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string squeaking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by GastonD, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    When I go for larger shifts up or down the fingerboard, there is audible squeaking produced by my left hand/fingers sliding over the string(s). Is there some specific way/technique to alleviate this occurrence?
  2. Zombifer


    Feb 13, 2014
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Flatwound strings!
    Squeak is normal with any roundwound string, so flatwounds were invented to alleviate the squeaking. They sound a bit more mellow, which I personally prefer and they're more comfortable to play.
  3. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Can't tell if you're joking or not.

    You can reduce the squeak by adapting your left hand to not slide across the strings as much when making position shifts, EQing the frequency that it happens at, or by playing different kinds of strings. IMO in most band situations it won't be audible anyways unless you're using a lot of compression or distortion with brand new rounds.
  4. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    As far as electric bass strings go, flats came first.
    They were not invented to alleviate finger noise on a bass.
    I remember buying new strings for my '61 P bass back in the early 1970s, and the guy in the music store talked me into rounds, saying they were the new style of strings that everybody was using. I hated them, and went back to flats.
    I do have rounds on my J bass.
  5. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I figured it is next to impossible to completely eliminate the issue with roundwounds. Still, in a studio situation (for example) would it be of any help to try adding something like noise gate pedal or similar type of gear (which?) to the signal chain?
  6. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I was going to suggest flatwounds...
  7. 3X21_Keytar.
    Problem solved.
    Rikki_Sixx likes this.
  8. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer
    Classic :p

    If your not looking to go the way of flats, I have found the Sadowsky Blue Nickels to be about the smoothest round wounds for minimal string squeak. I bought a bass which was strung with the blues and noticed the strings to be quieter than my DR Sunbeams I use on all my basses.

  9. GastonD


    Nov 18, 2013
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Thanks for the suggestions. I am not going to switch to the flatwounds, that's for sure. Maybe changing the brand of strings could help, but I just love DR hi-beams. Maybe going for nickel instead of stainless?
  10. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    IME DRs have less string noise than most string makers, try some Rotosound 66s if you want to really hear some squeak. Switching to Sunbeams or nickel Low Riders would probably help a little bit.