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Which strings are easy to grip and to bow?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Horst, Sep 13, 2001.


  1. Horst

    Horst

    Jun 2, 2000
    Hi,

    I haven't played my bass for 7 years, I own a Alfred Meyer bass built 1943 that sounds good but has always been hard to play on the lower strings. In addition, when I put new Flexocore strings on it, I didn't know that 'orchestra' means heavy gauge. Finally I ended up with a bass that is very difficult to play, not only for the bow hand but also for the left hand. I have to press the lower strings extremly firm to the fingerboard which makes it difficult to regain strength after a 7 years break. The setup is perfect. I am looking for strings that are really easy to grip and to bow, with a good response on the lower strings. Sound output is not priority number one. Which steel strings would you recommend? Or should I try Obligatos? Thanks a lot for your comments. PS. I play arco only.

    Horst
     
  2. You say your setup is great. What is the distance between the G and the fingerboard (in milimeters)?
    And the E? Measure perpendicular to the fingerboard, i.e., tilt the ruler to get the minimum distance.
     
  3. Horst

    Horst

    Jun 2, 2000
    Don,

    the bass has an adjustable bridge. Usually I adjust it to 6-7mm at the G and about 9mm at the E string. The strange thing is: When I play on the E- or A-string, the string under my finger wants to vibrate, therefore I have to press the string three times harder than pressing the string down to the fingerboard would require. If I don't do that, the sound is terrible and the strings don't speak at all at spiccato. My left hand's fingers have to fight against the strings... that's how it feels. I know that on the bass you have to fix the string under your finger, but on that bass it is much worse than on any other bass I have played so far. Have you experienced such problems on a bass? I want to give it a last try. Maybe this bass doesn't like those heavy high-tension strings. If lighter strings don't work either, I will sell it. It is a big 3/4 bass in mint condition, I had checked it recently by an experienced luthier. There is no hidden problem or internal defect, soundpost and bridge are new.

    Horst
     
  4. I dont' have any probem with Flexocors with G at 6mm and E at 8. I'm guessing that the 7 year layoff has something to do with left hand strength. Flexocors are a high tension string. You could try D'Addario arco (blue wrap). Also, practicing every day for short periods is better than sporadic practice for long periods.
     
  5. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    If you are looking for a set of strings that are very low tension, you should deffinately try the Corelli 360 forte strings. These are very easy to bow and very easy to play pizz. They have a warm sound and are ideal for basses that usually have a a lot of tension. They make 3 gages medium(being their lightest tension), forte, and extra forte. You probably would like either the the mediums or the forte. These strings are wraped with tungsten and their low tension makes them easy to lower your action to as low as want without losing much sound at all. these strings fulfill all of my needs. Bob Gollihur on this forum turned me on to them, so he could probably let you know how to order a set or whatever.
     
  6. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    JAS,
    you're probably talking about the Corelli 370 series.
    The 360 series is the solo-tuning tungstens.
    The 380 series is orchestra-tuning nickel wound.
    The 390 series is solo-tuning nickel wound.
    And I think there's the 350 series for smaller lenghts.
     
  7. JAS

    JAS

    Jul 3, 2001
    California
    Yes, I'm sorry. I did infact mean the Corelli 370 tungsten. Thanks for clarifying that francios.