tone deaf & trying to figure out if my strings are dead

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Killed_by_Death, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I know most of you can hear it clearly. I can't.

    People rave about the NEW sound of a set of strings, but I don't get it.

    I did notice a bit of difference when I changed strings on my Strat to DR Silver Stars, but on bass, I can't tell a difference.

    I got some flatwound chromes just so I don't have to change strings any more.

    For my other guitars & basses, what makes you decide they're dead?
  2. One of the big giveaways for me of "New Strings vs Dead Strings" is string noise from your fingers. It is a lot more apparent after you've been playing one set for a long time then switch to a new set. I played a set of Rotosounds for 3 years before I decided to buy a new set of strings. It was like night and day.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    So, on roundwounds, they're noisier if they're new?
    Aqualung60 and hintz like this.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I don't know how you can't tell the difference between fresh rounds and even one month old rounds. Rounds lose their zing and, in my opinion, your tone suffers. Mind you, I like fresh strings so I change them often. Flats are a different ball game, they sound better as they age.
    RickTheMonolith likes this.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I am the opposite of pitch perfect. I'm probably not tone deaf, but I cannot hear the subtle difference when I'm out of tune.

    I see other guys saying, he's out of tune, and I'm like, "How the hell can you hear that?".
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Do you know your intervals? Have you ever worked on singing? Learning your intervals will guarantee improve your ear. You cannot just learn the names, you have to learn to recognize the sonic distance between intervals. Singing will greatly improve your ear.
    Klonk, LUCE, Blankandson and 3 others like this.
  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I have not worked on singing, but some of my best friends have told me that I have the worst pitch of anyone EVER.
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    If you can't hear the Very Obvious difference with new strings, are you sure you don't have high frequency hearing loss?
  9. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I do have hearing loss, but I'm not sure if it's on a particular frequency.

    I judge basses on their output & almost nothing else.

    I can hear the treble output of a Rickenbacker & know that it's different from a standard bass, which is what drew me to them.

    On the other hand, the subtle differences between neck & bridge pickups, are just some made-up tripe in my mind.

    Ironically, I can hear the difference with the Rickenbacker, but maybe because their pickups are so far apart.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  10. Oldschool94


    Jan 9, 2015
    It took me a long time to be able to hear pitch well. One of the things that did it for me was playing upright bass with a bow and really straining to hear the overtones. That is a really expensive solution. Try listening to the examples on this page and hearing the differences in intonation.

    Here are some ear training exercises. These really helped develop my ear.

    Singing is great. Try singing something and then checking whether it is in tune against your bass. Make sure your bass is in tune electronically first. It might also help to get the intonation on your bass checked.

    If you know music theory, people usually sing the leading tone sharp. Learning to sing that perfectly in tune would really help you hear.

    Try learning some simple songs by ear. Not just the bass parts, try the vocal part. That will get your ear working.

    It took me forever to really begin to hear intonation/tone/pitch. I'm still working on it. Try playing with your basses knobs to hear the frequency changes. Can you hear what happens when you turn the tone knob? It is rolling off frequencies until all you have are the low frequencies. Every note has many frequencies, many overtones. Can you hear them? The tone knob might teach you to.

    Recording yourself doing these things and then listening to that recording might help you hear better. It is really hard for me to hear well while playing.

    Old strings often sound a little out of tune to me even when tuned up. They feel sticky from grime. They buzz a lot less.

    If you have any questions, just ask.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  11. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    It 'sounds' like you have pretty profound hearing loss.
  12. bassbombs84


    Dec 26, 2008
    Your ear is your most important piece of musical equipment. If you don't have an ear, new strings wont help you.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Depends on a lot of things, the strings, the bass, the style of music.

    Rotosounds swings loose the clear upper register. La Bella flats are what they are until they break.

    Some people obsess over things they shouldn't. If you (and those you play with) are happy with your sound, then you are happy. Nuff said.
  14. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    It's the difference in tones I can't hear.

    I can hear people in the room with me talking, but if someone is whispering to another person right beside me, I am clueless as to what they've said.

    I'm also useless if there is any background noise.

    I guess Flats are the way forward for me. I will change all my basses to flats & never look back.
    Facu.DSR, Fat Steve and Gabbs like this.
  15. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    If it sounds round & dead instead of sharp & crisp, the string is dead. This is one of the reasons I detest flatwounds :)
  16. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    Yes, you'll hear alot more string/finger noise...
  17. hintz


    Jun 5, 2014
    wahiawa, HI(Oahu)
    Same here!! Also why I switched to coated DR's, not *as* bright as I like but they last longer for me..Elixirs are good too
    Mantis Tobaggan likes this.
  18. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I know this is going to turn everyone off, but here goes.

    I am with the "ignorance is bliss" category.

    If I can't hear the difference, there is no difference.

    I don't really want to train my ears to hear the difference, because then I will go completely insane on the tone chasing agenda.
    Pre-Road Blues, joeaba and pcake like this.
  19. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    Boldly snap your E string (without being plugged in)......
    if it goes "plop", you probably have dead stings
    if it goes "PING", you probably have fresh strings
    if it breaks, you really need new strings
  20. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    From everything you describe your hearing is significantly gone. Its not a matter of you training your ears. Its out of your control and not reversible.

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