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a few questions about the care of a urb

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by bfitz, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. bfitz


    May 18, 2005
    lorain, ohio
    I just want to start off by saying thanks to everyone who has helped me on this site. I have a lot of off the wall questions and everyone who has posted answers has really helped me out.

    I have a few questions about the care and maintenance of the upright bass. I just recently bought a new upright that I love. I got it for a great price because the person I bought it off of didn’t want it sitting around his house anymore. I want to take care of it a lot better than uprights that I have had in the past because I feel that I would have to spend some real money to get anything better, unlike the older basses I’ve had. The best way to do this I guess is list my questions:

    1) the only cosmetic issue with this bass is that the man I bought it off of put lines on the side of the neck in white ink (looks like a sharpie, or something similar) to act as guides. I want to get them off because it is very distracting and there really not in the right places anyways. Is there any cleaner that won’t hurt the finish?

    2) An old teacher of mine taught me to use this stuff called “lectric shave” to clean the fingerboard. It was fine on my other basses but it took just a little of the stain off of the fingerboard. This bass has a lot better of a fingerboard on it but I still don’t want to mess it up, are there any better cleaners out there?

    3) I keep the bass in a room with a fairly regular temp. and I keep it on a stand when I’m not playing. The only problem is that it is the same room that we keep our computer, and my girlfriend and I are fairly heavy smokers. Will cigarette smoke dry the bass out? Should I get a humidifier?

    4) Finally, I think this will be a dumb question because I’m pretty sure that I know the answer. I am mostly an electric player, and I have boiled electric strings in the past to give them a few more weeks life when money is a little short. I’m not sure what kind of strings are on this bass; a very light string that seems almost like a round wound on electric, but the bow sound is really good. Can I boil them to get a little life back? I’m almost sure that you can’t, but if I can it would save a lot on getting new strings, even though I know that is what I need to do.

    Thank you in advance for any help that you have.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    If the markers are white, they are probably something that is paint based or maybe white out. So, it'll take some sort of solvent to remove them. Just be really careful. It may be easier and safer to rub them off with steel wool or something. Have you tried to scratch them off with your fingernail?

    "Lectric Shave" is pretty much alcohol and fragrance. Not good for a fb. It'll dry it out. There's no point in cleaning a fb at all really, but if you must, a VERY light amount of mineral oil or the like on a rag is probably best.

    Cigarette smoke is much worse for you than it is the bass. :) It'll just make it stink and over time give a nice, nasty yellow film all over. I don't think it will dry it out. It is a good idea to monitor the humidity though. The winter gets pretty dry in some places. Humidity levels below 30-35 are considered the danger zone for DBs. You can have things like seams splitting and even worse, tops cracking. Not fun.

    Don't boil the strings. A lot of DB strings have things within the core besides metal to help dampen harsh overtones.