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Beginner's questions to changing strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Brobidus, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Brobidus


    Apr 30, 2010
    Alright so.. I'm an absolute beginner and I've been searching the net for some answers to changing strings but sadly I haven't been able to find a thing.
    I bought a rather cheap P-bass to learn to play the bass and I think it's time to change the strings. Only problem is I don't know the dimensions for my strings and the company that made my guitar doesn't make strings.
    My question is: Does it matter what dimensions the strings have, so can i just buy any strings there are out there and use them with my bass, or is it all limited somehow?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    I think string size is a matter of personal preference. I'm pretty sure you can use any size strings on a bass as long as they match. As long as you use the strings from the same pack and don't mix and match you should be okay. I'm not 100% sure. I'm sure other people will give you better advice.
  3. MrWalker


    Apr 3, 2002
    String gauge is a personal preference,as is the brand. The most common gauges are .040 - .100 or .045 - .105. the most common type of strings is the round wound one. any music store will have such sets in stock. Usually you will change the strings when they sound dull and dead.

    You might want to bring the entire bass to the store, maybe they will help and show you how to change them best, and gone your bass a good setup at the same time.
  4. Brobidus


    Apr 30, 2010
    Alright so for example:
    If my Guitar is a Rocktile Bass.. The G-String about 1mm, the E-String around 2 (or so i measured), would it be ok if I bought Fender Strings 0.45mm - 1.05?
    Or does that not work? :meh:
  5. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    Your going to change all 4 (or 5) strings at the same time. So what you have on your bass now shouldn't matter. I would do what MrWalker said and just take the whole thing to your local guitar store and tell them you want to get new strings. I'm sure they'll take good care of you and your bass. Cheers
  6. Brobidus


    Apr 30, 2010
    Great thanks for all the wonderful answers then :)
  7. pica

    pica Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2009
    Hope it helps you. Good Luck.
  8. PortugalWillie


    Jul 17, 2009
    String size is personal preference. Generally strings are referred to by the smallest string size. For example if I was buying the .40-.100, I would go up to the person in front of the counter and say, "Hey man, can I get a set of bass strings in 40s" or something a long those lines. He will then ask you what brand and respond with "whatever is cheapest" I figure since you're new, you probably don't great strings, just something to get the job done. You can put any strings on your bass and you CAN mix and match if it suits you best. But for now, if I were you, I would go with a cheap set of 40s. They'll be lighter and a little better (IMO) for a bassist learning.
  9. Brobidus


    Apr 30, 2010
    Only problem is that everything in a store is a little overpriced compared to online shopping :S
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Note that the terminology is in thousandths of an inch, not milimeters. That "45-105" means 0.045" for the G string to 0.105" for the E string.

  11. PortugalWillie


    Jul 17, 2009
    You can buy online. Either way my point remains, buy whatever string size you prefer. I tell my bass students to go with the lighter when they're learning and once they play a little, if they want to experiment with changing, that is cool.
  12. hoopskidoodle


    May 1, 2010
    Go to Home Depot, or any hardware store I suppose, and buy a caliper. I got the digital kind for about $25 bucks. With calipers you can measure the strings, in millimeters, fractions or decimal inches. Once you have calipers, you will find I thousand uses for them... it.

    Just yesterday, I wanted to buy a bone saddle blank for my acoustic bass, but I didn't know if the ones a well known guitar tools website were large enough. I got out the caliper(s)--I don't know why I want to put an s on caliper, even those it's a single tool--and got the exact measurements of the saddle. A few weeks ago, I did the same thing in order to make sure that the Schaller roller bridge I was about to order would fit on my guitar without modifications to either...

    That's my $0.02.
  13. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    45-105 and 45-102 is also fairly commonly used. Main thing is to have at least 2 and max of 4 full winds of string around the post. And to snug each wind up against the previous one as you go. Is best to change strings one at a time. And tune up as you go. When all done, do little retune as needed. I find it helps strings settle in if you tune then a half to full step high then back down to correct pitch.

    When all done, look down the neck from body end. Does neck look either slightly bowed backward or upward? If it doesnt look allmost dead flat straight or just a hint of upward bow. then truss rod tweak is called for. Its not uncommon when changing brands even if same gauge, to need to do small truss rod adjustment. Now is also a good time to adjust bridge saddles for lower action if wanting that btw.

    If you know a guitar or bass player, ask then to help guide you thru doing string change and action setup. So you loearn to do your own. Which will allways allways end up giving you better for you action setup, then anyone else can give it.

    Basic suggestion. Buy 45-105 gauge set in the $16-$20 a set range. Roudwounds. Whichever is least expensive at local store among name brands. GHS, Ernie Ball, Rotosound, Daddario, Fender. As 5 of these name brands. Annd ask a bass playing friend to help you change the strings and do basic action setup with you. If no friends who no how. Ask local store tech how much he'd charge to help you learn to change strings and do basic action adjustment.

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