on every strings and every bass. I met him in Prague (Czech republic) and heard him playing on a borrowed bass (its owner was complaining about the sound this evening) and on another evening Miroslav was playing his own bass. So I could compare both bass . As he had his tone in his hands, there was NO difference.Amazing!!!
  14. When I studied with Miroslav in Boston in the mid-80's I think he had solo guage LaBella's on his Czeck bass. I remember that they were kind of dead and I don't think he every changed them.

    And yes, he definitely has amazing hands. He has very strong big hands and he really worked on technique. When someone once asked him about using 3 fingers for more speed, like NHOP, I heard he said, "What for, I can play faster than him with two?" and then tore into a barrage of notes that would knock down walls. His hands weren't the only thing that was big, but he could back it up.
  15. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006

    Fair enough.
  16. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    My friend Joe Gallivan said the same thing about Miroslav. He did some tours with him in a group with John Scofield, and said that he was more than a bit troublesome at times, to the point of embarrassment. He's great, and apparently he knew it at the time.
  17. he uses labella 7720 lites (aqua & orange winding @ bottom).
    you can see this (occasionally) on the new "vienna" dvd &
    also the corea "now he sings" trio dvd.
  18. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Just a note: That album came out in 1968 - 39 years ago! Before choosing strings, I would consider the idea that strings may have improved, and choices may have increased since then. Would you choose a car based on what was the best car in 1968?
  19. I assume you are referring to the Now He Sings, Now He Sobs record, which was never actually mentioned in this thread. Bruce mentioned the Now He Sings DVD of the same trio which I suspect was done around the early 80s. The record from '68 is one of the all-time classics, a fact which has nothing to do with what kind of strings Miroslav had on his bass. To my ear, those sound like guts, or gut tops, but what makes that record special is the great performances and compositions it contains.

    On the other hand, I can imagine being so inspired by THAT sound, I would want to know what kind of strings they were, just to get in the ballpark. It wouldn't matter if it was from '88, '68, or '28. If I were inspired by classic cars, I might lust after the '68 Corvette (for example), regardless of all the improvements since then.
  20. The DVD is from Chick's 60th birthday party a few years ago. He reunited with a bunch of his old bands at the Blue Note in NY. There is a night of the Miroslav/Roy Haynes band, the Akoustic Band, the Three Quartets band etc. Nothing with Stanley Clarke though. It is different from the Trio Music reunion during the early '80's.

    It sure sounds like Miroslav was using guts on the original NHS, NHS album (one of the greatest albums ever). He was using the Labellas on the DVD.


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