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STRINGS: Solo gauge bass strings
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Gift Ideas for the Bassist in Your Life
Looking to get a holiday gift for the bassist in your life? We've got lots of great (and affordable) stuff to choose from! Under $25 items include our popular clip-on electronic tuner, the clever Turbo-Tune string winder, and our "nation of bass" hot beverage travel mug. We also have videos and book sets, instrument cleaning/polishing kits and more - all under $50! Most items don't require you to know specifics about their bass - most of them are delightfully universal! Click here for our guide for holiday gifts!
Stocking Stuffer - Get a Nifty Case Tag for only $1!
Our super-cool aluminum gig bag tag is really spiffy, and features a pocket where you can write your contact information in case your bag gets misplaced. Attaches securely with a braided steel loop with a screw closure, so it will stay on the bag or case. Features our Gollihur Music script logo in a classy hunter green screen print. Regular price is $5.50, but get one for just $1 with a purchase of $100 or more!

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Traditional NXTs IN STOCK
Get yours now!
This is an amazing value -- for our upright bass-playing friends who want an EUB that can "sub" for the big bass, we've done all the upgrades for you -- and even put a custom "traditional" finish on the bass.

You get all the modern ergonomics and portability of the NS Design Electric Uprights, but with the Traditional string set for a more authentic doublebass sound (and bowability). We've also had NS Design upgrade the tuners to the CR-spec Schallers. And the cool traditional brown finish, over the veneer, looks classy and traditional -- and we even include a set of f-hole decals you can optionally install on the bass.

Available only as a four-string, the bass is the current NXTa "active" model, with the built-in flash-rechargeable buffer circuit.

You can't get this exclusive model anywhere else, folks.

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Ingles SA-22 stands are IN STOCK AGAIN
We ran out of SA-22 Upright Bass Stands a couple weeks ago, and were told not to expect that new stands would be available until after Christmas. But, lucky us: they arrived early, and we got several pallets full, so they are now BACK IN STOCK and ready for IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT.

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You may have noticed that some bass strings are offered in "solo gauge" or "solo tuning" as an option. If you're not sure what that's supposed to mean, then read on to find out why they exist, and why someone might use them (which are, in my experience, often two different things!)

What they are: These strings vary only slightly from "orchestra gauge", or "orchestra tuning" which is the normal string for double bass. Upright bass tuning is normally G-D-A-E (high to low), while "solo tuning" is one full step higher: A-E-B-F# (high to low), so solo tuning strings are gauged for that slightly higher pitch, while maintaining the same familiar string tension and balance. So the bass plays and feels the same as it does with "regular" strings - but is pitched one whole step higher.

Why they exist: Why would someone choose a solo tuning string set? Simply, tuning up a whole step, using strings specifically for the purpose, is a means to put the higher pitches more "in reach" for someone playing solo repertoire. It can also provide a brighter tone, and better projection, for a solo performer who is playing melodic lines -- which often tend to use higher notes. There's a long history of solo string performers using altered and raised tunings for this purpose. The string sets that are designed and wound specifically for the purpose allow a player to tune to a higher pitch without putting unwanted extra stress on the instrument (tuning up "standard" strings would make them very tense, and add a lot of pressure to your instrument, possibly inhibiting vibration and over-stressing the bass top.)

Why most of my customers seem to use them: So you just discovered the legitimate, intended usage of solo strings. However, we find that - at least for our customer base, which leans heavily towards players who mostly play contemporary, bluegrass, or jazz styles - there's another popular reason to get solo tuning strings. We find that many of our customers install a solo set and tune it down to "normal" G-D-A-E tuning. Why? Tuning them a step below their intended pitch provides a lower tension than orchestra/medium gauge, to provide a "light" tension option for a string that the player likes. This most often comes into play with strings that offer a solo set, but not a light (aka weich) set; Pirastro Obligatos and Thomastik Superflexibles are two common, popular examples.

Where a stringmaker offers BOTH light and solo strings (like Thomastik Spirocores, Pirastro Evah Pirazzi), you'll usually find that the solo set - tuned to standard pitch - is slightly lighter than the light/weich set, but this isn't a hard and fast rule.

If that second reason to get solo strings sounds more like you, and you want to get a rough, non-scientific idea as to the difference in tension, at least in terms of your current strings, it's easy to do. Just tune your current (medium) strings down one full step, to F-C-G-D (high to low). Play on those a bit; see how they sound and feel. If you like it, and those strings are offered in solo gauge, that's roughly what your bass will play like with solo strings downtuned to E-A-D-G. Simple!

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The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.

PS: It should go without saying that all of the information here, unless otherwise attributed, was expressly created by us for the benefit of our customers. All graphics, text, data, and other information is copyrighted © 1995-current. You are not permitted to re-use any text, information, or graphical elements on your own website; you may post links to it, or small excerpts, on message boards if properly attributed and linked back to our pages.