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Double Bass Strings

As a specialist UK stockist of double bass strings, we have a very comprehensive range of strings for sale from leading manufacturers including; Thomastik, Pirastro, D’Addario and Jargar. All of the strings that we have in stock are listed below by brand. Options are available on the product page for solo, orchestral and 5ths tuning, tension and size. You can also choose between buying specially discounted complete sets of strings or just individual strings on their own.

Our customers benefit from our wide and diverse range of stock. At Bass Bags, we can cater for all types of bass playing styles and all sizes of double bass with strings from 1/10 size upwards. We can also offer next day or free economy delivery on all of the strings that we list.

We can also make up and sell sets of bass strings that are non-standard. For instance, we can make up, upon request, ‘C’ extension sets of most types of string.

Free Double Bass Strings Advice

If you’re not sure what to buy, you can use our Double Bass Strings Buyers Guide Or if you can’t find what you’re looking for, use our live chat to talk to our Double Bass specialist or call us on 01332 840391. We’ll be happy to help by giving you recommendations and any advice you may need.


Double Bass Strings Comparison and Buyer’s Guide

Contents

Playing Style and String Choice | Student Strings | Orchestral Strings | Premium Orchestral Strings | Hybrid Strings | Jazz Strings | Rockabilly Strings | Glossary of String Terminology | String Sets vs Individual Strings | Links to String Manufacturers

Introduction

Choosing the right double bass strings is a major decision in terms of the sound that your double bass will produce, as the vibration of the strings is then amplified by the body of the instrument. Here we present a guide to the different strings we offer based on playing style, cost and the intended user.

As an artist, the sound of your instrument is as much a personal choice as it is a choice based on the style of music and other factors. There is no substitute for personal experience and with the high cost of a set of double bass strings, we would recommend that you take any opportunities to try different strings (ask fellow musicians which they like and why, visit some music shops, search the internet for performance or demonstration videos) to help guide your choice. In reality, every double bass and every double bassist are different, so there can be no exact science to choosing the right strings.

To buy double bass strings visit our Double Bass Strings Category in our online shop.

Double Bass Playing Style

It is important to think carefully about your intended use for the strings, where you will be playing is as important as the style of music. The strings will sound different in a practice room compared to a music hall or open air stage. Also if you use amplification when performing, then the signal level through the pick-up will also be a factor in your choice.

Orchestral

As the name suggests, orchestral strings are for bassists who play mainly classical music in an orchestra. These strings are designed to produce a good arco (bowed) tone, with a fast response. While they can be played pizzicato, they do not have the same sustain as a pizzicato specific string. The strings will be designed for the standard tuning (4ths) with a set of orchestral strings consisting of an E, A, D and G string.

Jazz / Blues / Rockabilly

Jazz strings are designed to be played pizzicato. They have a longer sustain but a slower response. This means that they do not work as well arco (bowed). Jazz strings tend to have a flexible core material to give a better feel when played pizzicato. The standard tuning for sets of jazz strings is the same as for orchestral strings.

Slap

Slap bass strings take Jazz strings to the extreme! They are designed to be played exclusively pizzicato and tend to be made with a nylon core to enable players to produce the distinctive click or clack sound easily. Due to the materials, the strings are made from sets of slap bass strings may be a much cheaper option but do not be tempted unless this is the only style of music you play. The other extreme is pure gut slap bass strings which are very expensive!


Some strings suit different basses better than others. The art is to match the strings to the bass so that the strings and double bass complement each other.

Eastman Master Series Double Bass VB502 Front Close

An Eastman VB502 Master Series double bass that we’ve set up with Pirastro Flexocor Deluxe strings. A great example of a dark sounding bass complemented by bright strings. This bass is for sale in our Double Basses for sale section


Student Double Bass Strings

ImageNamePriceStockDescriptionBuy
Prelude Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Prelude Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£93.60

In stock

A complete set of four medium tension Prelude double bass strings, to fit a 3/4 size double bass.

Astrea Double Bass E String
Astrea Double Bass Strings Set£99.00

Out of stock

A complete set of four Astrea double bass strings, medium tension, a plain steel E and a chrome wound A,D & G. To fit 3/4 and 4/4 size double basses.

Student or budget double bass strings are great for players who want a low cost upgrade from factory strings. Prelude bass strings are great value for money for this, with sizes from 3/4 to 1/8 there will be a set that will fit your double bass.

Orchestral Double Bass Strings

ImageNamePriceStockDescriptionBuy
Honey Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Honey Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£139.00

In stock

Honey strings are often compared to wound gut strings, tonally – with a decidedly “stiffer” feel.

