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Rounds That Don't Destroy My Fingers

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bigtruck1369, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. I typically play my Squier VM Jazz V, which I currently have strung with Regular Slinkies. These things are rough on my fingers (plucking hand)! Admittedly, I don't play a ton. I serve on the worship team at church once a month, and beyond the week that I'm on, family obligations currently keep me from playing. So yes, if I practiced more I'd have better calluses built up and this probably wouldn't be an issue.

    I'm used to developing blisters, and when I do popping and gluing them is usually sufficient, but this Sunday I tore right through the triple coat of super glue and skin and noticed halfway through our set that I was bleeding all over my bass! The sound guy was stoked, he thought it was pretty metal. :eyebrow:

    I think I'd like to stay with rounds to keep the brightness, but I'm also open to accepting that I might need to move to half rounds or something as a compromise.

    I also apologize in advance, I'm sure this question has been asked 200 times in this forum, but I unfortunately don't have time to pour through the previous posts to find my answer. I do need all of your invaluable input though! Let me learn from your experience!

    Thanks all!
    Matthew Barrack and Oldschool94 like this.
  2. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i tried a set of slinkies a few months ago for the first time - they're the roughest strings i've used, so i pulled 'em right back off after a few days. have you tried d'addarios?
  3. Oldschool94


    Jan 9, 2015
    Try DR Low-Riders, the nickel variety. They felt particularly smooth to my hand. They also sounded pretty dark to my ears relative to other rounds. Still plenty of brightness for most applications. Other than that – make sure the bass is set up properly so you aren't working too hard, and pluck softly and closer to the neck if you want something that won't hurt your hands. Don't trust that flats won't hurt your hands because they are smooth. Ever gotten skin burn from sliding on a smooth gym floor? Flats can be like that, especially with high tension. Some people may find they feel better, but I know just as many who find flats eat their fingers a lot worse than rounds.
  4. I've got Chromes on one of my basses and I like 'em, so I was considering their Nickels.

    I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one that found the Slinkies rough!
  5. The set up is a really good point, I really should have that done. I like to play over bridge pick up because I dig that sound, and I might have my fingers a little too far past the bridge too...

    Thanks for the recommendation!
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  6. DLemos


    Sep 7, 2015
    The Rotosound 77's can get pretty bright!
    BASSKADET likes this.
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i haven't tried 'em, but have you tried DR hi beams? they say "The DR Hi-Beam strings do not eat your frets." so i figure they won't eat your fingers, either.

    they're pretty stiff, but nice strings.
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I find the DR Pure Blues easy on the fingers (though this is from someone who likes Hi Beams, so....)
  9. Oldschool94


    Jan 9, 2015
    I like to play over the bridge pickup too, and even though I've been playing for 10+ years I have yet to really develop calluses. My hands were bleeding last weekend after service.

    I forgot to mention, I tend to pluck harder live then in practice. I also tend to pluck harder when I can't hear myself. Both of these are bad for my hands. So I would say, give yourself plenty of headroom! Make sure you have enough volume in your rig/in ears/set up that you don't subconsciously pluck hard. In fact, it might be ideal to give you enough that you play with a soft touch. I've found in ears to really help with this, because I can turn myself up enough that I don't play too hard. With amps you have to be careful not to mess up the mix of course.

    I try to play some everyday so I don't lose my calluses. I use skin moisturizer once a day, because my skin is very dry and cracks easily. I also have a variety of techniques like pickstyle and over the neck pickup that while I don't enjoy as much tonally, I can use, and do when my hands aren't up to the challenge.

    Oh, and try to play around the middle of neck (5th fretish) or wherever you find the bass seems to be most naturally resonant. The area where the note seems to bloom best. Might help you ease up on needing to be over the bridge and pluck firm.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
    Bigtruck1369 likes this.
  10. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Have you considered Elixirs? The coating on them feels very slick and they stay bright forever (ok, not forever but a very very long time... months on end)
  11. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    I would give GHS Pressure Wounds or Ken Smith Compressors a try:

    Mediocrity Man and bholder like this.
  12. wmhill


    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    The Thomastic Infeld superalloys are not cheap, but they are pretty easy on the fingers both tension wise and grip. They are not as bright as stainless steel strings - but are still fairly bright. They last a hella long time too, compard to most rounds.
  13. Guilty as charged too. I also dig in a lot more when I'm having trouble hearing myself. Unfortunately, I had one of the poopy IEM packs on Sunday so I did have trouble hearing myself.

    I clearly should have checked myself before I went and wrecked myself.
    Benny the Finger and Oldschool94 like this.
  14. There are some great suggestions here. The DRs get a lot of love all over the place, I'll definitely need to try them! In fact, I think I'll just make a list and work my way through.

    Thanks a bunch everyone!
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  15. Grooveline


    Jan 24, 2012
    Dunlop Super Bright Nickels are pretty tame on my fingers.
    rafitoprtx and Kukulkan61 like this.
  16. My answer to almost every string question is

  17. I love DR Hi-Beams in light gauge, but more importantly - you're playing way too hard! I play 1-3 hours a day and barely have any callouses. If you can crank up your amp's volume and learn to play with a lighter touch, you won't have any problems.
  18. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Dude you are playing way too hard, that's a recipe for repetitive motion injury. Turn up the amp and "turn down your" plucking hand. You should never be busting open your fingers. Been there, done that and learned my lesson. Had to quit playing because of a RMI.

    I've been playing again for the last 5 years and used that louder amp, quieter fingers concept and now, don't even have callouses. I can play all day if I wanted to wth no issues.
    Gabbs and static0verdrive like this.
  19. Fingerpickingood


    Oct 30, 2014
    +for DR strings. I don't use anything else. I will admit the the first three fingers on my plucking hand are quite callused.
  20. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Another vote for any of DR's nickle variants. I'm a fan of Sunbeams, myself.

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