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P-with-flats trial by fire

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eddododo, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    Buddy brought by his p, with flats, for me to play a couple sets with. I got no warm-up and no tweaking.


    I knew I would enjoy playing a P (I had not played a good American one in years) but I had no idea how much the flats would work out for me!

    Im not an overly busy player, but I do use a lot of fills, chords and extended techniques. I was worried they would be muddy, they were somehow almost clearer, even coming from my Roscoe!

    Badass, the only problem now is that i REALLY want a pbass
  2. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    P-bass with flats sounds phat. :)

    I'm typically a roundwound rocker, but one of my bands plays a lot of Motown and classic rock so I use flats. The only problem is that they do a song (Walk the Dinosaur) where I'd prefer a modern slap tone, but I just muddle through slapping on flats because I don't want the band to wait on me while I change basses.

    Actually, another issue is that my fingers were definitely NOT accustomed to the feel of flats, the feel was downright weird at first, but I've been spending more rehearsal time on that bass so I'm getting there.

    Cool story. You'd cover a ton of tonal ground if you added a P-bass to your arsenal, but you've discovered that already.
  3. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Once you go P bass with flats you never want to go back.
    Flats sit in the mix so well, Its a beautiful thing.
  4. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    You definitely tried it the best way - in a band mix. P with flats is the Cinderella of basses. At home, alone, doesn't impress you as being particularly hot. Take her to the Ball, though, and it's a total transformation.

    I never knew I wanted a P until I was playing drums in a band with a bass player that normally played a Jazz. Between songs one time, he switched to his P bass and I didn't notice that he'd done so. The next song, we're playing along and I suddenly noticed "man! The bass suddenly sounds great! It got some balls from somewhere!" And I looked over and saw what he'd done (changed basses). THAT is when I knew I had to get my first P bass.

    Don't get me wrong, now. I always thought he sounded good with his J (Squier Active Deluxe V). It just went to 11 when he switched to his (crusty, old late 70s Fender) P.
  5. Flats work with all styles of music and everyone is right - once you use them, there is no turning back. I have used them for years on my Ibanez ATK305 (my main bass) and I play hard/alt rock now, but have used them for rockabilly and garage rock. You may have to eq things a little differently, but that is a small price to pay for the feel, sound and love they give your finger tips!!! Rock on!
  6. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    For me, the flats are very nice for a lot of things, but the main player in the equation is the P.
  7. .

    I play a US Precision and like a bright sound on some songs and an old-school thumpy tone on others.

    After trying several different types of flats on my P-bass I have settled on the brightest ones I could find.

    I figure I now have (almost) the best of both worlds:
    Turn the tone right up and the sound is very bright, almost round wound like.
    Turn it down and it's "old school", enough for my taste anyway.

    As long as I keep cleaning my strings thoroughly after every use they retain most of their original brightness.

    Works for me!
  8. frankieC

    frankieC A swell guy from Warren Harding High

    Jul 21, 2012
    P+flats=fabulous and phat!
  9. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    I have a Fender, two Gibsons and a Warwick all with flats. I won't use anything else.
  10. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    These are my main players.

    Fretted P-Bass-Flats.
    Fretless P-Bass-Flats.
    Fretless J-Bass-Flats.
    Fretted Semi-HollowBody-Flats.
    Fretted ABG-Flats.

    Gee I guess I like Flats. :D
  11. huckleberry1

    huckleberry1 Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2013
    Mesquite, Texas
    I put flats on my American P-5 standard because when I was about 13 my first bass was a P with flats which I managed to make sound bad. So I put em on due to all the fuss about flats on P- basses, WOW was it sweet. All those years of playing rounds made them feel like butter, the smooth shifting was really nice so I'm leaving them on.