Lowest Gauge Strings available? - Help!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Amonkey, Aug 9, 2013.


  1. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    (I am totally new to basses, so forgive me if I get the terminology wrong)

    So I got a bass earlier today and got some strings to replace the old ones. I have no idea what gauge they are.
    I bought .45-100 gauge strings, attempted to put the string in the tuner. It didn't fit. I eventually forced it in, and broke it. My bass guitar is a very small bass.

    my question is, do I need to buy specific strings or did I just mess something up? Any help at all would be appreciated.
  2. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    That is odd... Are you sure you ended up w/ a bass and not a guitar? heh
    But seriously, what bass is it?
  3. unclebass

    unclebass

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Southwest Louisiana
    Measure the distance between the tail where the strings mount in the bridge and the nut on the neck. This will tell you the scale length strings you need for this bass. You likely have a 30" or 32" scale bass and were installing 34" scale strings. Just a guess, your trouble was with the E string?
  4. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Well, there was FOUR strings on it, some I'm ASSUMING.

    But in all seriousness, yeah, I'm quite sure. It's an off brand. Am I allowed to post pictures, and how? Just joined today.

    It's a Des Laurier, if that means anything. Very small. Didn't find a model number

    Yep. I really want to avoid spending 30 bucks on strings though. I've already wasted about 20 on the strings and I'm very frustrated.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    What kind of tuner? Is it an eyelet like a guitar or is it a bass tuner, meaning it has a slot across it with a hole in the middle. If it is the latter you should be putting the string into the hole and bending it out of the slot to make a 90 degree bend and start wrapping.
  6. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    I have absolutely no clue. My guitar has holes in it's tuners, these tuners are almost cut straight down the middle. I couldn't even get the E string in w/o a flathead screwdriver.

    Once again, sorry, this was my first foray into basses and I have no clue what i'm doing.
  7. Jay Q

    Jay Q Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Yes, and you probably should since it'll make it easier to help. That said, if you bought it at a brick-and-mortar store, can you go back and ask them for help? If you tell 'em you're a newbie, most stores will put the strings on and explain/show basic setup stuff to you.
  8. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Bought it off a guy on craigslist in a real shady neighborhood. Someone tried to sell me drugs while I was there. I think. It was creepy and I really don't wanna go back.

    I'm trying to figure out pictures, they'll be up as soon as possible.
    THanks for all the help you guys!

    EDIT: So once again, I am running into trouble due to my ineptness. I checked out some other threads and I can't see any pictures!
  9. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    Yikes. Don't need to use screwdrivers.
    I'm leaning towards UncleBass's theory that it's short scale. I like short scales, but you'll need short strings. Was there a narrower part of the string nearer the end?
    Do the other strings fit?

    You should try measuring your bass, but rather than his method, measure from the nut to the 12th fret(the fret on the far side from the nut of the 2 vertical dots). Double that and it will likely be 30", 32", or 34". 34" is normal or "long" scale. 32" is medium scale, and 30" is short. I generally use D'addario strings and they make most of their stuff in short scale lengths.
  10. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    The bass.
    [​IMG]



    This is the headstock, so you can see the tuners:
    [​IMG]



    Okay, thanks a lot! Hopefully I haven't annoyed any of you yet.
  11. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Dude, I must be doing something wrong, because i am getting 13 inches, meaning a 26 inch bass.

    from top to bottom it measures 35 1/2 inches.
  12. mrbell321

    mrbell321

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    It's possible 26 isn't unheard of, but it is very short. And it looks short from the picture. I think it's pretty cool, actually.
    I don't know what strings would fit but if you can find out what goes on an ibanez mikro(28" scale, I think) that might be a good bet. Or there was a thread on here just the other day about putting new ends on the bridge side, but that'a bit of work.
  13. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Okay, so I googled that, came up with this:
    http://www.amazon.com/DAddario-EXL170S-Nickel-Guitar-Strings/dp/B000EEL79A

    What i don't get is that I broke a 100 e string trying to put it in this bass (I'm sure they were long neck) because it was too thick. Is there a difference in thickness between the long and short scale strings?

    I think I should replace the tuners, too...
  14. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    No, The difference is in the END of the string. Particularly E, but also a bit for A, and generally not for D or G strings, there will be a nut-bridge gauge(there's probably a technical term, but I don't know it) and there is the tuning machine wrapping gauge. They never tell you what the wrapping gauge is, but it's narrower than the nut-bridge gauge and you can sometimes find how LONG that part of the string is. That's the important part. For example, I know my D'addario short scale tapewounds have about 31.5" of nut-bridge gauge which is enough to go over the bridge and and through body of my bass and over the nut. Then the silk starts and the string narrows so that it can be wrapped around the tuner.
  15. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    If you want to replace the tuners, that's fine, but it probably wont' fix the problem. I don't think I could fit 105 gauge(the size of my E string) through my tuner. I can fit the narrower wrapping portion through tho.
    Also, trying to wrap the full gauge portion of the string will probably end up in a broken string. That heavy of string isn't meant to bend that way.
  16. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    So those strings should work for me? Ah, that's not so bad then.
    Stupid question time: I have 3 extra strings that aren't broken, can I use them at all?

    Any specific way I should go about stringing it? Can you direct me to a thread or site?

    And finally, any recommendations (once I get it strung) how i should go about learning? A friend told me to learn the rudiments first, another friend told me to just learn songs.

    Thanks a lot for your help, sir. I appreciate it.
  17. unclebass

    unclebass

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Location:
    Southwest Louisiana
    VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! On the picture you have showing the entire bass, I noticed that you have the E and A strings wrapped the wrong way around the tuners. The strings should follow as straight a path as possible so as not to put too much lateral pressure on the nut. As it sits in the picture, one good pull on the E string and the edge of the nut will break off.
  18. Amonkey

    Amonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    That was how I got it. Glad I only fiddled with it a little, then!
    What I will probably do is take it to guitar center and watch them put strings on - what I should've done in the first place.
  19. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    Good eye, unclebass. I didn't even notice that.
    Yeah, the strings should go to the inside of the tuners. As for how to string, there's a ton of tutorials and videos around. I didn't watch this all the way through, but it looked decent...

    He does say "don't take all the strings off all at once, that can damage the neck". Probably not BAD advice because it keeps things organized, but I think the concern is a load of crap. You're not going to damage the neck by taking all the strings off. Nope. Nu-uh. Now I fully expect to get 100 people on here saying I'm wrong, but I take strings off all the time and it's never ever a problem. Hell, some basses require removing the neck on a somewhat regular basis.

    ANyway, about learning, you're in the right place. Get on down to the technique and general instructions section. Good info there.
    Also, check out scottsbasslessons.com and studybass.com

    Trying to play a whole song can be very frustrating at first and might cause you to give up altogether, so I think a little theory and some very simple songs(like mary had a little lamb) are good for a beginner. A little theory, is good so as not to be overwhelmed and it can put things into context for you. A few easy things to keep you moving. And then you can find your own way.
  20. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    It's not a bad idea to have GC do the strings, but that video should tell you 90% of what you need and you can do it yourself.

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