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What are the numbers for on bass strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by TheBassNoob3, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. TheBassNoob3


    Jul 21, 2009
    Hi guys, I'm new to the bass-stuff and I'm in doubt buying some new strings for my bass. When I look at the string description, there are some numbers written, ex. 45-105 and so on, what do those numbers mean? And what is best for a nice slap and funk sound?

    Thanks! :D
  2. Those numbers are in reference to the gauge, i.e. how thick they are, as for what sounds best, you'll have to use your ears :)
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    As wagstaff said, the numbers indicate the gauges. You will also see "light" "medium" and "heavy" which also refers to the gauge. Strings are a very personal choice. One person might like one type and another hate it. Generally, steel rounds or nickle rounds are good for a slap tone. While I have not tried them, I've read good reports on Dunlop steel rounds. You will have to experiment 'till you find "your" string.

    One thing to bear in mind when changing strings is that you might need a bass set up afterwards, especially when changing to or from a lower tension or gauge string then what was originally on the bass. Sometimes, if this is not done, you can encounter fret buzz on certain parts of the neck.
  4. Meatrus


    Apr 5, 2009
    The higher the number the thicker the string (so 105 is your E). It is most likely you will have standard gauge on your bass at the moment. And unless you find them uncomfortable I would stick with standard for a while. Gauge is more about how they feel and how you play (how hard) rather than sound.
  5. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    this is the place to be if you need info. i started playing again 3 years ago after 25 year hiatus. I came here and got more info and more gear than i could ever use. Go to the string section and search for 'slap' and you will probably read most of the evening.

    I personally like the DR Hi Beams and Fat Beams. I tend to like the lighter gauge 40-100. Strings are so personal so read and experiment. Pick up used sets from the classifieds.
  6. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    BTW TheBassNoob3. Those numbers are string gauges in thousandths per inch.

    The 45-105 should be properly expressed as .045" - .105" (G string, E string) but some string manufacturers abbreviate the numbers because bass players know what they mean anyway.
  7. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Post #6 gets it. It's the nominal diameter of the finished string expressed in thousandths of an inch. A "45" means the string is supposed to be 0.045" in diameter, a "105" is 0.105".

    What's "best" for slap and funk? The same answer as any string question. If you wait long enough just about every string type, gauge, and brand will be recommended. So, you'll have to do some experimenting. However, for what most people think of when they think of slap and funk, a good place to start is a set of bright roundwounds gauged 45/65/85/105. Take it from there yourself.

  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    You want roundwounds for sure. Steel or Nickel plated. Steel is brighter, Nickel is punchier.
  9. bassistrdn


    Nov 14, 2016
    Very Usable and Educative topics here:):):):):thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:..!! Thanks for all.. regards from Guatemala,..:hyper::hyper::hyper::hyper::hyper:
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