string tension and old hand

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by kkaarrll, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Take care about how you warm up your fingers. I'm pushing 60 and in order to play well I have to warm up. It actually takes a while every day to get to where I want to be. Plucking also has to do with your fretting technique as well, sometimes limbering up my fretting hand, makes it much easier to pluck smoothly and easily, I'm just synched up better.

    I guess what I'm saying is that perhaps high or low tension strings may not be the primary issue here.
    climber and kkaarrll like this.
  2. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    I just warm up with a couple of scale runs to get the sound I want while adjusting knobs etc---then go at it, so yes, that may be an issue for me to think about.
  3. aprod


    Mar 11, 2008
    Why don't you go to round wounds?
  4. GranSportMan


    Dec 14, 2010
    This may or may not be a decent sound clip. Depending on your taste. I do play better than this. At any rate, the strings are La Bella flat wounds and I like them a lot. I find them to be nice a loose but I think it will depend on your bass and setup.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  5. DavC


    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    having tried the lower tension Labellas ... and many others ..

    sadly , the lowest tension i've found comfy for my old hands ( 52 yrs piano , 43 yrs gtr/bass ) are Ti flats ..

    yes they are expensive ... but you'll only need 1 set ..!! or grab a used set here ...

    left hand feels much better , ... plucking flats with fingers still feels a bit different and stiffer than most rounds ..!!

    but i have gone back to GHS Pressurewounds ... my pick for the middle of round for sound/feel ..!!
    kkaarrll likes this.
  6. Willicious

    Willicious Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Bend, Oregon
    +1 to this as a valid approach to try. I'm 47, and my hands and wrists are holding up, but they fatigue easily. The LaBella Jamersons, with a really low action, are actually quite comfortable to play for extended periods of time.
    Doner Designs likes this.
  7. digmeout

    digmeout Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2012
    La Bella Low Tension Flexible Flats. I have arthritis in my left hand (i'm right handed) so I know what your talking about.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  8. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    Thomastik-Infeld flats are nice and soft.
    Linnin and kkaarrll like this.
  9. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    so two days after a 3 hour session with ghs precision flats on my fretless wenge bass

    my knuckle joints are still just sore, and crackling and popping more than usual, no temperature changes here which affects that sometimes, this has me worried
  10. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    Wantage, New Jersey
    If I were you I would stop playing flats and try some nickel round core strings. I have some joint issues too and anything that feels stiff under my finger tips leaves me aching.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  11. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Ah-Ha! You have to put a stop to that nonsense immediately! Shake the string a bit if you must or a little tug, but no bending. I learned how to trill the note from watching BB King, and that is what I do. Rarely do I ever bend.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  12. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
  13. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
  14. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    They are that, and floppy too. I played a set for five years and never again.
  15. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2014
    Wantage, New Jersey
    The Sunbeams work for me.

    I'm also thinking of trying GHS Round Core Boomers.
  16. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    My dad has bad arthritis in his hands, so I hope my hands last. My left thumb is screwed up a I have to clamp down on the neck a my hand gets tired. I find the best thing is regular practice. Songs in Gb are also tough, especially with a "rocking bass" pentatonic pattern like a lot of country rock has. For a while I'd play up the neck one string lower so less stretching and less force. I never liked the muddier sound though and switched back to four string.

    Retro sound True bass 88 are very low tension. Not sure if that will help though. I put them on the fre bass and hated the low tension. The action had to be ridiculously high and it's a problem when you dig in. Put them on fretless an it's the opposite. They feel great and sound amazing. I'm not sure how they compare to the labella tape wounds though...
  17. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    reading through the ghs pressurewounds thread-- what would compare the tension on those vs the precision flats?
    Linnin likes this.
  18. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Search out the GHS Tension Charts for scientific figures.
    My subjective comparison has nothing to do with science or the western mindset. What you feel is what you feel and numbers be damned. To me the string feel varys according to type and construction. The amount of finger pressure to fret & intonate a note is very dependent upon instrument setup and fret condition. Precision Flats are not high tension at all compared to other brands, and they strike me as mid-tension. With LaBella and Rotosounds being super high tension and Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats being the lowest to the point of being wimpy & floppy.

    The biggest difference between GHS Pressurewounds and their Precision flats is in the wrap with Pressurewounds being more flexible. However the amount of finger pressure required to fret the note is very close. I have no problem whatsoever in switching off between my Precision strung in flats to my Jazz strung in Pressurewounds. It's an easy transition. Each bass is set up specifically to that stringset with a clean playing action and not the lowest.
    kkaarrll likes this.
  19. Here you go...

    GHS Tension Guide (courtesy of @Jon Moody)
    kkaarrll and Linnin like this.
  20. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    kkaarrll likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 28, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.