String gauge and hand size relationship

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Irie01, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Irie01


    Jan 22, 2002
    I have been struggling with the doublebass ever since I started.My problem is that I have very small fingers. I have my set up where my action is pretty low and that really helps.I have been using obligatos now for a few months. Stanley Clarke has come up in a couple conversations lately and the people all mentioned the same thing...Stanley uses very thin strings and he has a large hands.Their point being that this allows him to play easier.Whether it is true or not, it still makes sense to me.I get quite discouraged because of what I put my hands through to play upright and I am much more comfortable playing electric but I do not want to give up.I like the obligatos feel and sound but I want to try the D'addiro helicores next.I play jazz and I also bow.Would it be easier on me to get a lighter gauge string to be more compatible with my hands?
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Stanley uses thin Strings?.. That's news to me. He used to use A,E Sprio-red and G,D, Eudoxa Steel(orig Flat chrome).

    He plays REAL Hard. He was at my shop recently trying out a few Basses. Med. Strings are what I have always known him to use and we know each other for 35 years.

    Now as far as playability, Strings and string height are just 2 of the factors. Bridge arch, string spacing at both nut and bridge. Fingerboard radius and scoop. Nut radius and height. Neck depth, Fingerboard thickness, Neck wood stiffness-Resistance, Etc..

    All these factors make the response a pleasant one or not. Oh, and add the quality of the Bass and it's resonance too because that matters as well. If you have to fight each note, there's no fun in it.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    A couple of things:

    Fill out your profile.

    Give us some measurements. String lenght, widest span between fingertips of first finger and pinky, from the heel of your hand to the tip of your middle finger, how tall you are, how fat you are, etc.

    Do you have a teacher?
  4. I think you will find that the Helicores are a fairly easy string to play, and work OK for both arco and pizz. They have more of a gut sound than a modern jazz sound for pizz however. I know several people who have fairly short fingers and small hands, and them seem to do just fine with these strings. Plus they are durable and cheap. Once you can deal with these, you might want to try a more specialized strings, but these are a good all around strings IMHO.

  5. CB3000

    CB3000 Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Madison, wi
    what about Corelli strings? i think it's the 370m set that's really light gauge (the rabbath set). they are relatively inexpensive. the 360 sets are nickel and also skinny.

    i don't have big hands either and i tend towards low tension strings-to me they feel good to play and they make the bass sound great too. i like a fat string that is low tension. you might want to try eudoxa or gut or anima strings.

    just my dime's worth...