Strings for Rockabilly?

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

  1. Tim didn't come back on TB since may, so the question is open to everyone:
    What about the Silver's outer wrap?
    Their website says it's semi-round clear nylon.
    So, does it make noise when you shift your left hand over them?
    What about the surface?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I guess I'll jump in here Francois :) . I run Innovation Super Silver (non-slap version) G & D along with Dominant A & E on my main bluegrass bass. I don't know what Innovation means by their term "semi-round" but I suppose you could also describe them as "semi-smooth." The clear outer wrap is definitely wound on as a fused spiral. I know since a rough spot in my nut caused a break in the outer wrap above the nut and it looks like a "slinky." Doesn't bother me below the nut .... still intact ... at least until I take the string off :rollno: . If you run your fingernail down the string, you can hear and feel the little ridges in the outer wrap. The Dominants (and the Spiros on my back-up bass) are not at all like the SS's ..... they are very smooth.

    I definitely experience some "string noise" with the Innovations when the left hand fingertips slide into notes. I don't notice it acoustically but when I run some higher volumes through the Rev Solo II pup and Coda amp, I keep the tweeter off and the treble knob rolled off to about 10 o'clock to keep the "noise" to a minimum. I think other players with better technique and different pick-ups and/or amps would experience less of the noise. Heck I suppose some players in other genres would even like the noise ;) ....... I just don't want it for the bluegrass stuff we do.

    I'm not much of a slapper but other "way-better-than-me" bass players who have tried my bass liked the feel, "slap-ability", non-steel tone of my current string combo. I dislike the term "gut-like" (what can really duplicate the sound of good gut strings?) ...... but I guess my set-up somewhat approaches that sound. I still want to try some guts or at least some Garbos.
  3. Thanks Bob!
    I guess I'd rather look at the black ones or to the UB Blacks.
    Tried these Uptons?

  4. Nope .... can't help you there Francois :) . Do a search. I know there are some players here at TalkBass that have used the UB's that you could ask. Or just e-mail the fine folks at Upton. Take Care ...... Bob
  5. Yep, that's already been done.
    The guys seem to be out but I'm sure they'll get back to me when they can!

    Best regards,
  6. dmperry24


    Dec 11, 2006
    Stamford, CT
    I had my Hybrid Hawkes fitted with UB Blacks when I took delivery on it in February. I love those strings. I'm not experienced enough on Upright yet to properly evaluate them, but I found them very easy to play on. They didn't give me any callous or blister problems on my fingers. I could get a good, rich tone out of them, they stayed in tune very well over periods of time. The only complaints I got were the volume from my bass seemed to be less than expected. That is a hard one to gauge because as a player you can't realy tell how your volume is ranking with other players in a jam situation. I have since switched to Clef Guts because I'm looking for that "Old School" slap bass sound. I find the Clef guts have even less volume than the Blacks, and, of course, their tension is a lot lower than the Blacks (they are like playing on large rubber bands). But the "E" is very mushy sounding on the Clefs, so I might replace it with the UB Black "E" (I saved the old set). The guts are a lot easier to slap than the Blacks because of the Black's higher tension, and I have to constantly tune the Clef Guts since they haven't settled in yet. I'm probably not telling you anything new here, but that is my experience with UB Blacks.

    P.S.- they look pretty cool on a bass with the all-black color.
  7. ColonelZulu

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

    Apr 14, 2001

    My Hawkes Hybrid will be coming with UB Blacks too. My Engelhardt has Clef guts on it...I was tempted to replace the E too, but I've found ways to make them work by sticking with them.
  8. Just a thought about hanging in on playing all guts.Sometimes when first using guts,the E and A can seem hopeless (no volume,seem like big EXPENSIVE rubber bands,no pitch,etc) but if you leave them on they kind of come around.(or maybe I just get used to them).

    I sat in with a local rockabilly band here in Nashville (Hillbilly Casino) last week,and their bassist Geoff Firebaugh uses the blacks on his E and A.It was on his custom King bass,and it got me thinking about trying them.Little more definition,but I sure like all guts on my old Kay MIB.
  9. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I do not agree that weedwhackers are a waste of time at all. I play in a hawaiian band. Although we play traditional hawaiian swing, I slap quite a bit. I have been using weedwhackers for about 4 years now. In fact, it is the same set, which cost me 19 dollars at the time. I can't speak enough about these strings. The problem is, you have to let them settle in for a good couple of months before the tone really comes out. As I said, they have been on 4 years and I rarely have to even tune my bass, even after tugging on them hard. The bass I use is a king slapking. On stuff I don't slap on, they have a very old fashioned sound, like a mariachi bass. Fast decay, lots of punch and an even tone.
  10. bloodyjack


    Oct 10, 2006
    I had guts for a year and went down to my music room to find the D had snapped, so I put weedwackers on and they sound great and I can slap and play faster with less strain I did keep the E gut because when I had wackers on before i was unhappy with the E
  11. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I had the same problem, and it is why I made the switch, despite all the negative posts about weedwhackers. I play a lot (Like every weekend) and sometimes it's near the desert, other times near the sea. I went to my storage one day to pick my bass up, and both the G and D had snapped. Those suckers cost 200 bucks! So after researching, I decided with 20 bucks you can't lose, and I have been satisfied ever since. I even bought 5 sets in case they stopped making them. I do have a eurosonic E string, though. The E was a little weak sounding (but still playable) but I wanted something that registered on my tuner better. Regarding strain: I also have a traditional upright with spirocore weiches on it, but even that kills the finger on a 3 hour gig. The weedwhackers are like playing on silk. It's like playing nothing!

