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Fairy-soft strings for a wussy bass player

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I don't play my bass as often as I once did and my fingertips are callus free. A recent 2 hour gig saw my current string of choice, Rotosound Stainless Roundwounds, leaving my baby-soft finger tips quite sore.

Could you recommend some less abrasive roundwounds that would be kind to my wussy fingertips?

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Nickel Elites. I find Rotosound particularly hard going anyway though...

What about some nice pliable flats?

Edited by Bigwan
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Everyone is likely suggest their own favourite brand here.

My 2p on this would be to say I went through something similar after years of pick playing when I thought it was time to revisit fingerstyle again.

I ended up with Dunlop Superbright Nickels in 45-105.  Nickel wounds are much softer feeling anyway, and these particular ones are much more pliable too.  They also come in 40-100 for even more pliability..

https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/strings-c1/string-sets-c865/bass-guitar-c34/jim-dunlop-super-bright-nickel-4-string-45-105-bass-guitar-strings-p8575

Edited by LewisK1975
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I would recommend low tension flats, such as Thomastik Infeld (mentioned above), D'Addario Chromes or Labella Low Tension (*not* normal Labellas).

I have tried all of those, and would recommend you made sure to at least hear what any set of strings you decide on sounds like, before buying. Best of all, play someone's bass that has them.

The TIs have a gorgeous, mellow sound, and a really soft feel under the fingertips. So soft, in fact, that sometimes they're simply not suitable to the kind of music you may be playing. D'Addario Chromes are my favourite strings, but they do have a bright, zingy sound that may not be your cup of tea. Labella Low Tension are as soft as D'Addarios but have a more traditional, less bright sound, while still producing a well defined sound on each note.

Also make sure you're not allergic to one or more of the metals and coatings used in whatever strings you decide to use, as that can make things worse when your fingertips are already under stress.

Edited by Silvia Bluejay
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You could try round core strings. I've always found these to be more compliant under the fingers. Something like DR Sunbeams.

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I’ve been a confirmed steel-rounds player for years, the most comfortable of those that I found was D’addario Pro Steels. Otherwise I’ve been really impressed by Ernie Ball Super Slinkies.

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I don’t use rounds at all , but when my Sandberg came from the factory it was fitted with their own 40-100 strings, and I was quite surprised how smooth and nice they were for rounds , and being light gauge they are  easy on the fingers , I would recommend them 🙂

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Fender 9120m tapes. 

Not thumpy like 'normal' tapes, very much like played in rounds. Not thick gauge like a lot of tapes. Feel like rounds in texture, albeit a little slippery. Low tension and very easy on the fingers. 

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Elixirs. Expensive but sooooooo silky. 

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Definitely Dunlop Super Bright Nickels, or Dr Sunbeams. Both very soft feel, but I would argue as bright sounding if not a little less harsh sounding than the Rotos. I made the change myself and wouldn't dream of going back...

Verrrrry similar tension and feel-wise. The DRs are almost twice the price but, for me, they last much longer and intonate much better (they're probably a bit better made).

Compared to steels, nickels will also save you having to get a refret in the near future too, so there's an additional saving!

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Stick with whatever you've got...

But buy a tube of superglue. Coat tips, thumb edges/whatever you hit the strings together. 

Worked for me when my tips were babysoft and wussy!

However, make sure the glue has dried before touching anything, especially other fingers!

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Have a look at Newtone strings. The Platinum are very smooth with a softish feel.

On the website you can choose either steel or nickel with round or hexagonal cores, and they don't cost a lot either.

Edited by naxos10
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20 hours ago, pineweasel said:

You could try round core strings. I've always found these to be more compliant under the fingers. Something like DR Sunbeams.

This ^. Less force needed to play round (not hex) core - DR or Newtone worth checking. 

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The smoothest strings I've ever used were the ghs precision flats. Totally different to rounds. Just all round silky smoothness.

Edited by la bam
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On 10/02/2020 at 17:17, Reggaebass said:

I don’t use rounds at all , but when my Sandberg came from the factory it was fitted with their own 40-100 strings, and I was quite surprised how smooth and nice they were for rounds , and being light gauge they are  easy on the fingers , I would recommend them 🙂

Same here. Enough so that i bought more sets and put them on other basses i have that were previously fitted with D'addario nickels.

You could try elixir strings.

Dave

 

 

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D'Addarios, or La Bella RX nickels. I haven't had a set of stainless stell since my very first purchase for my very first bass. Or flats of course.

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+1 for the La Bella RX Nickles.  If you are a Rotosound fan, then their RotoBass Nickles aren't bad either and reasonably priced too.

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On 10/02/2020 at 14:30, LewisK1975 said:

Everyone is likely suggest their own favourite brand here.

My 2p on this would be to say I went through something similar after years of pick playing when I thought it was time to revisit fingerstyle again.

I ended up with Dunlop Superbright Nickels in 45-105.  Nickel wounds are much softer feeling anyway, and these particular ones are much more pliable too.  They also come in 40-100 for even more pliability..

https://www.stringsdirect.co.uk/strings-c1/string-sets-c865/bass-guitar-c34/jim-dunlop-super-bright-nickel-4-string-45-105-bass-guitar-strings-p8575

I was going to suggest these, especially the. 100 -. 40 set. Great great tone, very feely goody, last ages and not expensive. 

Edited by miles'tone
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I've used a lot of strings and I'd say Dunlop Super Brights are your friend. By far the softest stainless steels I've used. Try a lighter gauge if you can, it'll be easier/gentler on your hands further to this.

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On 10/02/2020 at 15:30, BassApprentice said:

Do you need rounds for your style/preferred tone?

Could maybe look at the LaBella White Tapes - expensive but bright and super smooth.

 

These are the softest tension strings I've found (I have other basses with the Thomastik flats and Elixirs as they've both been mentioned). Sound great, too - far brighter and more full range than what I used to associate with nylon wrapped strings. I particularly like the copper ones. Good to be aware that with the wrap that the ferrous content is less so the output is lower (easily compensated with gain) and, as with most wrapped and coated strings, there can be ground buzz issues as the strings are effectively insulated from the bridge and you.

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