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Newbie - Choosing strings?

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by MommyThrice, Mar 31, 2009.


  1. MommyThrice

    MommyThrice

    Mar 31, 2009
    My son has been playing electric bass for awhile, and we finally bought a double bass. I don't know where to start with strings. We (family band) play country, gospel, and bluegrass. I think the DB will be mostly bluegrass, and he'll continue with electric for country & gospel. So, my question - what strings do ya'll use for bluegrass? Should I consider something different until his fingers get used to plucking an acoustic?

    Thanks,
    Tracie/Mom/Mandolin
     
  2. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    What's on the bass now? How are they for what you are doing?

    There is no simple answer to this question.
     
  3. MommyThrice

    MommyThrice

    Mar 31, 2009
    It came with Innovation Super Silvers. The E is unraveling. I can replace it for $50, which is cheaper than an entire set. However, they are described as jazz strings. Are they appropriate for bluegrass? The guy I bought it from said they are difficult to bow. I doubt he'll do much of that, but we do have one or two pieces where bowing would be nice. Obviously, pizz is more important to us.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Those are not usually the string of choice for Jazz players although some do use them. Bluegrass players use those more frequently.

    Perhaps shortly a bluegrass player could advise on strings. Not my area.
     
  5. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
  6. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Those are not jazz strings, they are pretty basic bluegrass strings.

    If you're new to DB I would recommend that you stay with the Super Silvers until you have a chance to get to know the bass and the player learns how to produce tone.

    Through festival season take the opportunity to try other people's basses and take note of their string choices and how they sound/feel. That way you'll have an idea of what you want on your own instrument. :)
     
  7. MommyThrice

    MommyThrice

    Mar 31, 2009
    Thanks for all the input. I guess we'll just keep using these for now.
     
  8. MommyThrice - check your PM !!
     
  9. Mommy,

    You have opened Pandora's Box. The search for strings will never end! If you let us know what part of the country you're in, someone might be able to direct you to a shop where your bass player can try many different sets of strings.

    For bluegrass, I love the combination of guts on the D and G and Velvet Garbos on the E and A. Others swear by the Silvers and others like Spiros. It's a wide open field.

    Good luck with experimenting. But as others have said, I'd replace the E for now and stick with the Silvers. There will be plenty of time to experiment.
     
  10. Mommy,

    Jake gave you some good advice. The Super Silvers are a popular bluegrass string. I use another string from the same company, called their Rockabilly set. I have been pleased with it. At festivals, etc., you are likely to find a lot of basses with Supernils. Some folks swear by them, others swear at them. They are very economical. I started out with them. But, I quickly switched to something else. Trying out different bass strings is a journey. Enjoy it!
     
  11. bluegrasscat

    bluegrasscat

    Aug 9, 2006
    SoCal
    What Jake D said is solid!! just play them until he can decide what he needs! cause bass strings are not cheap to keep try new ones!!

    i use the innovation silver slaps and i luv'em.. but then sometimes, i would like to mess with the bow on occasion (rare) but silvers wont let me do that at all! but they are a joy to play!!

    i sometimes think about about changing strings, but i just cant!! hehe

    my 2 cent.. good luck!
     
  12. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    Be sure to have a luthier check the nut and bridge for a possible cause of the winding breakage on the E string.
     

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