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String gauge for hard fingerstyle

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by WillyPop, Oct 31, 2013.


  1. WillyPop

    WillyPop

    Jan 11, 2010
    quebec, Canada
    Ashdown Amps, Yamaha, Musicman & Washburn Basses
    Since i've not really took the time/money to experiment, maybe I can rely on some of your experiences guys...

    I mostly play fingerstyle but I'm kind of a hard player. I've always used .45 .65 .85 .105 strings and I was wandering if I would be better to go bigger or lighter?

    Obviously I don't want the strings to buzz on the fingerboard, wich happens sometimes, but I've already tried heavier gage (.50 .70 .90 .110) and it seems that I could hear my finger "hitting" the string with too much attack creating a kind of "tick" as the note attack.

    Maybe someone can share some experience with me before I buy 100$ of strings and have to mess up with my bass neck as I try different gauge.

    Thanks! :bassist:
     
  2. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    What strings are you using now?
     
  3. WillyPop

    WillyPop

    Jan 11, 2010
    quebec, Canada
    Ashdown Amps, Yamaha, Musicman & Washburn Basses
    mostly D'addario but last night I changed to put on DR Lo-rider nickel on my Sterling. They're supposed to be a little bit stiffer due to the hex core... as they say.
     
  4. You want clank? You play fast metal stuff? Get the lightest gauge you can find.
     
  5. WillyPop

    WillyPop

    Jan 11, 2010
    quebec, Canada
    Ashdown Amps, Yamaha, Musicman & Washburn Basses
    Actually i'm not into metal, mostly rock, pop, folk, all this kind of stuff but not so heavy, actually I want to avoid the clicking sound of my finger hitting the string. But I guess that lighter gauge would be better.
     
  6. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    I'm not sure what you mean by the clicking sound when your finger hits the string. Does it stop if you play more lightly?
     
  7. WillyPop

    WillyPop

    Jan 11, 2010
    quebec, Canada
    Ashdown Amps, Yamaha, Musicman & Washburn Basses
    Well, I guess its more of a eq thing probably, or i'll have to try different things myself, anyway, thanks for the time and the help!
     
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    D'Addario are hex core as well, so no...LoRiders are not stiffer. Less stiff if anything.
     
  9. That clicking sound your talking about may not be the strings . I get that on my SR4 but not on my other basses . I use the same gauge you use too . Try lowering your p,ups . If that wont work you may need to think about a fret dress , My SR4 didnt get any setup when i bought it new and i get this cliking sound through my amp , and its loud and annoying .
     
  10. WillyPop

    WillyPop

    Jan 11, 2010
    quebec, Canada
    Ashdown Amps, Yamaha, Musicman & Washburn Basses
    Maybe this will help you to understand. Its just that I seem to HEAR my finger hitting the strings and then the string ring. Just like a massive attack "tick" then the sound is alright.


    http://fannyestpartie.bandcamp.com/

    Don't forget that this is after studio arrangments so might not be that much audible...

    Anyway, strings gauge is mostly about "stiffnest" right, heavier = stiffer so to soften the attack going lighter would be the good choice?
     
  11. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    Where's your action set on the bass? I'm a fairly heavy handed fingerstyle player as well (from decades of playing the string bass in classical and jazz idioms), so I usually set my action a tad higher than many, to help offset that inclination. That's an option to pursue.
     
  12. WillyPop

    WillyPop

    Jan 11, 2010
    quebec, Canada
    Ashdown Amps, Yamaha, Musicman & Washburn Basses
    You're right, my action is usually set un bit high but I want to know if it will mostly do a better change to go heavier or lighter gauge for this style of playing.
     
  13. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    As I said, raising the action helped me dig in without having to change gauges due to sounds from hitting the strings.

    All things equal, you'd be better off going heavier, as they would have more tension, and a stiffer feel to allow you to dig in more. And, work on your technique to have a lighter touch to allow you to minimize any noise from your right hand. Both will go hand-in-hand in allowing you to achieve your desired result.
     
  14. RedMoses

    RedMoses

    Jul 4, 2012
    NYC
    I play Fingers and get on it hard (4 string), anything less than 105 and the string bottoms out before i can get everything i want out of the dynamics. I moved up to 110 and was happy, last rehearsal i took 115's (LaBella) out for a spin and it felt great, some Basses dont handle the heavier string guages as well as others but if your can, GO BIG. The heavier guage strings will give you slightly less space in between the strings, its not a big difference but i could feel it.

    I used to really like light guage (90-95), i think they sound better and more lively for harmonics and higher frequences but they require a light touch to keep them from bottoming out, they also dont sound as full in the mix and you have to make up for that with EQ.

    I dont know they make 120's in 4 string but i would give them a shot.
     
  15. WillyPop

    WillyPop

    Jan 11, 2010
    quebec, Canada
    Ashdown Amps, Yamaha, Musicman & Washburn Basses
    So I lift the action a little bit on the E and A strings, went for Lo-Riders Nickel 45-100 but pay really attention to control my dynamic and had pretty good results.

    Thanks for the advices. :bassist:
     

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