In every beginner bassist’s life, there will come a time when either the strings of the bass have to be changed due to damage or it no longer suits the playing style anymore. Changing strings can be really tough on the first try. It isn’t just as simple as going to a store and asking for a string replacement. There are so many types of strings available in the market right now with different specifications and different purposes. With so many choices, modifying your bass guitar to suits your needs is possible but has become increasingly difficult for first-timers. There are some basic things everyone who wants to change their bass guitar strings should consider.
How to Choose Bass Guitar Strings
Below we shall mention the four important fatcors to consider when choosing bass guitar strings.
First off, the most important factor of a bass guitar is the sound, specifically the tone. Different people want their bass guitar to produce different tones to suit their playing style or genre of music. Before purchasing a new bass guitar string, one should be clear on what kind of sound he or she wishes the bass guitar to emit.
Types of String
The 2 general types of strings available in the market today are the roundwood and flatwood. The roundwood bass strings are round shaped along a core, hence the name. This string has more grooves, making it a little tougher to handle as well as more finger noise. The sound produced by this type of string is bright and light. It is also very versatile and most commonly used. If you use the slap and pop technique often, then you should go with the roundwood bass strings. The flatwood bass strings have winding like ribbon that wraps around the core string. The tone produced by this type of strings is mellow and have less finger noise but has a particular squeak. This type of string also has a longer lifespan when compared to others. The flatwood bass strings are suitable for jazz.
Bass String Gauge
Another factor to consider when changing bass strings is the bass string gauge. This term refers to the thickness of the bass strings. It is denoted by a number and the bigger the number, the thicker the strings. The bass string gauge is important because different styles require different thicknesses. The finger strength of the bassist also requires different bass string gauges. For example, a smaller bass string gauge is suitable for those who have weak fingers or use a lot of slap and pop playing style. The bass string gauge also affects the sound produced. Lighter strings generally make a lighter and brighter sound and are easier to play but break easily. Heavier strings give a mellow sound and a more complete tone but require much more from the bassist.
Besides the factors mentioned above, the scale length is another important factor to consider when changing your bass guitar strings. The scale length refers to the length of the bass guitar from the bridge to the nut. Depending on the scale length, different strings have to be purchased. On the bright side, most bass guitars have a 34” scale. This makes it easier to first-timers to get their strings. However, do note that there exist some bass guitars that are shorter than usual. A string that falls short can’t be used on the bass guitar while strings that are too long can’t be wrapped on the posts because they are too thick at the end. Hence, knowing your scale length is vital in choosing bass guitar strings.
In conclusion, the vast variety of bass guitar strings have made it easy to mod the sound of a bass guitar but have made it confusing for first timers to change their strings. When in doubt, just consult your local music store for advice.
All the above are top factors on how to choose bass guitar strings. Hope you will get yourself the best bass guitar strings that will suit your taste.