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Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings

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Bassic 11 Jun 03 - 07:55 AM
Bassic 18 Jun 03 - 09:40 AM
Sorcha 18 Jun 03 - 09:45 AM
Bassic 18 Jun 03 - 09:48 AM
Les from Hull 18 Jun 03 - 09:53 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 18 Jun 03 - 09:55 AM
Walking Eagle 18 Jun 03 - 02:27 PM
Bassic 18 Jun 03 - 03:41 PM
Walking Eagle 18 Jun 03 - 04:20 PM
red max 19 Jun 03 - 05:13 AM
smallpiper 19 Jun 03 - 05:43 AM
Walking Eagle 19 Jun 03 - 04:30 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 25 Jun 03 - 07:29 AM
Sorcha 25 Jun 03 - 09:15 AM
John in Brisbane 26 Jun 03 - 04:45 AM
Dave Bryant 26 Jun 03 - 05:33 AM
fair maiden of nottingham 26 Jun 03 - 06:47 AM
MickT 26 Jun 03 - 06:48 AM
Dave Bryant 26 Jun 03 - 07:19 AM
fair maiden of nottingham 26 Jun 03 - 07:45 AM
fair maiden of nottingham 26 Jun 03 - 07:50 AM
Les from Hull 26 Jun 03 - 09:40 AM
Dave Bryant 26 Jun 03 - 10:54 AM
fair maiden of nottingham 26 Jun 03 - 12:36 PM
Bassic 26 Jun 03 - 02:46 PM
cockney 26 Jun 03 - 06:53 PM
Pete_Standing 11 Oct 04 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Irishbassman 24 Oct 18 - 11:57 AM
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Subject: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Bassic
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 07:55 AM

I am in need of a new set of strings for my Fender Acoustic/Electric Bass Guitar. Its a Fender BC32 NAT, at least thats what it says on the label! It has a 30.25 inch neck, (measured bridge to nut) and I play it almost exclusively unamplified in small(ish) pub sessions where it gives me just about enough volume to be noticed but not stand out, which is fine by me. Up to now I have used the strings that it was supplied with, (Fender I presume), and replaced broken strings with whatever I had laying around in the bottom of the instrument case. I want to try to get a set that is well matched to the guitar and my needs but experimentation gets expensive! I would like something that is kind to my fingers (flatwound?) cos I play with a strong right hand technique to get volume, but try to avoid using a pick to keep reasonable control of tone. Have played an ECO fitted with black Rotosound flatwound strings in the past which were nice but dont know which model of string they were so cant identify them in the web listings of string suppliers. Can anyone identify what they might be? Any other suggestions? Thanks in anticipation.

Bassic


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Bassic
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 09:40 AM

Have bought a set of Fender flatwounds to keep me going, which were the only ones available localy. Certainly more comfortable to play but have lost some of the "punch" the other set had, still happy to receive recomendations/advice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Sorcha
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 09:45 AM

I'll ask my elec. bass player on Saturday unless I see him before then. I have NO clue at all.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Bassic
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 09:48 AM

Thanks Sorcha


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Les from Hull
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 09:53 AM

I bought a set in Chester earlier this year and they're very good. Unfortunately I can't remember the make, so I didn't come back to you earlier. Perhaps you can get Mr Happy to pop into the shop and ask what short-scale acoustic bass strings they keep.

I should have warned you off the flatwounds, though. They're usually a bit quieter than rounds. I find that, as I'm playing much less bass than I used to, my fingers blister more easily if I'm playing hard. I think that you might end up playing the flats harder than you want to and so lose the benefit of comfort.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 09:55 AM

Heloo,Les-From-Hull,might,know,about,this,as,well.
he,plays,a,bass,i,seen,it,in,his,hoose.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 02:27 PM

Does it cost an arm and a leg to have things shipped to you from the United States? I was going to suggest some internet shopping if you can't find anything near at hand. WWW.Elderly.Com or Juststrings.com. I think it is juststrings, well a Google search could straighten that up. I know that Fender has acoustic electric strings available. Martin makes a good set as well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Bassic
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 03:41 PM

Think you might have hit the nail on the head Les. I certainly found myself playing quite hard the other night and it was only a small session. I suppose that is why I was looking for further advice, seeing if the "best of both worlds does exist!"

