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guitar strings on bass

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by thunder child, Aug 6, 2000.


  1. thunder child

    thunder child

    Feb 14, 2000
    If this seems like a dumb question feel free to berate me.......

    I was wondering if it's possible to put guitar strings on my bass so that I can experiment with some higher notes.....

    Can I do this? Would I be able to find guitar strings long enough? What would happen?

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  2. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Hey, Thunderchild. Great question.

    Instead of Guitar strings which might be too short and/or too wimpy, get some piccolo bass strings. I have some on my Steinberger fretless and it's a blast. It's also fun to explore different tunings with them. For more info on that go ask Michael Manring. He uses Picollo strings on one of his hyperbasses and it's wild!


    Will C.:cool:
     
  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    many manufacturers offer lighter gauge bass strings that would work well for tuning higher. guitar strings will probably not be long enough to use on a bass.

    on my 7 and 8 strings, the smallest string that i use is a .022 for a high e (2 octaves above the regular 4 string e). the one problem with these lighter gauge strings is that your corner music store probably won't carry them. you might have to get them online.
     
  4. thunder child

    thunder child

    Feb 14, 2000
    For the price of ONE fancy bass string I could get a WHOLE SET of guitar strings ..... and money is an issue here ..... are you sure guitar strings are not an option?

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  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, there's one way to find out - go get some guitar strings and try it out. i think you'll find that the guitar strings are too short to reach, - guitars have about 7 or 8 inches less of scale length than basses.

    what kind of bass do you have?

    another problem with using such small strings like in a guitar set is that your nut is going to be cut too deeply, and the strings are going to buzz pretty bad.

    still though, experiment, try it out. that's the only way to be sure.

     
  6. thunder child

    thunder child

    Feb 14, 2000
    John, you mentioned that the nut would be cut too big for the strings ..... what if I were to pad it up with some tape or something ..... maybe tape directly onto the string?

    I'm asking about this here 'cause I don't wanna waste money buying strings that I can't use.

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  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    one of the things i used to do, when i wanted to use lighter gauge strings than my nut would allow, was take the eraser-holder off of a pencil, you know that metal collar? i would flatten it with pliers, then cut a piece and make a small triangular sleeve around the string, where it went over the nut. this would add size to the string and let it sit fairly snugly in the nut groove. it's also cheap. give it a try.

    good luck
     
  8. thunder child

    thunder child

    Feb 14, 2000
    thanks John!

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