Scott Colley

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Tom Baldwin, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. Anybody know what kind of strings Scott Colley uses?
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
  3. I got nothing but blue background, then when I hit the full sreen button, everything appeared. Nothing on his strings, but I will dig some more and report any findings.
  4. Norre


    Jan 5, 2001
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Can't help you with the strings :(
    I saw him perform last year at the North Sea Jazz festival in Holland. He was playing with the Chris Potter Quartet. Great show !!!
  5. Well, I've searched for articles and interviews, and emailed Scott, and still nothing. Chris, should this be moved to Bassists?
  6. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    I also emailed him, but he didn't answer yet!
    But, between you and I, is his strings brand so important?
    In my never-ending experiments with strings, I've found out that I had to test many of them on my instrument to find the right ones.
    I've even found out that mixing strings of different tensions/elasticity have an effect on the way a given string will sound!
    I mean, depending of the other strings you match it with, a given string will behave differently.
    I still believe that there's no way to find out the best strings for you without some trial and error.
  7. Of course it's not that important. I'd just like to narrow down the numeous possibilities so that my "trial and error" phase doesn't last the rest of my life. His is a sound that I admire, and yes I realize that what type of strings he uses is only one component of that sound. But I figure it's worth a shot to see if that kind of string produces a similar tone on my bass.

    I've been using Spiro Orchs for years, and I think I'm craving a more earthy, darker, rounder tone. I also think that lighter tension strings allow my bass (carved 1986 Gabute) to project more. I'm reluctant to try gut, though, because I don't think I'd like the feel - I have thin fingers. I also don't want to sacrifice too much sustain. Don't misunderstand, I need a strong attack, too, but maybe one that's less brittle - more like a punch than a snap.

    If you care to offer any suggestions, I'd appreciate it.
  8. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Spiros are among the highest tensioned strings, but they're also available in Weich (light gauge), and solo-tuning, which result in even lower tension when played at orchestra pitch.
    I think you need hybrid strings.
    Some brands that come to mind:
    Obligatos (by Pirastro)
    Kolstein Varicors
    Velvet Garbos
  9. Thanks, Francois. I assume that the Garbos and Obligatos are both thicker and have a lower tension compared to Spiros, right? What about the VariCors (thickness and tension compared to Spiros)?
  10. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    The Varicors are relatively thick for a full steel string, but have less tension than Spiros. They have a steel rope-core and flat metal outer wrap.
    The Obligatos and Garbos have a synthetic core.
    The Obligatos outer wrap is flat, but, and I'm not sure, I think the Garbos use a somewhat round wire wrap. To be confirmed by Garbo players!
  11. agmckee


    Oct 3, 2003
    New York City
    i just strung up my bass with a set of Pirastro Obligatos and they sound great! i think the tension is a little less than the Flexocores i had on. the sound is definitely darker than the Spiros you've been using and the feel will be softer. very playable.
  12. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Hi Andy.
    I may be confused, but aren't you playing with the Mingus Dinasty?
    If you are the bassist I think of, I think I read somewhere you were playing with Olivs G & D, and Flexocors A & E. Wrong?

    Welcome to Talkbass, by the way! :)

  13. agmckee


    Oct 3, 2003
    New York City
    hey Francois,
    i do work with the mingus dynasty and the mingus big band and various other ensembles that perform work selected from the vast Charles Mingus catalog. and i have been using the set-up you mention but recently got some Obligato strings to see what they can do. so far i'm very happy with them... a strong fundamental, solid attack, focussed pitch, even across the 4 strings and different registers of the instrument, etc.

    the Oliv strings are very cool too. they're a wound gut string that has some qualities of gut but the ease of care and better arco playing more characteristic of a metal string.

  14. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Hi Andy,

    I saw you playing when I visited the Fez last summer. It was one of the highlights of my trip to NYC. You played great in spite of just having had some sort of oral surgery.

    I'm with Andy on the Obligatos. I had been an Oliv fan, and had used them or Eudoxas for a long time. However, having had the Obligatos on for a few months now, they are very close to a warm gut sound, at about 1/3 the price and far less tuning instability. I have been tempted to replace the G with an Oliv because I've never heard a G is good as theirs, but for me, the difference is negligible in the rest of the strings, particularly after a break in period of some heavy duty playing.

  15. Thanks for all of your replies. I'm thinking of trying the obligatos, but I reckon I'll have to have the slots in the nut and bridge widened.

    Monte, are you addicted to the diminished sound, or less of an addict than you used to be?
  16. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    My improv teacher says the use of the diminished is like a drug, because it is so easy. You learn 3 scales, and you have an infinite number of choices to play over dominant chords, because every dominant contains a diminished chord starting from the 3rd.

    I'm not really addicted, but it is a great tool to have in the box.

  17. Well, now we need to go over to the Theory forum, but to be anal, only dominants with altered 9ths are eligible for the diminished scale. Unless you want to include the device of using a half-diminished 7th chord arpeggio starting on the 3rd of a dominant chord.

    But I guess if you're an Addict you already knew that.

    Oh, maybe you were referring to diminished triads, not 7th chords.

    I go away now.
  18. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Not so with Obligatos, according to Donosaurus.
  19. Thanks, good to know.
  20. Everything you`ve read about Obligatos is true. Great sound Pizz and Arco...BUT...the string life of Obligatos suck. Plan on reinvesting in about 6 months.