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Softest/lightest bass strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Art1606, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Art1606

    Art1606 Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2019
    What would be the the softest or lightest bass strings?
    The great Johny Lee long on his youtube channels suggested the "Victor Wooten strings" - DR Pure Blues, for example. Any other suggestions please?
    Thank you all.
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    TI Jazz Flats are the softest I've ever used.
    IamGroot, ZB5, e-flat and 3 others like this.
  3. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    Another vote for TI Jazz Flats.
    ZB5 likes this.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Wooten uses a .095-.040 set. Any manufacturer's set of rounds that gauge will be about the same tension.
    But that isn't the lightest string set available. You can get thinner ones.
    dramatwist, MattZilla and Art1606 like this.
  5. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    The TI Jazz Flats are very smooth with low tension. Very easy on the fingers. Plus they sound great and last forever.
    interp, ZB5, e-flat and 1 other person like this.
  6. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    How do you define soft? Flexible? Warm sounding? Round core strings are generally more flexible than hex core strings and nickel is regarded as being "warmer" or less harsh/bright sounding than steel. The lightest gauge for a four string bass tuned E - G that I've come across is .030 - .090. I'm not sure how many companies make strings that light but DR is one that does.
  7. Art1606

    Art1606 Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2019
    Thank you. I meant soft and easier on your fingers. Thanks again.
    bass12 likes this.
  8. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I should add that Talkbass' resident string guru is @SLaPiNFuNK. He's usually happy to answer any string-related questions and many of us here on TB get our strings from his (highly recommended) online company .
    jthisdell and Art1606 like this.
  9. Lava

    Lava Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2014
    El Paso, TX
    Have some D'Addario black tapewounds on a Fender Jazz that are extremely light. A little too light. but they are fun to play sometimes.
    JC Nelson, ATLbassist and Art1606 like this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you go to Kalium's web site, they have a tension calculator, so you can pick strings that make up a reasonably balanced, or even a progressive tension set - and you can get strings in a myriad of diameters. I myself play a 37/51/70/95/130 set (without the 130 for a 4 string), which I find to be suitably soft and twangy - I've had wrist issues, which drives me to that neighborhood, and I also like the growl and clank you can get from a very light set. You can go much lower than that with their strings, should you desire, but at some point, you'll get to where it's far too easy to clink and clank - only you will know when you're at that point.
    Art1606 likes this.
  11. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    Among rounds, Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Rounds. Softest of all, something like La Bella White Nylon tapewounds.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    ha! slow typing the same thought, fermata !

    not sure how these stack up against other suggestions, but: i have found the TI jazz rounds to be what i would call "soft" and they are already a lighter gauge, overall. might be worth a try. they're pricey but they last a long time. good luck! :thumbsup:
    Clutchcargo, Element Zero and Art1606 like this.
  13. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    For low tension, I would say TI Flats are the easiest on my fingers, but for smoothness on steel strings, D'Addario XL Chrome Flats are the easiest on my fingers. Tape-wounds might be even easier on your fingers.
    Art1606 and e-flat like this.
  14. ahadl2500

    ahadl2500 Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2003
    Greenwood, IN
    TI Jazz Flats or TI Jazz Rounds. The flats are low tension. Not sure if it is measurably different, but the TI jazz rounds feel even lower tension to me. I use the TI jazz flats or rounds on almost every bass I have. As others have pointed out, if you are more after easy on your fingers, tapes have a softer feel while not necessarily having a lower tension. Currently running LaBalla Copper Tapewounds on my Balor Bass. I have been happy with them, but IMO tapes do not really feel like a 'traditional' electric bass string thanks to the nylon wrap (meaning while softer feeling to me, you might not like them and might prefer a low tension non-tape).
    interp, Art1606 and e-flat like this.
  15. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    TI Jazz flats, super soft tension, sound great, last forever (so far anyway)
    interp, Art1606 and e-flat like this.
  16. mrjim123

    mrjim123 Supporting Member

    May 17, 2008
    The Gene Deer Band
    I play both TI Jazz Flats and TI Jazz Rounds, both of which are expensive though. The rounds are lower in tension and only slightly rougher than the flats. I can't imagine you having problems with either string, even if you are just starting out and haven't developed any calluses yet. The flats are being offered at a considerable discount here: https://www.amazon.com/Thomastik-Infeld-JF344-Accordion-Accessory/dp/B00162ZSW6.
    Art1606 and e-flat like this.
  17. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    TI by far. even when the bass is strung up with these you can roll/twist the string back and forth between your fingers.
    I once bought an ABG that had set of TI rounds on it, and feeling the string roll out from under my plucking fingers dove me nuts.
    interp, Art1606 and e-flat like this.
  18. oaklandthumb

    oaklandthumb Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    Kansas USA
    DR sunbeams are very supple and dont have a sharp drop off in break in period. I tried pure blues and absolutely hated them, they died with a week and generally just sounded thuddy and dark.
  19. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2009
    Washington State
    The two softest feeling sets I've ever tried were the La Bella White tapes and TI Jazz Flats. Either of those sets will give you the powdery, pillowy goodness :bassist:
    wschenk, interp and Art1606 like this.
  20. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    TI Jazz Flats remind me of playing with a bass strung with yarn. SO SOFT. SO EASY. I love them on fretted basses, not a big fan of them on fretless.
    Art1606, e-flat and ZB5 like this.

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