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1/4 size bass string advice needed

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by bassist6, Oct 25, 2009.


  1. bassist6

    bassist6

    May 20, 2007
    Carlsbad, CA
    Hi,
    I'm looking for advice on (new?) strings for my son. He currently plays a 1/4 size bass with 1.5 year old Helicore strings. He plays in an orchestra a few hours per week, and a jazz band once per week - so mostly arco, with some jazz pizzicato. He practices about an hour a day. In a few months he is going to play his first concerto with the youth orchestra, and it necessitates solo tuning. It is not easy to play with those Helicores tuned for solo playing - they are tight! Should he get new strings that would work better for practicing the solo? Does he need special "solo" strings? What do others do? He will need to practice this solo concerto for a bit every day until the concert, in addition to his other stuff. Thanks so much!
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    You need to find out if there is a solo string made for 1/4 size basses. Do that by calling one of the advertisers on this site. If they are available, your son can tune them to regular orchestra pitch when necessary. A steel core string might take the change in tuning better than a nylon core over the long run.

    Another alternative is to have the bass part transcribed for orchestra tuning. Then he wouldn't have to change his tuning at all.
     
  3. I don't think you'll find any 1/4 size bass string made for solo tuning.
    There's simply no market for these products.
    Best alternative is what Eric suggested.
     
  4. bassist6

    bassist6

    May 20, 2007
    Carlsbad, CA
    Thank you both for your replies! I did call Gollihur and Lemur and it looks like they don't make 1/4 size solo strings. The smallest are 1/2. We will try the other option - transposing to orchestral tuning. Thanks so much!
     
  5. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    I would try the 1/2 size strings before going to all the trouble of transposing parts. The difference in string length is about 3 inches, so you'll have to do some extra winding at the peg or cut the strings a bit at the wiry starter part. Why wouldn't this work?
     
  6. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    The 1/2 size strings might have been designed with too much mass for the shorter string length?
     
  7. neilG

    neilG

    Jun 15, 2003
    Ventura, CA
    I took a really quick look at the tensions for D'Addario Prelude Orch. strings and they show about a 9% difference in tension between their 1/2 and 1/4 size strings. I don't think that represents a huge difference in gauge, but going from longer to shorter, wouldn't that make the strings need less tension for the same string?
     
  8. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007

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