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Tapewound or flats for that upright big band gig?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Jim T., Jan 26, 2004.


  1. I did a search with no result...

    I am going to play a big band gig and wanted to know if I'd get real close to an upright sound using tapewound or flats?

    My instincts tell me nylon/tapewound but I've only played them on hollowbodies and I've only got solid body basses these days.

    I could put them on either:
    Pedulla Hexabuzz fretless w/coated fingerboard
    Old Fender Jazz fretless with no coating
    Fodera fretted with the most adjustable EQ/Pre.

    What do you recommend? Pick up selection (control wise) ideas, etc. are also welcome.
    I play through an SWR Triad Cab if that helps.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Oh yeah, the Pedulla's maple
    The fender's alder or poplar ('70s)
    The Fodera is N. Hard Ash if that helps too.:rolleyes:
     
  3. I would probobly go with the Jazz Bass, (if you had a P Bass that would be ideal. :D) I'd try getting La Bella tapewounds, rolling off the tone on your bass about halfway, maybe a little more, and keeping both pickups wide open. Also, I don't know where you commonly place your right hand when you pluck the strings, but you should definitely keep at over the neck pickup or even further toward the neck. And most important of all: Get youself a piece of foam and stick it under the strings right in front of the bridge. This will give you a much warmer, thuddier sound, with much less sustain, (like an upright). SWRs are kind of bright sounding so you may also want to try rolling off some treble on your amp, if you don't do that already. Hope this helps. Don't forget the foam (or anything else you could use to mute your strings).
     
  4. I use Jazz Flats on my P bass and I play very high, almost on the neck, it has a fuller rounder tone.

    Yes, The foam nute will help the strings decay quicker with more thump.

    Nothing sounds like a Standup, but a Standup!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  5. Thanks Jacob and Treena.

    I knew about the foam trick and was leaning toward the Fender Jazz bass. I'm probably going to try tapewounds first as I've had experience in the distant past with flats on a solid body but not tape wounds. I'll see if I can buy a single string first.

    Sorry it took me a bit to get back to you with a thank you! Jim
     
  6. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Labella tapewounds are awesome for that "upright" bass sound!!!

    You can get them very cheap at Carvin's website. They last a long time and they give a very full sound. They are actually roundwound strings...but with the tape, feel like flats.

    They have the tone of roundwounds without being bright, yet they are nowhere near as dull (dead?) sounding as flatwounds.

    I am completely sold on them and I won't play my Cirrus 5 string with anything but tapewounds. I play swing, rockabilly and blues...and these have been the only strings that do it for me. I love the sound of uprights, but strangely enough prefer to actually play electric bass.
     
  7. If you tried the TI Jazz Flats you wouldn't say they sounded dull or dead, believe me, these strings are bright for flats. They actually sound better with time!

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    TI Jazz Flats are nice and have them on most of my basses, and definitely get better with age. Can't say I've gotten a serious upright sound from them but have gotten close enough for more purposes. Lot of that has to do with technique and the bass they're on I think. Tried Roto Tapewounds and didn't like them at all, very high tension.
     
  9. Tez

    Tez

    Jan 24, 2004
    Australia
    To Improve the sound Pluck at the 13 fret mark, wind all the mid and mid highs of your amp pull the bass control down to about 3 ( On a one to 10 scale)
    or Minus 7 on active tones , give it about 3 on the treble control , adjust the instrment tone to a fairly neutral sound ( I dont have a tone control on my Bass I took it off) Play Harder to get the strings to produce overtones then raise the volume to compensate for the power los due to the tone settings Give it a try dont forget to play well up the neck I wouldnt reccomened a damping foam . learn to produce the Tone with your finger style .it takes Practice!
    I can fool most people (Players) into thinking its an upright playing till the look onstage.
     
  10. Tez

    Tez

    Jan 24, 2004
    Australia
    Further to what I have allready written I would recomment you start to Practice the tecnique of plucking at the 13 fret or fret position (Fretless) with the Bass un amplified. to get used to the sound you are trying to create, you should concider raising the string heights as the more aggressive plucking style will cause fret buzz. that is why most bass players that have a low action ,which is great for speed , do not know how to produce "tone with there fingers " they rely on amps ,tone controls and effects. so get back to bassics.and rely on getting the sound from the woods and strings of your bass the amp is to amplify not mute or distort the sound of the bass or strings Think about it .

    the sound most bass players produce can get lost on the front of house mix when the sound guy doesnt have a clue and mixes the bass with the same tone a s the Kick drum
     
  11. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    True, I haven't tried the TI Jazz flats, they may be great for a flatwound.

    And I agree completely that if you want an "upright" kind of sound, you have to learn to play your bass a certain way. Playing up on the neck and cutting mids helps alot. Techinque is ALL important.

