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! :)

Need help selecting soft strings please

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by chrisb7601, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. chrisb7601


    Aug 30, 2005
    I'm new to bass and having left-hand wrist issues due to lobster-claw technique (another story) and squeezing the neck too hard. My strings seem really hard (stock strings on Epiphone gig pack bass) since I can't get a note without pressing down so hard my thumb and fingernails turn white. (I understand I should be able to intone without using my thumb -- nearly impossible with this setup, the bass rolls right around my waist -- and I already lowered the action.)

    I want softer strings but don't want to overcorrect. I was about to buy D'Addario Chromes flat-wounds. They have two soft gauges, light (45-100) and super light (40-95) -- but I'm thinking now I would be switching to the opposite end of the spectrum...?

    Is this overkill? I don't really like the idea of the Chromes being shiny flat strings, I kinda like my round wound normal-looking strings, but I don't know...

    Any suggestions for a good normal string for fingerstyle that's really easy to press? I like a warm smooth sound and do not slap, pop or pick.

    Yes I did a search on this, that's how I found out about the D'Addarios...

    Thanks for any help you can give,
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Do you know any bass players? Even somebody from the local music store who's really a guitarist but plays bass when needed would do. Get them to try your bass and comment on the strings. I tend to use very light gauge strings (35-95) but, even playing instruments with heavier gauges, I don't remember having problems pressing the strings down enough to get a clear note.

    Therefore, I think you're best option is to find somebody who can try the instrument and show you what they do, as well as watch what you do and comment. If your bass really is set up with super high tension strings, changing them will require truss rod adjustments and that's another whole can of worms you don't want to open when you're just getting started.

    In fact, you'll probably find that you can get a decent lesson for the price of a couple of sets of strings, so maybe consider splashing out on one of those and see where you go from there.

  3. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    TO me, it sounds like your action is too high. Look at the space between the strings and your fretboard. If it's more than a pencil width, you've got pretty high action. Take it to a music shop and get a proper set up.
  4. chrisb7601


    Aug 30, 2005
    Wulf, that's good advice, I might do that.

    Unchain, I did lower my action, as much as I could without fret buzz.

    Am I all wet regarding "light strings"? I just called Guitar Center and they told me "lighter" doesn't mean "easier to press," just "thinner"...

    Since I am not getting any answers to my original question, maybe there is no such thing as "soft, easy-to-press" strings?

    (GC also said what Unchain said, get action/neck/setup checked at a shop)

    :confused: :confused: :confused: :help:
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It's just so hard to say without being able to pick your bass up and try it. It shouldn't take a lot of effort... on the other hand, with the best part of twenty years playing experience behind me, it's easy for me to say that.

  6. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    I think you mean low tension. Hex core strings are usually higher tension & round core strings can be lower in tension.
    Prosteels are hex, hi beams & fat beams are round core.