String Qualities

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Clive Palfrey, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Clive Palfrey

    Clive Palfrey

    Oct 20, 2006
    Hello Everybody

    My mid-life crisis has recently arrived. I have had to buy myself a double bass. Having done extensive research on UK websites, I bought a very reasonably priced double bass. Not having any musical knowledge, I am determined to master this instrument (I am fifty-five).

    My question is: shall I replace the cheap "supplied" strings for better quality? Taking into account I cannot play the thing yet, I am reluctant to spend too much money in case the musical feeling wears off (I hope it doesn't).

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Clive the New Boy
  2. GriffithLea


    Aug 29, 2006
    Cypress, TX
  3. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Assuming the strings that came with the bass are indeed low quality ones, I would highly recomend replacing them. Often times, these strings have really terrible tone and are only going to frustrate you. You won't have to fight a nice set of strings as much to get the sound you want.
  4. +1. Also, the whole set-up, which encompasses the nut slot height, fingerboard dressing, string height, string spacing at the bridge, etc. is extremely important in getting the maximum playability out of any instrument. Just changing the strings might be an improvement, but without a goal in mind beyond having newer strings, you might want to look at the whole set-up of the instrument. Particularly since it is a beast of a thing to play if pooly set up. You want it to be fun to play and not something that gives you tendinitis, so pamper yourself and get the thing set up well. It will make playing it a joy. I was only 44 when I started playing the DB. It's a great thing to start playing no matter your age.
  5. Clive -- I hope you'll be taking lessons, if you're determined to master it. I took up the double bass at age 48 (I'm now 52), and I have a terrific teacher who appreciated having an adult student (most of his students are young teenagers). Trying it by yourself, without any musical knowledge, is not advisable in my humble opinion.

    Second, don't replace the cheap strings yet. Get a teacher first, and ask your teacher. He/she can give you lots of good advice. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the bass as much as I do. Congratulations on taking it up.
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