Bass string gauges

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 months ago
609 posts

Assuming a standard size guitar with around a 25" VSL, the bass "E" string is anywhere from 0.046 to 0.056. The Blue Lion bass dulcimer I play in our dulcimer group has a 27.5 inch VSL. The string gauges are 0,024, 0.028, 0.032, 0.052. All of them are bronze wound. In a set of medium guitar strings, the 4th string (D) is usually around 0.035. If you use that as your "melody" string, you can size the middle and bass appropriately.

Hope this helps.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

jamesgpobog
@jamesgpobog
2 months ago
7 posts

@ Skip
Don't know, haven't received it yet. I would imagine regular guitar tuning.

Skip
Skip
@skip
2 months ago
238 posts

What's it's current tuning, bass to treble?

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 months ago
1,625 posts

Appropriate string gauges are a function of the VSL and the open notes that you want to tune the string to.  Use the Strothers String Calculator as a start point: http://strothers.com/string_choice.html

Plug the VSL and your desired open notes into the calculator and use those gauges.  You can go a gauge higher without any problem as the calculator tends to give light values.

jamesgpobog
@jamesgpobog
2 months ago
7 posts

As an experiment, I will be turning a inexpensive acoustic guitar into a bass/baritone strumstick.

3 strings, heavier gauges.

What should I use? Obviously regular bass guitar strings will be too heavy, should I just use the 3 lowest strings from the guitar, or should I go up a little from standard guitar strings? 


updated by @jamesgpobog: 08/16/19 08:57:33AM