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Pizzing on orchestral strings. Help me please?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by timshacklock, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. timshacklock


    Aug 27, 2012
    I know there are some passionate opinions out there on strings and arco vs pizz vs hybrid stuff but I was just curious to know why people think pizzing on strings that are designed for arco work is so bad. Is it because of the sound through a pickup specifically or actually the sound of the strings regardless of whether or not it's being picked up by a pick up? It would help a lot if I could hear some of your thoughts on this. A good arco sound is more important to me than anything else at the moment but if could know more about why people don't like pizzing on orchestral strings for jazz then I might be able to have a go at making it work for how it would suit me.


    EDIT: P.S. I love Edgar Meyer's pizz sound and and his arco makes me die of inferiority. What gives? How does he achieve this? Low action and tight strings for a seemingly longer sustain for pizz????
  2. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Usually you'll find strings designed to sound good bowed lack the characteristics you'd want for playing pizz. Particularly they don't offer much sustain - notes tend to thump and die off quickly.

    There are a lot of good hybrids out there to choose from though.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It depends on your circumstances. I love Flexicores for jazz, personally, but on gig in a loud room, I have trouble hearing them over the bass. They actually sound fine out on the room. I also have really enjoyed Helicore Orchestra strings and I know people here have played things like Jargars and been happy with them. The lower the string (E, A) the muddier they can sound. In a practice room, no problem, but the more the room or the band or circumstances require me to cut through to be heard, the more that the brightness that I don't really want at home helps me on the gig.

    It can work and sound quite nice. If orchestra is your bread and butter, don't sweat it. You might find that a more direct pickup, like something in your bridge wing, for your pizz gigs compensates for the darker strings.

    Most importantly, don't worry about what we think or what you read here. Play what you like until you see a need for something different.
  4. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    I had a flexocore D and G at one point, and I liked the G for pizz. With the D string, pitch started to get nebulous right around where the note 'A' is. Oddly enough, I like Spirocores better for arco, so I stick with those.

    I've heard people play pizz on much nicer basses than my own strung up with Bel Cantos. They pull a nice sound, but when the amplifier comes into the picture, feedback issues come into play that I've never had to deal with while playing spirocores. A lot of that is due to the way the realist picks up mostly low-end and the orchestral-oriented, dark sounding strings produce nothing but low end.

    For a long time Edgar Meyer just played Spirocore solos. Now he plays with a Permanent D&G (tuned to E and A) with a spirocore B and C/E. Both of which make for a fantastic arco sound in the right hands (god knows Meyer has the right hands) and are kind of on the bright side, thus lending themselves to a lively pizz sound - once again, dependent upon the right bass and the right hands.
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I've also had great compliments on my Bel's for pizz, and never a problem with feedback, although I do have a Full Circle mounted "upside down."
  6. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    Yeah, the bels sound nice pizz although the e on my bass was a bit difficult.
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Likewise. Too dark on my CCB. So I changed out the Bel E for a Spiro 3/4 3885.5W Weich. The balance of tension and tone of this Spiro E and the Bel ADG work very well together.
  8. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    I've just changed fully over to spiros from bels. I'm going to let them settle for a while and then may end up with a bel back on there somewhere.
  9. timshacklock


    Aug 27, 2012
    Thanks guys :D

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