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what strings do you recommend for a rock bassist?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Lukc, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Lukc


    Nov 10, 2012
    Title says it all. I play with a yamaha rbx 170
  2. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    Anything stainless roundwound. I have a lot of luck with DR Fat Beams and Dunlop Stainless's. They really cut through a loud rock band mix.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    The classic answer is: Rotosound Swing Bass 66 - the gold standard for aggressive, in-yo-face rawk tone. But you pay a price: they're abrasive. And they tend to die too soon.

    Other great choices: DR stainless steel Lo-Riders, D'Addario ProSteels, Dean Markley Blue Steels, and La Bella Hard Rockin' Steels. :bassist:

  4. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    +1 to all of this. I have been using the DR Stainless Lo-Riders and they sound great. I also get about 3 months out of them, which for me is excellent, I have pretty sweaty hands and kill strings quickly.
  5. mr13ump


    Sep 25, 2011
    It really depends on what you are playing, as "rock" contains a very wide range of music. Latey I have been using the Marcus Miller DRs on my Ric 4003, and really like the punch i get out of them.
  6. AuntieBeeb


    Dec 12, 2010
    I've been using them almost religiously for the better part of 13 years now. The nickel-plated ones are a little easier on your fingertips but otherwise I've just got used to the abrasion - if I'm playing that much blues then surely I've got to feel some pain while I'm playing?
  7. levonrocks


    Nov 21, 2012
    Easton, PA
    I play in a rock band with a very busy schedule, and I have been using D'Addario for years. For the price, I feel they can't be beat. They last for much longer than some other brands I have tried, and the round wounds only cost around 25 dollars a pack.
  8. DR Highbeams are my favs.

    on the cheap some ernie ball power slinkies, cuz they're in a purple package and that's how I roll.
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Another vote for the DR Lo-riders, I'm using them on everything except the fretless acoustic now.
  10. I like my DR Hi Beams (I play an Ibanez SR500), but there's no guarantee that any set of strings will sound good on a particular bass. I'd recommend you get inexpensive strings (like D'addarios) and save up for a good set of pickups.
  11. boristhespider9


    Sep 9, 2008
    Stainless Steel Lo-Riders! - Medium

    They sound and feel great! They are a little stiffer than most strings such as the Hi-Beams, but that only takes a short time to get used to. Once you do, it's hard to go back to anything else.

    Try as I might, I have NEVER been able to break a Lo-Rider string. Not even a G after 3 years of heavy use including slap/pop. I've got them on all of my basses.

    I never change my strings unless they break or it's time for the bass to go though a full set-up. Because I've never snapped a Lo-Rider, they've only been changed during full set-ups.

    And for such a high quality string, a set is still in the mid $20 range.

    I just wish DR would make T-Shirts with the Lo-Rider motorcycle logo and the "Lo-Riders Love to Funk!" catchphrase.

    I've never tried the nickel Lo-Riders, but I've heard they play great too.
  12. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007

    I switched from Rotosounds to DR HiBeams and havent looked back. These have become "my" strings.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You're going to get lots of different recommendations.

    I'll offer three classifications:

    1) Roundwounds - brighter, more aggressive sound, more initial note attack, shorter service life. The bright, in-your-face string.

    2) Flatwounds - less initial note attack, traditional fuller "Motown" and classic 60's sound, extreme string life (decades). The "classic rock" string.

    3) Tapewounds - mellow, slightly more upright sound, closer to flats than rounds. The pseudo-upright and mellow jazz string.

    Others surely will differ, but that's how I categorize them. Within those three categories, just pick something and give it a try. You'll get multiple recommendations for strings in every category.
  15. Root 5

    Root 5

    Nov 25, 2001
    You don't have to use stainless steel rounds.

    Nickel plated rounds will be just fine. Get them from GHS, D'Addario, Rotosound, Fender, DR, Ernie Ball....and you're rockin.'
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest

    Like all great Rock stars...
  17. I just finished installing my first set of Lo-Riders on my SR5.
    These are replacing the factory EBMM Stainless Slinkies that come stock with a new bass.

    The feel is the same as the Slinkies. No noticeable difference in stiffness.
    The acoustic tone (ear to wood) is rich and clear.
    They go to rehearsal tonight for first use.

    The service from BSO was excellent.
    Fast, safe shipping, well packed.
    I even got a BSO sticker... :D
  18. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
  19. I tried a bunch and just came back to Daddario XL Nickels. It's a consistent string that you can literally find ANYWHERE in a pinch. I've even found packs in Best Buy before. They last a long time, they're cheap, and I like the growl of them once they break in. Plus all my pedal and amp settings don't need to be changed because I use the same consistently made string every time.

    If I'm getting cork sniffer strings I go with DR Lo Riders. Little more low mid content, last just as long, but a lot of places have to special order them around here, and they cost a bit more.