Braided Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Braided Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£145.00

In stock

Braided strings have a nylon core wound in chrome tape. Making an affordable, orchestral gauge string that works well under the bow – but also has less “brashness” than steel strings for playing with your fingers.

Helicore Orchestral Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Helicore Orchestral Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£153.18

In stock

A complete set of four medium tension Helicore Orchestral double bass strings, to fit 3/4 size double basses.

Precision Double Bass 1/2 G String
Precision Double Bass 4/4 Set of Strings£148.80

In stock

Thomastik Precision double bass strings are very durable, have a long lifespan and present a great budget solution for players across the board.

Jargar Double Bass 2.1m Ext. E String Forte
Jargar Double Bass Set of Strings Medium£123.60

In stock

A complete set of four medium tension Jargar double bass strings to fit 3/4 size double basses.

Chromcor Double Bass 1/4 E String
Chromcor Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings£168.00

In stock

Bright sounding bass strings with a quick bow response and excellent tuning stability and a short playing in period. Available in 3/4 and 1/4 sizes.

Orchestral double bass strings are best suited to Arco (with the bow) playing. If you are playing only Arco or a mixture of Arco and Pizz (plucking) with arco playing most of the time, we would recommend orchestral strings.

For orchestral double bass strings, we would recommend Helicore Orchestral strings out of the options above. For premium orchestral strings see the section below. Helicore Orchestral bass strings come in all sizes from 3/4 to 1/10 scale; they are a significant upgrade from Prelude strings. They work exceptionally well for the majority of double basses.


Premium Orchestral Double Bass Strings

ImageNamePriceStockDescriptionBuy
Kaplan Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Kaplan Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£208.99

In stock

A complete set of medium tension Kaplan double strings, to fit 3/4 size double basses.

Flat Chromesteel Double Bass D String
Flat Chromesteel Double Bass Set of Strings£228.00

In stock

Pirastro Flat Chromesteel double bass strings are a rope core medium tension string that is suited to arco and solo bass playing. Their sound is brilliant and clear and they have a quick response under the bow.

Flexocor Double Bass C String (High C)
Flexocor Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings£210.00

In stock

A complete set of four, medium tension, orchestral tuning, Flexocor double bass strings for 3/4 size double basses.

Passione Double Bass C String (High C)
Passione Double Bass Set of Strings£216.00

In stock

Pirastro Passione double bass strings have great projection with a big tone and powerful volume, these strings are especially suited for arco playing. Their response is instantaneous and very flexible, with a clear distinction between the notes in fast passages.

Obligato Double Bass 3/4 C String (High C)
Obligato Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings£199.00

In stock

A complete set of four, medium tension, orchestral tuning, Pirastro Obligato double bass strings for 3/4 size double bass.

Original Flexocor Double Bass Set of Strings
Original Flexocor Double Bass Set of Strings£253.45

In stock

Pirastro Original Flexocor double bass strings are medium tension, orchestral tuning strings for 3/4 size basses. They have a brilliant sound, short sustain and a quick response.

Permanent Double Bass C String (High C)
Permanent Double Bass Set of Strings£211.20

In stock

A complete set of four, medium tension, orchestra tuning, Pirastro Permanent double bass strings.

Dominant Double Bass F# String Solo Tuning
Dominant Double Bass Set of Strings£234.00

In stock

Thomastik Dominant double bass strings provide the tonal warmth and the feel of a gut string whilst not being affected by changes in humidity.

Flexocor Deluxe Double Bass B5 String
Flexocor Deluxe Double Bass Set of Strings£228.00

In stock

Pirastro Flexocor Deluxe double bass strings have a great wealth of tonal colours whether it be a brilliant and bright or a dark and big sound.

Original Flat Chrome Double Bass F# String Solo Tuning
Original Flat Chrome Double Bass Set of Strings£282.00

In stock

Pirastro Original Flat Chrome double bass strings are especially suited to arco playing producing a very brilliant sound with a short sustain.

Belcanto Double Bass Strings Set
Belcanto Double Bass Strings Set£240.00

In stock

A complete set of four orchestral tuning, medium tension, Belcanto double bass strings for 3/4 size double basses.


Hybrid Double Bass Strings

ImageNamePriceStockDescriptionBuy
Polychrome Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Polychrome Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£160.00

In stock

Polychrome double bass strings have a warm pizz tone, now far more bow-friendly due to their new chromesteel outer winding.

Zyex Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Zyex Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£191.81

In stock

A complete set of medium tension Zyex double bass strings to fit a 3/4 size double bass

Helicore Hybrid Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Helicore Hybrid Medium Double Bass Strings Set 3/4 Size£153.18

In stock

A complete set of Helicore Hybrid Medium tension double bass strings, to fit 3/4 size double basses. These medium tension strings suit most double basses.

