Most of the basses on the planet are 3/4 size, so when somebody refers to "full size" one should usually assume the instrument is 3/4 size. As I mention in my Sizing FAQ
, there are no strict guidelines for basses that are commonly called 7/8 and 4/4 size. So, you can't assume that two different so-called 4/4 sized basses will have the same dimensions. They can, in fact, vary a great deal.
It is for this same reason that we won't know if a "standard" set of strings will fit your 7/8 or 4/4 size bass - since the dimensions of 4/4 basses can vary, a particular set of strings may fit "4/4 Bass A" but not
fit "4/4 Bass B." So how can you be sure?
You'll see two measures in the image on the right:
- Scale Length (mensur) - the speaking (vibrating) length of the string from the nut to the bridge
- Afterlength - the distance from the bridge to the tailpiece
An "average" 3/4 size bass has a scale length in the neighborhood of 41-42 inches with an afterlength around seven inches. However, the afterlengths on a 3/4 size bass can vary, as the size of the tailpiece - and its placement in relation to the bottom of the bass - will affect the numbers. Therefore, if your larger bass is close to those numbers, a "standard" length string will probably do.
Most "standard" strings are designed for 3/4 and
4/4 size basses. If you have a larger than normal bass, measure the Scale Length and Afterlength as defined in the image to the right, and add them together. If the number exceeds 49 inches, let us know which string interests you. We can then measure the string and verify that it will be ok with your bass (or suggest an alternative that will).