twangy G string ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NukeBass, Jul 19, 2000.

  1. NukeBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Cornelius, NC
    Hello all,
    All of the basses I've owned have a "twangy" open G that continues up to about the 6th or 7th fret. It just doesn't have the depth of the other 3 strings. Is this standard to basses or a product of string thickness, technique, or EQ? Any ideas?

  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL

    While I am by no means an expert on the subject, there are a few simple explanations for this...

    First of all, in general, thinner strings tend to be more "twangy", and may not sound as full as thicker strings. That's why you're experiencing this only with your "g" string.

    Second, the "g" string is the least used on a 4 or a 5 string bass, meaning it'll last longer and sound brighter than the other strings which you wear down quicker with more use.

    In as far as the sound continues to be twangy up until around the 6th or 7th fret, it is merely because as you shorten the vibration area of a string, you reduce the twanginess. To demonstrate, listen to the overtones of an open string, then play that same string at the 20th fret. Notice a difference in harmonic overtones (ie: clarity)? Now, play the 15th fret of the next highest string...sound a little more clear? Now, try the 10th fret of the next highest string...and so on...

    By the way...shouldn't this thread be under strings?
  3. I actually posted a similar thread some time ago regarding a Spector that was troubling me (bass not spirit). Do a search and see what you can find. To summarize tho I think I was advised to adjust string height in relation to the pickups and also to play around with the midrange frequencies.

    I had actually replaced the g with a heavier gauge and this did not help. But the above mentioned tips did. I also noticed that the louder I play the less of a concern this was. And by the way, since switching over to an American Standard Jazz I've not had this problem at all.
  4. Biski2Dope


    Mar 26, 2000
    Uhg, my Gibson does that...i hate it. If there's a song i'm playing that involves a G string, i just go grab my bugs the hell out of me.

    I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever you say i will store in a little box just in case i need to shove it down your throat at any given moment.

  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Factors in this could include:
    string height
    neck relief
    string gauge and type
    fret condition
    how hard you play
    pickup height
    EQ on bass and/or at the amp
    Flexibility of neck (Do you pull back on the neck when playing)

    Hope that helps
  6. KB


    Jan 13, 2000
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I haven't really noticed a problem with the G on my Carvin, and it is the string I play the most (I play more "lead" type stuff on bass). Have you tried a different brand or style of strings?

  7. NukeBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Cornelius, NC
    I've tried a few different types on my guitars, but they are all about the same gage, Medium or Medium Lite. I did try a set of Rotosound Truebass on my Rick, but didn't keep them on long enough to tell because I didn't feel like digging out the nut to make the E and A strings fit.

    I don't think I pull back on the neck when I play but I've never really checked for it.
  8. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I personally don't wear G-Strings. They make me look like a bartlet pear with a rubber band around the middle of it. I prefer boxers. Plus, my cheeks prevent any twang...
  9. NukeBass


    Jul 8, 2000
    Cornelius, NC

    as a side note, people tend to look at me strange if I ever mention "playing on my g-string." Can't ever imagine why...
  10. I like my G string most of all. It's so...natural.

    Seriously, I'm using medium DR Highbeams on both my jazz basses and the twang is gone. I know it's a common problem, but what is it about the jazz that cancels the twang? I have my action low and my pickups about where fender recommends, maybe a little higher. My nut is just plastic (don't even start on that one!) and I pluck about an inch in front of the bridge pick up. But you know, whatever I tried on my Spector it was always there, a little better at times, but still present. This is the great mystery of bass i think...
  11. holderman


    May 25, 2000
    >All of the basses I've owned have a "twangy" >open G that continues up to about the 6th
    >or 7th fret

    And what have we got on the 6th or 7th fret?
    The dead spot!
    I believe the twangy G string on the first positions has to be closely related to the dead spot: it appears, and it is the case on all my basses, that the G string sounds twangy up to the dead spot and then sounds good past the dead spot.
    IME, and to make it short, dead spot = resonance phenomenon, enhanced by the neck's lack of stiffness. A problem that is part of Bass Nature.
    Thus I'm afraid the twangy G string is part of the Bass Nature as well. You just have to learn to live with it.

