Today, we are going to show you what we think are some great strings for slapping. The main criteria we have used for this list is string’s ability to retain that snappy tone. After all, that is what gives slapping the edge.
Below are our recommendations for the 4 best bass strings for slap and pop on the market:
Slap and Pop Bass Strings Contender 1: GHS M3045F Bass Boomers
If there is one guy who really moved slapping into mainstream music, it’s Flea. The GHS Boomers we are looking at here are his signature model. The package includes Flea’s gauge selection of 045, 065, 085 and a 105. In other words, it’s a fairly standard configuration, but one that works great for slapping. On a more technical level, GHS used a Hex core with a nickel-plated steel round wound outer layer. What matters the most is how these strings behave when you mount them up.
If there is one thing that you want from decent slap strings, it is their ability to retain that fresh twang (see full specs). Most strings will have that for about a week or so. GHS Boomers will retain it in one way or another for months. Not only that, but comfort is great as well. Boomers actually work with you instead of against you. Even though this has to do with gauge selection, most of it comes from the way these strings are built.
Slap and Pop Bass Strings Contender 2: Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound
If you are into something more casual, there is always the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky. These come across as run of the mill set, but they are definitely much more than that. The gauge chosen for this package includes a 50, 70, 85 and 105. Generally speaking, this is probably the most neutral gauge you can find out there.
Ernie’s manufacturing process has been perfected over several decades, which has led to a battle proven set of strings such as these. We are looking at a nickel-plated, steel-wound, high-carbon hex core.
Pretty standard, right? Well, Ernie Ball stands out thanks to the way they wind their strings. These are so precisely manufactured that you’ll get rather impressive consistency across different strings and batches. In practice, Ernie Ball Regular Slinky brings the crispest “new strings” sound you can hear. Best of all, that sound stays around for a long time. If you are a person who swaps their strings on a regular basis, these will be an awesome match for you.
Slap and Pop Bass Strings Contender 3: Fender 7250M
Fender’s Precision Bass is definitely the holy grail of the slap world. It is only appropriate that Fender produces a set of strings which matches that legendary reputation. The set we have chosen for you today are fairly neutral in a sense that you get standard gauge and standard materials. However, Fender has spiced things up quite a bit.
Nickle-plated steel wound strings are the norm, which explains why Fender has chose to follow the proven standard. Their 7250 bring the sound of a new Fender bass, and there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. These strings are what Fender mounts on every bass guitar that leaves their factories, both in US and Mexico. This set is perfect for anyone looking to get that authentic factory Fender sound, and needless to say, are among the best bass strings for slap and pop period.
Slap and Pop Bass Strings Contender 4: DR Strings Black Beauties
Last but not least, we have a real treat for you. DR Strings are known for their outlandish designs. The Black Beauties are definitely one of them. Compared to the models we have shown you so far, Black Beauties have that boutique vibe going on. These are hand-made, medium-gauge strings that feature a black protective coating. Aside from the seriously attractive looks, Black Beauties also deliver one hell of a tone (see full specs).
They are punchy, like to bark at you when you engage them with any amount of conviction, and generally have a treble/mids oriented tone. While this might not be up to everyone’s taste, there is no denying that slapping with these on is a dream.
Another cool thing about Black Beauties is the fact that they aren’t really all that expensive compared to other models on our list. Those who want to break through the mix with ease while rocking black strings, should definitely check out DR’s Black Beauties.
Best Bass Strings for Slap and Pop Conclusion
Slapping is easily one of the most satisfying bass styles you can choose. Finding a good set of strings for this purpose isn’t that hard, but it requires some commitment. For starters, you will absolutely have to change strings on a regular basis. That is simply the truth of the matter.
Despite some of our picks being incredibly resilient, when it comes to losing that snappy, crispy flavor, it will happen. If you are new to slap bass, we strongly suggest you go with a medium-gauge nickle-plated steel set. In other words, just about any set from our list. The main reason for this is the fact that medium gauge is just perfect for this playing style, and that nickle-plated steel gets you most bang for your buck.
You will see some smooth strings out there with a polished surface. Those won’t work for slapping. You need to have grip for those pops and that can only be found in standard, round-wound strings. Additionally, keep experimenting with strings. No matter how good a particular set sounds, it’s a good practice to keep an eye out for other strings.
After a while, it all comes down to subtle pros and cons. That type of taste is definitely acquired over time, but it also makes finding the “‘perfect” set of strings a bit more difficult. And that wraps up our rundown of best bass strings for slap and pop. Hope you folks enjoyed the ride and don’t forget: stay funky!