Not A Bass Player But....

WireLine

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Different opinion: there is no single answer

Play the bass(es) you prefer. For most live work I use a Mustang PJ. For recording I generally use an 82 MiJ P Bass or a Guild Starfire II, once in a while a Yamaha 5 string.

I prefer short scale simply because of arthritic hands. Your right hand position and attack techniques are much more critical than scale length.

Flatwounds are my 1st choice, but not my only choice.
 

soundchaser59

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I want to address my issue with the bass I have. I believe it can be addressed and I'm not going to get a different instrument. So if your advice is use a different bass then please save your breath for the next thread. Or reread the OP and offer different advice. Thank you.
 

Dave W

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P Bass, flatwounds, fingers. That’s all you need to know.
Its a forgiving formula that will invite you into all sorts of unexplored territory regardless of you hand size.

lol. The internet flatwound-and-P bass cult.

In the real world, that's seldom the truth.
 

johnnylaw

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Well, I don’t play this set-up on the internet, and it covers lots of ground in my rock and roll band.
I’m sure it won’t do everything, but it works like a charm.
 

kbold

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I'm wondering if I should move away from the light gauge strings and go to something heavier and stiffer. Would I go up one gauge or two?
Going from 34" to 30" scale, I would go up a string gauge.
Since you have light gauge strings fitted, I would recommend going up 2 gauges.
 

mexicanyella

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lol. The internet flatwound-and-P bass cult.

In the real world, that's seldom the truth.

Well, I don’t play this set-up on the internet, and it covers lots of ground in my rock and roll band.
I’m sure it won’t do everything, but it works like a charm.
The internet convinced me to try flats on my Squier P, and in my case the Internet was right—I loved them. I didn’t right away; they seemed kind of weird at first, but by the second band practice I realized that the rig setting changes that needed to be made were all in the direction of EQing less aggressively with the flats. That seemed significant, as did the fuller tone on the high strings, allowing them to seem more cohesive with the other strings as I played across. So for me they addressed a couple issues in one fell swoop...but a few people have picked up my bass and had pretty strong anti-flats reactions too: “dude, you like these?”

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but they are a valid choice among teas and are worth exploring a little.

The ones I like are D’Addario chrome flats, which are on the bright side of flats world and which are said to have a little higher tension in feel compared to similarly gauged rounds.

My experience on two different 34” basses is that the .045-.100 chrome flats set feels similar in playing stiffness to the .045-.105 Dunlop rounds that preceded them.
 

Skyhook

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I play enough to record bass tracks for my own songs. I do play with a felt pick, never learned to play with just fingers, except when I play two notes at once like a spread 6th.

I'm using a short scale Mustang since I have small hands and short fingers. The main issue I have is the low E usually sounds flabby and loose, especially if I dig in or play it open. The other strings can do the same if I strike too hard on the open string.

I'm wondering if I should move away from the light gauge strings and go to something heavier and stiffer. Would I go up one gauge or two? Maybe get a low E that is still a bit heavier than what comes in the set?

I don't play leads or do bends so maybe using heavier strings won't be a bad thing for me. Thoughts?
Yep... correct!
Problem: Flabby strings, Solution: Up the gauge!

Also... bass played with a pick is a beautiful thing!
Don't let the naysayers get into your head! ("Jaco didn't use a pick!" ... "Well, Chris Squire did! What's your point?!")
 

burntfrijoles

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lol. The internet flatwound-and-P bass cult.

In the real world, that's seldom the truth.

That may be true but I‘ve put flats on all of my basses through the years. You have to admit a few iconic players loved that combination or preferred flats.
I use them for practical reasons. I’m a guitarist and my bass technique leaves a lot to be desired. I get too much string noise with rounds so flats are my crutch.
I didn’t know it was a cult.
 

Andy ZZ

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Short scale should absolutely run heavier gauge strings than regular scale.
I have three, and my SS Music Man StingRay actually sounds better than the long scale, due to the greater string mass.
 

John Stephen

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Soundchaser, I also play 30" scale basses and use a pick (the red felt ukulele type picks). This works out fine for my needs, including gigging and recording. I mostly use LaBella Deep Talkin Bass flatwound strings and GHS Precision Flatwound strings, and haven't had floppy E problems with these strings, except on one shorter-scale (28.6") Ibanez Mikro bass. On the 30" scale basses, these strings have worked well for me.
 
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John Stephen

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Short scale should absolutely run heavier gauge strings than regular scale.
I have three, and my SS Music Man StingRay actually sounds better than the long scale, due to the greater string mass.
Andy, what strings do you use on your short scales?
 

tiktok

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I play enough to record bass tracks for my own songs. I do play with a felt pick, never learned to play with just fingers, except when I play two notes at once like a spread 6th.

I'm using a short scale Mustang since I have small hands and short fingers. The main issue I have is the low E usually sounds flabby and loose, especially if I dig in or play it open. The other strings can do the same if I strike too hard on the open string.

I'm wondering if I should move away from the light gauge strings and go to something heavier and stiffer. Would I go up one gauge or two? Maybe get a low E that is still a bit heavier than what comes in the set?

I don't play leads or do bends so maybe using heavier strings won't be a bad thing for me. Thoughts?
Try picking closer to the bridge before you go changing string gauges.

Also, regardless of your gauge, it's possible to get an E to sound flabby or loose if you hit it too hard.
 

Whitebeard

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Pick vs fingers. Both are just as effective, and it really comes down to technique. For instance, Carol Kaye one of the most recorded electric bassists in history plays with a pick. She has a very specific picking technique. This is Jeremy Kay (not family) discussing/demonstrating Carol's picking technique beginning at 2:50 of this video. Notice where he is picking in addition to the down and up strokes. Also, she always plays/picks between the P-bass pickup/s and the neck, never between the pickup/s and the bridge. -
 




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