Bass string types

What do you know about all the different kinds of Bass Guitar string types available? If you were to drop everything that you were doing right now and you went to the nearest musical instrument store and you looked on the wall that carried the strings, you would probably be overwhelmed. There are just so many different strings available that it can be a bit much at times.

Some of the more common types of bass string available are:


These are the most common bass strings available. Roundwound strings tend to have a harsher, more grinding tone and a brighter, more biting sound than flatwound strings do. These tend to also be favored by slap players due to their more aggressive attack.

When it comes to fretless bass, many players use roundwounds to get a very melodic and singing tone quality out of their bass. However, you should consider getting a graphite fingerboard for your bass or having the fingerboard coated with epoxy or polyurethane if you want to use roundwounds due to the fact that they have a nasty habit of "chewing up" a fingerboard due to the grooves on the string connecting with the fingerboard and grinding against it.

For those reasons, some bass players prefer to use flatwound or ground-wound strings on their basses.


If you have ever heard a Motown recording or played a fretless bass with smoother strings than normal, there is a good chance that those were flatwound strings. "Flatwound" refers to the fact that the wire that is wrapped around the core of the string is flat, whereas the roundwound is round.

Flatwound strings provide a smoother, softer sort of sound, and as their name suggests, are smoother to the touch. They tend to be less rough on fretless basses and are specially suited to R&B and Jazz music due to the smoother, more even sound.


You can think of a groundwound string as being a sort of hybrid between both a roundwound string and a flatwound string. The outside of the string is smooth like a flatwound, but the inside of the string is round, like a roundwound.

This allows for a more aggressive sounding flatwound string that doesn't retain as much of the sharpness that is inherent in a roundwound. This is a newer kind of string and is generally being used by people who want a softer but still more aggressive sound.

Consider giving all three of these string types a try. You just might find the tone that you've been looking for in one way you might not have thought of....

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