I've been playing shows at a local theatre for the past several years and when our April show was cancelled, they paid everyone anyway. So I'm planning to invest it in my kit. For the past few shows, I've upgraded my electric gear; so this time I want to upgrade my acoustic bass.
The type of music varies from classical-ish (eg. Sweeney Todd) to tango to oompah-oompah vaudeville kind of stuff and occasionally country slap bass. How do I measure what the existing strings are so I can choose a slightly lighter gauge (hopefully with a little more top-end, easier fingering and a springier slap)?
For reference, it's a "step-up" rent-to-own student model 3/4 from St. Louis Strings, approx. $3500. Gorgeous red-brown with subtle grain on the body, and a super convenient discoloration on the back of the neck right at the "5th fret".
Can I just eyeball it with a precise ruler, or do I need some kind of caliper tool?