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Here at Strings Direct, we know all too well the importance of selecting the correct length of strings for your bass guitar.   Unfortunately, many of the string sets today are labelled with a recommended scale length but no exact measurements for the string length are given.  Unfortunately, scale length doesn't give us the full story as there are no rules on how long a set of long scale strings should be. One brand's long scale set can differ in length to another brand. This is where the confusion can come in.  But fear not, we're here to help....

Here's how to measure your bass
In order to get the correct length bass strings we always encourage our customers to measure from the ball end to the headstock side of the nut.   If you want to know why this length is so important, you can check out our blog post on bass scale length here for more detailed information.

Below is a step-by-step guide on exactly how to measure your bass;

Step 1) Grab yourself a tape measure

Step 2) Measure from the ball end of your current set of strings all the way up to the headstock side of your top nut (see image below).
Measure from here - the ball end of your string
Measure up to here - (the headstock side) of your nut
The distance you measure is the minimum length your strings need to be before any silk wrap or tapering should start. You’re aiming for the string to be long enough to pass through your bridge or body (depending on how you string your bass) and for the wound portion of the string to then pass over the nut before the silk winding starts or the string starts to taper down.
If the silk starts before (or even in) the nut, it is a big no, no and the string simply won’t sound as it should.
**PLEASE NOTE** If you have a bass where you cannot see the ball end i.e. a thru-body bass, you will have to measure your string once it has been removed. 

To accurately do this before taking the string off the bass, make a mark on the string with a permanent marker just behind the nut. Then once you’ve unwound the string from the machinehead and removed it from the bass, measure from the ball end up the mark you made on the string.   This will be your 'ball end to nut' measurement.
A quick tip... before taking the string off your bass, be sure to cut the string beyond your marker and remove the straggly, curly bits from the top of the string.  If left on, there's a risk of the string waving about scratching the body of your bass.  Plus trying to pull these straggly bits of string through your bass' body is not a simple or pleasant job.
If you have a thru-body bass, make a mark on your string to know where to measure up to

 Step 3) 
Once you have your measurement, use our bass string finder below to see which sets fit your bass guitar.


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