Strings for Rockabilly?

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by Bass, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    What are the best strings for Rockabilly / Psychobilly?

    Do people here prefer steel strings, nylon strings, or gut strings?

    I'm using Innovation Rockabilly's, but haven't tried anything else yet.
  2. I've been playing for about four years and went from spiro's to helicore pizz mediums, back to weich's, then to obligato's. Just put on Silver Slaps! These are sweet! When and if they settle in just a tad they will be butter! Only thing better would be gut:hyper: Next up, fb, nut, & bridge.
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I made my first visit to yesterday... sorry I waited so long, it's a great site! They do a lot of string talk over there in the forums, and as you might expect, there's quite a bit of discussion of gut strings. That's why I went there in the first place, but I found a pretty cool bunch of characters posting over there as a bonus.
  4. pbassfreak


    May 2, 2001
    long beach
    Cmon over and join in Marcus..Im tried of being the only Hawaiian over there..hahaha
  5. pbassfreak


    May 2, 2001
    long beach
    Back to the topic at hand..If your playing rockabilly there is no sub for guts..Weedwackers are a nice alternative to see if you like the gut sound without putting out all the money for guts..Most pyscos I know play steel..But Marcus is right cruz over to rabb and search the string section..You'll find alot of anseres..
  6. bloodyjack


    Oct 10, 2006
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I'll try to pop in from time to time, brah.... but right now, get plenny mango leaves in da back yahd fo' peek up. :cool:
  8. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I get a better slap tone with guts than I do with steels.
    However, when I use steels, I can get a nicer tone by dropping the action lower than I keep it usually with guts. The steel strings also respond very quickly just due to the higher tension and slicker surface.

    For vintage rockabilly, honkytonkin, old tyme stuff...I like guts.

    If I had to do really rapid machine gun trips and fourplets, like in some psychobilly, I probabably opt for steels.
  9. MatthewS


    Jan 25, 2007
    Guts are the way to go for rockabilly.
    Weedwackers, imo arent great and are a waste of time.

    As far as psychobilly playing goes.
    It depends, what sound are you looking for. what style is your band. Most psychobilly bassist, dont use steels. Some use guts, weedwackers, nylons, or steels. It all depends what your going for.

    I use steels, I am not a psychobilly bassist though, but I have played in a number of psychobilly bands. I prefer them for there tone, sustain, slides, bends pretty much every aspect.
  10. screamkingart


    Apr 27, 2006
    steel players in the psychobilly world are the minority, i would say the majority of psychobilly slappers are using nylon strings like rotosounds, silverslaps, eurosonic UL, and a lot use wackers for the warm clicks, and especially the price

    i play on guts though and I guess... you could say im a psychobilly player, but prefer just to say "slapper" though :smug: is a great place!!!:bassist:
  11. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    Innovation Super Silvers are working well for me, but I don't slap all that much. They are a synthetic core low tension string that sort of sound like gut during normal pizz playing.

    I played Piastro Obligotos for a few years. Good slap strings, but I had some problems with windings breaking at the bridge even after all the calls for graphite / pencil lead in the string slots. Still a good sounding metalic wound synthetic core string.

    Lots of folks I know play LaBella black nylon wrapped for Bluegrass style slap, but I can go the feel of the black nylon. Too much drag / stick for my hide.

    There's always Spiros or Helicores. It's tough to go wrong with those unless you have a bass that's adverse to high tension strings.
  12. Hoyt


    Jun 29, 2006
    Saint Charles, IL.
    I really have no business offering my opinion, as I am really a metalhead, but Thomastik Dominants have always treated me well...
  13. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    I use Tomastik Superflexible Solo steels drop tuned and play a variety of music from physcobilly through to blues (and also use the same bass & strings for arco in the orchestra pit but thats a different story).

    I've tried guts but found the pizz performance was poor, tried hybrids and nylons etc but my varied requirements keep on leading me back to steels.

    Personally I've found steels require less effort to play than other strings as I need less hand movement to pull the strings to slap them compared to lower tension guts/nylons etc.

    But you do get blisters...
  14. Son


    Apr 13, 2007
    When I first got my dog house, it came with steel strings. Since they were real rough on my fingers, I thought about switching over to guts, but after talking to a few different players in my area, and after watching Lee Rocker's dvd, I decided to stay with steel.

    At first, they'll be real hard on your fingers, but once you get calluses built up, you'll be fine.

    Since I experimented a little bit, I think that steel strings have a lot fuller sound when you slap.

    But if you want to play psychobilly, gut may be your answer. I'd think it'd be really hard to play psycho stuff on steel strings, what with the speed and everything. But if it's just rockabilly your after, I'd say go with steels.
  15. I'm using Silver Slap E/A, LaBella D/G and love it!
  16. Do you guys use bridge adjusters?
  17. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I do...but only really because I swap out for Spirocores for some non-rockabilly gigs.
  18. Clef Guts are great for slappin' and have a great sound both amped and unamped.
  19. wingnut


    Apr 18, 2007
    Las Vegas Nv.
    Eurosonics light guage are working for me, and they stay in tune and they're fast.
  20. bloodyjack


    Oct 10, 2006
    Rockabilly = guts
    Psychobilly = steel
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