Walking Eagle, thanks for the tip, have found several suppliers on the net and can wait for stuff to get shipped now I have the interim set of strings, its just what to order from the huge list of different makes and compositions of string types that are available, thats the remaining issue. Any futher thoughts anyone?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 04:20 PM

I prefer Martin mediums. Sorry I don't have the name of them handy at the moment. I find they hold their tuning better under humid/dry conditions. I have tried others and I find that Fender strings are comprable in price and tone. I don't play professionally though, so my strings don't get the type of use that professional players would give them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: red max
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 05:13 AM

I tend to avoid flatwound for my electric bass, as they don't sound as bright to me. I think they're aimed at Jazz players, but I might be wrong

I have a friend with an acoustic bass, and I was disappointed at how quiet it was without amplification. But then the body was quite slim. I assume you have to buy a pretty sizable one to get any volume? I want to buy one, but to me the whole point is NOT having to use an amp


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: smallpiper
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 05:43 AM

Bassics Fender dosn't need amplification in most sessions (when he has good strings on that is).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 04:30 PM

I find that I get a much rounder, mellow tone when I use my amp. You can always turn it down to the lowest point if you want. I have to play over two guitars and a violin, so my amp is always needed.

My Martin is the width of a regular dred, so I can't compare sound and tone quality with an instrument that has a narrower width. I THINK I get a much fuller tone out of my E string though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 07:29 AM

Cheapest experiment you can try . . .

In the olden days (and well before my time, I'll have you know) the guys that played the old archtop rhythm guitars often used fairly thick hard felt picks to give them enough volume to cut through the rest of the dance band. The picks can still be gotten at a lot of music stores and should give a fair bit of volume without the hard-edged tone associated with conventional flatpicks. If it's not what you want, you're only out a dollar!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 09:15 AM

I did remember to ask and he said you are 'nutso'. He said you will get NO sound w/o the amp. No help at all I'm afraid. Oh well. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:45 AM

Might be worth a quick email to Maton Guitars in Melbourne Australia. They used to make an awesome acoustic bass guitar which would rival a double bass for sound level. While the jumbo bass has probably disappeared from their catalogue, they may still provide or recommend strings.

As a double bass player I occasionally browse the DIY Build an Acoustic Bass pages. There's lots of them in all sorts of shapes and sizes and they tend to link each other's sites. The subject of string selection (or construction) often comes up. As I recall Dennis Havlena's excellent site even shows a technigue for winding your own. His site used to be at Mudcat Links - in any event "Havlena" is pretty easy to find via Google.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 05:33 AM

If Bassic wanted to play amplified all the while, he'd have bought a solid electic bass. In most musicians sessions over here in the UK, amplified instruments tend to be considered a bit of a nuisance. Beside the fact that the volume is usually too high, the amp usually takes up room in a rather crowded bar with a mains lead for people to trip over. There's also the problem of having to lug an amp as well as a guitar around at festivals. I sometimes lend a very small battery amp to a friend of mine for his mandola, but that's usually so I can hear him over the melodeons. I once had the experience of having a bass guitarist (amplified) try to play along with a song which I was singing (deliberately) unaccompanied - I was not very polite at the time (sorry Fisheye - but don't do it again).

Mind you, Bassic played a 'cello at Knockholt and it sounded beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: fair maiden of nottingham
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 06:47 AM

dave, i appreciate your statement about amplified basses, but i am sure you will agree if i used a full size bass, you would have even less room in those crowded places, an acoustic bass, may be more melodious but it is just as loud. especially if you use a bow. i have recently stopped taking it and i have been asked by a number of musicians to continue to   
bring it..so the old addage you canot please every one stands.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: MickT
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 06:48 AM

I had considered getting an acoustic bass, but in the Riversiders we have 5 instruments, 6 string, 12 string, mandolin, banjo and bass I thought I would be drowned out, and so stick to the Fender. There's no point getting an acoustic bass if you need to amplify it. What's others peoples experience of acoustic bass in a bluegrassy/folky lineup? Sometimes you do feel a bit awkward bringing an amp into a folk club, but you've got no choice if that's your instrument (and I'm not getting a double bass).

Better think twice about bringing my amp to the Black Horse again then.......


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 07:19 AM

Richard - sorry to have brought the incident up again. My main comments were more related to the advantages of being able to play acoustically. Many sessions would not welcome an electric bass at all - even if you could find a convenient socket. There's the portability issue - it's alright when you can park outside the pub, but carrying the whole caboodle around Broadstairs, Warwick, Sidmouth, Bromyard etc would be somewhat of a nuisance. As you've probably noticed, I've started using my little Art & Lutherie guitar a lot because it's easier to carry than my Yamaha - and also because I don't have to find somewhere to stash a Hiscox case !


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: fair maiden of nottingham
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 07:45 AM

dave ,i do not dissagree with you about inconvenience...i have tried an acoustic guitar bass, and unless they are plugged in, they are useless.
therefore i know the limitations as to where i can play and plug in. and Broadstairs,etc are not included..so iam sure if i get it back out and you sing we should be matured enough to agree.. or would it be pints at dawn..


