string for blues

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bbp, Jul 25, 2002.

  1. bbp


    Jul 25, 2002
    Getting into blues lately and was wondering whether flats would sound better than rounds. I know that's a subjective question, but i'd appreciate the input. I'm playing an active 4 string bass with 18 volt preamp and 3 band eq. My reasoning is the flats would give me a range of sounds, but take away some of the trebly sound you get with nickel rounds. Thanks in advance.
  2. I use only GHS Brite Flats on my MIJ fretless Jazz and I kind of mix it up on my Rumblefish and my D-Basses Precision clone...Ken Smith Rock Masters, flats, nickle roundwounds, etc. Mostly, I use the fretless to emulate an upright for jump blues and use the other basses for the Chicago-style material. I guess I would say the GHS Brite Flats are my favorites because you can coax a little more brightness out of them than most flats but yet they still give you that distinctive flat-wound "thump."
  3. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    It really depends what you personally are going for. Lots of great stuff is/was done with a P and flats. But, lots of great stuff is/was done on a Jazz with rounds. And of course the reverse too, but those are what comes to mind as "classic".

    I'm not limiting the bass choice to those. I just see those as the stereotypes.
  4. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    You're really not going to know unless you try it.
    If you have more than one ax, consider using flats on one. I do that and I find that I enjoy going back and forth....and I'm leaning heavily towards the flats.
  5. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I had Labelle stainless flats on my SR5 for a long while. I really liked them. They give a very deep fundamental tone. I am also in a blues band. I recently went back to rounds though. Not because I didn't like the flats but I just get tired of the same tone after a while, so I switch around. Sounds like I need more than one bass. Yeah that's it, more than one bass
  6. Not to sound sardonic, but, have you tried Dean Markley Blue Steels for the blues? I play the blues too, and I think these strings sound great. They're round wounds, but, not too bright. They mellow so subtly, they're like wine. I've had a set on my Jack Casady since about Christmas, and they still don't sound like they need changing, and I'm pretty much a change 'em as soon as they die type of guy. I have the .45 - .100 set on my bass. I don't really like using flats for the blues, but, definitely for Jazz. (not that I'm such a great Jazz player)

    D'Addario slowounds are similar, but, I think the Deans are more expressive. I also just had some work done on my Yamaha 5 sting, and the place put on a set of Zon roundwounds and I love them. They're kind of hard to describe; they remind me of D'Addarios, but, they seem to be in second gear most of the time. What I mean is they are very mellow if you have a light touch like me, but, if you slap them silly, they never cry Uncle. I still can't figure them out fully. Anyway, I'd go for the Dean Blues. I really think you'll be happy with them.

    Good luck.
    Mike J.
  7. The Lowest

    The Lowest

    May 17, 2002
    New Jersey
    Michael Jewels brings up a good point. There is no reason why Markley Blue Steels shouldn't sound good - for blues or for anything else. That's one reason why I like to have different basses strung differently. Sometimes it's the room...sometimes it's the gig ....sometimes it's me....whatever variable may present itself it boils down to what YOU want to hear at a given time.
  8. trane


    Jun 3, 2002
    Tokyo, Japan
    This is one of those unanswerable questions. In the history of Blues, players played with whatever they had, and often that was absolute garbage by anybody's standards. So, the best strings for Blues for you are the strings that you like the best. It really is that simple.

    Now, to turn on my broken-record mode, I use TI JR344 roundwounds for everything. They just do everything well. The Refined roundwound.