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Reggae strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by PaykoeTsunami93, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. PaykoeTsunami93


    Apr 9, 2012
    What are some good strings for reggae and ska
    The style I play for reggae is hard and groovin ad soft and mellow

    Ska fast, crazy, and syncopated. Using all strings
    I know I'm crazy and that's my style of playing
  2. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Full disclosure: I am not a reggae expert. I have recently joined a reggae cover band, and have been seeking that tone. I have been getting good results with LaBella flats.

    That said, I'm not doing "fast and crazy", a style which may benefit from more top end than flats generally provide. A string with enough sparkle to carry the fast and crazy, but enough warmth to carry the "soft and mellow", IMO, would be DR Sunbeams. These are nickel roundwounds.

    Or you could try one of the brighter flatwound sets, such as D'addario Chromes or Rotosound Jazz Flats.
  3. I am mostly a reggae player and I use different strings for the different type of reggae stuff I play. As said, flats will give you the sound. Bob Marley's bass player Aston Barett uses Fender flats. I like the TI's because the low tension makes them easier to play. For ska which requires extended ultrafast playing I use d'Addario's XL or I get tired and sticky-finger in the middle of the set. If I don't use a Fender Jazz or PBass, but a modern Yamaha TRB1005, I also use the D'Addario rounds.
  4. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Sounds nuts, but try some D'addario tapewounds. Mellow but also very articulate. You may need to lighten up your technique some, (they're really low tension), but once you do, you can play crazy ska stuff on them much easier without as much fatigue.
  5. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    oh no,..

    a "what's the best strings for reggae" thread!!!!:hyper:

    SUB'd,... hehehe
  6. blubolt

    blubolt Supporting Member

    May 18, 2005
    Turlock, CA
    Strings made from petrified Ganja are the only way to get true reggae sound..... ;)
  7. La Bella's for reggae and an upright for ska ;)
  8. second whats already said.
    aston barrett plays fender flats so you cant go wrong with that.
    any flatwound will give you a good sound for reggae.
    if youre not into flatwound you may try, as already suggested, dr sunbeams they do have enough mellow smoothness but are still rounds. or fender nickels
  9. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    GHS Precision flats in heavy gauge


    Labella 0760M Original 1954 flats 52-110

  10. there are folks with a slightly lighter touch that prefer not to play on telephone cables
  11. PBnJBassist


    Mar 8, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    At least he didn't recommend the heavy set of Rotos/Steve Harris sets... then we would be upgrading from telephone to bridge cables at that point.

    Play whatever sounds good. Personally, I would go the ways like Eric Wilson (Sublime) and others do it. Neck pup on the slower reggae stuff, bridge pup on the faster ska stuff. On 1 pup basses (like a P), tone it down or open it up.

    Use rounds and EQ them to taste. An active bass will help out a bit too. Boost the bass, dial out the treble, and palm-mute selectively. Flats are also a nice choice, but I'm slightly biased here. Rounds can get the same "fat" tones as a flat can, if not, fatter. Might now sound the same, but the sound is still "fat". And for that, I recommend GHS Boomers.
  12. Looking through my music junk box, I found a set of GHS Precision flats 95-45 I had totally forgotten about. Since we had this discussion about reggae strings I was inspired to try out something new and for the kick of it I tried them on my P-Bass.
    I was blown away by the way those strings can provide an authentic vintage reggae sound. In fact much more thumpier than the TI's with a more ballsy and defined sound.
    If often with flats I feel the need of using some foam under the bridge or muting with my palm, the GHS' have naturally a short decay and the thump you'd get with the foam but in a more usable way.
    Despite the gauge they have more tension than the TI's and feel perfectly right. They sounded great right out of the box without the need of breaking in like often flats do.
    On the P-Bass they'll stay...
  13. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    My experience with flats and semi-flat strings would suggest that a big part of the output is technique. A taut set of flats like roto 77's or LaBella Deep talkin's will allow faster play but won't have natural ringing sustain - for that GHS pressurewounds would be good.

    As of now my TI jazz flats are breaking in marvelously - they have a really sweet warm tone - and have good enough lows to give a classic reggae tone. As has been mentioned they are a bit springy to play fast on - can be done but it needs a very delicate touch.

    I wouldn't recommend D'Addario chromes for deep tones as In my experience they seem weaker in the low mids than I would like. They have good tension and sustain though.