    For a rockabilly guy playing with drums and loud guitars, I would suggest a steel wrapped gut A and E, and weedwhacker D and G.
  12. pbassfreak


    May 2, 2001
    long beach
    Salppin in a Hawaiian Band..Damn I was hopeing to do that..I play with a tiki exotica band and do alot more pizz..I ditched the plain gut E and A and now have Olive E and A with plain gut d&g..Still sounds good when slapped though..Matches up with the guts really well..
  13. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    My band is playing at the Bali Hai in san diego on Nov. 2nd. I will be doing lots of slapping. You are in an exotica tiki band? I am a regular on Tiki central and know most of the exotica bands in our area-Tikiyaki orchestra, martini kings, ape, Mai Kai gents, king kukulele, and the ones from afar such as Waitiki.
  14. pbassfreak


    May 2, 2001
    long beach
    Cool...Yeah Im in the Tikiyaki Orchestra..I belive we are playing Nov 2 as well..Slapkings will be in force that night..
  15. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    Small bass world!

    I kinda thought that was you! You can't believe how much I have been looking forward to hearing you guys. Your drummer has played with my band many times, and is simply awesome.

    At one time during the evening we are going to have to have a bass blast, sort of a "dueling uprights"!!

    If anybody in the SoCal area is reading this, try to make it down. The Bali Hai is a classic fake polynesian restaraunt from the 50's (Kind of like the defunct Tahitian terrace at disneyland) in San Diego. The Mai Tais are excellent. This will more or less be the debut for the 8 piece Tikiyaki orchestra, a band that specializes in "exotica" music (Martin Denny/Les Baxter/Arthur Lyman/Esquivel) but are playing originals. A lot of people have heard their record, "stereoexotique" (sic) and it is awesome, with some heavy hitters like Gary from the Blue Hawaiians (and spongebob) playing on it.

    Our band is more or less the "house" band for the evening, and we play traditional Hawaiian swing from the old days. (steel guitar, upright bass, Ukelele/vocals)

    What this has to do with Rockabilly is zero, but King Doublebass will be heavily represented! (Jason, sluggo, you guys rock!!)
  16. pauldebass


    May 8, 2006
    I've gone around the horn a couple of times with strings. I've settled in on the E and A steel and the D & G Gut. about ten years ago I was in Nashville and needed a bass to play. The folks at Gibson suggested I go to George Chestnut, being told he was the main uprght guy in town. He rented me a bass with the two steel, two gut set up saying ' all the guys in town do it this way '. I found having the E and A being steel give me the punch and tone I need to do a good clean none slap walk but when I wanted to slap I could. I've gone back a couple of times to all gut or all steel but find the combo the best for me. But then I don't slap all night. this last year I finally got a second bass, solid wood with steel
  17. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Yesterday, my pal replaced her 2 year old Weedwackers with my 1 year old Innovation Rockabillies, and her bass now has far more tone. I have no doubt the Weedwackers are great strings for $25, but I think Innovation RAB ($140) has them beat for tone.

    Again, I think these are Innovation RAB's rather than the Upton Blacks. I suppose they're similar strings though, maybe he switched.
  18. I just use Innovation Silver Slaps... That's it, they play nice, they slap nice and i'm happy with 'm...
  19. Johnny1958


    May 2, 2007
    We have a 3/4 ply upright that came with red lower silk and multi color top silk! We don't really know what they are! While moving the upright to a few gigs, the A string got bumped by an amp corner or something through the soft case and has made a dimple mark on it around the Bb position, and buzzes quite a bit.

    We are looking to install a Biesele magnetic pickup on it as we play loud and get lots a feedback with the K&K RB+ peizos through the 300w SVT Classic 6x10.

    What would be the best strings to get for CountryRock - Rockabilly Slap? We cover a lot of Stray Cats, Gene Vincent etc... We know it has to have a steel composition. but choosing the proper set looks to be very confusing. we've seen 4/4 3/4 set! or 3/4 Orchestra, jazz!!
    Just don't know much 'bout them, as it's the first time we'll change 'em up :confused:
    Many Thanks for any help,
    Johnny & Luke
  20. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Hey, is this Johnny Montreal from the Brains? If so, I love your stuff, the CD is terriffic (too bad mine skips now), and yer show rocks.

    Anyhow, I ain't no expert, I don't play steels, but I understand for slap you want a "solo" set. The Solo's I guess are for some strange tuning (like F instead of E) so you just tune these down a 1/2 step and get lower tension! Slick huh?

    I understand "Thomastic Superflexible Solo" would be a pretty good bet, they're supposed to be low tension, sound good and last a long while. If I ever put steels on that's what I'll be buying. Surely the 3/4 are the ones you want.

    I tried Jargar Dolce Solos for a month or so, they were OK but my set was used and they were all but dead. Apparently the windings come undone so these need replacing frequently. Also, my bridge / nut slots weren't setup for steels so I don't think I was getting full tone.

    Why don't you ask the same question at You'll probably get a better answer from someone who knows more than me.
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