Oliv Double Bass B5 String
Oliv Double Bass Set of Strings£531.24

In stock

Pirastro Oliv double bass strings are finely wound and polished, handmade gut strings, suitable for arco and pizzicato. They have a dark and powerful sound.

SuperFlexible Double Bass 1/2 A String
SuperFlexible Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings£151.20

In stock

A complete set of four orchestral tuning, medium tension, Superflexible double bass strings to fit 3/4 double basses.

Evah Pirazzi Double Bass Solo Tuning String Set
Evah Pirazzi Double Bass Set of Strings£214.00

In stock

A complete set of medium tension Pirastro Evah Pirazzi double bass strings to fit 4/4 & 3/4 double basses.


Double Bass Strings for Jazz

ImageNamePriceStockDescriptionBuy
Helicore Pizzicato Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Helicore Pizzicato Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£153.18

In stock

A complete set of four medium tension Helicore Pizzicato double bass strings, to fit 3/4 size double basses.

Chorda - Gut Double Bass E String
Chorda - Gut Double Bass Set of Strings£531.00

In stock

Pirastro Chorda double bass strings are recommended for Baroque bass players and especially suited for pizzicato playing. The G and D strings are just plain gut with the A and E strings being silver wound.

Eudoxa Gut Double Bass B5 String
Eudoxa Gut Double Bass Set of Strings£594.00

In stock

Eudoxa double bass strings are handmade with a gut core, then wound with silver and finely polished. Euxoda Bass make great pizzicato strings for jazz with a brilliant tone and a long sustain.

Spirocore Double Bass 1/2 A String
Spirocore Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings£199.00

In stock

A complete set of four medium tension Thomastik Spirocore double bass strings to fit 3/4 size double basses.

Jazzer Double Bass 2.1m Ext. E String
Jazzer Double Bass Set of Strings£207.00

In stock

Pirastro Jazzer double bass strings are a modern jazz string, which can also be bowed. The Jazzers have a very quick response and a bright, powerful sound with a long sustain.


Double Bass Strings for Rockabilly

ImageNamePriceStockDescriptionBuy
Deluxe Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings Red
Superior Bassworks Deluxe Double Bass Strings Red£57.95

In stock

The Superior Bassworks Deluxe double bass strings are the perfect strings for Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Psychobilly, Country/Western, and more!

Standard Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings Gut
Superior Bassworks Standard Double Bass Strings Gut Colour£43.16

In stock

Superior Bassworks Standard gut colour double bass strings are perfect for Rockabilly and Slap bass playing.

Standard Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings Red
Superior Bassworks Standard Double Bass Strings Red£43.16

In stock

Superior Bassworks Standard red colour double bass strings are perfect for Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Bluegrass and Slap bass playing.

Standard Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings Black
Superior Bassworks Standard Double Bass Strings Black£43.16

In stock

Superior Bassworks Standard black colour double bass strings are perfect for Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Bluegrass and Slap bass playing.

GripMax Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings Gut
Superior Bassworks GripMax Double Bass Strings Gut Colour£54.95

In stock

Superior Bassworks GripMax double bass strings are the perfect strings for Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Psychobilly, Country/Western, and more.

Deluxe Double Bass 3/4 Set of Strings Gut
Superior Bassworks Deluxe Double Bass Strings Gut Colour£57.95

In stock

Superior Bassworks Deluxe double bass strings are the perfect strings for Rockabilly, Bluegrass, Psychobilly, Country/Western, and more!

Rock A Billy Red Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Rock A Billy Red Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£139.99

In stock

Rock-a-billy Red strings with bold red windings, they have a gutsy, slap-friendly tone that really works in some of the more “brash” music styles.

Rock A Billy Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Rock A Billy Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£139.99

In stock

Rock-a-billy strings are distinctive with their black flatwound outer winding, the original slap bass string from Innovation.

Super Silver Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium
Super Silver Double Bass Set of Strings 3/4 Medium£139.00

In stock

Super Silver strings are often used for Bluegrass, since they can be a synthetic alternative to true gut strings.

Evah Pirazzi Slap Double Bass Set of Strings
Evah Pirazzi Slap Double Bass Set of Strings£227.99

In stock

Designed for Rockabilly and Slap bass players. The set of strings is plain gut G and D strings and synthetic chrome wound A and E strings. They project very well and have a dark, rich tone making them ideal for slap and some styles of pizzicato playing.


