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Need some advice

SFW

Member
Messages
1,393
I inherited a 1963 (?) Fender Jazz bass from my father-in-law a few years ago when he passed away. It has mainly set in the case the way I got it. I have been thinking lately that I would like to get it set up and start playing it. I have been a guitar player for almost 30 years, but haven’t had much experience with the four string. Would love to know what string gauge you guys would recommend. I would like to learn how to play like an actual bassist. Lol. Below are a couple of pictures.It is a beautiful instrument that sounds absolutely killer.



 

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,022
.

Nice bass.

Just get the standard bass string set. There is not as much variation nor constant chatter like guitars: is so and so player using 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s? And so on. Round wound and Flat wound seem to be the two categories.

All I can recommend is youtube channel 'Scotts Bass'.

.
 

Khromo

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
957
Transitioning from guitar to bass presents a physical challenge (or at least an adjustment!) for most folks. With that in mind, round wound strings have less tension than flats, and can make that transition easier and more natural.

That is an elegant bass! I would try some D'Addario EXL170BT's. They are light gauge, nickel plated round wounds and they will bring out the mid range bark and growl of a Jazz Bass.
 

SFW

Member
Messages
1,393
Thank you for the recommendations. I have been watch Scott's Bass Lessons for a few weeks now. Tones of good videos. I picked up a set of D'Addario EXL170s. I'll put them on this weekend. I've already lubed the truss rod, as it was a bit tight. The neck has a bit much relief at the moment, but I want to loosen up the truss rod before I crank on it. I'm thinking it will only take about half a turn to get the neck where it needs to be. It definitely needs some oil on the fret board.

Again, thank you for the help!
 

somedude

Member
Messages
7,603
If those old strings are flatwound and they’re not covered in rust you can just leave them on.

If they’re roundwound, 45-105 is a popular gauge, and IMO it’s worth experimenting over time to find which brand you like.

Bass players swap strings the way guitarists swap pickups... play around until you find the brand and type that suits a particular bass.
 

wynsmth

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
301
That's a really nice 1966 Jazz. It's pretty rare as not too many were made with the bound dot neck, let alone the original custom color. Serial number is definitely '66. I have a '65 but would love to have a '66 too. 45-105 nickel round wounds would be a good place to start for sure. The lighter A & E strings in the D'Addario EXL170 set just feel & sound a little wimpy to me. My '65 loves the heavier strings. I had 50-110 on for a while but opted to go back to the 45-105 as that is what I use on my other basses & it's just easier to not have to have different gauges for different basses.
 

NoiseNinja

Member
Messages
1,874
.

Nice bass.

Just get the standard bass string set. There is not as much variation nor constant chatter like guitars: is so and so player using 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s? And so on. Round wound and Flat wound seem to be the two categories.

All I can recommend is youtube channel 'Scotts Bass'.

.
Don't know where you got that from, but it's not true at all.
 

Jon Moody

Member
Messages
347
Would love to know what string gauge you guys would recommend. I would like to learn how to play like an actual bassist.
Gauge is totally up to personal preference. I like medium lights (45-65-80-100) on my 4 string Fenders, as they feel great and I can get the action fairly low.

Biggest piece of advice I can offer is that, when learning how to play like an actual bassist (and not a guitarist who happens to have a bass in his hands), realize the roles are wholly different. You have a much different job as a bassist in a band over a guitarist. Approach it with that in mind, and you'll be fine.


.Just get the standard bass string set. There is not as much variation nor constant chatter like guitars: is so and so player using 8s, 9s, 10s, 11s? And so on. Round wound and Flat wound seem to be the two categories.
You're not a bass player, are you? Lots of broad strokes in your statements, which aren't correct. Bassists are nearly as picky as guitarists with string gauge, type of material used for said strings, etc..

As for variation? Hahahaha I'd argue there's more available for bassists than guitarist. Rounds, Flats, Groundwound/Halfwound, Pressurewound, Tapes...
 

tonk

Member
Messages
54
I inherited a 1963 (?) Fender Jazz bass from my father-in-law a few years ago when he passed away. It has mainly set in the case the way I got it. I have been thinking lately that I would like to get it set up and start playing it. I have been a guitar player for almost 30 years, but haven’t had much experience with the four string. Would love to know what string gauge you guys would recommend. I would like to learn how to play like an actual bassist. Lol. Below are a couple of pictures.It is a beautiful instrument that sounds absolutely killer.



Nice instrument, congrats!

So a few basics...

Bass strings are almost universally longer lived than guitar strings. While new strings can get you a sweet, piano-like chime (and are vastly more expensive to maintain in a new state), old bass strings will mellow and bring out a unique thump that can only be had with age, and will be different between string sets. If the current strings sound great then the best advice is to not mess with them too much. Repeat... DO NOT MESS WITH THE FORMULA!

If *really* you want to clean them, soak them in denatured alcohol for 12-24 hours, wipe them off, and restring.

Beyond that, getting a good setup is really all you need. Definitely go to a luthier or someone who really understands the instruments. Enjoy that beauty!
 




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