1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Applying Strings without cutting them

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by VacantPlanets, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Ok, its been a long time since i last posted here, but i have a good question, I am wondering how to change my strings without cutting them, I had a friend (a guitar player) who wound up my old yamaha (inline 4 headstock no angle), all i remember is that he wrapped the string around the tuning post and if iirc didnt put the string through the post until after it was wrapped (if that makes sense)

    i have a newer yamaha with a 2+2 angled headstock that needs new strings on it, but i wanted to try that style of applying strings before i put new ones on..but for the life of me i cant remember how he did it, i see it on guitars all the time... but never on basses

    if someone could explain or perhaps find a diagram that would awesome :cool:
  2. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    I think I know what you're trying to do. I don't have a example about it how you can apply this..

    Can you tell me why you want to do this instead of cutting it? The best thing to do is wrapping the string only 2 / 3 times around the tuning peg.
  3. If you want the string ends sticking out for the cool looks, I'd go about it this way:

    Lay the string through the slit in the tuning peg, making sure you have enough slack for winding the string three times around the peg. Put the first wind above the string end to keep it from slipping out, and wind downwards towards the headstock itself, with the rest of the winds below the string end.

    Note: this way of installing strings is probably less stable than cutting them to install with the end poked into the hole in the peg. You can also hurt someone with long pointy string ends. The only time I'd consider installing a string in the way I described is if I break a string and remembered to bring a spare set, but not a wire cutter.
  4. to quote the both of you @Thomas Kievit: The reason is mainly i dont have any good way of cutting them without ruining a pliers or the strings...

    @oysteivi: yea its mostly for looks and lack of proper cutting tools, but i thought it was a cool thing my buddy did, and i would like to learn it for myself, and we no longer live in the same state so i cant have him simply show me...
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You need to have tuners with eyelets so the string can go through, most bass tuners use holes in the center the string goes down into so you have to cut it reasonably close to length otherwise you will have too many windings.

    Why would you want to do this? You like to look unprofessional and have sharp things flaling about? Spend the $5 on some cutters.
  6. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    Well if you lack cutting tools: I just bend the string where I would cut it, then bend it back and forth a bunch until it breaks.

    If you don't have anything to crimp the windings with first, I wouldn't recommend this for roundcore strings. But I've been doing that with hexcore strings for a few years, with zero issues. Most inexpensive wire cutters are only good for tens of cuts, anyway. Then you have to buy new ones. If you can crimp, then you can safely do it for roundcores, as well.

    You can just do it with our hands. But if you want to crimp and make a more precise bend, get some slip-joint pliers, similar to this:


    if you get the kind with the leverage thing in the middle like that, you can easily crimp the windings and the pinch the string, while you bend it back and forth 90 degress, until it breaks.
  7. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    If the tuning posts were slotted, I can think of only one possibility:

    Start winding from the bottom of the post. Continue winding until you have a wrap above the bottom
    of the slot. Then thread the string end through the slot so that the end exits in between the top wrap
    and the next wrap down.

    If you have to have extra uncut string, at least coil them up or something.

  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You don't cut strings with pliers. Sidecutters work better. And if you're going to play an instrument and change the strings occasionally, you should buy basic tools to do it right.

    You won't hurt anything by having extra windings, but your friend did it wrong.

    Start with the string inserted into the tuner, don't end that way. Wind down over the string 's end to lock it in place. Wind down the tuner and do the winding so the string ends up coming off the very bottom of the tuner (this gives the best string break angle over the nut.)

    You'll end up with a ball of string wound around the lower part of each tuner, and that ball will probably let the string slip and stretch more than normal, so for some time you will have to tune more often than usual.

    Get the tools and do it right. If you're going to play the game, you need the equipment.
  9. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    If you let the string stick out this way, then you can coil the excess into circles, similar to the way new strings are coiled in the package. Makes the string ends a little less dangerous.
  10. Pliers are very bad at cutting strings. Wire cutters are made for copper. They don't hold up well at all on strings. Cutters for steel wire have harder jaws than wire cutters. The cheapest I've seen that handle steel wire are the smallest bolt cutters or MIG wire cutters at Harbor Freight. Myself, I have a pair of cutters for SIS bicycle cable (I think they are Trek brand), and they are perfect for strings (SIS derailleur cable is very hard), but they probably cost $30 or so.
  11. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Montgomery, Texas
    Totally not a cool look, when I see a bass strung like this I always think "Guitar player trying to play bass":smug:
  12. When our singer had his guitar strung with uncut ends, our real guitarist took out his wire cutters during practice and cut them off. Said he didn't want that dangerous thing waved near his face :)
    Esoge likes this.
  13. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Makes sence :) I always use a pincer. Before cutting, I pull the string all the way past the tuning peg and then I measure about 3 / 4 inch from the heart of the tuning peg, towards the end of the string and then I cut it off. Easily to do plus you only do about 3 woundings around the tuning peg :)

  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Every time I see the string ends sticking out, I think "this guy does not even know how to change strings. What an amateur."

    But anyway, go to any hardware store and get a $6 set of side cutters and cut the strings right.
  15. Freestyler


    Mar 5, 2010
    Someone with strings ends sticking out doesn't look cool, he looks like someone who want to look cool (or someone who can't string his bass). :p

    And when you'll poke someone's eye out, you will look even less cool. :scowl:
  16. "gone for a couple of days, and comes back to a LOT of input" i can string a bass no problem, but i see a lot of negative input on what i wanted to do..so i guess i will not do it then
  17. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains: FretNation.com
    You'll poke your eye out...
  18. I've always used diagonal cutting pliers. I've never noticed any tool damage. Some wear, maybe, but no damage. I use nickel strings, though. Stainless might be a different story?

    I agree with Pilgrim in having the tools to work on your gear. Also, you should keep em in your case or gig bag, where the wife and kids can't get at em... Have you ever seen what they can do to a Phillips screwdriver tip? Makes me shutter just thinking about one of those getting anywhere near one of my basses.
  19. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    Also, when removing strings, cut and remove them carefully or you'll run a significant risk of scratching the finish on your (or someone else's) bass.
  20. Good point. I always straighten the curly end that was around the post, prior to removal, and maintain control all the way out of the bridge. And, never cut em off... releasing tension that rapidly can damage your neck.

    I also change my strings one at a time, unless I need to clean and/or oil the fretboard. This keeps the neck from moving, and at least on my Ric (though there could be other basses with similar bridge design) keeps the bridge from moving, and messing up the intonation.

    Also, 2-3 wraps around the post is just a guideline. You want the string to come off the bottom of the post, almost but not quite touching the bushing. (You don't want it binding, and pushing out, either.) This might end up being 2 wraps on your B or E string and as many as 4 or 5 on your G.

    And, one last thing... Once you have your lengths dialed in, you can take the old string and use it as a measuring device to cut your new string from. Saves time and eliminates the math.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.