  12. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    The G string isn't really a bass string anyway. Take a pair of side cutters and cut it right off.
  13. Time for a big ol' resurrection.

    The twang on my G string is borderline unbearable. I've thought about getting a thicker gauge but I ordered these strings (GHS precision flats .45 - .105) because I heard a clip of the G string and there was no twang at all, plus they are supposed to be very mellow flats, so I do think my setup may have something to do with this. It seems like a low action can help, does anyone know anything about this?

    I did read that someone had this problem and noticed a decent bow, so they tightened up the truss rod a bit and it went away. I did tighten it up a bit this morning, but it is nearly maxed out. Any other suggestions?

    Please and thanks,


    PS I can hear it when I turn the treble down or unplugged, so I don't believe that it's a matter of EQ'ing
  14. cjmodulus


    Jul 15, 2010
    Holy thread necro batman. From what I've heard a thicker gauge should remedy your problem, but it definitely will require a trussrod adjustment (IME). Someone more knowledgable than I will surely chime in soon.
    Heheh, G string. Sorry, I had to do it :)
  15. MarTONEbass

    MarTONEbass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Norton, MA
    IME a thicker gauge will only work because it will put more tension on the neck, hence raising the string slightly. I wouldn't tighten the truss rod unless you want to adjust the overall relief. On my basses I have experienced this with, raising the action slightly at the saddle has worked.
  16. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    My D & G strings gets a lot of play. So I dont much experience this. Cept I do tend to often have the bridge pup on that side a little lower or neck pup slightly higher on that side. A little tweak to amount of fret rattle relative to the other strings can help balance tbings a little to. If none of that helps, then perhaps try med.light set of strings with slightly heavier G string and low E same gauge as you use now.
  17. Thanks guys for your input. These string are relatively new (one month old) but GHS precision flats are known for sounding fairly dead right away, and I do play on the G string fairly regularly.

    I'm having a hard time believing that I absolutely need a thicker guage. I totally understand how that would help, but I listened to a couple of clips of these, and someone even did a comparison with about 8 different types of flats on two different basses, not changing the EQ or anything, and on both basses these strings with this gauge G string were very bassy/thuddy and not twangy at all. This is really the reason why I bought them in the first place.

    I do understand that our strings may not have been manufactured the same, but I can't help but feel my setup is not optimal. I have recorded the following info and am putting it out there. If anyone sees something out of whack or think they can give me suggestions I would love to hear them.

    Holding down the first fret and last, I get .022" at the 8th fret on both the E and G string (Fender recommends .012" for a 9.5" radius board).

    Measuring the action at the 17th fret, my E string is 1/8" above the fret, and my G string is about 7/64" above the fret.

    Pressing down the last fret and measuring the distance between the pick-ups and the strings gives me about 7/64" on the E string, and 5/64" on the G string.

    My relief seems pretty good to me, but I guess I could absolutely max it out and see how much closer I get. My action is slightly higher than Fender suggests. Should I raise the action if I tighten the rod a bit more? I wouldn't want to lower my action much more than what it is, well, on E or A specifically. I could lower it on D & G if that would help.
  18. I must say that it is slightly better today. As I was writing out my setup in my last post, I was using Fender's Setup Guide (FenderĀ® Support), and was doing some decent changes to my setup to match their recommendations. Which meant keeping the action where it was on the E (because I was happy with that), and lowering my G down maybe 1/32" and the other strings to compensate. And I had to raise my pick-ups significantly under the G, D & A.

    Before I posted though, I played for a little bit to hear if anything was different. But I didn't notice much other than the G being louder.

    Today though, I did notice a difference. The D & A strings were fuller as I raised the pick-ups underneath them and the G not only was louder but was fuller as well. Don't get me wrong, it still sounds trebly, but some of the annoying twang is noticeably gone. And when I'd go to the G to hit one note, I'd play it a little softer and it seemed to help round the those notes out as well.

    I'm thinking maybe the truss rod settled a little bit, or maybe I didn't give it a proper test last night, but the setup surely did help. Not that it's cured fully, but it is better. I'm going to wait tomorrow and maybe tighten up the rod a bit more and see what that does. If it's still an issue, then maybe a thicker G is the answer.