Easier on fingers, roundwound or flatwound strings?

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by Figaro, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    Are roundwound or flatwound strings easier on your fingers? It seems that flatwounds would be, but is there any addtional friction with flatwounds?
     
  2. harpinon

    harpinon Gold Supporting Member

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    If you move your fingers around a lot, the strings might feel warmer where round wounds will have a colder feel.
    The wound strings will have more bite IMO, but if you go for the softer, warmer bass tones, rounds do feel and sound great.
     
  3. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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    Flats seem rougher to me. There's more friction.
     
  4. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Member

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    I use Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats on all my basses: very smooth, great sound. I don't play with round wounds any more. Yesterday I took one of my basses that I had restrung with rounds, to suit the preference of a friend who wants to buy it, and put a set of TIs back on it before I took it to rehearsal. It made me think I don't want to sell it.
     
  5. torquil

    torquil Member

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    Flatwounds are easier on the fingers if you do a lot of sliding.
     
  6. fisticuffs

    fisticuffs Member

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    Maybe they just take some getting used to. I just threw half rounds on my paisely p and I prefer the feel of rounds. They don't stick to my fingers as much. Maybe I'll change my tune after a couple gigs.
     
  7. russ

    russ Supporting Member

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    Flat wounds are softer on the fingers for me. Right hand especially.
    TIs or Fenders are what I like. The Fenders for less than $20 are fantastic.
     
  8. s2y

    s2y Member

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    I also consider flats milder. I know when I went from playing flats to guitar, my fingers felt the rude awakening.
     
  9. Wag

    Wag Member

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    Flatwounds by a mile. It's like playing with cotton-candy strings!
     
  10. One Drop

    One Drop Member

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    Generally flats, I guess unless you slide a lot.

    But you might feel some new callouses come on if you change from one to the other after not having played one of the types for a while.
     
  11. JohnSS

    JohnSS Member

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    Flats or half rounds are going to be easier on the fingers that RW if you are comparing same string gauge, heights, etc. RW will have more bite and cut to their tone, flats are warmer and more old school sounding.
     
  12. Pantone 333

    Pantone 333 Member

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    Flats are certainly easier on the fingers. But, I've found that most flats tend to be more stiff compared to the equivalent gauge in roundwounds ... with the exception of Thomastik-Infeld flats.
     
  13. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor Member

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    Several posts on this thread mention the Thomstiks and I can attest they are the finest flats -- low tension and tons of tone...very responsive. I have a 57 vintage P ( made in '92) strung with a six year old jazz flats...and I track every week with them using both fingers and a hard CK pick...just flat eq on my rack and little or no compression..
    I do have my Sadowsky and Tyler 5's strung with Labella roundwounds nickles and I do love the roundwound strings..I will add comp and eq however --you use what works for the track and where your creativity takes you.....yes rounds are harder on the frets and glisses are a little bit different from flats.

    Cheers!

    Steve

    http://www.bassmentoring.com/
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  14. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Member

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    Flatwounds are miles and miles easier on your fingers. Too bad I hate the way they sound or I'd be using them. I guess I should say I don't hate the way they sound, but they do not sound good for alt/hard rock. If I was in a classic band I'd be using them.
     
  15. _jmp

    _jmp Member

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    if I slide on flats, there is more friction, so they aren't easier on my fingers than rounds in that respect...
     
  16. vibrostrat43

    vibrostrat43 Supporting Member

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    I actually had more trouble playing flatwounds when I had them...they seemed to make my fingers want to stick to them, they were the Fender flatwounds, and I guess flatwounds just aren't for me. Just my experience, and I didn't like the dark tone either. Of course some roundwounds are way too bright for me.

    I agree with what everyone has said here though, they definitely feel much different, and are harder on your fingers in different ways
     
  17. Lublin

    Lublin Senior Member

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    I love D'Addario Chromes! Give them a try. Great zing and the comfort of flatwounds.

    With that said, flats will provide more friction due to increased surfaced area.
     
  18. tkozal

    tkozal Member

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    Flatwounds: Higher tension (save for TI's etc): Need more finger strength, Can do very low action.

    Roundwounds: Lower tension, typically, and harder on the pads due to the edges.
     
  19. ChipGraham

    ChipGraham Member

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    i like the half-round strings. a little goodness from both worlds.
     
  20. Master Flash

    Master Flash Member

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    Without a doubt, flatwounds. So comfortable and soft. I play the D'Addario ECB81s on my EB-3.
     

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