Best Strings for Fender Jazz Bass

June 26, 2017

FENDER Jazz Bass 4 Strings

How to Choose Replacement Strings for a Fender Jazz BassA Fender jazz bass provides a soulful sound that is especially enjoyable when you are playing jazz classics. As your strings age, they lose their sound. If it is time to replace your strings, you must think about what you plan to buy. The choice of strings depends on the sound you want to achieve, the material used in the construction of the strings, how it affects the sound and wear of your instrument, and the string's gauge. Also, make sure to reduce feedback noise from your playing by using the best strings for your Fender jazz bass.

Consider the Number of Strings and Scale

The first thing to consider is the technical aspects of your bass. If you want to buy a set of strings, you need to know how many the bass requires. The next thing to determine is the scale of your bass guitar. To find your Fender's scale, measure from the bridge saddles to the nut. While you measure it in inches, you may find the designations listed as short, medium, long, and extra or super long.

Consider the Windings

Manufacturers wind bass strings in one of four ways. The following chart describes each of their features and the sound they produce.

Type of Winding

Style and Features



Often made of metal; has not been ground down

Modern sound; bright and clear

Smooth design

Deep sound with a kind of "thump"

Half Roundwound

Partially ground down

Produces a sound somewhere between that of a roundwound and flatwound


Made of nylon

Deep and warm sound

Since jazz is all about producing warm tones and deep sound, strings that provide those tones are the most popular. Other strings produce tones that are more suitable for different music styles.

Choose the Material of the Strings

The material of the string set not only changes the sound, making it either warmer, more robust or creating a sharper tone, but also impacts the amount of wear the instrument receives from playing it. Strings are available made from numerous material types, but stainless steel is a popular choice with jazz musicians, especially for those that prefer a more modern sound. Traditionalists enjoy the sound produced from pure nickel strings, as it has a more mellow tone.

Choose the Right Gauge

The gauge describes how thick the guitar strings are. The gauge you should choose depends on the kind of music you play. A thicker gauge provides a deeper sound, while a lightweight gauge has a higher tone. Since jazz requires a low sound, a thicker gauge is the best choice. However, keep in mind that a thinner gauge is easier on the fingers, which makes it a better choice for beginners.

If in doubt, a medium gauge is a good compromise. Some brands provide a specialized combination of string thicknesses within a set. If these are not suitable, another option is to buy the strings for your bass guitar individually at different gauges rather than buying them as a set.

Be Aware of Noise

Certain types of bass guitar strings cause more finger noise, which is especially noticeable if you use slides when playing. Certain strings may also produce a buzzing sound that can interrupt the flow of the music. Thicker gauge strings often create more noise, while stainless steel is slicker and produces less noise. The causes of any additional noise can even be a of the string's gauge, material, and winding, so experiment to determine which ones produce the least amount of sound for your particular style of playing.

Choose the Best Bass String Brand

Once you know the winding, material type, and gauge of the bass string you want, decide on a brand. Many famous musicians have chosen a favorite after trying out several brands. Fender is one of the best-known brands, but D'Addario and Thomastik are two other brands that are popular with musicians.

How to Buy Replacement Strings on eBay

When it is time to replace your jazz bass strings, look to find the brand and style you want from sellers on eBay. Do a search for them on any eBay page; narrow the results by price or other filter options. Once you find what you are looking for, check out the seller and find out what other people have to say about them by reading their feedback.

Donna Lee on 6 string Fender jazz bass @ 260 bpm
Donna Lee on 6 string Fender jazz bass @ 260 bpm
Searcy String Works #4 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass Pickup
Searcy String Works #4 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass Pickup

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