1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Strings for fretless?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Rod B., Jul 6, 2002.

  1. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    OK, I just bought a fretless off eBay and I'm looking for string recommendations. It will be mainly used in a jazz trio (guitar, keyboard and bass) doing standards like: Georgia, God Bless The Child, My Funny Valentine, A Foggy Day, Summertime, Ain't Misbehavin', All Of Me, Autumn Leaves, Satin Doll, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Days Of Wine And Roses, Unforgettable, Makin' Whoopee, Fly Me To The Moon, Don't Get Around Much, It Don't Mean A Thing, etc.

  2. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Could you list a few more song examples of what you'll be playing? :) Just funnin' ya. I've gotten great results on fretless using Elixir Nanowebs. If you want the thumpy low-end emphasis, you might look into Fender black tapewound. A lotta players seem to like TI Jazz Flats on fretless, too.
  3. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Sorry about the long list. I had copy and pasted from an email I'd sent out and forgot to edit it down.
  4. Looks like you would be in need of more "thud" than "mwah" on those songs, but I could be wrong. My MIM Fender Jazz FL has D'Addario Half-rounds. If I need more "thud" I just roll the tone pot down; more "mwah?" just roll it back up.
  5. Hey Rod, Thanks for the list of songs. I'm glad you did not cut them out. I want to play jazz more at home. Only play at "christian rock" at church. I would like to branch out. So the list helps me know songs I should know. I'll just have to look for music.

    I just want to purchase next a Fender jazz with TI flatwounds.
  6. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Here's a site with lead charts.Jazz Charts
  7. Thanks Rod,

    This looks like a great site! Appreciate the info.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer Supporting Member

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    My Fretless is strung with TI jazz flats. They are expensive, but worth every penny. I would recommend them for any fretless bass.

  9. I have TI flats on my P, and they are perfect... but how about mwah with TI flats on a fretless?

    I took the stock Fender 9050M stainless flats off my newly acquired fretless J, and put on a set of D'Addario EXL220 that I received from a bud.

    These nickel rounds are very light gauge, but they mwah like crazy.
  10. What's up, Bruce? How are you hangin' with that damned Sacramento heat? :cool:

    I love TI Flats on my fretless...no problem with mwah here. Maybe not QUITE as much as rounds, but still plenty of it, plus that great TI evenness of tonality across the strings. I love 'em.

    Cya round the Pit :)
  11. Slap,

    It's down around 100 now, or a bit higher. An improvement over the 112 and 114 we saw earlier. I spent time in Tucson, which is much warmer, but tolerable due to no humidity. Sacramento is more humid, but not like back East.

    To be fair, I did not do a setup on my MIM J fretless with the stock Fender 9050M stainless flats. I actually like the feel of those big cables just fine... not much for tone.

    They came off and a set of freebie DA EXL220 from a buddy went on instead. I did a 3-business-card setup, and a flat relief, and these rounds mwah for days.

    And chew hell out of my finger board.


    I have to go back to flats. Since I have both a fresh set of TI Flats and DA Chromes, I plan to try the chromes first. I already know (and love) the TI Flats on my fretted P-bass.
  12. trane


    Jun 3, 2002
    Tokyo, Japan
    I don't know about the 220's, mate, but the TI JR344's have very tight windings. Maybe some of the guys with broader experience could comment on that aspect of the strings. The TI rounds are very smooth-feeling. I refer to them as The Refined Roundwound for this reason. Fender rounds feel positively primitive in comparison.
  13. armybass

    armybass Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2001
    OK, I'll be the odd guy out here. I use DR's, either Sun Beams or Hi Beams, and they are oth great for jazz. My question is do you know what sound you are going for? That would help narrow it down. i know you have a good songlist, but what fretless approach would you like to take?
  14. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    Good question. Originally when I posted I was somewhat unsure and that's why I posted a song list instead, seeing if people suggested thump or mwah.

    Yesterday I was asked if I'd do some Latin jazz with another group. So, I'm now leaning toward mwah and I can turn the tone down some and hopefully get a more "thump" for the standards. Of course I could just use my fretted jazz for the Latin stuff. But I think I'll want to use both.

    So, right now I have several sets of Half-Round that I use on my Hot Rodded P that I'll slap on. But the quest will be on and I'll try several different sets to find "my" sound.

    I won't have the bass in hand (a G&L JB-2) until Thursday. In my head though I hear more mwah than thump, but still a mellow top end. Maybe Elixir's?

    Tone suggestions welcomed as well.
  15. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    Folks around here are probably tired of hearing me say it, but I love LaBella black tapewound strings on fretless (and fretted). I can get mwah or thump, but with a little more top end than steel flats.
  16. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Another vote here for tapewounds. I've always liked the brightness that rounds gave me, but they always seemed to sound a bit thin on my fretless. I tried on a set of Fender Filaments and then if God's voice sounded like a fretless bass when he spoke, that's what it would sound like. ;) :D Okay, just kidding, but they sound great all around. Plus you don't tear your fretboard all up.
  17. I use GHS Brite Flats on my fretless. They give me everything I need from "thud" (usually) to "twang" (seldom) and all points in between.
  18. Dewees


    May 4, 2000
    I have D'Addario 1/2 rounds on my Carvin fretless five. They sound OK all except the B, which just thuds. It's tapered. I don't much like the way they feel, either. I've had these on for about a month and really don't like 'em much.

    Probably more toward the jazz end of the spectrum, I really like the D'Addario chrome flat wounds I have on my Godin A5. They sound great.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I've been playing fretless for over 20 yrs and have always used roundwound strings with a Gaboon Ebony fingerboard.
  20. Jauqo you beat me to it!!!! I was gonna ask if using rounds is ok on fretless as long as one uses an ultra-hard wood like Ebony...


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.