Flatwound Strings


I love the feel of flatwound strings beneath my fingers, but I’m told they aren’t appropriate for my styles: rock and punk.



If you like the sound of them then they are appropriate.
If you are trying to match a specific tone or playing style you may or may not get as close as you like if rounds were played originally.
Punk I would think is mainly rounds for sure in general, rock it all depends, its a wide category.


For the ultimate discussion on this topic, see the following thread.

But only if you have a few hours to kill - it’s over 700 posts! :laughing:

Flat wound vs round wound strings


It depends what sound you want and not all flats are the same, d’addario chromes are brighter than something like labella deep talking flats. In addition to flats, there are also pressure wound and ground wound strings that are brighter than flats and still smoother than regular round wound strings.


Hi @octobercountry82 and welcome to the BassBuzz forum.

Echoing what @John_E touched on, it depends on your goals. If your goal is to produce highly accurate reproductions of punk songs, then round wounds would probably make that easier.

On the other hand, if punks and rockers did what others thought was appropriate, we wouldn’t have either punk or rock. So, tell those people to go eat… (I changed this sentence a number of times and never found anything unoffensive enough to post here.)

This matters.

This doesn’t.


As for not appropriate for rock Steve Harris of Iron Maiden uses flats and he’s a rock god


John Deacon (Queen), Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Cliff Williams (AC/DC), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) all flatwound users.

Rotosound flatwounds seem to predominate.

Here’s the thing. You can find any genre, and I can find a bass icon who uses flats or rounds.

They say you need flats for jazz and/or fretless. What did Jaco use? Rounds.


I don’t know who “they” are but almost nobody says that. They’re nice if you want a 50s/60s vintage sound but not as much for modern jazz. For about the first 10 years after the introduction of the electric bass, there were only flat wound strings. As far as Jaco, most people play rounds on fretless bass.


Most people play rounds on all basses :rofl:

There is a prevailing myth that rounds chew up frets and fretboards faster than flats but it has been debunked by checking fret wear over time. They are more or less the same.


I was watching a Dan Hawkins video on YouTube and he mentioned that part of finding your own voice is using or doing things that aren’t typically associated with certain genres. Doing what you want to do and not what someone else thinks you should do is the essence of punk.


+1. Use whatever strings you like. Don’t worry about the prevailing opinions :slight_smile:


I agree with others use what you like and sounds good to you. I use labella gold alloy flats for jazz, funk, rock whatever. The golds have more mid range punch that most flats that I have found but that is only my opinion


I recently put these on my “red and gold” and LOVE them. I had the gold Optima strings but between those and the Ray Ross bridge the thing was brighter than bright for days (not something I was digging in a straight P). I am also thinking of swapping the Ray Ross for a gold Badass bridge, I am not convinced the extra sustain is for me.


This question has been discussed ad nauseam in various other threads. My answer: I like flats and have played them on all genres of music, and they sound just fine. It comes down to a personal preference.


I love the flats I put on my basses. I have TI Flats on my Jazz and Fender flats on my PJ. I like the fact that as a beginner, flats can help with reducing buzzing from not quite perfect technique. And they sound and play great for me. I have a couple of packs of rounds but they are still in the wrapper. I may buy another bass at some point and put them on then but right now, it is flats for me

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Wait til you try tapewound strings, lol.

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My love affair with rounds is getting smaller and smaller.

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I definitely dislike flats and prefer rounds, but like I said, play what strings you want and don’t worry about the stereotypes.

Just about to install some flats on my Kala U Bass this morning. Play what you want kids, it doesn’t matter.


That’s a really nice looking combo of red and gold on your P-bass, @John_E


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