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what strings to use for pappa was a rolling stone sound- jamerson thumpish sound

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by fenderbluesdude, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. what strings should i use for that kind of thump if you have ever herd of pappa was arolling stone from the temptations hopfully you have herd of it, james jamerson plays bass in that song, for the people that have herd pappa was a rolling stone what kind of strings do i need for that kind of sound, i obviusly am going to want flats but what ones?
  2. tappel


    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    There has been some debate over the strings that Jamerson actually used. La Bella makes a "James Jamerson" set. It's a heavy gauge flatwound; high tension too. Be aware of that if you get a set.

    Do a forum search for Jamerson. As one of the legendary bassists, his style and equipment have been discussed alot around here.

  3. Alan U

    Alan U

    Jul 12, 2005
    North East London
    La Bella flats. Def
  4. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    La Bella flats, heavy gauge all the way.

    Regarding the debate, I believe it has been resolved by the fact that La Bella made the strings that were sold with Fender basses back in the day.
  5. I just got some from the U.S. last week - great strings. They're not AS hard to play as I thought, but they are pretty high tension...but they don't sound "clacky" at all when compared to the average roundwound when you put them on straight out of the pack - they sound like rounds which have been on there for 4 months or so...thats the kind of sound I like - OOMPH not CLICKETY-CLACK.:smug:
  6. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    LaBella or GHS flats. The GHS' are a bit more rubbery.
  7. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    If you switch to the Labellas on a long term basis- which i did 15 years ago and have never looked back- it's worth having your bass set up by a tech to adjust for the extra tension.

    A couple of thoughts:

    Those strings sound really full when played softly- I often record with a light touch and my right hand closer to the neck.

    besides "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", there are several albums of psychedlic- era Temptations featuring songs that are equally incredible. That whole period was driven by producer Norman Whitfield and there are some notable singles in a similar vein: "Cloud 9", "Psychedelic Shack", "Can't get Next to You", "Ball Of Confusion"- all with crazy wah wah guitar, serious string arrangements and heavy duty bass playing.

    The Temptations are the Beatles of black music. No other soul band has the depth of catalog and collection of huge hits.
  8. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've posted here except the "Beatles of Black music" part.

    Earth Wind & Fire would be my choice for that honor. ;)
  9. I have been experimenting with a MIM P bass and Labella flats in pursuit of that Motown/Jamerson vibe.

    I am not using the Jamerson set, too heavy for my playing style. The L 760 FS set is just a little lighter but has that thump you are going for.

    For you P Bass owners, try this, I think you will dig it. Pick up a P Bass bridge ashtray and some self adhesive foam weatherstripping. Carefully install the ashtray (countersink the screw holes so you don't crack the finish). Mount the foam so it just hangs over the saddles inside the ashtray to give you just a bit of muting. I swear I heard Marvin singin' "What's Goin' On" after I made that mod!!! :)
  10. mav


    Jun 10, 2003
    TI Flat's anyone.
    Not too much tension, easy to play, old scool sound and a little sustain.
  11. If you wanna say that your using the same strings as Jamerson, go for the LaBellas, but IMHO, all you need is some high guage, high tension, nickel flats, and then you need to wear them out. Jamerson would play with strings for many many months without changing them. The dirt kept the funk. So any high guage flatwound string will work, just play them until their dead, then keep playing them:D :bassist:

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