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Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by LimpyBizkit397, May 5, 2001.

  1. What is the difference between a heavy gauge and a light gauge? Also what one would be better for an Ernie Ball? And another question what's the difference between flatwound and roundwound and again which one would be better for an Ernie Ball???
  2. 1.) A heavy gauge is a thicker string than a lighter gauge! :p! Well, really, the heavy gauge strings have a bit deeper and rounder sound, but thinner gague strings are easier on the fingers than heavies, and are also easier to fret and slide IMHO.

    2.) You ask what is better for an ernie ball, I assume u mean a Stingray? Well, if you are going to be doing lots of slap-work i reccomend a lighter gauge, because they have less tension and are less abusive on the hands. But if you are playing with a pick, i would reccomend a heavier gague, due to higher string tension.

    3.) The difference between flat and roundwound strings is that the core of roundwounds are wound with a thin round wire, hence the name. Flatwounds have the same core (usually) as roundwounds but instead of being wound with a wire, they are wound with a flat ribbon. Flats are very smooth, and nice feeling. Rounds are rougher and make that "Whizz" sound when u slide on em. (u know what im talking about!) Flats are very thumpy, and not bright at all. They are great for motown type music, and terriffc for reggae. Rounds are the "norm" i guess, the most common type. They are much brighter, great for all types of music really, rock, slap, funk, etc.... I like both types of strings, depending on what I'm playing. Roundwounds are more versatile IMO, and for your Stingray (i'm assuming), i'd reccomend Roundwound strings, although you should at sometime just try flats for fun, although rounds are more bright and versatile.

    *whew* That was my longest post ever. Hehehe.:rolleyes:
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Getting the Ernie Balls for the pretty package, eh?
  4. berserk


    Aug 24, 2000
    Parma, Ohio
    Okay there is one other important thing you should know about string gauge. When you use heavier strings, because they are under higher tension to achieve the same notes, you can tune it down more easily without getting floppiness or giving up the tone.
    For instance, often if playing in drop-D tuning the strings are all heavier or the E string is heavier than the rest. A good rule of thumb is that every .005 gauge that you go up you can drop one more half step in tuning, without comprimising tone. I personally string one of my 4 strings with GHS Heavy Bass Boomers, the gauges range from 115-55. I do that for versatility in tuning. I can tune the bass basically any way i want. I have even taken it down to BEAD or five string tuning. The strings also work very well for playing with a pick or just for general punchability because they are so high in tension. I actually find them easier to play than light strings because you dont have to attack the strings as hard as you do light strings. In my experience heavy strings also seem to last longer without breaking if you play intensely like I do.
    Its all a matter of personal preference though. I advise you try out different gauges if you can and see what you like the best.
    Also one important thing to figure out when buying strings is whether to get steel or nickel wound strings. Steel is harder on the fingertips than nickel but it gives more volume and a higher tension, at least in my experience. Also the style of music you play is gonna make a big difference on what you string the bass with. If I had an Ernie Ball I would probably string it with steel strings with gauges from 105-45, but I play primarily rock music. To each his own.

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