Steel strings - tension

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Gregmak, Feb 16, 2014.


  1. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I have been playing for about 2 months now with Thomastik Spirocore mittels 4/4 size as I play on a 4/4 bass. I come from gut strings, and I'm having some difficulty with the higher tension. I know steel have more tension but it feels like there is way too much tension then what it should be.

    I played on my teachers bass who also has the same strings but 3/4 and the tension was not like mine. I was much more comfortable on his bass. Maybe it's just my bass? Is there any other string you recommend with less tension? The thing is I'm happy with the spirocore's cause they're loud, even though they still don't cut through like gut strings in a jazz setting.

    Is it possible to buy solo strings and tune them normally E-A-D-G? Or would there be not enough tension to be able to play?

    Thanks for any help in advance!

    Greg
  2. DoubleMIDI

    DoubleMIDI

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
    Get the S42W Spirocore 4/4 Weich set.
    The 4/4 solo strings in orchestra tuning might have too less tension.

    Every bass is different, so what works well on your teachers bass might not work on yours. Keep the Spiro Mittel set you have now, play on the Weich set until you have enough power in your hands so that they feel weak and maybe come back to the Mittel set (probably string by string beginning with the E).

    If you are happier with gut, use gut. Spiros are very different from gut and they need some time until they are played in. In case of Spiro Mittel this can take several weeks or months.

    You can also try 3/4 solo Spiros in orchestra tuning, but the strings might be a bit short (at least on a 5-string) and the tension on the lower strings is less compared to the upper ones.
  3. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City area
    Disclosures:
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    What is the playing string length on your bass? String heights and the amount of scoop in the fingerboard are significant factors too.
  4. Fr3nch

    Fr3nch

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    You could also buy a High-C string and bump the set you have.
  5. DoubleMIDI

    DoubleMIDI

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Location:
    Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
    Or you can buy some fishing line for your strings...

    Seriously, you might be able to pluck a high C tuned to G, but the tension is much too low to bow it. And even plucked you won't be very happy. Downtuned solo Spiros should be enough.
  6. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Thanks for the replies guys. I think my string length is 43 on my bass but I will check to make sure. It's a strangely big bass. I don't know about the scoop. Do I measure that in the middle of the fingerboard?

    I love gut but it's so hot and dry here, I keep snapping the damn strings every 3-4 months.
    It's too expensive to keep up.
  7. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    You might try Velvet Blues. Big, resonant sound (on my bass), somewhere between wound gut and steel feel wise, and the lowest price Velvets, AFAIK.
  8. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Hi Eric I heard about these strings. How do they bow?
  9. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    Not the easiest but can be done. If you are playing classical music, I'd say not good.
  10. Gregmak

    Gregmak

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Thanks for the info!

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