Double Bass Strings
A quick reference for double bass strings: Actually one could
write a book about the vast array of string choices now available
for the double bass. There are some very popular strings that usually
work for a specific style or task required. For the lowest prices
of the most popular double bass strings, follow the link to our
upright bass strings page.
Orchestra double bass strings
For Orchestra bass players, there are some old standbys that after
more than 30 years still work and undeniably, are still the most
popular strings. Pirastro makes the 'old' standbys: 'Original Flexocor'
and it's similar line, simply called: 'Flexocor'. Flexocors are
very close to Original Flexocors in sound, but the Originals tend
to make the bass string feel slightly more looser, while the regular
'Flexocors' (with the dark red windings) tend to sound a little
tighter or punchy.
Another Pirastro double
bass string are the "Permanents". They can be identified by
having the light blue and gold barber shop style winding at the
end of the string. They tend to go to the next level of tension
(just slightly) but give the bass more punch and projection. Keep
in mind that whatever one chooses, there is a trade off. Get more
punch, maybe lose some softness and warmth of the string.
Keep in mind that a double bass string with a stiff core will make
it harder to bow in long sustained strokes and the stiffer the core,
the brighter it goes! This is a general rule, but not totally 100%
reliable. I just want to at least give some idea of how they work.
On the opposite polarity of (stiff) double bass strings are the
very new, Evah Pirazzi strings. These are really great strings!
They are for sure, the warmest metal string available. They are
lower tension, and have a super flexible core. Drape a G string
over your finger and you will see that it droops like perfectly
cooked spaghetti! (Well....maybe a slight exaggeration here, but
at least you get the idea.) The Evah Pirazzis are the closest string
made in metal to resemble gut strings. Tradeoffs: There is a tad
bit lost in the initial attack of the string with the bow (where
the Flexocors are king!)
Another fairly recent string that rivals the Flexocors for sure
is the new Belcanto strings by Thomastik. For double basses, Thomastiks
have really always been famous for their Spirocore strings which
have always been the soup dejour for Jazz double bass players. The
Belcantos feel very close to the Original Flexocors, yet tend to
be a little warmer than a reg. Flexocor.
Jazz double bass strings
By far, the most popular string for jazz bass players have always
been (and remain) the Thomastik
Spirocore brand double bass strings. There are 2 ways to go:
Spirocore medium gauge (or 'orchestra) and the 'light' gauge ones
called Weichs. Weich only means 'light' in German, but sounds way
cooler! The reg. medium gauges are chosen about 90% of the time.
They add real meat to the bass. If you do way too much bowing (ha
ha ) you can try the Weichs as the bow tends to get them moving
a lot easier.
Another string that is really starting to be popular with Jazz players
are the Pirastro Dominants or the Pirastro Evah Pirazzis. Dominant
double bass strings are very similar to the Pirazzis. While the
Pirazzis feel closer to gut in that they are more responsive to
the touch than other metal strings (they have a synthetic core).
These could actually really be the first serious "hybrid" string
in that they can truly be used in either genre. If you have a question
on some strings, email
Steve if you like.