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: fair maiden of nottingham
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 07:50 AM

i would like to ad re electric bass... i used to live in the usa and i went to a bluegrass festival in the appelations, and was amazed to see a small generater churning away in the woods with a lead that must have been 50/75 yds to and amplifier for the bass man.. so i do not think you can get more traditional than that ...say no more


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Les from Hull
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:40 AM

On the subject of amplified/unamplified bass guitar - I used to carry a small battery amp (Peavey KB15) for the electric bass. That got some funny looks in sessions where people didn't know me. You can keep the sound down to the level of other instruments. Just because it's amplified doesn't mean it's loud. It would be no way as load as an upright bass.

An acoustic bass guitar played acoustically is fine in a small session, but tends to get lost the more instruments there are (esp guitars). That means that the bass guitarist ends up playing harder.

I remember those felt picks! But I do maintain that playing a bass guitar with a pick if like eating a toffee with the paper on - it's possible but it's not the best way! You can get a much better range of sounds with your fingers.

An amplified acoustic bass guitar sounds different to an amplified solid bass guitar. The amplification systems are different.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:54 AM

I'm happy enough to agree Richard. I must admit though that "Pints at Dawn" sounds fun and I'd reckon my chances - after all I usually drink out of a quart pot, I make quite potent beer ("Knockholt Knockout", "Old Spiney" etc) and I won the Yard of Ale contest at Walton Folk Festival.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: fair maiden of nottingham
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:36 PM

ok dave , until another subject awakes my curiocity, have fun ,see you around the circuit.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Bassic
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 02:46 PM

Wow! This thread is kicking off at last!! Thanks for trying Sorcha and thanks for the advice re "Havlena" John, will have a look later and will also have a look for a felt pick!. When my Acustic fender is sounding good it is the best compromise for the kind of sessions we have in the UK I feel. I.E. Small/Medium size room playing with typicaly half a dozen other musicians and singers. However it does have very real limitations.

The only problem playing with up to 2 or 3 other guitarists (6 or 12 string) and/or Bazoukis is a question of playing style. If they typically play with a bass led style (bass runs with additional notes to fill out the sound) and we havnt played together before, then we tend to get in each others way! It often produces some funny looks and furrowed brows untill (hopefully!!) musicianship and familiarity take over and we stop treading on each others toes. Dont get me wrong, I enjoy and apreciate this style and in the absence of a true bass instrument it fills out the sound in a way that is musically very comlete in an acustic session.

Concertinas, fiddles, mandolins, whistles, small pipes etc are rarely a problem to play with and leave lots of "space" for a bass player to exploit without having to be loud. The instruments that I find hardest to play along with are the medium/big boxes. Dont get me wrong, it is possible, but players tend to be used to producing a "complete" sound for themselves I suspect, and with such a big volume capacity it is rare to find a satisfying opening on the acustic bass. I think it must be a characteristic of the instrument that they find it hard to hear other accompanying instruments unless they have a "cutting" sound and without getting feedback throught the ears it is difficult to leave "space". (Ducks to avoid flying objects thrown by sensative box players!! :-)

As for using an amplified Bass, I find it hard to swap between the two, the playing styles are different and I think I use a different "musical brain" for each. Its probably to do with the different feedback you get through the ears and the different "quality" to the sound. I think I would have to get used to doing one or the other. The critical thing in my mind ( dont get me wrong, I am still learning it), is knowing when NOT to play and in getting a good ballance between other instruments. It is particularly hard if you have been playing with the full "band" in the session, on an electric, for some good rollocking jigs and reels and then have to ballance some much more subtle playing to acompany a song or slow air. With the acustic it just happens with the fingers, with an electric it requires some deft work with the volume control. (otherwise why have an amp to be heard in the loud bits!!).

I think that room acustic qualities have a suprising effect on the volume and "cut" through ability of my acustic Fender Bass. I can be heard in quite a large room, against lots of other instruments if there is a nice solid floor and not too much in the way of "drapes" and soft furnishings around. Anyone who has heard me play in the "Sun Inn" in Beverley will have heard that effect. Like I said at the beginning though, there are limitations but I still find it the best compromise for the sessions I go to. However I did see a nice half size double bass in the Hobgoblin Music store in Leeds the other week...................


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: cockney
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 06:53 PM

I had the pleasure of sitting next to BASSIC at Knockholt. I thought his acoustic bass sounded brill! I agree with fisheye that most acoustic basses are inaudible, but this onw sounded just fine "It is a Fender" said my pal who had a go on it. by the way it's spelt Appalachian.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 11 Oct 04 - 10:05 AM

Strings Direct stock strings for acoustic 4 and 5 string basses.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Bass Guitar Strings
From: GUEST,Irishbassman
Date: 24 Oct 18 - 11:57 AM

I have 2 Martin acoustic basses and a fretless Cort, all 4 strings. The Martins cut through a lot better. They’re bloody expensive but you get what you pay for. I use Thomastick phosphorus bronze strings. They are really light but really cut through. Second favourites are GHS phosphorous. You will be projecting more sound than your hearing. The more you play acoustically the stronger and more adept you get at dynamics in your playing.??


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