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should i change strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by IM BLACK, May 29, 2012.

  1. hi yall
    im new to upright and as of now i am playing on some factory steel strings
    the problem is that i am getting blisters on my picking hand
    the strings are not as loose as i would like and i was wondering if anyone could recommend me some better strings/technique?
  2. More info needed here.
    Has your bass been setup by a luthier? The strings may be too high.
    Basses, especially lower end, usually come with crap shipping strings, which may be your problem.
    Do you have a teacher? I feel it's very important to have a good teacher.... I played for two years before getting a teacher and my finger joints are now deformed from using incorrect technique for those two years.
  3. thanks for the reply
    no it hasent been set up
    i dont know too much about upright setup but the strings are low
    (i have played other basses with super-high action)
    the strings arent too cool but i was looking into some gut or synthetic gut but the cost is too much just to try....i do not have a teacher and i was wondering also if my techneque was the prob
    do you know of any websites that might help ehter if those problems?
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I love strings. Some would say addicted to them. They can make a huge difference in your sound, your bass, your playing. We need more information on your instrument and setup.

    That said, when you first start playing, you're going to get wicked blisters that make you want to die. Work through it, work around it, stick with it and it will pass....not quickly though, sorry.
  5. the blisters are fine...i ether use bandaids or superglue or duct tape to help!
    is there a good site (in english) that has sound clips of diffrent strings?
  6. Chris Symer

    Chris Symer

    Dec 13, 2009
    Sound clips in English? That's kinda funny!
  7. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Find. A. Teacher.
  8. As soon as everyone starts playing, you get blisters and thumb cramps, no matter how much electric bass you've been playing before. Just don't try any four finger fingerings (1st 2nd and third and fourth together is a nice approach as your fourth finger could use some help), keep your fingers curved to get better strength. Pluck the bass with your entire fingers, like the jazzers do, and after a while, you'll be allright.
  9. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Reminds me of my first week with my bass. The guy I bought it from demonstrated it, pizz and arco. I took the bass home, and
    "plunked" away for a hour. Raised a giant blister on the side of my right index finger. Who knew I should have either cleaned the rosin off, or struck the strings in a different place! :crying: I couldn't touch it again for a week ... :D
  10. William Hoffman

    William Hoffman Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2009
    Lodi, California
    Hi Im Black!

    It's so refreshing to read a thread like this. I remember feeling like you do..

    You say you need "better strings / technique..." Well, which is it? different strings or a more developed technique you want?

    One thing is for sure: It is easy to think new strings would make you sound better and play with ease... :) Ray Brown could pick up any bass with any strings on them and ... sound just like Ray Brown! The sound comes from within the bassist, the old saying. While I'm not saying strings don't matter, you might buy new strings only to find they don't change your sound much. Your main issue seems to be getting used to the beating your hands take while learning to play. Blisters is something we all have to go through, like they say.

    My take would be: Stick with the strings you have and try to work with them to get your hands and calluses in shape and your playing technique in form. Getting a teacher ought to be first on your list. But eventually you may want to try a lighter-tension set of strings, and maybe you can find some used here on TB at a price you like. Velvet Animas, some of the Innovation sets, a set of used guts... You might even like the old standards, Spiro Weichs, also good used because they last and last. Just some suggestions.
  11. ricobasso


    Jan 18, 2007
    UK, South East
    Sounds like you have strong idea of what tension strings you want (based on BG playing?). I too wanted loose strings when I was starting off with slap. I was never going to be playing every day to keep the callouses up, so, I ended up with Efrano gut for slap on my 3/4 double bass and Obligato for pizz and arco on my EUB. If your budget is limited you could buy a high C string and use it as a G, moving the original G, D and A down a string.
    Look out for second hand strings. You have to try for yourself. No one can tell you what will definitely work best for you.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    It is extremely difficult to be self taught on the Double Bass. You really do need a teacher. One that can help you with technique, posture, sound projection, etc. There isn't any internet site that will teach you what you want as you can't get feedback. A lot of the sound you get comes from your hands.
  13. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    Money spent on strings and time spent watching other people on the web would be better spent on lessons. Get a few lessons and decide whether you want to work for it. Playing the DB is somewhat like riding a tall unicycle with a bad leg and poor balance. It takes near total dedication and a lot of work but can be very rewarding for those who do it. Many don't want to do the work and that's OK.

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