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Trad Jazz Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by __C_c_, Oct 4, 2010.


  1. __C_c_

    __C_c_

    Jul 10, 2010
    Denver
    Looking for a new set of strings. Play mainly trad style jazz so looking for something soft, round, deep, and dark in tone. Usually use the spirocores or the helicore hybrids and in a modern setting they sound great but I need something different for this trad scene. Have been thinking about the Innovation Honeys or the golden slaps even though I dont slap at all, only pizz. Also, have considered the garbos. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Garbos are nice, or Animas if you want a little more growl and edge. Evah Pirazzis would be worth considering.

    Or guts, of course. My full Gamut set allows me to get a trad sound if I need it, plus the versatility of getting a more modern sound as well.
     
  3. kmanley_29649

    kmanley_29649

    Jan 25, 2008
    Taylors SC
    The slaps are great strings. They're probably my favorite sounding strings that I've tried so far, but I had to give them up because they don't bow well. If you are just playing pizz, they are amazing.
     
  4. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    +1 to Evahs. Weichs, specifically...

    If you do go the Innovation route, you've also got Super Silvers and UB Blacks to consider. Silver Slaps might not have the tension to be a solid pizz string. That's the word on the street, anyway. ;)
     
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    The Innovation Honeys are a good choice if you want to play arco but they are still metal wound strings. They do make a good crossover string in that they are somewhere between Weichs and Super Silvers in character.

    For a softer, rounder sound I recommend the Innovation Super Silvers. They have the same nylon wound stranded core as the Slaps but with a medium tension more suitable for straight ahead pizzicato.

    As always, different basses react differently to different strings...

    Good luck!
     
  6. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    The Mittels I got from you over a year ago are in the drawer and I'm using the EP weich set myself. Funny how tastes change. FWIW, these EP's were first used by Marcus in March of last year and still sound great.
     
  7. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    All the good Jazz was played on gut strings. :smug:
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Gearhead, that statement is somewhat inflammatory.





    True, though.:bag::D
     
  9. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yeah, well, uh, guess what's on my Eastman right now...

    :D
     
  10. HateyMcAmp

    HateyMcAmp Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    I'm not an expert in trad jazz, but I've done some pieces with my string band and listened to a bunch of records. IMHO, gut is the sound of that music and I wouldn't use anything else, at least for my D and G. Garbos are great pizz strings, but its still not gut. If you need the bass for modern sounds as well and need a compromise, I would just look for an old set of spiros and call it a day. YMMV.
     
  11. __C_c_

    __C_c_

    Jul 10, 2010
    Denver
    what do yall recommend for gut? I do live in the south so I am a bit hesitant considering the heat and moisture. That is why I was thinking of the innovation slaps. Also, cant spend a fortune!

    Can you also explain why I wouldn't want really low tension strings playing jazz pizz? it seems like it would make it easier to play?
     
  12. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Well, it does make it easier on your left hand, but that also depends. Personally, I find there's a sweet spot - too low and it actually becomes more work IMO, as your left hand is not not only holding the string to the fingerboard, but also working to hold the string laterally.

    Same thing with the sound....too low, and the notes won't have any punch to them, not to mention volume. It depends on the bass how low that is. Volume you can make up with an amp. The speed at which the notes speak you cannot, IME.
     
  13. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    Some nice red Mitts?
     
  14. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    Back when that music was popular, gut was the only string available. If you can put up with the expense and hassle of playing guts, go for it. I haven't touched a set of guts in over 45 years, and have no intention of going back to them. 60% of my gigs are trad jazz. I have been using Spiro Weichs ever since I broke the gut habit, and have been very happy with them. You need to give them a couple of weeks to settle down. The sound is in the ear of the beholder, so ymmv.
     
  15. moles

    moles

    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    Bingo...
     
  16. Gearhead43

    Gearhead43

    Nov 25, 2007
    NorCal
    Yeah my statement was a bit facitious.

    Haha, I may be just a bit biased though! I'm definately very old-school in my tastes in music, and prefer (love actually) Jazz mostly from the pre-bop era when it was popular music, dance music. Gut is the sound in my head when I think of double bass tone.

    Different strokes for different folks though!
     
  17. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Same here, just yankin' yer crank. My love of jazz maybe extends a little further into bop, post-bop, and up to the present day. But as you said... the sound in my head is guts.
     
  18. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    I prefer the spiro weichs to almost anything right now, for jazz at least.
    But, one of these days I would like to make the leap to all high quality guts. Varnished, right? My problem is in the glissandos...how the hell do you do that with rough feeling guts?
    When my hands are good and sweaty, those spiros are like butter to play. I can slide up and down almost like a hawaiian steel guitar. If I could get the same thing with guts, I might consider them.
    I have played all guts before, on my King doublebass...but that was slap style only, with occasionally playing very old school style pizz (not bebop). But I suspect those were not very high quality guts. They were stock strings, whatever the king came with. Very much like playing twine, in my opinion. Not my first choice. I am interested in hearing more about these Gamuts that Marcus talks about so much. Are they smooth to the touch? I imagine the tone is awesome (Huge fan of Scott La Faro) and that is the main sound I associate with bass.....
    Currently, on my King, I have those original gut E and A, and then weedwacker D and G...and it iss perfect for rockabilly. On my main bass, I was using the same set of Spiro Weichs for 7 years! That's how much I loved them! But, I recently had to switch to Bel Cantos because I needed better volume and bass when bowed. Suprisingly, I am able to slap on them as well if I want to, and they would be really good for "trad" jazz, but lack that "Mwah" that the Spiros had, so maybe not so good for modern bop, or associated styles.



    http://www.myspace.com/lucasvigor
     
  19. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    The varnished Gamut guts are way smoother than any guts I've ever played. They have almost nothing to do with the budget guts that I've played. You can do a certain amount of gliss type stuff on them... way more than is possible on lower priced guts that feel like twine. But if you lay into them like Spiros and go for a big octave gliss, you might end up feeling like you're getting a rope burn! I suppose using talc might help a little; I started out that way, but got sick of the feel of it and the mess. I just play 'em with my bare nekkid hands now. My fingers are pretty well broken in at this point after all these years, so it's not too bad.

    The awful truth is, if you are going more for that toothless n' slippery fretless sound on the DB, the guts are probably not going to be your cuppa tea. I got that sound out of my system, so the guts work well for my purposes. If the gliss stuff is a big part of your playing style, you're probably better off sticking with those ubersmooth Spiros.
     
  20. I gotta throw my 2 cents in here. I NEVER glissed on Spiros because I couldn't do it without it sounding like I was playing a big fretless. I gliss all of the time on gut. It has a beautiful vocal quality to it. I slide around while walking lines and especially while soloing.

    It takes some adjustment to go from steel strings to gut but, for me, it was worth it. I can play faster and more accurately on gut and I can put more personality into my playing. It took some heavy shedding to get the touch down though.

    I use a varnished Gamut Pistoy G and, usually a varnished Gamut Pistoy D although I'm messing around and have an Anima D on there right now but that's probably not going to last long.

    mark
     
  21. 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.

     
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