TI Flats - Higher action, or lighter touch/technique?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Legattabass, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Legattabass


    Oct 21, 2010
    This is something of a philosophical question, bear with me:

    I have TI flats on my main bass, a franken P with a wide, thin (57 RI style, 1.75 nut) neck. When I play alone, nothing beats TI flats. They're so delicate and musical, I go right into THE ZONE :cool:

    Unfortunately when I jam with friends, I start dancing, foot tapping, headbanging; I get amped up. And it makes me want to dig in while playing and DUN DUN DUN ... the TI's start to fart out, forcing me to play by the bridge where theres less flexibility and finesse.

    I've tought myself to play bass, and I get the feeling that staying with low action (plus this super wide neck) is good for my left hand, forcing it to stretch without gripping too hard. With low action, my left hand never really cramps up.

    But if I raise the action, my right hand can really dig in when I'm jamming! Which is satisfying!

    Do you see my dilemma? Should I take the "high road," keep the action low, and force myself to be a more controlled, finessed player (with both hands)? Or should I throw caution to the wind, raise my action a bit, and really let myself dig in?
  2. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Raise the action with the TIs. You'll be glad you did.
  3. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Yeah raise that action some. TI's are still easy to play with it higher and you'll get even more tone out of them. If you feel the need to jump and dance when you play, then jump and dance my friend. Celebrate.
  4. sigmafloyd


    May 1, 2011
    Going through the same thing Legattabass, how'd you end up?
  5. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Where are they buzzing? If the strings choke out on the first few frets only, you can loosen the truss rod a bit and you won't have to raise the action by as much.
  6. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Raise the action, but also learn to adjust your right hand technique.
  7. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    As Jasper383 suggested, a truss rod adjustment may be in order. I have TI flats on all of my electric basses, and I adjusted the set-up on each bass to get the best possible results. After you've done a few, it doesn't take very long.
  8. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    I disagree. I love TI's for all the usual reasons. But I also like them because they force me to be light fingered with both hands. I used to play with a tight left hand and dig in with the right. I noticed the best pro players are very relaxed and I try to emulate them.
  9. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    Having multi tracked live shows I have never heard a bass track that does not have strings clanking into Pu's and frets.
    Most players play too aggressively and have technique that could be better, they are just not hearing it over the stage volume. Recording will definitely reveal Where technique is lacking.

    And yes switching to TI flats will require truss rod, intonation, and height adjustments.
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