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bass care

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by roarman1, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. roarman1


    Jan 12, 2008
    how should i care for my bass in terms of maintenance? i don't ussualy do anything.
  2. Bhuti


    May 9, 2006
    Harlem, NY
    Warehouse/Shop Asst. & endorsing artist of Warwick Basses
    Depends on the bass and depends on your definition of "Care."

    Some people baby theirs, others knock it around.

    What i do is a set up every 2 weeks, change strings about every 2 weeks, polish and wax every 2 weeks.

    the more "monetary" care i do is that i wash my hands before i touch my bass usually, if not that, then purell. i keep a towel on my strings when it's in it's case and wipe it down after playing. in addition when i set it down and lean it on an amp, i have the towel between the point of contact with the bass and amp. Always lean it string side forward.

    I wipe my hands pretty frequently while playing to make sure i don't put a sneeze or anything else on it.

    Yeah, i'm a bit anal about my bass, but it's my career, i have a right to be.

    I'm also curious to see what everyone else does.
  3. bchamorro


    Nov 13, 2007
    Miami, Florida
    set up every month or two
    change strings every week
    quick polish if lots of finger prints or dirty
    wipe the fretboard after playing with a soft cloth
    wipe the bridge with a soft micro fiber cloth

    wash my hands always before playing. with warm water!!!
  4. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    Change strings every week??? That seems very unnecessary, not to mention very expensive.
  5. I just wipe it down with a soft rag after I am done playing. If I change the strings (2x a year), I check the wiring, clean the body, neck, frets and finger board. after the strings break in a week or so, check neck relief and intonation (usually never needs an adjustment)
  6. bchamorro


    Nov 13, 2007
    Miami, Florida
    i meant every month
  7. Mr D'addario suggested cleaning strings w/ a metho dampened rag after use-to get sweat & grime off strings. Which I do after use-gigs. Seems to work a bit. Now I use coated strings anyway! Polish & clean every week or so, lemon oil fretboard once every 3 months abouts. Check set up & intonation every 2/3 weeks. Clean every bit of the bass touched ny sweaty hands with either soft cloth or metho damped rag after use.
  8. Kyon`


    Aug 17, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I haven't changed my strings since last summer XD. I also rarely wipe it down and the last tour I had it out in the van to pluck for fun while in boiling desert heat. My l2k's been through a lot but I found I still can a nice sound, it's dirty to say the least :p.
  9. I do the usual wipe down after playing.

    Change strings when needed.(set up also)

    Check the battery on active models and clean hard to get at spots about 4 times/year

    Check wiring when fine cleaning.

    Lemon oil the finger boards every 2 string changes, or when needed on the dark woods

    Steel wool the frets and maple boards with string changes.

    Use a steel loop .243 cal. rifle brush to clean output jacks every 2 months.
  10. bamx


    Jul 2, 2006
    If its new I treat it good for the first month, after that or when it gets the first scratch I start treating it like used underwear. If you want to do something about it and be lazy at the same time just wash your hands and dont ever leave it in the sun (inside a car) or let food or drinks (basically crap) get on it. :cool:
  11. I set up a monthly schedule.
    Odd days:
    Check tuning.
    Even days:
    Remove beef and cheese remnants.

    Of course, I am kidding. :smug:
    Or am I?
  12. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I throw it in it's case when I'm done playing it. Change strings as needed, and don't tweak anything unless I'm getting a buzz, or there is another issue that needs to be addressed.
  13. BassBob185


    Oct 25, 2007
    Rocking Chair
    I wipe some Fast Fret on the strings/fretboard every month.
  14. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    a) Wash my hands before playing it
    b) Clean the strings before and after play , I use GHS fast fretboard.
    c) Polish every week
    d) Professional set up and fret oil conditioned every 6 month / year
    e) STRAPLOCKS in all my basses
    f) Hercules stands
  15. notenslaved

    notenslaved I survived the 80's only to see it return.

    Feb 13, 2008
    Connecticut, USA
    I just clean & buff the fingerboard (it's ebony) every time I see that green grimy fingerboard cheese with a slightly damp lint-free cloth (else you are picking threads out of every corner!).
    The rest of the bass I use that Dunlop 65 squirt bottle stuff. I spray it on a polishing cloth to apply it, then use another cloth to buff it out. I never spray it directly on the bass, and I have never used aerosol products on it. The bass has a lacquer finish.
    I always wipe the strings down after play with a lint-free towel. I use Fast Fret on the strings before & after I play because they seem to stay cleaner and last a little bit longer. Strings are expensive and stage lights make me sweat like a pig, so if I can get one more practice/gig out of them without compromising sound then the Fast Fret paid for itself.
    A couple times a year if the bass isn't freaking out over the weird Connecticut weather I take all the strings off and detail clean it, make sure the Loc-Tite is still on there (I use Loc-Tite on my bridge saddle screws because some like to vibrate out and I end up ripping my hand open on them :mad:). I probably use about 30 Q-tips on that stage.

    Regarding lemon oil - my repair guy was telling me that most over the counter products claiming to be - or containing - lemon oil aren't really lemon oil. This was reinforced later in some articles I read on the net (see below). He said a simple cleaning is really all you need, and that fingerboard cracking only happens from very dry conditions.

    Thing is, I've been using lemon oil for years with no problems but out of paranoia I stopped using it after this guy shared his info with me.

    I Google'd around and did find some interesting articles that talk about lemon oil as well, check 'em out:
    http://www.cumpiano.com/Home/Articles/Articles/fbrd oil.html

    The stuff about silicone is interesting - I've never used it, but now I certainly never will.
  16. notenslaved

    notenslaved I survived the 80's only to see it return.

    Feb 13, 2008
    Connecticut, USA
    Best practice!
  17. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    Anyone tried any of the Ernie Ball Wonder Wipes? I just ordered a tub each of the string cleaners, and the guitar polish.

    But yeah, back to the lemon oil, after I read the articles above, I had to go check on the bottle I use to make sure it didn't have the silicones or other no-no's. My bottle says it's exactly what was described as being the good stuff (no silicones, linseed oil, synthetics, or wax.... made by Holloway House, and does contain petroleum distillates). But I can say with certainty that I use it too much. Probably 2 or 3 times a week I'll put a few drops on a rag and wipe the neck down. It isn't just soaking it (only 5 or 6 drops in the rag), but you can see it's on there.
  18. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    my luthier told me that I do not need to use any fretboard oil, that maybe one time per year a soft wood conditioner will be ok, so this is what I do, just in winter time beacuse in Michigan the heather can cause a very dry enviroment.
  19. Tony G

    Tony G

    Jan 20, 2006
    I've used Formby's Lemon Oil treatment (http://www.formbys.com/products/lemon_oil.cfm) for years with great success. I even posed this question to Mike Tobias himself and he said that using Formby's Lemon Oil is perfectly fine to condition the rosewood fingerboard on my MTD 635. So not all lemon oil products are bad, you just have to know what your looking for.
  20. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    i usually check it out when there's a problem with intonation, and wipe out the most obvious fingerprints and clouds.

    otherwise, i don't really do much else. i like gunk and funk on my bass. within reason, of course....

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