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Strings for pizz / arco / slap

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by mikejdexter, Feb 13, 2018.


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  1. mikejdexter

    mikejdexter

    Jul 9, 2009
    UK
    I play pizz /arco and slap. Does anybody slap using 'Thomastick Infeld' strings?
    If so which type? Good tension for slap? and good for pizz (jazz wise) & arco? Your knowledge welcome.
     
  2. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    New Orleans
    I have but it doesn't sound great. For all 3 the best would have to be Evah pirazzi slaps. If you have to use thomastiks use super flex or Spiro solos
     
  3. Dead Spiros are, to me, the do-everything string. A lot depends on your bass and what it likes.
     
    Mgaisbacher and 834federal like this.
  4. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Evah Weichs work well for all three applications. On a particularly bright bass, Kaplan solo gauge tuned down work well, too.
     
  5. I have EP weichs and I think they are too high tension for slap. For my next purchase, I'm looking at EP solos tuned to standard, or the new EP Slap strings Pirastro are offering.
     
    bskts247 and Steve Boisen like this.
  6. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I agree with the Evah Pirazzi Slap recommendation, particularly the all-synthetic core version. Higher tension steel or synthetic core strings are not a good choice for slap playing in my opinion. An all-synthetic string (i.e without a metal wrap) might work well for pizzicato and slap, but is not a good choice for bowing.

    Then there’s always gut...the usual caveats apply.

    - Steve
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    tonequixote and JeffKissell like this.
  7. I slapped Spiro Starks for years...at the end of the day it’s about willpower and breathing correctly.
     
  8. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Yep. Never had an issue slapping with steel strings. Hell, I went to Milt Hinton’s house and at 89 years old, he slapped the living hell out of some spiros.
     
    geoffbassist and KUNGfuSHERIFF like this.
  9. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    It's not so much the tension as the sound. I think slap sounds best with a gut string, second best with an all-synthetic string. These strings also work better at a higher string height which is needed for slap. My two basses are currently set up with Spircores and Obligatos, neither of which I like for slap. That's just my personal taste.

    - Steve
     
  10. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    High string heights are not a requirement for slap. It can be accomplished with some finesse at “normal” heights quite handily. I’ll agree that gut is “the sound” but the OP wants arco, and maybe I’m assuming he wants a modern(ish) arco sound. Synthetic or steel. I had EP slaps for a hot minute and was decidedly underwhelmed by the arco sound and the pizz E left some to be desired.
     
  11. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I’ve only tried the Evah Pirazzi Slap set with the gut D & G. I thought the E & A were nice match, but maybe on their own they would be underwhelming.

    - Steve
     
  12. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    I’m with Steve. It’s a sound thing for me too. I don’t slap well or often enough, which is more likely the culprit. I’ve got Spiro Weichs on now after Evah Slaps and it’s been a tough slog back to the tension (requiring me to lower the bridge height). They’re a bit harder to be consistent and to get that tone you’re looking for out of the gate (for me) while slapping, but they’re pretty great all around if that Spiro thing is your thing.

    I’d say the Evah Slap synthetics are a good bet. The G is a bit nasal or ‘reedy’ arco for my tastes (I need to play it closer to the bridge), but they bow pretty well. Although, they were a bit lifeless on my Chadwick.

    Another variety that seems to be pretty polarizing with regard to reviews around here is the Innovation 140B. I quite liked them for all three and thought they were actually quite nice under the bow. Same tension as my weichs. They also make a solo gauge if you’re wanting less tension.
     
  13. Higher action is NOT needed for slap. It’s actually a liability. I used to own a nice German bass that was last set up in the big band era with a tall bridge and gut strings an inch off the end of the board. Forget about playing slap with that setup. Most slappers I know like jazz action because it’s easy to play and the strings bounce off the board if you breathe on them.

    The trick to slapping Spiros is left-hand muting. Cut that note off right quick. Try it.

    “I went to Milt Hinton’s house”

    OK, you’re my hero right now. Forreals???
     
  14. Jon Mush

    Jon Mush

    Jun 3, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB
    I thought the same thing when I read the Milt part!!

    For clarity: I’m not a high action guy and my bass is set up more like 8.5-6 mm. I don’t have a big scoop in my board. When I put the evah slaps on I had to take the bridge up 1.5mm or so to get the playability where I needed it. The Evahs played and sounded better to me a bit higher.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  15. Plain guts about 10-12mm off the fingerboard is the best slap sound in my opinion (on my basses).

    I've been grinding away at it and they can be bowed. It's harder than it needs to be but the sound is cool (highly subjective)
     
  16. mikejdexter

    mikejdexter

    Jul 9, 2009
    UK
    Many thanks fellow bassists for all your useful info. Such a minefield of strings to to consider. Also in the equation comes the bass your playing and as they say: 'It's all in the hands'. I'm a firm believer that a good musician can get a reasonable sound out of anything. But the quest of the 'string thing' goes on--and on---------------
     
  17. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    -1 for synthetic Evah slaps. ADG from that set is a fine but very quiet hybrid string, but I can`t get a clean pizz tone out of the E without setting it at plain guts height, nearly 15mm that is. That`s also when the actual slapping gets harder and harder, at least for me and my very limited skill. IMO and IME Evah slaps are attracting strings in that they play great with left hand ease all over the fingerboard, but they ain`t nowhere near guts tonally, and are way too much of a tradeoff with arco and pizz, comparing to what they imitate, gut strings. With guts everything is easy to accept as the tone is to die for when I accidentally manage to get that out, but E slaps doesn`t seem to have that in them, no matter how hard I try. Very quiet, dull and lifeless. They became more alive with E.P weich E, and I used that combo for a month or so.

    I`d suggest Velvet Animas. Loud, tonally right between gut and steel, plucks, bows and slaps really well with their even low tension. They come with drawbacks like everything else does: They`re expensive, allthough not too much comparing to E.P slaps, VERY fragile and they have the rough winding pretty similar to traditional wound gut. Great pizz tone, arco very close to wound gut and very slappable. Only reason I`m not using them is the scratchy feel of the windings.
     
  18. Anyone try the Kolstein Heritage Upright Bass Strings?

    Supposedly made for arco and low tension pizz, suggesting slap would be fine too.
     
  19. Yeah. They suffer from the same deficiencies as all the other Perlon-core strings do.
     
  20. Hi I am unfamiliar with the deficiencies of perlon core strings. I just researched an found out that perlon is another name for Nylon 6. Could you please enlighten me and the others? Thanks.
     

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