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Really need help on my first string purchase.

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Irie01, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    I am very new to the upright bass and I want to get new strings. A luthier that worked on my bass recommended the helicore hybrids medium guage.A very big concern for me is the tension and playability of the string.I have very small fingers and right now I am struggling with the current strings on my bass.It is very difficult to press down a lot and I need something that will be easier on my fingers to play.I am in college and I play classical as well as jazz so I need a set that will do well with both.I think that is why the hybrids were recommended to me.I have read and searched many posts but honestly, the more I read, the more confusing it gets.A brief explanation of the gauge system would also be very helpful so I can see which may be best for my fingers.I am willing to sacrifice some sound in order to be more comfortable playing.
  2. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I just went through the dilemma of wanting to try out new strings and not knowing what to do. I have been using Spirocores and, yes, they are easy on the fingers, and the Spirocore Weich's are even smoother and have a little less tension than the regular Spirocore's. But, I wanted something that worked better for bowing. My teacher uses Heliocore orchestral for both jazz pizz and classical, but is more of a jazz player. So I thought I would try the Helicore orchestrals. I love them for bowing, but they are difficult for playing piz because of the dampening effect. But, on my teacher's bass, they sound fabulous on piz and are very playable. Depends on the bass.

    I think strings are a lot of trial and error. What sounds good on my bass may not work for yours. And, it too bad, because its about $100 a pop for strings. I think its going to be a little trial and error for you. What is more important: Bowing or piz? A guy I play with in orchestra uses Spirocores for orchestral and jazz.

    Also, if you are having difficulty even pressing down on the strings, is it the strings or is there are problem with the bass set up. Do you really need new strings? My bass was sounding just awful at one time, and I thought I needed new strings. I didn't. I needed the bridge adjusted. That's all and I had those strings for quite awhile. I don't quite get what the nature of the problem is about pressing down and I am not sure if different strings would solve that problem. What does your luthier say about that?

    Anyway, my two cents and I think I raised more questions than I answered, but there are some very helpful threads here on strings and people here more expert than I am.
  3. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    I understand what you are saying.Thank you for the input.I do not want new strings because it is tough on my fingers though.I need new strings because it has been over two years without changing them and I have no clue what strings are on there now.As far as my set up, I have had the nut filed down and the bridge adjuster is as low as it goes.It just seems as if there is a lot of tension in the strings.Regardless of what brand of string I go with, I was curious as to how the string gauge effects the tension in the strings as well as some recommendations from you guys.Oh, I bow and play pizzacto about equally right now.
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    An idea would be to get you and your bass to your luthier, plink around on some of the basses there and see if you can find one that plays the way that you want. After that, there are generally some string s laying around the shop, and with the doctor and a pile of strings you should be able to clear up what you need in an hour or two -- short of major repair being done.
  5. Tell us the silk colours at the ball-end (tailpiece) and peg-end and we should be able to tell you what they are.
  6. Yep, many different people, different ideas, ...

    First, see a luthier with your bass.
    Secondly, you want an hybrid string that is soft on the hands. Obligato, Superflexible, Spirocore weich, Corelli TX. The first two are darker.
  7. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    The color of the strings on now is a light blue at each ends.Does that suggest that the Helicore Hybrid is not too soft on the hands?
  8. Light blue at both ends could indicate Superflexibles, which were suggested by Crocau.
    They're not high tension strings.
    Since you're new to upright, I think it's normal to feel the strings stiff at first.
    We often make the mistake of putting too much pressure than necessary when new to the upright.
    Do you have a teacher?
    Give you some time to get used to the feel, and, first of all, try to play as relax as you can.
  9. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    Well, I just ordered a set of Obligatos from Lemurmusic. Being that this is my first string purchase and I plan on making many more,I figured I must learn as I go and see what works best for me and my bass.There also seems to be a lot of praise for the Obligatos around here so I would like top try for myself.Thank you for everyone's opinions and insight.