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What are good string gauges for D Standard & C# Standard?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Poetic Maggot, Mar 30, 2011.


  1. Poetic Maggot

    Poetic Maggot

    Mar 21, 2011
    Hello all,

    So one of my all time favorite bands, All That Remains, uses D Standard and C# Standard throughout pretty much all of their songs and I'm really itching to learn them.

    So what string gauges are good for that? Note that I'll only be using one bass (4-string) so I need a set that is flexible enough to work with both tunings. I'm not looking to go any lower than these, I hate Drop B/A and all that stuff, just not my thing.

    Oh, and what's a good pick to use for these tunings? 1.14 mm?
     
  2. Hi there,

    I'd would say gauges 45-65-85-105 are quite sufficient for D standard. I often play in this tuning. This could work for C# standard also.

    Otherwise, try 50-70-85-105 a gauge formation offered by Ernie Ball and D'Addario (and others, of course....) This would produce a bit more tension if that's what you prefer.
     
  3. La Bella makes a set of Hard Rockin' Steels designed specifically for D standard. I used them for years and recommend them highly. It's the M-70 set, gauges .054-.075-.090-.111. You can get them at juststrings.com.
     
  4. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Look for sets that are close to;

    .112 .082 .061 .045

    or

    .118 .090 .067 .049

    Your D/C# string will feel like the E string you currently use, and you will get a consistent feel, tone and output across your fret board.
     
  5. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    ^ What knuckle_head says.

    You need a lowest string of at least a .110 to maintain sufficient tension (30 pounds) when tuned to C#. I also recommend equal tension on each string for an even tone, feel and technique across the strings and to avoid excessively tight or loose strings in either tuning. You can create a custom set of single strings using the daddario tension chart to choose gauges with equal tension.

    Alternatively you can buy a balanced set from Circle K Strings, they have a big choice of sets for detuned fourths here: circlekstrings-standard-balanced-4-strings. I recommend the 112 118 or 124 set depending on your preference for tension.
     
  6. Poetic Maggot

    Poetic Maggot

    Mar 21, 2011
    Darn these gauges are varied :( Thanks everyone for their help, though, it helps a lot! Any recommended string brand though? Or does it even matter? I've only ever used Ernie Balls and GHS Boomers before.
     
  7. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Follow the links;

     
  8. Here's a crazy idea (crazy enough that it might actually work):
    Did you contact the band--say, through a fan site--and ask the bassist what he uses?
    Bassists are people too. He just might answer your question. Heck, he's probably a TB member...if you could only figure out which one. :eyebrow:
     
  9. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    I'll also say give the Circle K set a try, if not those, then the DR DDT set.
     
  10. Poetic Maggot

    Poetic Maggot

    Mar 21, 2011
    First off, its a she :p ;) Second off thanks but I dunno if she would answer, but good idea never thought of that.
     
  11. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Inactive

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    The Circle K's will probably sound and feel better than what she's using anyway.
    The .112's would work great for this. I use the .118's for drop C.
     
  12. Poetic Maggot

    Poetic Maggot

    Mar 21, 2011
    Jeez those Circle K strings are popular. I can see why too.
     
  13. My band leader just got me a couple sets of GHS Custom Shops in 55-110. I tune C#F#BE. They're just like Boomers, only thicker.
     
  14. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Try them yet?
     
  15. Spiritbeast

    Spiritbeast

    Apr 21, 2011
    I'm going to give this thread a bit of a bump.
    I have an Ibanez SR755 ... which is 34", not 35". Seems like the enemy of downtuning, but I'll be recording an album in C# Standard and I'd like to keep this bass. If I get the .158 .118 .088 .064 .046 set, will I still be able to get a good tone and not flappy clacky city with my fingerstyle playing? When I tune my current strings, which I think are 105's down to that, it sounds just too floppy. I actually sorta like the feel of it, the looseness of the strings allows me to hit all the notes string to string very fast, but the dull tone and ugly string noise just sounds straight awful. Will these strings fix my woes, or is my only hope getting a 35" scale bass?

    Oh, and to make it trickier... I wouldn't mind the low G# being occasionally usable too :p
     
  16. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Scale length only helps so much, are you planning on using the .118 for C#? If so after you put the Circle K set onto your bass and setup intonation and string height you might become addicted.
     
  17. omnimutant

    omnimutant

    Dec 14, 2009
    Phoenix
    I tune to C# and use these gauges for 4 string on 34inch. Sounds Great. .050, .065, .090, .126
     
  18. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    You'll be fine with a 34" scale, there are people successfully tuned a lot lower on that scale. The Circle K balanced .158 set will work well tuned to G#C#F#BE. It will have each string at a similar tension to a .100 E. You could even use the balanced .150 set if you want an extra light tension.

    The G# string will be totally usable.
     
  19. OOZMAN

    OOZMAN

    Jun 16, 2010
    Australia
    I use a .125 set for drop C, sometimes I raise the C to a D to get D standard, so a .125 will work for D and C# standard.

    Yeah, I like em tight :bag:, you can get lower action with tighter strings. :D

    WarrenD's recommendation of .105s would be preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty loose IMO.

    peace.
     
  20. Spiritbeast

    Spiritbeast

    Apr 21, 2011
    Such helpful souls! Gotta love fellow bassists. I think I will have to order the .158s (When the sites up), because I'm also playing in a band that uses Drop B tuning this summer.

    I was thinking about maybe jumping from the .118s to the .124, though that's a $12 jump. $48 is ridiculous, are these strings really that good guys... judging by the praise, I guess so, but still. Damn!

    Also, an issue I seem to have is that tapping arpeggios really just dont work well on my bass. Even when I really focus on pressing the notes, they dont come out anywhere near as loud as pressed notes do... and this is an issue I experience when not downtuned! If I aim for heavier strings, does that help with tapping? Or more tension? This bass just never felt that right with tapping... my Jaguar was better
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 18, 2021

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