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Favorite Bass Strings for a 4-String

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  • Favorite Bass Strings for a 4-String

    I'm a first time bass Owner.
    Had lots of guitars.
    I bought a used 4 string bass with .045--.100 Sharp Round strings.
    Feels like I'm playing a cheese grater when I pluck the strings.
    What is your favorite type, size and brand for a 34 inch 4 string bass.
    I'm just a bedroom Plucker!
    the Bass I bought is a Ibanez SR300L.
    T


    "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
    Terry

  • #2
    Use a pick? McCartney does.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Earl Norton View Post
      Use a pick? McCartney does.
      So you don't have any favorite strings?
      That's the best you can do?
      I'm in Hot Springs, AR.
      T


      "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
      Terry

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by big_teee View Post
        So you don't have any favorite strings?
        That's the best you can do?
        I'm in Hot Springs, AR.
        T

        OK OK OK Ok

        I like rollerwound stainless but take a look at this it might help out.

        Electric Bass Strings, Electric Bass Guitar Strings, Bass Guitar Strings | JustStrings.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Most bassists I know use GHS or Rotosound round wound strings for rock. A few country players use flat wounds. The flat wounds always sound dull to me. Bass will tear you up until you develop calluses, even with a pick expect a blister. Some use a felt pick. A bass player I play with uses a big aluminum coin. There is no right way or right way. I would suggest a lightish set of GHS round wounds. I think the Ernie Ball sets are the same string in a different package.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Terry,

            I play a 67 Mustang bass with GHS roundwounds. I have to get medium scale cuz I have string-thru-body bass. And I use light gauge.

            I would say stick with roundwound. Yes, your callouses may get bigger and thicker, which is okay if you play guitar, too, I guess... The thing is, the odd occasions where I need or get asked to play bass and have to play what's around, if the bass has flats on it, after about 20 minutes my fingers ache. I mean, the tendons, muscles, even the bones hurt. I don't know if it's just from contact with more surface area or what, but it HURTS!!!

            And I think flats sound dull, too... My philosophy is, I can dial out treble with a tone knob, but I can't put it in if it's not there to begin with. If you do go flatwound, start off with short times - don't play an hour set with flats the first time out. I have a friend with a Musicmaster Bass and he swears by those tapewound things. I think they hurt too, and sound dull. But he doesn't refret his basses, either!
            And stick with bass - when I get asked to play, 75% it's bass - might get to play out more! It's worth gettin "somewhat competent."

            Good luck,
            Justin
            "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
            "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
            "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

            Comment


            • #7
              DR Lo-Riders are my current pick, they have a finer outer winding which tends to "flatten" them a little bit. The Sunbeams are similar but I can't get the action as low.

              You could try the new "cobalt" strings from Ernie Ball they feel "softer" and broken in but they do add quite a bit to the upper mids that you may not like.

              Also lower the action, I run at 7/64" on my B which you don't have and 3/23" above the fret on the other strings where the neck meets the body.

              Remember fret buzz is a lot louder at the bass when you are using a practice amp and really isn't that bad of a thing in many music styles so you can go lower than you think.

              But really we need to know what kind of style you are looking to play.

              Plus just like any other new instrument you do need the calluses and I bet you are fretting too hard. Only practice time will fix those two.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by enkindler View Post
                DR Lo-Riders are my current pick, they have a finer outer winding which tends to "flatten" them a little bit. The Sunbeams are similar but I can't get the action as low.

                You could try the new "cobalt" strings from Ernie Ball they feel "softer" and broken in but they do add quite a bit to the upper mids that you may not like.

                Also lower the action, I run at 7/64" on my B which you don't have and 3/23" above the fret on the other strings where the neck meets the body.

                Remember fret buzz is a lot louder at the bass when you are using a practice amp and really isn't that bad of a thing in many music styles so you can go lower than you think.

                But really we need to know what kind of style you are looking to play.

                Plus just like any other new instrument you do need the calluses and I bet you are fretting too hard. Only practice time will fix those two.
                Thanks guys.
                I think I'm going to try some Nickel round wound.
                As far as style, I have none. Just basic fingers and a pick some.
                I have played it unplugged in the Living Room more than plugged into an amp.
                I work on guitars more than I play them.
                I'm going to build a set of ceramic passive pickups, and try those.
                I mainly wanted it for something to test pickups in.
                It was cheap and I traded some guitar work and some of my guitar pickups for it at a local guitar store.
                On the Calluses, they seem to be different than guitar calluses.
                These strings are Like a Cheese Grater, on both hands.
                T


                "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                Terry

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by big_teee View Post
                  I'm going to build a set of ceramic passive pickups, and try those....
                  On the Calluses, they seem to be different than guitar calluses.
                  Like DiMarzio Model P's?
                  Not sure how the DIY p'ups are gonna help develop your calluses....
                  Last edited by rjb; 08-25-2012, 06:35 PM.
                  DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rjb View Post
                    Like DiMarzio Model P's?
                    Not sure how the DIY p'ups are gonna help develop your calluses....
                    rjb
                    The Ps don't fit this bass.


                    "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                    Terry

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by big_teee View Post
                      On the Calluses, they seem to be different than guitar calluses.
                      These strings are Like a Cheese Grater, on both hands.
                      For calluses, I know a semi-famous stringbass/cello player who swears by "bricklayers' ointment".
                      He says to toughen your fingertips, pee on them- just a few drops, and rub it in.
                      I stopped shaking hands with him after he mentioned it.

                      And there's the Tina Weymouth method- play until your fingers bleed. Then keep playing.
                      DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!

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                      • #12
                        Try D'Addario Half-Round ENR71. This is what I use on my SR500. They bridge the gap between flats (which are thumpier) and roundwounds (which are rough to frets and fingers), and because they begin life as roundwounds (which are then ground flat on the surface), they maintain a good amount of brightness.
                        John R. Frondelli
                        dBm Pro Audio Services, New York, NY

                        "Mediocre is the new 'Good' "

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I LOVED those half rounds but they got so stinking high and then nobody close carried them. One place told me they were discontinued. Go figure. I finally found some strings that are great and don't break the bank. Smith Electric bass strings. I use the Rock Master lights(when forced to play bass or when recording) that are .040, .060. .080, .100. Best sound I've gotten recently. I had been using Rotosounds for several years but they were really TOO bright and ringy.

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                          • #14
                            I like the sound of bright round wound strings.
                            I settled on DR 45-105 Hi-Beams.
                            They are much smoother than the D'addrio strings that came on the bass.
                            They have a great tone, and are easier on my fingers.
                            I want to try the DR Low Riders next.


                            "If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride!" Scottish Proverb 1600s
                            Terry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm a bass player who dabbles in guitars. I have been using RotoSound Swing Bass 66 roundwounds since the 70s. They're the gold standard for bright roundwound tone but they're pretty hard on frets, especially if you've got strong hands and you like to bend strings. Every now and then i'll try a new set of strings just to see what's new. IME the Ernie Ball bass strings don't sound new for very long. They don't take much time to lose their tone. Out of curiosity I just put a set of DR Low Riders on my P. I like them, but I think I'll go back to the Swing bass 66. If you like bright roundwound tone (ie: Chris Squire, Entwhistle) then the RotoSound Swing Bass 66 is the standard to which everything else is compared.
                              "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

                              "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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