Re: Speed and string tension.

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Posted by Rich Laird on October 05, 2001 at 22:05:00:

In Reply to: Speed and string tension. posted by Joey on October 05, 2001 at 09:46:30:

: I'd like to ask some experienced jazz players, if using strings with less
: tension makes a big difference in speed when playing jazz solos, in both pizz.
: and arco technic.

: Still refering to string tension, are there any advantages over one or the
: other?

: Do gut strings have considerably less tension, than a low tension, (other core,)
: string?

: (Thanks.)

I'm going to go out on a limb here, because I haven't really analyzed different
strings that much...but I think I know what seems to work for me.

What I like for jazz playing is a thinner, lower tension steel string. They do
seem to let you play faster. About a year ago, I tied on the Pirastro Jazzers
for the first and really like them - I'm sure there other good choices as well.

I would stress that - at least IMHO - what works great on one bass sucks on
another. Maybe some people have ideas as to why that is - I bet tension has a
lot to do with it.

It's been literally decades since I tried any kind of non-steel string - I
wouldn't necessarily assume that gut strings have less tension...but the
highest tension strings are probably steel.

I also think there's probably such a thing as having strings get too "flabby"
to play fast. I think this is especially true for arco playing, especially if
you're playing off-the-string at all.

The really cool thing about strings is that you get to spend hundreds of
dollars and hundreds of hours experimentins, theorizing and
hypothesizing...and still always be wondering whether what you're using is
really the best option.

Welcome to the Dog House!

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