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Strings, need advice please! (Guitar player)


surfdawg

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Well, I need help! My son is the bass player in the family, he is very physical and has broken 5 E strings in the last 3 weeks. He had been playing some Ernie balls, and some DR's. Before his last gig I bought some 105's. Now those haven't broke yet, but they're obviously harder to play than the 95's!

 

Any like minded souls that have found a compromise between playability and gauge?

 

(Don't shoot me, I'm just the guitar player)

 

'Dawg

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That is excessive!

 

Is he playing through an underpowered amp in a loud band? If so get a better amp!

 

Otherwise have the instrument checked out. There could be a burr on the bridge saddle or it may need fileing or adjustment.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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He is 17 years old. That's probably the main issue!? He love to play Rage against the Machine tunes.

 

He's broken strings on all 3 of his basses, a cheapo squire p bass, (no obvious burrs or deformations in the bridge), a 77 jazz bass with stock bridge (look fine), and 03 standard jazz bass with a gotoh bridge (great shape.)

 

He has a Mesa Boogie that puts out plenty of sound, so he's not trying to compete in the audio realm. I think he just loves playing really hard at the moment.

 

Any favorite strings amongst the punkers or hard rockers out there?

 

'Dawg

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The best thing to do is make him pay for his own strings from money he has earned. I think you will see a change in his playing style. :D

Rocky :thu:

 

Great idea!

 

Professional players look like they are playing really hard, but they aren't really. A lot of that is part of the stage presentation.

 

Breaking strings on a bass should be a rare occurrence. In the last 30 years I have only broken one string on stage and I have only seen two strings broken by others during shows in all those years.

 

I saw Lemmy play in January. He looked like he could tear your heart out if he wanted to, but he didn't break any strings.

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eee gads, man!

 

I've only broken one string, the G string (not the sexy underwear... uhm, yea). And it was shortly after I bought the bass so it was the stock strings (god knows how long they've been on there). Since then, I haven't broken any, and it's my poppin' bass. I'd definitely do as suggested and have him tone down his attack. Even when I was playing guitar in a death metal band, I rarely broke my high E string and that's with whammying the hell out of it.

[Carvin] XB76WF - All Walnut 6-string fretless

[schecter] Stiletto Studio 5 Fretless | Stiletto Elite 5

[Ampeg] SVT3-Pro | SVT-410HLF

 

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The best thing to do is make him pay for his own strings from money he has earned. I think you will see a change in his playing style. :D

Rocky :thu:

 

Best advice right there! :thu:

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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i think the issue may be that he doesn't understand how tim commerford (the bassist from rage against the machine) achieves the sound he does. the rough, powerful, and all around heavy tone he gets comes from the EQ and effects pedals, not how hard he plays. the thing that really sets off his lines is the groove, it's the aspect of the music that make people want to move and dance. rage's basslines are largely funk and hip hop oriented, and it's important to remember that sometimes letting up is the best way to get a good clear funky sound.

 

i play rage songs in my band as well, and i prefer hartke's light gauge strings (they have a nice metallic crunch), that probably wouldn't work out for him though as he's had trouble with breaking strings. making him buy the strings would probably work, but you should first discuss with him the concept of playing lighter and funkier instead of trying to compensate with overpowering the strings. you probably also want to talk to him about getting out that pumped up energy (a common affliction when playing rage) by moving around the stage, and letting it out that way as opposed to by playing harder. there's no reason to be embarassed if you feel the need to "dance around" a bit because you get into the music, it can wind up improving the overall stage show anyhow.

hmmm...
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In 15 years of playing I've broken exactly 1 string, the G string (the thin one) and that was while I was tuning unplugged and had it tuned almost an octave too high without realizing it (it was a long long time ago). I've never broken one since then (better ear!) and I play heavy metal with the best of them.

 

He's beating the crap of it, in a way over the top fashion. I'd recommend sending him to get some lessons cause the only thing I can think of that would cause that kind of break rate outside a razor blade for a nut or saddle is playing like a guy I just bought a Dean Edge 5 string off of just to save the darned thing from his abuse (bass rescue!)

 

The guy played with a pick, and all he would do was bang the low B as hard and fast as he possibly could. He squeezed the strings so hard that there are huge and deep scratches from the round wounds in the fingerboard, on a fretted bass.. I mean worse than I've ever even seen on a fretless.. The pickup cover was worn almost completely through from him beating on the B string so hard.

 

poor thing.. Such a nice bass, so abused.. He finally decided to give up bass and abuse something else, so he's moved on to guitar.. Sold his Dean to me for $100. It will live out the rest of it's life in a case and used by me for practice and gigging as needed. It will likely see little action as I prefer fretless. I may decide to defret and use it more one day as the neck on it is awesome.

 

Anyway, in conclusion, he needs to learn how to play bass.

Feel free to visit my band's site

Delusional Mind

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Well, I see a lot of naysayers but I have got to say i will never buy Ernie Ball Extra Slinky (no Ernie Ball Product strings if I can) strings again. I don't thrash or play harshly, I use my fingers and don't really slap but I have have Ernie Ball strings, string after string break on my bass. I had it checked out for burrs, (and I pay for my own strings mind you so I was rather upset)and there were none. It was my belief that the strings were made crappy, and for $22 a set, they can keep them. So this year I tried something different (Actually in September). I put on those Nylon Coated Black Fender Jazz Strings and they haven't broken yet ;). So we'll see what happens. However, I have to agree that it was WAY TO SHORT of a time span to break E-strings!!!

Jackson C20 Concert Bass / Polytone Contempo B Solid Body / Peavey MAX 750 Watt Head / Ampeg 810E

 

Sometimes you just need to let go and jam

 

Peace,

Corey

 

http://www.myspace.com/onemanpomegranate

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Second thought, is he playing music or just making a lot of noise? You, being a G****r player, should know that he needs help. Is he willing to take lessons from a qualified teacher?

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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First off... keep him away from .095 E Strings. Definitely stick with a .105 or a .110. It sounds like he is looking for a lower, overdriven sound and I find it easier to do with heavier strings, especially when tuning down a half or full step.

 

I like the Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkies, 45-65-85-105, but the Power Slinkies, 55-75-90-110, will do the trick if he is tuning down.

 

Secondly, you might consider having one of the basses set up BEAD using the lower 4 strings from a 5 string set. Roughly, 65-80-100-130.

 

Finally, tell him to play lighter.

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