1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Top 3 strings...

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by Trimmo91, Dec 18, 2019.


  1. Trimmo91

    Trimmo91

    Apr 29, 2015
    Uk
    What are your favourite strings for swing and rockabilly?

    I'm looking at purchasing some new strings and interested to know your suggestions.

    My sound isn't focused on a click just a nice punchy low end swing vibe.

    Interested to know what your favourite strings are for this sort of sound!
     
  2. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I'm using a synthetic mix of Innovation SilverSlaps EA under Superior BassWorks (SBW) Deluxe "Dirty Gut" DG. This mix works very well for my hands and on my Alcoa bass. Clear and loud acoustic tone all around, and they amplify well (piezo). I muse about in a few years going to real gut DG just for the experience, but I'm intent on keeping the SilverSlaps EA.
     
  3. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Hmm. "Swing" and "Rockabilly" are IMO two different styles, although there are intersections. When I say "swing," I am thinking primarily of walking bass, four equal notes to the bar, but obviously swing can also refer to 2/4 time, like polka and vintage country. When people talk about rockabilly bass, I think they're referring to a lot of slapping... and a lot of the old-time swing bassists could slap very well indeed.

    Fortunately, strings good for old-time swing are also good for slapping. If you can afford them, guts. They're what all bassists used in "the old days." Lenzner, La Bella, Aquila, or Gamut are all good for plain (unwrapped) D and G. Lenzner and Gamut make plain A strings, but you may be better off with a wrapped-gut A string (cost less and are less hassle). Check the classifieds on this forum for guts - old is okay, and you can save some money.

    If you can't afford the guts, go with dhergert's recommendations, or something similar.
     
  4. BrBss

    BrBss

    Jul 9, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    Top 3 would be A, D, G.
    :bag:
     
    james condino likes this.
  5. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Guts and / or Evah Pirazzi slaps for anything old school would be my choice. EP slaps are great as they are gut tension and match guts very well sonically.
     
  6. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    True, but it's sort of hard to talk about double bass string mixes without knowing what the E is going to be. The E strings are all interchangeable so selections can be made -- of course unless it's a 3-string double bass, or a 4-string double bass tuned ADGC (but then that would be a "double tenor" :smug:).
     
  7. Trimmo91

    Trimmo91

    Apr 29, 2015
    Uk
    What do the silver slaps bring that the SBW dirty guts don't? I'm strongly considering dirty guts but curious as to your choice.
     
  8. Trimmo91

    Trimmo91

    Apr 29, 2015
    Uk
    Really interested in the EP slap synthetic set. They are rather pricey though.

    Have you compared them to other typical rockabilly strings?
     
  9. Trimmo91

    Trimmo91

    Apr 29, 2015
    Uk
    Point well made and maybe I didn't describe accurately what I'm going for.

    Think of the typical Big Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris big band kind of sound.
     
  10. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    I actually liked the whole set of SBW dirty guts when amplified, but acoustically the Dirty Gut EA were too quiet and unclear for me. I was going to try Innovation PolyChromes EA, but decided to stay non-metal synthetic to help suppress the metallic tone of my Alcoa (and to also help preserve my hands); as it worked out the SilverSlaps EA match the Dirty Gut DG extremely well.

    Specifically, I'm using the medium gauge Dirty Gut D (.105") and G (.95"), and the SilverSlaps A (.105") is the same gauge as the Dirty Gut D. Really good feel and the tone/volume match is also excellent.
     
  11. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Krivo Pickups
    1- Gut
    2- Gut
    3- Gut

    :D
     
  12. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    Some of my favorite music ... but not rockabilly. I'd call Turner (who'd actually been performing since 1938) and Harris early R&B - late 1940s/early 1950s, when the big bands became too expensive to maintain and gave way to bands of 5 to 10 players. And you left out Louis Jordan!

    Rockabilly: The "billy" part of the word connotes a fusion with "hillbilly," so: white performers, and late 1950s. Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, etc..
     
  13. Reiska

    Reiska

    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    I`ve played Velvet Garbos, Animas ( these seem to be discontinued unfortunately ) and guts of different sorts. I`ve played Evah slaps full synthetic set and different combinations of gut / slaps. I really like the synthetic set and would describe them as very low tension hybrid string that has gut and old school vibe. They differ to other gut-like strings in that they pizz, bow and slap equally well. I also like their super smooth feeling windings, which is not the case with Velvets and most of wrapped guts. They do need to be jacked up high though, otherwise the E string becomes hard to play cleanly pizz. I had the set on pretty recently with G at 10mm`s and E at 14mm`s. When they are set high they also become very audible in gut kind of way, they carry like crazy everywhere else but the drivers seat. What I don`t like about them is that they are fragile, and especially the G. With plain gut G this set is a no-brainer for anyone seeking for old school vibe, but who doesn`t want to go full on guts. I`d advice against the Evah slap gut D, that is one hopeless undefined noodle.
     
    AGCurry likes this.
  14. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis MO
    Plain gut
     
  15. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    Evah Pirazzi Slaps are great string sets for Rockabilly. I like the sound and feel of them when I slap them; however, I've only played the plain gut strings (the D & G) in that set on friends' basses - not on mine. I'm currently using the Evah Pirazzi Slap E and A with an Oliv D and G wrapped gut strings and they sound and feel amazing. Plenty of tone and response with the slap and with pizz playing.

    Guts are a great way to go for an old school feel but the cost is a bit ridiculous if you're on a budget, and they tend to go wacky tuning-wise with temperature/humidity changes. I think buying guts used is just fine as they settle in tune much quicker than new ones; and many sets are for sale on the TB classifieds right now. I also think that nylon strings are a great alternative to guts for Rockabilly playing. I've recorded two CDs with LaBella Supernils and my bass is punchy and has an excellent tone on those recordings; and at $80 a set new they're very inexpensive and always stay in tune. The only drawback to them is that they are round wound so they tend to tear up the fingerboard after a year or two of heavy slapping; but if you're slapping the DB primarily, then you will have to deal with these issues eventually anyway. I've had my old fingerboard planed twice, replaced it, and I have had this one planed three times in my playing career (and it is on its last legs right now). I'm about to have the neck reset and a high quality ebony fingerboard put onto my bass sometime in this new year and I expect to have much less wear and tear on the new one with the EP Slaps/Oliv mixed set I'm playing with now.
     
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 7, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.