    Tone really is in your hands...but setting yourself up with the right equipment is a help in obtaining that sound.

    The Labella Tapewounds have nowhere near the tension of the Roto Tapewounds.
     
  12. DaveB

    DaveB

    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I'm both an upright and electric player and, Treena is right, only an upright is an upright. The closest I've ever come on my electrics to getting ANY kind of usable URB vibe is to use flats (any kind will do) but use a preamp that has good variable sweep compression. I have a Fishman Platinum Bass and when I take the electric (w/flats) and turn the Fishman compression to about 3 o'clock it is as close to URB as I can get. But...still not upright.
     
  13. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well true...nothing sounds like an upright but an upright.

    But, on my electric, the tapewounds sound much truer to an upright sound than any flatwound I've tried.

    When I clean the tapewound strings they have that squawk that gut strings on an upright have. For me they just have that "wood" tone that flats do not give me...but that's me. :)
     
  14. Whoa! Wait a minute. How else should we be expected to project our sound other than with an amp? As others have said, playing electic is totally different than upright, so it should be aproached in a different way. I play with low action and pluck as lightly as possible. the two reasons for this is that I don't tire as easily, and I get a better sound. I would suggest doing the opposite of what you said. Rather than digging in more and "getting the sound from the woods and the strings" people should work on playing with a lighter touch, because it sounds much cleaner. Playing unamplified upright bass most likely requires you to dig in more. However, as soon as you throw in an amp, it becomes completely different, especially if your playing an electric bass. I get the my sound from the wood and strings just as much as anyone else. Turning the amp up a little more, and playing lighter just allows the bass to speak clearer.
     
  15. Tez

    Tez

    Jan 24, 2004
    Australia
    we are all entiteld to our respective opinions, however Light playing does not give enough energy to exite the string overtones, I have been experimenting for years to get a good Fretless sound for Jazz and do not expect that sound to suitable for all forms of music
    Just the questioin was how do you get that upright sound from an electric bass .answer! spend a lot of time trying different strings different amps and speakers and above all develop a tecnique with your fingers that work for to achieve what you seek , but remember the result can be extremly subjective .
    I belive once you find the sound on your bass you seek, then use the amp to make it louder not kill it Regards Tez
     
  16. Tez, while I respect your age and therefore experience that comes with age, I disagree that finger players (me) do not know how to produce tone with their fingers.

    Also, I would suggest that you post on the boards for a while and gain the respect of others before you start tearing a part someone's playing style.

    I would like to exchange ideas with you but truthfully, I find your posts to be arrogant and judgmental. :meh:

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  17. Tez

    Tez

    Jan 24, 2004
    Australia
    sorry I dont understand what post on the boards means as Im new to this , I apologise if I offened anyone . I know I can appear arrogant , but I like to get people to think about what they may be doing and whist it may cause a heated debate I am not hitting out at anyone personaly.I hate to think this is a site where we just patronise each other and accept every written word as gospel! I dont expect people to agree with me ,I just like to give my point of view, and if it helps good, if it doesnt it also is not that important.
    regards Tez
     
  18. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I would have to agree with Tez on this pont.

    I do think that to really get more of an upright sound out of an electric, light fingerstyle does not really get the sound out of the string properly.

    Yes, I would agree that "digging in" is required of an unamplified upright...however, it is exactly that "digging in" that gives it that unique ambience. The strings seem to to sing out in a way that simply playing the note lightly does not.

    I agree that playing lightly will not fatigue one quite so quickly and it easier to play cleanly that way. But I do not tend to think of uprights as being played "cleanly".

    Just an honest opinion.
     
  19. Tez, I'm all for heated debates.......I am merely suggesting that you get to know others before you condemn their styles.

    Heck I have been playing for 33 years and I know I have plenty to learn but as you, I have experimented with many styles and have drawn my own conclusions.

    No I do not take everything on the BB's as gospel but I do express my opinions as simply that..........an opinion, not fact..........sorry if we are not communicating well, I will make an effort to get to know you better, it may be your writing style that threw me............you just came off like you know it all, not like it was just your opinion as to how to get close to an upright tone on an electric bass. ( like that's really possible)

    See this has been discussed here at least 50x's in the past few months and it gets old after a while, maybe you can bring a new light to the question.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  20. Tez

    Tez

    Jan 24, 2004
    Australia
    Thanks for your support ! with regards to fingers getting tired when that just comes down to time spent practicing for power and speed you will understand that if you have ever seen Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen playing an upright he can play as fast as any guitar player and copy their riffs ( which im sure p%$#ses them off) so playing hard and fast wont tire you if you have done your work. I find when I play fast songs or solo I dig in with passion and my bass really jumps up and growls when I want and sings when I want RegardsTez :hyper: