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String tension....??

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by jongor, May 23, 2003.

  1. jongor

    jongor Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Man...I'm frustrated....it's hit or miss with strings, and knowing how "tight" they'll be. And at $40 a pop it's not practical to experiment.

    How do you know? Juststrings.com posts most tensions, but I just picked up a set of Rotosound Jazz flats (which they didn't have the tension for), sound great, but man I can hardly play them!

    I've used TI flats, which I like, but they just didn't sound right on my G&L 5 string fretless

    I've got tendonitis, so I'm a little more sensitive, I guess. Just played them for maybe a half hour, and my wrist is all tired out...

    I already do strengthing exercises...

    Any recommendations on low tension flat/half flat/groundwounds for a 5'r?

  2. This can get to be a pretty confusing subject. It took me a while to figure out that tension and tightness of feel sometimes have no relation to each other. I had a TI JF344 set on my P with .018" relief. I put a Pyramid 640/1 set on and the relief reduced to .014 (indicating less tension), yet the feel was tighter. The following day I got my LaBella 760FX extra-light stainless flats in the mail and when I put them on the bass, not only did the neck go dead flat (no relief), but it was the tightest-feeling set of the three.
  3. Stainless steels have low tension, and if you like flats, try stainless flats, but nickle and nickle plated rounds and flats have the highest tension
  4. Hmm ... my experience doesn't really bear that out. I think there's a lot more to it than the type of metal used. For example, the diameter and shape of the core wire, and the ratio of the core size to the wrap size, and the construction technique in general.
  5. I agree, there are so many variables in string design. Personally, I've pretty much given up on all rules of thumb.
  6. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Perhaps the problem is not in the strings. If your wrist is getting sore, maybe you need to change the height or angle of the bass, or find a bass with a more comfortable neck. Maybe your technique - the angle of your wrist - is causing the problem. If you're fairly new to the bass, a teacher or other experienced player may be able to offer some tips.

    I notice differences in string tension under my right (plucking) hand more than under my fretting hand.

    Just some thoughts

  7. Try holding your bass higher up to your body, so your wrists don't have to hold the bass(if it is that low). But with a bass up real high your wrists will be at a more natural and comfortable position
  8. jongor

    jongor Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    It's not my technique....I've been playing a long time, and have worked on my style (with the bass in a comfortable position...etc.)

    I actually hurt my wrist falling off my mountain bike....:D

    ..but with the right strings and using the position I'm used to, I don't have too many problems.

    Thomastiks work for me, being low tension, but I just wanted to try something different.
  9. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Are you doing any physical therapy for your wrist?