Broken Or Not?
Hi, everybody. I had an odd thing happen today right in the middle of practice. In the middle of playing, I heard my G going flat -nasty and quickly. I stopped, grabbed a tuner, and I was at an F#. I tuned back up and started again. By halfway through (Saint-Sens' Elephant from Carnival), I was flat again, and at a solid Fnat. This time, turning the string up didn't do anything, and it actually started going flat mid-wind, so I stopped turning.
I took the string completely off and inspected it. I couldn't see anything but a bit of missing silk at the pegbox end. When I put it back on, it seemed to wind to tension, but I didn't have time to test it out before I had to run to class. I got it to hold a G and pizzed around on it for about 45 seconds.
For reference, I play a Merano (CCB that's had some setup work) strung with Helicore Orchestra Mediums. Been wanting to replace, but a college budget makes it hard to do.
Did the string break or is something else happening? If latter, does anybody know what?
could be slippage. For lack of a better term. You know, when there's noodly cross-windongs on the peg, or the string somehow loses grip on the peg, "something" (well, the tension) makes the windings on the peg slip into place. Now I don't know how long your strings have been on, but especially if they have been put on recently, that can happen. I have had this on e-strings sometimes, rather long ago.
If it doesn't look broken, it probably isn't, would be my guess.
Sometimes the ball end will slip into a more solid seating in the tailpiece slot. You might check the tail end of the strings for this. Good luck!
It's possible that there was some breakage somewhere in the peg-end, if the stripped off portion looks really rough. I'd just make sure it's wound back on with the maximum amount of turns you can get with a reasonable amount of string showing through the tuning post. I've strung up a few sets of Spiros and D'Addarios in that condition, that way, and they've done just fine.
BTW a Prelude G isn't such a bad mix with the Helicore set if it comes down to that
Thanks everybody. The bass is a year old, and the strings have been on for 8 months. However, I don't have air conditioning and it nearly broke 100 in my city over the weekend. When I tuned yesterday, everything was about a step and a half flat! Plus I had just re-tied my quiver. My bet now is that it somehow slipped out of the tailpiece slot and just went downhill earlier during practice.
Earlier, I took the strong off completely, wiped some gunk off the bottom, and retuned it, wrapping very slowly around the peg. I'm in orchestra class right now and so far it's holding it's tuning. But I sure was worried for awhile.
"Everything was a step-and-a-half flat" sounds like you should take a look at your tailpiece wire...
Or your sound post.
I would check it immediately.
The G string sounds like it was just slipping. Had it broken, you would never have been able
to get it back up to pitch.
The bigger concern is that the sound post fell or shifted when you removed the G string.
If so, get the tension off it. Lot of potental for damage.
Hmmm - if my soundpost went down enough to drop the tuning that much, I'm sure it'd be through the back and the strings would be sitting against the fingerboard. Worth checking though.
I used to play on an old German bass with hat peg tuners and sometimes one string would slip up in the tuning shaft, causing the string to suddenly go way flat. I think this is more common with hat peg tuners that have a wooden tuning shaft, but it's my hypothesis for what might be going on with you bass. Something may be out of whack with the tuning gear or something.
Thanks for the concern, but it's definitely not the sound post in this case. As I mentioned, it's a Chinese Cheapie, and it arrived with a glued sound post. It's also got an endpin bent so far forward that it no longer retracts, and a nasty crack in the saddle to boot. It's got a lot of issues, but until I can secure funds for something better, I'm sitting on it anyways, so I may as well play it.
Could the crack in the saddle be a crack in the peg box?
At opposite ends of the bass? That'd be a pretty long crack :D
EDIT: Or you mean the endpin block maybe?
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