Hey folks.  I'm just about finished with my next build, which is basically a 23" scale acoustic bass with weed whacker string.  It started out to be a U-bass but the tuners and the strings proved to be more than I wanted to deal with. 

So I'm testing out some weed whacker string and it's going great except for the E string.  I tried using some .105 trimmer string and it was just so floppy at the E note I couldn't keep it on the nut or bridge...not to mention it had no sound.  So my question is should I try a different gauge and if so higher or lower?  Which one would allow more string tension and still maintain that low frequency? 

Alternatively....should I just tune it up to an alternative tuning?  The other strings won't go up an entire octave but can I go up like 2 steps with each string and it still play properly?  I know nothing about basses, in case that wasn't entirely obvious.

Thanks for any input 

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That short 23" scale is gonna be tough to get down to standard bass frequencies. Even on my 39" scale bass I ended up using plastic coated wire clothesline from WalMart  to get decent tension on the low E. I think your idea of going up to a higher pitch bass may be the best way to go. Not a whole octave for sure but maybe bring that low E string up to a G and if that's not enough tension try A. Then you'd have A,D G, C as the 4 strings and still have a pretty bassy sound.

That's what I'm thinking too Jim.  I may have to tune it up a few steps. 

thanks

I tried to build a Ubass also. 21.5" scale. I used .095 for the E string without any trouble (I guess it's an octave higher than a real bass, but it worked). Trouble was that I couldn't get the high G string up to that note, even with smaller trimmer cord.

Ended up just building a ~34" scale bass canjo. Repurposing the Ubass build into a long-scale baritone uke.

I was able to get the E with .095 string but it was a little loose. I changed to .130 and I worked much better. The G I got with .050 string.

So I got it working and I took it all apart so I could stain it. Hopefully I'll have some finished pictures this week. Then I just have to learn how to play it.

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