Strings for the 12-String Bass

Strings for the 12-string bass can be hard to find. Very few retail stores stock them, and when they do, typically they have only one brand in stock and they are frequently very expensive.

Fortunately we now live in an ‘online world’ so buying strings is easier than it used to be. Websites such as (and even, believe it or not) can be good places to find 12-string bass string sets.

There is still the problem of lack of selection though - very few string manufacturers offer string sets for the 12. For instance, at last count D’Addario offered more than 100 different strings sets for electric basses including stainless steel, nickel, chrome, and tape-wound varieties. Of these, only one set is offered for the 12-string bass, a round-wound nickel set. Another brand, S.I.T. Strings, also offers more than 100 electric bass strings sets but only two for the 12, a stainless steel and a round-wound nickel set. So like they say in the old joke, you can have any flavor you want as long as it’s this one.

Machine used for attaching ball ends to guitar strings.

Basic guitar string winding machines.

There is always the option of combining regular 4-string bass string sets with guitar strings or even piccolo bass strings for the octaves. This does allow for a greater diversity of string types that can be used but it is also more expensive since multiple string sets have to be purchased.

This section chronicles the brands of strings that are currently available as well as discontinued sets, string changing tips and other related information.