1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

My apologies for this topic: Flats or Rounds?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Pichy, Sep 16, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Pichy


    Aug 24, 2012
    Mason, Ohio
    I need to start thinking about this since I just moved into playing bass, and there is a lot I need to learn. So, which one is better for (the basses I am considering or have are Fender GL Jazz, Fender American Special P):

    Reduce finger noise?
    Your fingers?


    I am sure this topic has been discussed in hundreds of threads, yet I am new to this Forum and I do not have the time to search them all.

    Thanks again!
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    It all depends on the tone you want, i.e. bright.. or warm and mellow, not unlike a double bass.

    The rounds will give you the former (brightness fades with time), and flats will give the latter. There is a lot less finger noise with flats, but dont use this as an excuse not to have good technique. For durability, is has to be flats. They can last as long as ten years, still retaining there tone.

    While both types can be used in all types of music, generally rounds are used in rock (though early rock probably had flats). Flats are generally more suited to jazz and blues IMO.

    Flats are easier on your fingers and the frets themselves.

    Dont forget that both take a while to break in, depending on how long you play. So whatever you choose, give them time, before you jump to a definitive conclusion about them.
  3. gary m

    gary m

    Jan 17, 2011
    Mid -Atlantic
    Fenders love GHS Precision Flats, and the price is right. Try the 45-105 gauge set.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There are 5000 different opinions for every set of strings on the market. Make up your own mind.
  5. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    The almighty string hunt is never ending. Everytime I get a new bass it starts all over. For my Jazz type bass I use DR Fat beams. On my Peavey Fury which is a P type bass I use Webstrings Detroit Flats. I also have a set of GHS Precision flats on a hollow body and TI Acousticores on my acoustic. I have gone through at least 3 different sets of strings for each bass.

    My string searches always start in the string section of this forum. At the end it is all about what you like!!!
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    If you don't have time to search them all, then all of US should take our time to respond?

    I don't think so.
  7. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012
    This is a question that has no answer, or a million answers, depending on how you see it. You can spend 24 hours a day on here and you might not be any closer than you are right now in deciding.
    You can only generalize after reading thousands of threads.
    You won't know what you like if you're just getting started. Seems to me you'll actually need to pay your dues and try flats and rounds, and then, and only then, you may POSSIBLY narrow your search for a specific brand and type.
    Man, you have a long road ahead of you. There'll be a lot of ruts, but no WRONG turns, really. It's just that it might take you longer to get there, depending on which road you take.
    Right now, you don't even have a map, so git in yer car and start learning the area.
  8. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Any strings will "work" on any bass. Most people start with rounds nowadays, but flats are having a resurgence. All basses you mentioned will work fine w rounds or flats. Your bass will probably have rounds on it when you buy it.

    Flats can be a bit easier on your fingers, but you'll need to develop calluses sooner or later, so don't avoid rounds on those grounds.

    They sound different:
    --Flats sound more rubbery and thump-y, less sustain.
    --Rounds sound brighter, more aggressive, more sustain.

    Flats: Gang of Four: Ether
  9. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    If you dont have time to post a response then dont.

    This is a forum; I am sick and tired of reading and occasionally receiving the 'do a search' response.

    There is a lot of marginal information in old threads, hidden in a plethora of ****** opinions, antiquated misinformation, and just plain garbage.

    If you dont think that someone should be able to have their own fresh exploration, guided by their personal questions, and responded to by possibly new information, then shut the whole site down and archive it.

    You all knew what the thread would be.. So why take time to open it if you have no input.

    To the OP
    flats are great for deep, bassy sound (check out alot of motown) and rounds have more bright, upper harmonic potential with typically increased finger noise.
    Your best bet is to snag a few of both and try them in different genres and settings, because this IS a very opinionated subject
  10. bumperbass

    bumperbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2012

    Uh, because maybe he should start at the beginning?

  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Exactly. Re-asking in this fashion is rude to forum members, especially when you admit you're too lazy to look it up for yourself!

    The acronym RTFM is quite appropriate..

    Then, as the dread pirate Wesley said, get used to disappointment. There are forum rules.

    If you don't have 15 minutes to invest in finding an answer that already exists, don't ask the forum to cumulatively invest a couple of hours in re-creating answers that have already been given. :rollno:
  12. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Instead of causing a big fuss just give him some advice. He's new. Jeez.
  13. LeoSash


    Feb 13, 2012
    Personally I use Nylon tapewounds on my acoustic bass and it sounds really good to me (i'm going for an upright bass sound for my jazz band while i learn an actual upright). I use Rounds on my 6 string.

    But to answer your last three questions:

    flats are easy on your fingers, reduce noise and last a while longer than rounds (because they don't get grime in there that easily).

    but just experiment. No one said playing the bass would be cheap. ;)
  14. I wonder why people even waist the time to write "search for yourself"... you just put a touch of effort into the guys thread - why not write a few words more and be a helpful TB community?

    Buy 3 sets of strings and decide for yourself.

    D'addario XL Nickels
    Dean Markley SR2000
    Thomastik Jazz Flats

    Those are a great representation of each major string catagory (nickes, stainless, flats).

    From there - you'll know which direction you want to pursue.
  15. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Belfast, UK
    Too many choices. D'addario Chromes are a nice flat, put them on your P bass - classic combo. Put a set of D'addario nickel rounds on the Jazz-another classic combo. Sme players prefer the other way around, some don't like rounds, some don't like flats. As for finger noise, avoid half wounds and stainless steels. If you get a lot of finger squeak with regular nickels, try a set of coated strings like Elixir. Flats will last forever, rounds need replacing when they go dead.

    If you want "high end"/boutique sorts strings, Circle K are awesome.
  16. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Flats are great for punk, soul and reggae type sounds, or anywhere that you want a '60s vibe. Rounds are good for everything else.

    I keep two basses so I can have one strung with each. Roto RS66 on my Thumb, LaBella FL760 on my Jazz.
  17. IMO, Rounds are more versatile. You can play any style with just some EQ changes.

    However, i've never owned a set of flats until recently and they've fit the ticket for me. I mostly play jazz/lounge/big band/oldies style bass lines and the flats can't be beat for what I play.
  18. Gab124

    Gab124 The path is greater than the destination Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Hey Pichy, welcome to Talkbass. Pay no attention to the search nazi's, they are everywhere, but as you get used to this site you will find the search tool very effective, but not always efficient.
    Flats or rounds is a topic that many of us have had to go through as well, and to be honest in over 20 years of playing I still don't know my own personal answer. But I can say this. Every time I personally have used flats I have gotten flak from other band members and a few sound guys. They can give you a very solid supporting sound but without the overtones than many people associate bass with. This may be why the vast majority of recordings and performances you will hear have rounds. That is not to say flats are not good, some of the more recent Incubus music is done with flats (just as an example that is not motown, blues or 60's related). I recommend having one bass strung with each for diversity. It will be a personal journey for sure so good luck.
  19. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    I recently took the flat plunge, I love how they sound in a band, deep rich low end. I am using roto 77's and love em.
  20. The answer is simple....get flats...and more specifically get La Bella flatwounds...or just get something entirely different...doesn't matter.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.