Neil Young and flatwounds?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by KoalaBass, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. KoalaBass

    KoalaBass Member

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    Hi everyone! While it is pretty obvious Neil Young (and Stills as well) used flatwounds on their axes in the Buffalo Springfield days, it is harder to know when he changed to rounds. There's not a lot of live footage of Neil in the 70's but if you take a look at some photos you might see some flats evidence. Here are a few:

    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/n...ve-onstage-playing-gibson-news-photo/84842877

    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/n...hammersmith-odeon-london-news-photo/113247417

    http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/photo-of-neil-young-news-photo/74001631

    You can see that the strings shine the way flats do. There's some more pics on getty images that shows this aspect as well.

    Now, on most recordings it is hard to tell because of the distorted tone but it is true that very few finger noises and squeaks can be heard (at leat until the late 70s). And guitar tones like the one on "On The Beach" (the song) are pretty thick and could be flats.

    He may have been playing both roundwounds and flatwounds during the 70s as well, not sure he's been playing exclusively one type of strings

    What are your thoughts on this? Anyone recalls something?
     
  2. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    I would say the photos are inconclusive.

    Considering players like Stills and Young were hip to the bent note blues thing I would guess they did not use flatwounds during this time.
     
  3. Devin

    Devin Low Voltage Supporting Member

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    its possible. The matter of importance for bending is pretty much just the 3rd string.
     
  4. theanalogdream

    theanalogdream Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I have flatwound 11's on my Gretsch 6118, and I just don't bend the G on that guitar... haha it's a sacrifice I had to make. I've got other guitars I can solo on, but for certain tones, only this thing can nail it. Faltwounds on a Gretsch was a great recommendation from a few friends.
     
  5. henryjurstin13

    henryjurstin13 Member

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    Side note - you can't (or, shouldn't) bend a flatwound G?
     
  6. theanalogdream

    theanalogdream Supporting Member

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    It's a struggle for sure... (at least with the 11's I have, and the True Arc bridge)
     
  7. Devin

    Devin Low Voltage Supporting Member

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    why not have a flat top set and a plain g?
     
  8. Pablomago

    Pablomago Member

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    Stills once said that the reason that Buffalo Springfield tuned so much was because they were using Ernie Ball Slinkies on their Gretsches.

    Not flats.
     
  9. V

    V Vendor

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    A good point. ha ha
     
  10. KoalaBass

    KoalaBass Member

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    I think it might be very likely that he used a plain g instead of the wound g, that wasn't uncommon I guess.
     

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