The Rotosound Swingbass string was the first roundwound string on the market. It is certainly one of the better strings to use for bassguitar.
Here a link to the history of Rotosound and their first roundwound string: www.rotosound.com/history.php
Today it is hard to think that there was ever a world without electric bassguitar and without roundwound strings (the “normal” type of string you may know from your guitar).
When Leo Fender developed the first Percision Bass, back in the early 1950s, all he had in mind was: To create a lightweight electric instrument compared to the heavy and big acoustic double bass, which had frets (hence the name “Percision”) and which would be louder than the acoustic bass.
When it came to strings the Fender team was still experimenting, because there were no dedicated electric bass strings on the market at that time.
Don Randall ( a Fender Distributor from the early 1950s) “In the beginning it was trial and error. We used gut strings off the upright bass, and wrapped wire over the part of the string that would be vibrating over the pickup.
Later on Mapes or Squier (that is where Fender had the name from when they set up production in the Far East in the early 80s!) would produce strings for us”.
Usually those strings would have been flatwound strings. Flatwound strings sound duller and less powerful. The music was changing rapidly during the late 50s and early 60s. Most electric bassplayers (read Fender- Precision or Jazz players) would use flatwound strings because…………….well they had not much choice.
Then John Entwisle of the Who went to Roto with the request for a different kind of string and there we are.
Right now we still use that same string.
Over time I ,myself, have been using different kind of bassstrings but I feel that the Jazzbass and the Roto Swingbass string are a great combination: Excellent feel and a well balanced tone: Not too bright, but at the same time not too dull as well. Just how I like my sound to be!!
For next article a special about Brian Jones who had set up the Rollng Stones, and acted as the leader during the early years of the Stones.
Hope to see you soon again,