Choosing strings for cello or double-bass is an essential thing that any musician needs to know. However, many of them are still struggling to get the right information about the topic. The possible reason is that each type of string has unique characteristics which influence the sound of the instrument. Without knowing which type of strings to choose, you may end up altering the sound of your instrument.
Luckily, there are some great tips on how to choose a good set of strings. We put them in a short step-by-step guide, to make it easy to understand and to use.
#1 Know the type before you choose
There are several types of strings on the market. The main difference between them is based on the inner material. Thus, you may found gut core strings, steel core strings, or synthetic core strings. Each type has something to offer, but for a cello player, you might want to take a shot with all metal strings, which is a standard choice. However, there are some great alternatives, such as silk core strings made by Schertler. The silk core is similar to the gut core, which gives a string a layer of high-density textile fibers. In addition to that, silk core strings come with a tension akin to that of steel strings, but with a greater pitch control. Double-bass players should go for a steel core string set, which gives the instrument the right amount of depth in sound.
#2 What kind of sound your instrument needs
Choosing a good set of strings doesn’t depend only on the material. For a musician, the equally important part of a string set is the quality of the sound they’ll get with it. Double-bass players, for example, can choose between several sets of strings based on the genre they’re playing. A jazz double-bass player will look for a string set with a lower tension and a better response, such as Schertler’s Garbo set. On the other hand, a symphonic double-bass player should probably go with Compas 180 set, which is designed for orchestral tuning because of the elasticity of the strings.
#3 Changing the whole set or just one string
Although it’s recommendable to change the strings on your instrument every six months, in some cases you might find necessary to do only a partial change of strings. For some players, changing a string in a particular part of the register can help them get a better sound quality.
It’s worth remembering to check the strings before installing them on your instrument. Strings with defects can cause your instrument to sound out of tune, at least.