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Plain steel strings

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by marsk, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. marsk


    Aug 17, 2002
    Hi Michael and Steve

    I've been enjoying experimenting with unwound steel strings on fretless, and I'm wondering if you use them much, and if so, how low and how high you have tuned them. I really like the sound of a .020" C string (sounding at C3), and I have also tried .028" at G2 with kind of strange but interesting results. The .020" at F3 sounds pinched to me, and I am waiting on an order of lighter guage wire to try using for notes in that range. I also like the sound produced when using the nails on my left hand, sort of like a sarod player -- do you ever use this technique, and if so, on any particular tracks of your recordings?


  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Hi Mark,

    I use a plain steel .020 as the high string on my Hyperbass and tune it anywhere from about standard G to A a major ninth above that. The quality of the sound varies widely with the tension, of course, but I like to be able to use those differences to expand the palette of tonal possibilities.

    I’ve never tried playing with the sarod technique, but I’ll bet it gives interesting results!

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