Tape wound for blues

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by el jeffe bass, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    I have been using GHS flats for many years. I am about to change strings and would like to try something different. The tone that I am trying to attain is a good fundamental thump without much sustain. My bass is an American Fender P-bass with a string thru bridge. I am interested in trying tape wound. What brand and type of wrap would accomplish this? Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    If that's what you really want: Rotosound. Designed for maximum thump and less sustain.

    That said, you may still want some overtones to help slot the mix, especially to stay defined in the pocket with the drummer and stack the tone with whoever is keeping rhythm while another guy sings or solos. In that regard, the La Bella black tapes might be better overall. If the sustain is too much, you can always use the tried-and-true small block of foam under the bridge, or glued to the bridge cover if your bass still has one.

    Unless you get the D'Addario set, or the La Bella light gauge, you will need to adjust the nut slots on your bass and have a set up done: tweak the truss rod, adjust the intonation at the bridge, etc., to get the most out of whatever set you choose.

    I have the Fender tapewounds on my string-through custom P/J half-fanned fret right now. Great strings: even tone, even feel, good combination of fundamental, color, and does have some sustain so you can lay down a good groove.

    Fallacy in blues bass playing: it is not the thump, and it isn't a long sustain. It's in the middle. There needs to be some sustain to help everybody else stay locked into the beat so it stays blues with meat in the beat and doesn't degenerate into riky-tiky.
    MrRubi04 and Levin like this.
  3. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    Thank you for this information, it gives me some things to think about. Sounds like I should try the LA Bella light set as I am not interested in filing the nut at this point. In the past I played an Azola baby bass but I am no longer able to due to disability. I am trying to somewhat find that same "thump" but I understand that the P and baby bass are two different animals. Thanks again.
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I have used LaBella and GHS tapes.
    Labella were stiffer, GHS softer flex.
    Carvin sells them at a better price.
    IMHE :I like them for acoustic stuff, tapping and chording.
    Don't care to play blues with them as they are not stiff enough
    because inevitably the volume picks up and I like to dig in.
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Are you talking about the light or regular gauge? I agree on the light gauge, but I've had no problem digging in hard to the regular gauge.
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I use La Bella white tape wounds, light guage. They are a bit of an aquired taste; quite flexible and very slick feeling, they work best if you play with a lighter touch. Tonewise they are brighter than flawounds, but still has a bit of thump for a somewhat more vintage sound compared to roundwounds. For a darker sound with more thump I would choose their black tapewounds instead.
  7. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Same here.

    I have these on my 1974 P and love them. Lighter tension, a bit brighter than most flats and a different feel and tone. Better in a good way for me, but YMMV.
    RixBass likes this.