My strings sound metallic.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Tubbs, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. Tubbs


    Jan 3, 2006
    I am a beginner and my bass is only about 5 weeks old and the strings on it sound metallic, i know they shouldn't sound like this because 1.a friend who plays bass says they sound too metallic 2. none of the people ive heard have a bass that sound like mine, they dont sound metallic they sound smooth. (Les claypool for example :D ) Is this because the strings have not been used enough or is it that my strings are beginner ones. If the latter is true then could you suggest some good ones to get.

    All help is appreciated

    Tubbs :bassist:
  2. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
    You know Les personally?

    My blue steels (same gauge as les uses) are usually insanely bright and twangy until i break them in for a couple weeks.
  3. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    Metal strings on metal frets sounding 'too metallic'?


    "Fetch the needlenose pliers and wood oil...STAT!"


    Plenty of string brands out there, from cheap to dear...Different types for different needs. A search in this forum will net you a lot of advice, good and bad.

    No such thing as 'beginner' strings, the euphemism you might want is 'budget'.

    Try rolling off some of the instrument's treble output to get rid of unwanted high end overtones. This may aid in your quest for a smoother sound, but beware the dreaded mudtone.

  4. Yeah, just break them in. You are a beginner so it will take longer, but you'll get there.
  5. If they are roundwound strings, which very likely they are, they are going to sound that way. They will have less of a "metallic" tone as you play on them more. But, if you are wanting to play most styles of modern bass that is what is used.

    Also, that characteristic of the sound is much less noticeable if you are playing with other instruments at the same time.
  6. If your after a fingered bass sound rather than a ckicky one - either practice more till you can play without it sounding metallic or...this may sound crazy...some people melt some butter in the microwave and rub it on their strings then leave it to dry up - if your getting a REALLY clanky sound, try doing this, then leave it for a day, do it again, then play the following day
  7. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    First let me say most folks prefer the "metalic" sound as you put it. I (and others) generally refer to that as the "piano" sound, because it sounds like the low notes on a piano.

    For the smooth/deep sound you hear on much popular music, flatwounds are generally the way to go. Rotosound, Labella and Fender are the most common vendors of the "standard" flat-wounds. I'm a big fan of flats; I hate rounds.

    There are also ground-wounds which are somewhere in between, and "tape-wounds" (rounds wrapped with tape) that sound "woody".
  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Send some of that new string zing over my way.
  9. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    So this is where '...Plays like buttah' comes from.

  10. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Or in my case, "Plays like 'I Can't Believe It's Not Buttah'" :smug:
  11. darkblack99

    darkblack99 Supporting Member

    Well, it's 'Da dah dah for a king!', then.

  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Was thinking the same thing - hahaha!!!

    - georgestrings
  13. yes the metalic sound is the sound most players prefer, if you would buy a higher quality roundwound string it will probably stay metalic for a longer time.. but if you don't like it there is always flatwounds..