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Someone help me out with string selection???

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jkallen83, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. jkallen83


    Jul 16, 2012
    I have an Engelhardt 3/4 bass. i aint had it long but ive been a musician for a long time and swapping to this was no problem. but here is my problem.

    another upright bass player selected my strings, at the time i told him to get me what he used...so i currently have Innovation Rockabilly strings.

    im wanting to get some "slap" out of it but so far im having no luck. i see videos online of people slapping with no effort, but i have to rip my fingers off to get these strings to do it, and they dont do it good then.

    i play mostly country and rockabilly...wanting to add in a little bit of that slap into it. but the strings i have now just seem "hard".

    these upright strings are expensive, so its not like my guitars, $4 a set and i can try as many different kinds as i want, i have to make it count. i love the sound of these Innovation Rockabilly strings, but wanting something a little more "slap" friendly.

    anyone got a suggestion thats not a fortune for some good strings? ive looked into the weedwackers because they are super cheap, BUT, im reading not so good reviews.. the weedwacker pro's seem to have better reviews but not alot about them. as of now, my attention so far at the moment would be the weedwacker pro if i could get good feedback, OR, Innovation Silver Slaps....

    any suggestions?
  2. Ryanpet42

    Ryanpet42 Guest

    Aug 1, 2012
    So, if you are using the bass for slap, make sure that the bass is set up for it first of all. Once the bass is set up then you can start messing with the strings. Also, how is your technique and are you keeping relaxed or are you tensing up when you play? If you are tense, everything sounds forced. Also (assuming you are just starting) learn the technique as well, and PRACTICE, because those strings are designed for slapping so I am rather confused about your troubles.
  3. jkallen83


    Jul 16, 2012
    thats the thing, i play relaxed, i dont like to "force" anything. i dont like "having" to work at getting an instrument to play. to play "natural" for me, the strings i have now, Innovation Rockabilly, just catches my hands, no slap. i've lowered the strings down to where i almost have a buzz but not quite, i STILL cannot make it slap. only way i can is if i basically "hit" the strings. its like they are not "floppy" enough to work with me. kinda like me playing lead guitar, i love to bend strings, but if i use say "flatwound" strings, they dont bend. just a hard string, good tone, but dont react to me.

    i noticed these strings are medium tension, im thinking a light tension, but at the price, i wanna make sure i get a good set to start with.
  4. Forget weedwhackers.

    A single slap is catching the strings with the pads of your index and ring fingers, pulling it slightly and releasing to sound a note, then slapping the strings at the end of the fingerboard. A double slap is similar, except that you pull the string far enough off the board so that it rebounds and smacks into the board, followed by a palm slap.

    It gets more complicated from there, but that should get you started. Keep working at it and it will come to you. It doesn't happen immediately.
  5. Ryanpet42

    Ryanpet42 Guest

    Aug 1, 2012
    Well there's your problem. I would suggest then getting a set of the Silver (slap, not Super Silver), Golden, or Psychobilly sets, as those are their lowest tension strings. With slap bass, the proper set up is high action (jacking up the bridge so that your fingers can get under the strings) and low tension (so that the strings are floppy and make a more percussive sound). Don't use the weedwackers. They are just not fun.
  6. jkallen83


    Jul 16, 2012
    yeah thats what i was looking at was the Innovation Silver Slaps, with low tension. i got a good setup, everything is comfortable, sound is great. only problem is the strings i have now are medium tension and when i play them to get a snap/slap, it dont come easy as the strings need more flex to them.

    i would love the action to be lower, but cant, and it is still high enough to get my fingers under and grab the strings. i have no problem with that, just the strings dont react when i do grab/slap them.

    so i been playing clean as i do mostly anyway, just wanted to expand myself. i can make these do it but it feels like abuse on me and the bass, and when i see others playing they look natural, so for me to get natural i need more "flop" in my strings...i'll try the silver slaps then...
  7. You're not listening. You can spend all the money you have on strings but if the technique isn't there, you got nothin. I've slapped just fine on the heaviest gauge steel strings available, no problem except for a tired arm.

    If you have an adjustable bridge, set it so the strings are about 1/4" off the end of the fingerboard. Too much higher than that is no good because it's very hard to get the strings to snap back onto the board if they're jacked up an inch over the fingerboard.

    Do not hook your fingers under the strings. That's a waste of energy. Practice grabbing the string with the pads of your fingers. When you get it, it will feel a lot like dribbling a basketball.
  8. Ryanpet42

    Ryanpet42 Guest

    Aug 1, 2012
    I was just trying to help his string choice. But on the slapping steel strings, I can get away with my Evah weichs at a low string height because my bass is set up for classical and jazz, and this is the only bass I learned to slap on. But I do agree that better strings do not make up for good technique.
  9. No worries, dude. No offense intended.
  10. jkallen83


    Jul 16, 2012
    no offense taken.

    i understand the technique. i've tried several ways to get it to work. ive even let another bass player attempt it, they was the same way, strings were just too hard. it is close tho, its ALMOST working, if i had just a LITTLE more flex in the strings it would work great.

    its soooooo close to working for me. im thinking the lower tension will be the key. i play light on all my instruments anyway. even on guitar, everyone plays heavier strings than me, they all break strings in the guage i use, i can play lighter.

    Innovation Silver Slaps are the strings im thinking i will go with. played tonight with my bass, everything was great, just couldnt get the slap to work at all. tone was great tho.
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    If you can't slap with the strings you've got, it's not the strings and not neccessarily technique. I think you need to visit a bass luthier. If I can slap on spiros, I can slap on anything. From my impression of reading over the years, Innovations are not a high tension string. Could be the bridge or something where the bass has too much tension. High tension will make it hard to slap against the FB as well as pulling on the strings hard enough that they'll rattle back.
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    If string tension is your problem, the Silver Slaps are lighter in tension than the Rockabillys. They make a better 'click' on the board too! IMHO ;)
  13. jkallen83


    Jul 16, 2012
    I think string tension is my problem.. lighter tension I'm sure will solve it...I just also wanted to keep the tone also tho...
  14. gottliver


    Dec 20, 2004
    coming in with a question when you THINK you know the answer and then ignoring those who DO KNOW the answer...your money.......
  15. jkallen83


    Jul 16, 2012
    I did kinda already know the answer to my problem before asking here...but, with strings being so expensive its better to ask others their opinions of different strings in case there is something else that might be better or that I haven't found yet. As far as other issues, I do luthier work. So instrument issues are checked out and corrected before...that's why I know its strings. Now without slap, these strings are great...depends on what's needed..

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