Heavy, Light, or Medium strings???


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hellraiser1133
04-21-2008, 01:31 PM
Hey everyone...

I don't have the money to buy 3 different sets of bass strings to experiment, so can someone tell me, what each type of gauge is best for??

I usually use light guitar strings, but I have a feeling heavy strings might suit my style better for bass...

I play a lot of Rush, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, etc.


Help Please????

Thanks.

t3hrav3n
04-21-2008, 01:42 PM
Go for medium gauge strings, they're the default for most styles and should suit you fine.

hellraiser1133
04-21-2008, 01:44 PM
the only reason I ask about heavy, is because I've never been able to get a good thud, like McKagen's basslines for GnR, and VR, stuff like that...I thought maybe it would help?

jazz_rock_feel
04-21-2008, 01:45 PM
The biggest difference is tension and feel, although tone is affected somewhat. The heavier the gauge, the greater the tension, making light gauge good for up tuning and heavy gauge for down tuning. This makes heavier gauges feel more substantial, it's difficult to explain. The best to do is find out what's on your bass (probably medium) and then experiment with either light or heavy. You only have to live with strings for 3 or 4 months, unless you buy flatwounds or like dead strings (you don't). Once you've tried out one type try another and then make your pick. My guess is you'll stick with a medium gauge, judging by your musical interests.

hellraiser1133
04-21-2008, 01:50 PM
I've tried flats and HATED the feel of them...I think I might try heavy, I'm pretty sure my basses came with mediums, and I think I replaced them with light strings...I don't really remember either being particularly great, so maybe this will strike me.

I just thought there would be a difference, like..
Light-bright, jazzy
medium-in between, decent highs and lows, good mids
heavy- good lows, decent highs and mids

idk, can they be separated by genre? say, light-soft rock, etc.? that might help me decide best.

Ki'
04-21-2008, 01:57 PM
Light are bright and jazzy, but I wouldn't associated gauges with genres.

It's more about your playing style and what you're comfortable with. People with plecs should probably choose medium or heavy to muffle the sound of the plec.

I like light gauge with a medium E string. To me, they feel much easier to control if you play more complicated lines, and they have a nice bright ring when you pop them. I use a bit of compression to keep the volume consistent between different strings.

gm jack
04-21-2008, 02:14 PM
I find heavier guages have a richer tone to them, with a deeper voicing. Thinner guages are slightly brighter.

SpacedOut
04-21-2008, 02:22 PM
Rotosound Swing Bass 66

thats the strings Mckagan uses i think. he also uses a pick so that obviously aids the clean cut thudding sound. also im not a big GnR fan but im sure i've read somehwere he uses chorus a lot? I could be wrong of course.

scawti
04-21-2008, 02:31 PM
I find that heavier gauges sound better with playing fretted basses finger style.
Medium roundwounds I like to use on my fretless basses or light halfwounds (they have the same tension) just to minimize the wearing on the fretboard.
A light gauge has looser tension and can make it easier to do bends - as with guitar.
I wouldn't say one is better for one genre or another, it is more your playing style or bass that influences string gauge choice.

indie-bassist
04-21-2008, 03:55 PM
Rotosound Swing Bass 66

thats the strings Mckagan uses i think. he also uses a pick so that obviously aids the clean cut thudding sound. also im not a big GnR fan but im sure i've read somehwere he uses chorus a lot? I could be wrong of course.
Nope you're right, he uses a Yamaha chorus thingy.

Andy2k64
04-21-2008, 04:02 PM
Go for medium...It's kinda 50/50 so you can't really lose :-P

FunkyGreaser
04-21-2008, 05:28 PM
Go for hybrid strings...you get the thick on bottom and the high on top for good tone all around. The only downside is that it's different from A to D strings, but only a good ear can notice.

skater dan0
04-21-2008, 05:31 PM
i use optima 45-105 they are stiff as **** which takes some getting used to but the tone is really rich like a heavy gauge set

Revelation
04-22-2008, 02:44 AM
if you like a deeper sound check out dr lo-riders. i use them and i love a deep tone.