#1
Do heavier strings increase sustain or vice versa? Sorry, I know there's tons of STRINGS threads, but this is one thing not covered to my knowledge.
Quote by breakdown123
Is there such a thing as a heavy riff with out chugging on the e string?
#2
I'd have to guess lighter gauges, because they are tighter than lower gauges. Not sure though.
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#3
Quote by ScottB.
I'd have to guess lighter gauges, because they are tighter than lower gauges. Not sure though.
+1
#5
And I assume strings that are heavier have more momentum.

However, if you're letting notes ring out to the point where the sustain of thinner strings isn't enough, you are a very, very poor bass player. I could never understand the need for longer sustain on a bass. Or any instrument, for that matter. Why not... actually... play... things?
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#6
With guitar, heavier wound strings increase sustain, so you'd assume bass would be the same. Other factors such as bridge style, etc affect it as well. But, as Fitz said, why would that matter on bass? Naturally bass has more sustain and why would you need to hold a note longer than the guitarists.
#7
Quote by thefitz
However, if you're letting notes ring out to the point where the sustain of thinner strings isn't enough, you are a very, very poor bass player. I could never understand the need for longer sustain on a bass. Or any instrument, for that matter. Why not... actually... play... things?


Many popular songs hold a note long enough that a poor sustain will let the note die down. If you have good sustain, they can ring loud and clear... without the need for a compressor, which would let you compress it down enough that right after you pluck would be the same level as when it dies down.

I've heard basses that were so poor that they significantly died down even after only a quarter note.
#8
Quote by corndogggy
I've heard basses that were so poor that they significantly died down even after only a quarter note.

That an increase in string gauge will totally, totally fix?
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#9
Quote by thefitz
That an increase in string gauge will totally, totally fix?


Eh, probably not.
#10
I was asking because my metal band ended, and I might be starting this down-tempo doom/sludge band with one of the guitarists. The style of music just has a lot of ringing notes. Why is this thread now about the necessity of sustain in bass?
Quote by breakdown123
Is there such a thing as a heavy riff with out chugging on the e string?
#11
It's like having an 88-key piano. You don't need those extra notes, per say, but it's nice to have them. Just like you don't need a 92 second sustain time, but it's good to have it if for some reason you need it. Besides, some bassists don't care for constantly playing stuff, we know our role. >.> <.<

At any rate, more mass=more sustain. Thicker strings, more mass, more sustain.
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#12
Quote by thefitz

However, if you're letting notes ring out to the point where the sustain of thinner strings isn't enough, you are a very, very poor bass player. I could never understand the need for longer sustain on a bass. Or any instrument, for that matter. Why not... actually... play... things?


Actually, I disagree almost entirely. There are many slow songs, where playing continually would sound tacky. I even have infinite sustain on one of my basses. Its not how good or bad of skills you have, its what the song calls for.
*Ill probably get flamed for this*
#13
Quote by t3hrav3n
It's like having an 88-key piano. You don't need those extra notes, per say, but it's nice to have them. Just like you don't need a 92 second sustain time, but it's good to have it if for some reason you need it. Besides, some bassists don't care for constantly playing stuff, we know our role. >.> <.<

At any rate, more mass=more sustain. Thicker strings, more mass, more sustain.


There's also no need for playing 180+ bpm.
Quote by breakdown123
Is there such a thing as a heavy riff with out chugging on the e string?
#14
Quote by t3hrav3n
It's like having an 88-key piano. You don't need those extra notes, per say, but it's nice to have them. Just like you don't need a 92 second sustain time, but it's good to have it if for some reason you need it. Besides, some bassists don't care for constantly playing stuff, we know our role. >.> <.<

At any rate, more mass=more sustain. Thicker strings, more mass, more sustain.


+1
You never know when you're going to need it, Black Sabbath(the song) would require some good sustain and so would moonlight sonata, etc.
#15
Quote by derekwalden_-33
Actually, I disagree almost entirely. There are many slow songs, where playing continually would sound tacky. I even have infinite sustain on one of my basses. Its not how good or bad of skills you have, its what the song calls for.
*Ill probably get flamed for this*


The slowest song I've ever seen is 60 BPM. Even at 60 you can play probably two whole notes (8 seconds) with most any bass. I can't imagine any bass needing any more sustain than that.
#17
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
The slowest song I've ever seen is 60 BPM. Even at 60 you can play probably two whole notes (8 seconds) with most any bass. I can't imagine any bass needing any more sustain than that.

I mean really. I think we're all getting beyond the beyond here about how much sustain we actually need, firstly, and how much the strings are going to make a difference, secondly. If your amp doesn't have a gain knob to increase to increase the sustain via subliminal feedback, your notes ringing out won't cut through, regardless if you're playing an electric arco.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#18
If quarter note is dying, it's not a matter of sustain but something entirely different.
With the mass of bass strings, notes should ring strong for at least 2 bars. Beyond that, I don't see much need in regular playing - and compression is an option.
#19
Quote by scawti
With the mass of bass strings, notes should ring strong for at least 2 bars.

I cannot fathom the need for a note needing to audibly sustain for 2 bars.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#20
^I understand that you personally don't see the need Fitz, and I have a deal of respect for you for being very informative on this Forum. But that doesn't mean you know it all, there are a lot of genres of Music, and styles of Songwriting, as well as Bassists who may feel better having that kind of head room.

More specifically, fans of Doom Metal. Like real, underground(ish) Doom, not just Sabbath.

But you are right, that in this case, a minor String Gauge change won't help that terribly.
#24
nahh Sunn O))) is lame and uses effects and whatnot. Look up a live video of them... O'Mailey rings out 1 note for 10+ minutes. Extreme amounts of feedback and distortion are used, possibly an ebow.

Wow, this thread went to crap. I simply asked whether heavy gauge strings get more or less sustain than lighter gauges.
Quote by breakdown123
Is there such a thing as a heavy riff with out chugging on the e string?
#25
Quote by watchingmefall
If you are playing Sunn O))), Boris or something like that no bridge or string will make you sustain like that. You'd need a pedal or something.


Or a Fenanades Sustainer.

Though they are right in poointing out some some Doom Metal subgenres. Very slow tempos with massive emphasis on atmosphere. Sometimes, a bass drone best done with a single note works best.

However, I doubt string guage would have a massive effect.
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+1
#26
Quote by Monkey_Bassist
^I understand that you personally don't see the need Fitz, and I have a deal of respect for you for being very informative on this Forum. But that doesn't mean you know it all, there are a lot of genres of Music, and styles of Songwriting, as well as Bassists who may feel better having that kind of head room.

More specifically, fans of Doom Metal. Like real, underground(ish) Doom, not just Sabbath.

But you are right, that in this case, a minor String Gauge change won't help that terribly.

Not fathoming isn't telling people there isn't a use. And you're trying to tell me that those doom guys run totally clean? And that the notes decay naturally without any feedback? Hell, if I stand in a certain spot at a certain volume, I can get my SWR to run a nice clean feedback.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#27
I get where you are coming from, sorry for jumping the gun there.

And they do use their share of Distortion/Feedback, for sure, but I am just stating from listening experience of something in the realm of an actual use of the said 'technique'/playing.