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Old 10-11-2017, 03:52 PM
Antonio Alemanno Antonio Alemanno is offline
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Question String lenght, volume and playability

Hey guys,

I have a mid size hand, not big nor small ether. here a big doubt about string lenght and its effect on sounds. I always played on 104cm string lenght. But today I tried first time a bass that is 103cm and felt much more comfortable playing on first position and on thumb and throughout the higher register. I play oud as well and there, the string lenght effect very much on the volume of the instrument and the tension of the strings (and so the playability). I believe that would happen on any instrument.
So my question is what would be a good string lenght for a 3/4 5 strings double bass (with high C) that would work best 103, 103.5 or 104 (because of my hands, wouldn't go over 104)? Is 104 the most common?

Last edited by Antonio Alemanno; 10-11-2017 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:20 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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5s are usually with a low B for orchestra. For jazz with high C, not so common as most use a 4 string.

For length, 104 is just under 41", the 'minimum' for most players. 103cm is just over 40.5" and the length of many 3/4 and 4/4 Pollmann Basses. I am currently using a 4/4 Pollmann with a 103 and find it comfy. I also play basses the day before or after at almost 106.7 or 42" so I use basses currently from 40.5 - 42" with very little problem.

What you need to do is have a good set-up. Flatter fingerboard than cambered for less tension. To me, the set-up is more important than the length. Length I can get used to but camber with more then 1.5-2mm overall in the center is way too much pressure for my hands. My basses are about .5mm cambered for the first octave.

I was once playing a bass for a concert with a 41.45" and a few days before bought a bass with 44 1/4" and played the concert with that. No problem! Just adjust to play in tune.
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double bass, mihaila harsan

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