Roundwound vs. Flatwound (Fretless Bass)

This post was written by Scott
Posted Under: Bass Lessons Videos
A comparison of round wound and flat wound strings on a fretless bass guitar. Wanted to find out if there is a significant sound difference between these two…
In this video I talk about what you can do with fretless bass and why you should choose it. If you are a Jaco’s fan you should check it out too.

Reader Comments

I play piano and bass professionally and only use flats on my fretless
basses. Since the brand of bass I use has inlays on their fretless models
(Schecter) I found that the rounds can often buzz really badly over those
inlays while flats make no sound other than note over them. It does require
some experiments with pickup settings to get that “fretless sound” that
everyone recognizes instantly, but I find it’s easiest to get it with the
pickup selection set to a center position (favoring both neck and bridge),
then on the instrument’s EQ, cut the mids a little (about an 1/8 to a 1/4),
roll back the bass just a hair (about 1/16 to 1/8) and put a little more
emphasis on the treble end. That gives it that “mwah” sound even with
flatwound strings (use a lot of vibrato to make it really sing) and the EQ
setting lets it come through clearly, while the pickup settings keep it
from getting that “honk” sort of sound.

You nailed that Jaco tone with the flats on the last recording example
which really defeats the myth that only rounds can do that.

#1 
Written By Mike Smale on May 13th, 2014 @ 7:46 am

flatwound string all the way

#2 
Written By TheNazmi98 on May 13th, 2014 @ 7:53 am

I just purchased the 5 string version of this bass and I love it!

#3 
Written By Joshua Selser on May 13th, 2014 @ 8:10 am

Very nice video, my dear friend Lars!
Great bass!
Have a beautiful week!
With warm friendly greeting Olga.

#4 
Written By Ольга Скрябина on May 13th, 2014 @ 9:09 am

I have my 2 Ibanez basses setup with 1 flatwound & the other roundwound,
the Squire 70′s Vintage Modified Jazz I just got has roundwounds but I’m
going to restring it with flats during my setup. I can’t stand string buzz
and just never got the hang of playing slap so I don’t need the more
percussive sound out of roundwounds. 

#5 
Written By DDELFIERRO on May 13th, 2014 @ 10:08 am

Flatwound :-) 

#6 
Written By Ferd Geisler on May 13th, 2014 @ 11:04 am

Thanks. This is exactly the kind of comparison I was looking for.
Noticeable difference.

#7 
Written By Eric Winemiller on May 13th, 2014 @ 11:14 am

Excellent video! I loved the tone you got from the flatwounds! I’ve been
thinking of getting a fretless and was looking for that exact bass but
there’s so few videos of them out there that it was hard to get an idea of
the sound. Thank you for posting such a great video! Hope to see more of
your great playing!

#8 
Written By Moothane on May 13th, 2014 @ 11:44 am

Parabéns! Bons ensaios e bons resultados. Eu não sei tocar qualquer
instrumento por isso não sou especialista para dar uma opinião. Excelente
passatempo!

#9 
Written By Isabel Rebelo on May 13th, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

Sehr schönes Video, mein lieber Freund Lars!
Große Bass!
Haben Sie eine schöne Woche!
Mit warmen freundlichen Gruß Olga.

#10 
Written By Пой, моя гитара! on May 13th, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

Doesn’t work for thy type of music I play

#11 
Written By Toxic Potato on May 13th, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

Amazing example of freetless in rock

#12 
Written By Claudio Escouto on May 13th, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

Fretless doesn’t sound good with hard rock and metal

#13 
Written By ryons1 on May 13th, 2014 @ 2:12 pm
#14 
Written By Bugra Balci on May 13th, 2014 @ 2:41 pm

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address