A new set of strings can do wonders for a bass. If the old set have been on for a while, the sound they produce will be dull and lifeless. Old strings can be the cause of fret buzz and intonation problems, and in a worse-case scenario could snap during performance.
How long a string takes to become ‘old’ depends on several factors: how much it is played, whether it is wiped down after use, and even how corrosive the perspiration of the player. Top players may change their strings nightly; only fresh strings give them the sound they want, whilst a bass that spends very little time in use – perhaps avoiding gig situations – will be fine for months or years.
So, now you’ve decided to treat your beloved bass to a new set, how do you decide what to buy? There are a lot of choices, but which ones are right for you? Long scale? shortscale? roundwound? flats?
This article describes some of the main types, to help the reader identify the best bass strings for them…