1/10 double bass strings on cello

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by torquil, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. torquil


    Dec 1, 2008

    I'm playing a cello tuned in EADG and I find it a bit difficult to get hold of appropriate strings. One alternative is the d'Addario H550 which is made just for this purpose. But I was wondering if strings for 1/10 double bass would also work, since the scale lengths are almost the same (both around 70cm) and it is also tuned to EADG.

    But is the 1/10 double bass tuned to the same range as a big double bass? I was hoping that it was perhaps tuned an octave above, like my cello.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Short-scale bass guitar strings? Thomastik Jazz Flats* are really nice strings for EB. We all know about Thomastik around here, but I don't know how well they would work on a cello.

    I imagine that they would sound in the cello range (an octave higher than bass).

    Let us know what you come up with.

    *Just a sample page, which shows the available options.
  3. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    The D'Addario Helicore 4ths tuning set is definitely the way to go. Several years ago I tried both 10th scale Spirocores and 30" scale bass guitar strings and both were much too heavy....especially the Spiros which I believe are intended to be tuned to the same octave as a 3/4 bass.
  4. torquil


    Dec 1, 2008
    Electric bass sounds in the same range as a double bass, i.e. the E-string is 41Hz. The lowest note on a traditional cello is the lowest C that you can play on a bass, i.e. the lowest C on the A-string of the bass, i.e. 65Hz . When I want to tune my cello in EADG, its E will be at 82Hz like guitar, so I will forego the lowest minor third of range of the traditional cello.

    I have tried using the upper four string of a six-string bass flatwound set, and then tune them to fourths on the cello. But the problem was that the bow was not able to properly grip the strings. I'm afraid this will happen with most strings that are not made for bowing.

    Right now I'm doing this (from low to high):

    My E-string is a cello G-string (heavy type), tuned down a minor third.
    My A-string is a cello G-string (light type), that is tuned up a major second
    My D-string is a cello D-string (medium type)
    My G-string is a cello A-string (heavy type), tuned down a major second.

    I'm not dead set on EADG, but I want fourths.
  5. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    Do keep in mind that cellos are made for lower tension strings in general then any form of double bass and you could break the poor thing. I would be better to try with a 1/8 size or bass guitar A string and tune down to E just to see how he top settles.
  6. torquil


    Dec 1, 2008
    Thanks. I have always calculated the string tensions when I have experimented, in order to avoid disasters. Anyway, I gave this idea up. I've decided to continue to play the cello in standard fifths tuning.