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Please school me on flatwounds


Muddslide

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Let me preface this by saying I am no bass newbie. Been playing for over 25 years...lots of recording, tons of gigs, etc.

 

May seem surprising, then, that I am quite ignorant about flatwound strings. Just never tried them.

 

Could anyone give me the scoop on these things? Are they more for country/rockabilly-type stuff? What players are known for stringing with flats?

 

What is the sound difference in a nutshell? What are the advantages?

 

I'm in the process of buying a bass (finally, a new bass after 8 years without one--putting one in layaway this week!) and while I'm definitely going to be going with rounds, I like to cover a lot of territory.

 

I will be working on a recording project with a friend. Heavy, heavy stuff...Sabbath-influenced sort of deal. I'm assuming people wouldn't opt for flats for that kind of thing, but I hope to do some local gigging as well if I find anyone in need of a bassist, and I thought when and if the $$$ flow allows, I might try to score a relatively inexpensive hollowbody bass and go with flats for more rootsy, traditional music (Band, CCR, Neil Young, etc.)

 

Does this sound like I am on the right track? Ultimately, I'd just like to know why people would opt for flatwounds...what is their basic function and tone, etc.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Flats are easier on the fingers and easier on the frets. You get less finger squeak when playing, and they tend to emphasize the primary tone without harmonics.

 

I love my '62 Jazz reissue with flats. It's a bit dull when practicing by myself, but it really sits in the mix well with a guitarist, guitar/keys player and a loud drummer. I can solo the neck pup and get thump for days, and solo the bridge pup and get a nice growl. If you do a lot of recording, you really should check out flats.:thu:

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Flats were the original bass strings...used to, that was all you could get. All early rock was on flats...someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think rounds came along until mid to late 60s.

 

 

Yeah, I knew this was the case (though I'm not sure when rounds came along)...I sure would like to try some, but probably won't happen until I get a second bass.

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Yeah, I knew this was the case (though I'm not sure when rounds came along)...I sure would like to try some, but probably won't happen until I get a second bass.

 

There's nothing wrong with picking up some cheap ass flatwounds, putting them on and seeing what they sound like.

 

www.webstrings.com

 

(You'd think I'd work for them...)

 

Yo.

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Let me preface this by saying I am no bass newbie. Been playing for over 25 years...lots of recording, tons of gigs, etc.


May seem surprising, then, that I am quite ignorant about flatwound strings. Just never tried them.


Could anyone give me the scoop on these things? Are they more for country/rockabilly-type stuff? What players are known for stringing with flats?


I'm in the process of buying a bass (finally, a new bass after 8 years without one--putting one in layaway this week!) and while I'm definitely going to be going with rounds, I like to cover a lot of territory.


I will be working on a recording project with a friend. Heavy, heavy stuff...Sabbath-influenced sort of deal. I'm assuming people wouldn't opt for flats for that kind of thing, but I hope to do some local gigging as well if I find anyone in need of a bassist, and I thought when and if the $$$ flow allows, I might try to score a relatively inexpensive hollowbody bass and go with flats for more rootsy, traditional music (Band, CCR, Neil Young, etc.)


Does this sound like I am on the right track? Ultimately, I'd just like to know why people would opt for flatwounds...what is their basic function and tone, etc.


Thanks in advance.

 

Flats were the first electric bass strings probably because that's what they use on uprights. Since you like covering a lot of territory, I suggest you get a cheap fretless and put some flats on it (it's a shame not all mfrs supply their fretlesses with flats).

 

Even if it's not a hollowbody, you will experience a wonderful woody thwump. It will probably remind you of some jazz recordings you may have heard, maybe some rockabilly too (I wouldn't know) but having nothing but your finger, some wood and those smooth thwumpy strings will be an education if nothing else. Even if you don't like it, it will allow you to do things you can't do now. Don't worry about what others do with it... learn. Jaco did his fretless thing in a unique way (hard fretless fretboard with rounds). But try it the traditional way and see what you think. ;)

 

I'm a guitarist doubling as a bassist when needed, so what do I know. But I think every bassist ought to have a fretless for at least one year. It should be part of your bassucation (gee that came out corny, I was trying to combine bass and education).

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What kind of hollowbody bass are you considering? I have a super cheap rogue violin bass that a lot of people around here like - theres a thread about it under pro reviews, I think. Sounds good with flats.

 

 

Well, a hollowbody may be a ways off, but I've always GASsed for a hollow or semi-hollow bass.

 

I'm liking the looks of THIS one:

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Ibanez-AGB200-Electric-SemiHollow-Bass-?sku=511837

 

But there's also a cheaper Washburn/Oscar Schmidt-- the Delta King bass....has a 335 look to it.

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