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what do strings matter?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by herpes, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. herpes


    Jan 20, 2006
    Austria (tyrol)

    i'm really sorry if this thread was already made before.

    i only play bass for a few months - so i've got nearly no experience.

    so, what do strings matter?

  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Using different *types* of strings makes a HUGE difference to the tone of your bass. No, really!!

    Roundwound strings - very bright, "zingy" sound, especially when new (first, say, 10 hours or so of playing - they settle down a bit after this). Stainless steel roundwounds are brighter than nickels, generally, but they are both much brighter in tone than...

    Flatwound strings - much rounder, less cutting tone than roundwounds (even older ones), with a smoother feel to play and less fret noise.

    Most new basses come with roundwounds and I guess the majority of bassists prefer these most of the time (I do, but I enjoy playing flats on occasions - I keep them on one of my basses all the time so that I've got this option available).

    Differences between brands are generally less important than the difference between these two types. You can get compromise strings like halfround or groundwounds that are supposed to feel a bit smoother without losing too much of the roundwound brightness. They are a lot closer in sound to rounds than to flats, but a little smoother in feel.

    Hope this helps.

    EDIT By the way, filling out your profile on here helps people to know a bit more about you and maybe offer better advice. :) Why on earth did you pick "Herpes" as a username? :eek: :D
  3. herpes


    Jan 20, 2006
    Austria (tyrol)
    thank you very much (now there is the problem to find out which strings i use :D ). another question: when should i change strings? i just changed one because the old one popped - i don't know how old the others are, i bought the bass used.

    PS: i just did some edits - how can i get an avatar? don't know why i picked herpes, i am herpes in more forums, in newer registrations i'm virus, but that one was used.
  4. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I'd get a whole new set of strings as soon as you can so you know what you've got, how old they are, and what they've been through. ;) Always a good idea when you get a "new" bass.

    To get an avatar you need to become a supporting member, costs $20US.
  5. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Finding the right set of strings for you will take a long time. It's all a part of the tone quest we all have to go through when starting off. Finding out what kind of strings your favorite bassist uses is a good starting point.
  6. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    That's like asking what do shoes matter?
  7. herpes


    Jan 20, 2006
    Austria (tyrol)
    i'm sorry that no-one plays bass for more than 10 years.
  8. don't worry be happy
  9. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    You really do have to try a bunch of different ones before you really find the ones that you like. Unfortunately, Bass strings aren't cheap...especially if they have to be imported. The good news is that once you find a set you like you can usually keep them for a while....exactly how long depends on you and your tastes.

    Bassybill is right about the biggest differences in sound being between the types (round, flat, etc.) but there are big differences in feel between the brands and guages as well. Two sets of 100-50 roundwound strings can feel very different.