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Change strings all at once, or one at a time?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by TrooperFarva, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    I heard that it's not a good idea to take off all the strings at the same time, that its bad for the neck, because the tension isn't there anymore. Is this true? should I change my strings all at once, or is it better to do them one at a time? I searched the forum, but I didn't find any info. Thanks.
  2. WillBuckingham


    Mar 30, 2005
    Yes you should absolutely change them one at a time. Change a string, tune it to pitch, and then change the next thing.
  3. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    IMO/IME it makes absolutely no difference.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It matters on some basses. Others not so much. I have a bass that if I change the strings all at once the neck will need a truss rod readjustment. It all depends on how susceptible to weather changes your neck is.
  5. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002

  6. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    Its extremely bad to leave all the strings off the bass for any length of time. I had my Fender P-bass professionally set up and had them put new strings on it and after that the action and everthing was perfect. A couple weeks later i went to change the strings and put the exact same strings on and i took all of them off first and then put them on one by one. After that it totally jacked up the neck. The action was so high.

    My advice is to change them one at a time starting from the highest pitched string.
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Jimmy and lookjojoisplaid, what basses (what Fender P?) have caused problems for you? It shouldn't be a problem on any quality built bass. :confused:

    The reason I also ask is that my supposedly crappy built import BC Rich basses, both of which have really thin necks, haven't given me any trouble. My Schecter Stiletto Elite has also been no problem.

    When I change strings its all at once and it can be unstrung for maybe an hour as I clean the fretboard, deal with kids, the phone, etc. I have been doing it that way with my Innovator for 15+ years and 8 of those years were in humidity and temperature extreme Indiana.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I always take 'em all off, clean the board, and restring with the same brand, type and gauge of string. Action remains EXACTLY the same afterwards.
  9. Yes, it is a good opportunity to polish frets, clean and oil the fingerboard.
  10. +1

    I do the exact same
  11. Only problem i have had was when i restrung my EDA, i used a different gauge of strings, and after i restrung it, found the trussrod wont budge :( , so the problem would have popped up even if i had changed one at a time im guessing
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The one bass that always does it to me is my Guitar Factory 4. Great bass, except the neck is very susceptible to weather and tension changes. They said it was because I overtweaked the neck when I first got it, but I don't know. I should say that I own a second bass from them that is absolutely flawless (except for the B string...one string too many), so they could be right about that.
  13. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego

    My P-Bass Special. Its a P-bass Body with a Jazz neck
  14. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    The only bass I ever changed strings on one at a time was an old Rick 4001 that had a "floating'" bridge. Other than that particular instrument, I ALWAYS remove them ALL to clean, oil, prep the board for a fresh set. I have never had a problem with this method.
  15. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I'm not familiar with Guitar Factory. Hmm. Sounds like they told you some BS to me. :eyebrow: Did you tweak the neck and if so, how? Like I said, my BCR's have really thin necks and never had problems.

    What brand of neck is it? Eh, forget that, it shouldn't matter anyways.

    I think both of you guys have defective/bad necks. Maybe you both should look at replacements.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yeah, I overtweaked the neck a little. I didn't buy the explanation either, but the bass is so nice otherwise that I deal with it. Not a big deal. And to replace the neck would mean building a whole new bass, as it's neck-thru.

    Anyway, what are you looking for here? An admission that there's something wrong with my bass? Maybe there is. But it's so good in every other way that I really don't care that I have to change the strings one at a time. Big whoop.
  17. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Yea, you just can't swap them out! ;)

    :confused: What? Well, if there is something actually wrong with it that could explain your experience with changing the strings.

    What I was getting at is that I have never known anyone to have such problems. Also, as you can read here, most others have never had these problems. Sorry if you take offense somehow as that was not my intention. :meh:
  18. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    In my 30+ years of changing strings, I have to say that it makes no difference.
  19. SGT. Pepper

    SGT. Pepper Banned

    Nov 20, 2005
    One at a time. Why take the chance on having to do a rod adjustment, play it safe.
  20. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    +2 I do exactly the same..