String Sets vs Individual Strings

Buying a set of strings has many advantages, most noticeably the lower cost compared to the individual strings and the fact that the strings are designed to be used together. This means that they will produce an even tone and response across the whole range of the instrument. They will also give you a consistent feel when playing the instrument. If a string breaks, even replacing it with an identical brand new string, it will not sound the same as the old string as the string properties change as they age. If well cared for and used properly then string breaks are a rare occurrence. Some players may choose to mix different types, brands or construction of strings to further refine the sound of their instrument, however this is not something we would particularly recommend unless you are sure of your requirements.

While a professional player may choose to change the strings on their instrument every 1-2 years to maintain a particular sound, for a student or amateur player there is no reason why a set of strings should not last longer. The main reason for changing strings is damage to the winding of the string or poor sound quality. The winding of the string most often becomes damaged over the bridge or at the fingerboard top nut and is clearly visible. The coloured silks at each end of the string are for identification purposes only and if they unwind then this does not affect the sound of the string but it may look untidy.


Glossary of Terms Related to Double Bass Strings

Arco: Played with the bow.

C Extension: The C extension string, also referred to as an extension E string, is designed for use with a 4 string double bass fitted with a C extension. This is an extra section of fingerboard mounted in front of the machine heads up to the top of the scroll. As such the C extension string is a longer string designed to fit the additional length of the extra fingerboard.

Construction of the string: Double bass strings are made with a length of core material which is then over-wound with another material, usually a flat metal wire.

Core material: Originally all strings were made of pure gut, though gut strings have poor tuning stability and the diameter needed to make the lower strings meant they were almost un-playable. The development of metal wound strings meant that the string diameter could be reduced improving the playablility of strings. The core material for most common double bass strings will be either gut, nylon (synthetic) or steel wire.

  • Gut Expensive, Poor tuning stability, Classical/Baroque sound, Better for “Slap Sound”
  • Nylon Inexpensive, Good tuning stability, much cheaper replacement for gut core
  • Steel Mid-Cost, Good tuning stability, Modern playing style, Better arco volume

The core material is generally a solid piece of material, some strings may use a multistrand material to make the string more flexible which generally suits the jazz playing style.

Hybrid: Is a term used to describe strings which are designed to be a compromise between the extremes of orchestral strings (arco) and pizzicato strings. They are a bit less bow-able than orchestral strings, but have more sustain when playing pizzicato. This makes them an all round performer for players who want to play a bit of everything!

Low B or B5 String: Designed for use on a five string double bass the Low B or B5 string is the extra 5th string which is tuned to the B below the E4 string on a standard 4 string bass.

Orchestra Tuning: The standard E, A, D, G tuning for double bass strings.

Pizzicato: Played by plucking the strings

Scale Length or Size: The scale length refers to the size of instrument that the strings are made for. It is important that you match the string size to your instrument size. The string length, string mass and string tension are all related by physics, if the string length is not correct then the string tension will not be correct either. This will lead to a poor playing experience, difficulty tuning the instrument or the worst case scenario: strings snapping due to over tension.

Solo Tuning: Many sets of string will be available in a solo tuning variation. This raises the pitch of the strings to F#, B, E, A. It is used by players performing double bass solo works and enables you to play high notes in a more accessible position on the double bass fingerboard.

Tension or Gauge: Many strings are available in Low, Medium or High tension variations. This is a guide only as the string tension will vary depending on the construction materials used and between brands and string manufacturers. If you are a beginner or have never thought about string tension then medium tension will be the right choice. A high tension string will offer higher volume levels but will be more difficult to stop on the fingerboard. Conversely a low tension string will be softer in tone but easier to stop on the fingerboard. Some manufacturers use other terms for string gauge or tension as shown here:

Low: Weak / Weich / Soft / Dolce

Medium: Mittel / Regular

High: Heavy / Stark / Forte

Tuning in 5ths: Some players prefer to tune their bass in 5ths as it offers a wider range of pitch from a standard 4 string bass. The bass strings are tuned to the same notes as a cello (Low C, G, D, A High) but an octave lower. It gives a low C without the need for an extension or fifth string and is also popular with Jazz performers as the major tenth is easier to play. This requires a set of strings specifically produced to be tuned in 5ths.

Winding material: The winding material is used to add mass to the string, this slows down the vibration to produce lower pitch notes. Most strings are wound with a metal tape made from steel, chrome steel (or other steel alloy), nickel or silver. The winding material used can affect the diameter of the string. The cost of the string is affected by the metal used with nickel or steel being the cheapest and silver or exotic steel alloys being more expensive.


Our Customer Reviews of Double

Bass Strings

Read what our customers are saying about double bass strings they purchased from us.


We stock Double Bass strings from the following manufacturers.

Jargar

Instrument Size

Tuning Orchestral/Solo

Sets or Single Strings

String Tension

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