If you are a bass guy — with a preference for lack of treble, you’ve probably pondered about the many varieties of bass guitar strings. When there are so many various types of bass strings on the market, it’s difficult to know which one to use. Most people can’t even name all of the brands, let alone the numerous lines or variants.
However, if you’ve ever had trouble deciding which bass guitar strings to use, you’ve come to the correct place. This article will provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed purchase, as well as five excellent ideas to help you along your way.
Types Of Bass Guitar String
Guitar strings and bass guitar strings are essentially the same thing in different sizes. So any advice that applies to one will also apply to the other. Heavy gauge strings (those that are thicker) are still more difficult to press down, whereas lesser gauge strings are a little easier. Here are a few different types of bass /guitar string.
- Nickel-Plated Steel- Middle of the road string with good attack and frequency response.
- Pure Nickel- A bit less crisp than nickel, but also a bit warmer sounding.
- Stainless Steel- The brightest type of string. While it has good high end response some may find it a bit brittle sounding.
- Flat-wound- A type of string that’s wound (the winding is the metal wrapped around the three thickest strings) with a different pattern. The pattern makes it so the string is a bit warmer sounding, and there’s less of squeak when you slide your the fingers of your fretting hand along the neck.
The Best Bass Strings Available Today
Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Bass Set
The world’s #1 electric bass strings. For over 50 years, Ernie Ball Slinky electric guitar strings have been the favorite of musicians across the globe, Ernie Ball’s signature recipe consists of specific gauges and core to wrap ratios for balanced rich harmonics and that signature Slinky feel. Using the finest and freshest raw materials every string is manufactured in the dry Southern California climate using state of the art winding technology and undergoing strict quality control standards. Nickel wound Slinky bass strings consist of nickel plated steel wrapped around a tin plated high carbon steel core for a balanced tone that compliments all electric bass types and playing styles. Each set is packaged in an ultra low humidity environment with Ernie Ball’s Element Shield packaging to ensure every set is as fresh as the day it was made. Gauges .050, .070, .085, .105. Part number 2832.
D’Addario EXL170 Nickel Wound Bass Guitar Strings
EXL170, D’Addario’s best-selling bass set and the standard for most electric basses, offers the ideal combination of bright, booming tone and comfortable feel. The most versatile and universally appealing set for all playing styles. Fits long scale basses with a string scale length of up to 36 1/4 inches. D’Addario XL Nickel Wound Electric Bass strings are world-renowned as “The Player’s Choice” amongst bass players of all genres and styles. All XL strings are precision wound on our exclusive digitally-controlled machines, ensuring each string has excellent intonation, clear fundamentals, and unparalleled consistency. Each string is wound with a nickelplated steel wrap wire known for distinctive bright tone with excellent magnetic output delivering a universally appealing and versatile tone for all playing styles.
Fender 7250 Nickel-Plated Steel Roundwound Bass Guitar Strings
With an illustrious history, Fender has touched and transformed music worldwide and in nearly every genre: rock ‘n’ roll, country and western, jazz, rhythm and blues and many others. Everyone from beginners and hobbyists to the world’s most acclaimed artists and performers have used Fender instruments, amps, and strings in the process making the company not only a revered music industry name, but also a cultural icon. Whether you need strings for your Fender Stratocaster, Telecaster, Jazz Bass, Precision Bass, or acoustic instrument, there’s a set of Fender strings that’s right for you! Fender super bass 7250’s are an excellent all-purpose bass string. they are particularly good for rock, funk, and any style in which the bass needs to cut through. Fender super bass 7250’s combine the high output and dynamic sound of steel with the smooth feel of nickel.
GHS Strings M3045 4-String Bass Boomers
A family owned and operated company located founded Battle Creek, Michigan, GHS strings has been producing some of the most unique strings on the market for more than 50 years. The company’s name represents the surnames of the three original founders (Gould, Holcomb, and Solko). GHS Strings are manufactured in a state-of-the-art, climate controlled facility using precision equipment and only the purest of materials. The GHS Bass Boomers are the classic Power String and have been for years. Today they are one of the most popular bass strings in the world and are used by bass greats including the legendary Flea. Like the guitar version, Bass Boomers feature a nickel plated wrap that provides brilliance, volume, sustain and strength, unlike any other bass string.
Rotosound RS77LD Monel Flatwound Bass Guitar Strings
Rotosound’s Jazz Bass 77 strings have been used by the likes of Phil Lynott, Roger Waters, John Deacon, Glen Matlock, Sting and Dee Murray (Elton John), amongst many others. This esteemed selection of players alone should give you some idea of the kind of sounds you can dial in with a set of Rotosound’s classic bass strings. Brighter and deeper than the traditionally warm sound of flatwounds, the Roto 77s clearly have a sweet spot for ‘70s rock. But there’s enough juice at the frequency extremes for contemporary blues-rock and modern jazz too. A great balance of flatwound warmth with a nod to the more up to date styles.
DR Strings Bass Strings, Black Beauties
Begun by the son of Al Dronge (founder of Guild Guitars) Mark Dronge, DR strings have had a reputation for making some of the most affordable handmade guitar strings on the market for more than 20 years. BLACK BEAUTIES™ Black Colored Bass Strings aren’t just about the sleek and sophisticated look. They feature a round core wire and a stainless-steel wrap wire to maintain brightness and feel. All strings in the set are coated with a jet-black version of DR’s K3™ ultra-hard coating, delivering longevity, more projection, fewer unwanted overtones, and outstanding clarity and articulation. Though they may not have the warmth or thump required for jazz or country, they are a great fit for songs or genre that require a bit more clarity or bit.
LaBella 750T White Nylon Tape Wound Light Electric Bass Strings
A classic bass string to those in the know, Flatwound La Bellas were the go-to choice of legendary sessionistas James Jamerson and Donald “Duck” Dunn. Opt for a heavy gauge set (as did Jamerson) and make sure to give them at least a couple of months for that new string tone to wear off and their trademark thud to bed in. They’re in their sweet spot with warmer sounds – so don’t be afraid to roll off your tone pot or follow Jamerson’s lead and jam a piece of foam under the strings beside the bridge for a punchy staccato feel to every note you play. The 750T set is extremely versatile and can be used for electric, fretless and acoustic basses across all genres.
Elixir Strings Nickel Plated Steel 4-String Bass Strings
Jam on and on (and on) with the same premium electric bass guitar strings that experienced players worldwide trust to keep their incredible tone longer than any other string available. Specially developed based on in-depth feedback from more than a thousand bass players just like you, this tailor-made selection of bass strings proudly includes nickel-plated and stainless steel construction options, four-, five- and six-string sets, long and extra-long scales, and virtually every gauge range you could possibly need. Unlike other string brands, Elixir Strings coats the whole string. This protects not only the outer string surface but also the gaps between the windings where common tone-deadening gunk typically builds up in other brands’ coated and uncoated guitar strings.