String advice

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Amphetachronism, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. Hey there. I'm a pretty new bassist, only a few months experience behind me. I've been playing with the same Yamaha stock strings since I bought my bass (A four-string RBX-270, if it matters).

    However, I forsee an extended period of intensive playing starting around September (I have enrolled on a year long music course). So, before I start, I plan on jazzing up my rig a bit. I've quickly realised that whatever strings I have on now are, to be blunt, a load of crap. They're roundwounds that look like they've been left in a puddle of stagnant water for a month before they were strung onto my bass. They're killing my frets, and are very uncomfortable to play on, even on my pretty tough hands.

    So I need some new strings. I play all manner of music - everything from heavy metal,to punk, soft rock, blues and funk. My heart will always belong to R.E.M. and Radioheads music, though.
    When I begin my music course, I have no doubt I'll be exposed to even more styles of playing. So, I need strings to suit. I like a good deep bassy sound, but with a decent amount of punch - I like to feel the bass as well as hear it. I usually play fingerstyle, though I use a pick quite often, and even my thumb. I sometimes downtune, though usually not more than dropped-D. I don't really like the sound of slapping so I don't do it often.

    Any suggestions for a set of adaptable, durable strings that would suit my needs and style? I know this has probably been asked dozens of times, and I've been really long-winded about it, but I'd like to think people appreciate more info than "I want new strings, what do you suggest?". Oh, and I really need advice, too. :D
  2. Bruce B

    Bruce B

    Sep 2, 2004
    Try D'Addario EXL170. Or another XL set if you don't like that size. Those are .045, .065, .080, .100. Of course you'll need to try different strings to find what you really like. I think those are suited to a bit of everything which is what it sounds like you need.
  3. Thanks for the reply. I don't know much about string sizes, but don't smaller gauged strings have a more treble-ish sound?
  4. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    No, lighter strings actually tend to have a more "musical" or "pretty" sound, while heavier ones have more impact and "ring". .45-.105 is fairly standard and is a good place to start.

    At this point for you, the best strings are whatever you can find cheap so you'll change them more often!