The bassist in indie/jazz act Fat Suit has contributed to academic research which could improve the sound of his instrument for future players.

Gus Stirrat was brought in to help road test a new instrument invented by Dr Jonathan Kemp.

The scientist – an astronomer by day – developed revolutionary strings using fresh construction techniques, meaning that bassists can play higher notes in a more pleasing harmony

The improved sounds hits tonal zones unreachable using conventional bass guitars, their sound limited by the thickness of the instrument’s strings.

However, the team from the University of St Andrews tweaked the production process to make the design more harmonic – using a technique known as “lumped construction.”

Project leader Dr Jonathan Kemp – himself an accomplished bassist – said: “Normal bass strings can be played far up the neck.

“But the lowest pitch strings sound bad and are poor at harmonising with higher notes.”

“My new strings allow for improved tone when playing high up the neck of the instrument.”

He added: “It has only been applied to piano strings before.”

The study published in SN Applied Sciences, showed bass strings are not harmonic when fretted higher up the neck.

And those that are tapered at the bridge sound even worse.

However, the team found increasing the thickness produces a string with much greater harmony, as well as improving pitch.