For some reason I have been thinking a lot about strings lately. Round-wound, Flat-wound, Half-round, even Tape-wound. Over the years I have mainly used Nickel Round-wound .105 gauge strings. I started out using GHS Boomers or Ernie Ball Slinky’s but quickly switched to Rotosounds 66’s, which I stuck with for several years. From there I moved on to Dean Markley Blue Steel’s and finally settled on D’Addario’s which I have primarily used for the past 10 or so years. I’ve tried Elixir’s a few times as well but was never convinced enough to shell out the extra dough for them.
With the addition of the Fender Mustang Bass to my collection I started to play around with different string gauges. I started with Super Lights (.95) but decided they were just too light for my tastes, more of feel think than a tone thing, so I moved up to Regular Lights (.100) which I am really liking. When I bought my Jazz Deluxe the strings on it were pretty dead so I decided to go with a new set of Fender regular Lights (.100), which is supposedly what they come with out of the factory. Well, so far so good, I like how they feel and sound, guess the test now will be to see how long they last. In the spirit of these two basses I decided to put a set of D’Addario .100’s I had in my bag of tricks on my Lakland 4 string as well. I must admit, I used to be a bit of a string snob. I felt it was best to use the heaviest strings possible to get the deepest tone. I was a true believer, so much so that I had never tried anything else. Well, let me tell you, don’t limit yourself like this. There are so many choices out there, why not experiment a little and find what works/sounds best for you.
How about you, I’d love to hear your perspective on Bass strings, brands, gauges, etc.
Note that this will be the start of a mini series on strings, next up will be my thoughts on Flat-Wounds