Reasons to get Heavy Gauge Bass Strings?
Hi! I'm new to this site, I was hoping someone could help me decide on new strings. I play a 5 string schecter stiletto elite and my style varies from death metal, jazz, funk, and punk rock.
Would having such heavy strings effect how fast I can play? I have heard mixed things about them. The bottom line is I like to play fast, and I do a lot of drop tuning but I also play plenty of stuff in standard.
these are the strings I was thinking of getting
The thing with DR DDT's is they allow you to play in lower tunings without using much heavier gauge strings...
That set you will want to tune A D G C F from Low to High although you can tune it a whole step lower if you would like.
You will NOT want to tune that set in standard tuning, they will be too high of a tension in most cases.
DR does offer DDT strings in a 5 string set in other gauges for other tunings... It is best to talk to a string professional (echem) and let him know exactly the tuning you are looking for and tone you are after and he will point you in the right direction.
Sorry...I'm drawing a blank.
It's all a matter of taste. Thick strings slow me down and keep me from bending notes. Some people love them and think the tone is worth it. Not me, plus I'd debate the tradeoff in tone. Call me crazy, but I've never been able to tell the gauge of strings simply by listening. I've had people tell me all my life that thicker strings sound fuller, but then you hear someone with thin strings who sounds fat, and it makes you question it.
My reasons have more to do with the tension than actual gauge of the string. Higher tension strings have more harmonic content/less fundamental because they have a smaller area of vibration, which also gives them the ability be very close to the frets(lower action) without touching them. My right hand is much more powerful and dexterous than my left, so having high tension strings with lower action on my basses feels more balanced. I'm not sure what the actual size and mass of the string have to do with sound/playability but I would like to learn.
i used thicker strings because my band tunes down , and the strings become floppy. the more mass a string has, the higher the tension it requires to achieve the same pitch as a thinner one. a thicker string should sustain longer, it would have more momentum because it heavier. doesnt mean it would sound any better. hey, try this, buy 3 "a" strings, one .75, one .85 (normal ,medium gauge)and a .95 and put all three on your bass in the e a&d spots, tune them to "a" and compare them to really find what you prefer.
I found the DDT's were still too tight for me even a full step down. Too dark, too. I use Circle K strings, they were designed for down-tuning mostly but still retain flexibility and intonation.
I have heavy flats on my Schecter Studio 5. They don't slow me down an iota. The .130 B string is AWESOME: clear, with NO flubbyness. They D & G strings also sound much thicker than the medium rounds I had previously (but that could be due to the brand or flats). No problem with bending.
Sure, there's a reason to use heavy strings.
To prove you're not a pussy!!! :bassist:
Seriously, though, I don't think you can really answer this question without trying out different gauges yourself.
I have the medium Chromes on my j bass. I also just got a new Aguilar head and Bag End cab, and I'm loving the punchy and articulate yet refined and mellow sound coming out of this instrument!
However, if I don't keep my chops up, they can be a real pain.
For instance, I play in a blues band that regularly plays 4 hour sets without a break (seriously).
If I haven't been practicing a substantial amount the week before, my hands are suffering big time.
it depends also where you place your right hand most of the time... At the bridge is very hard to "move" a string (with heavy gauges)
If you're a "chopsy" player who likes to shred and slap, bigger strings and more required energy will only slow you down. Your call. However, if you don't any clack in your tone but want lower action, use higher gauges. It's very situational, dependent on how you play.
For standard tuning, I've found little reason to go above .030 .045 .065 .085 .105 .125/.130 which I've liked tonally and dig the feel. Thicker strings would only be used for downtuning for me.
I don't usually go below .030 .040 .060 .060 .080 .100 .125, which I've found works really well on fretless.
The flip side of thick, high tension strings are the T-I Jazz Flats.
Lower tension strings evidently have a faster decay rate, i.e. "thump" compared to high tension types.
The inference is the high tension have more sustain.
I just put some DR DDT Heavy Strings on my Schecter Stiletto 5-string last night and here are my opinions on them thus far. I tune ADGCF
I love the extra tension. I don't feel it slows me down at all and it generally feels good to beat the crap out of my strings and feel like they are begging for more abuse. Also, I play with my fingers and I tremolo by using both sides of my ring and index fingers in a galloping to-and-fro manner. The heavy strings and extra tension make this a LOT clearer and percussive on the low end. Its also nice that the strings movement doesn't mess up the rhythm. It does make it a bit harder on the higher strings to do the same, but I feel I'll get used to it in time.
I also feel the strings are a bit tinny sounding, but I haven't had a chance to play on my show rig (just my crappy little practice amp). I think cutting some treble and increasing the bottom end will make the strings sound magical.
I also think the strings sound better when slap/popping. They feel like they have a more focused bounce to them since everything is tighter. You get a lot out of the fret percussion too (maybe too much, but again, my eq may fix that).
I'm pretty excited to hear what it sounds like in full motion with the rest of my band. For me, where it sits in the mix and how it conveys live is the ultimate test.
On a side note, It did seem to bend the neck a bit because of the extra tension, but I tightened the truss rod only a quarter turn which helped. I'm gonna let the strings marinate for a while, and if I still like them, I'll have my bass set up professionally.
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