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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Changing strings before a gig

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by pdusen, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    I've got a gig coming up sometime in december, and I was wondering what it'd be worth to change the strings the day before the gig.

    I use an Ibanez gsr200 and I have used the stock strings since I got them, having no real reason to change them.

    I'm considering using either D'arddio .045-.100s or GHS boomers.

    The reason I ask is because I'm really curious about string stretch. I know it's a big problem with guitars, but I've never changed my strings on this bass before. Do bass strings tend to stretch mid-play and lose their tune? or should i string it, tune it and be good to go?
  2. balzary


    Oct 28, 2004
    I would change the strings 1-2 days before and play for a while. this way you won't end up with tuning problems + to my ear totally new strings sound worse than ones that have been played a bit.

    i recommend testing ghs bass boomers.

    not a virgin anymore - this was my first post here :)
  3. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    If you got the gig with the strings you have now you probably better not change and if you do make sure you get the sound you want from new strings of any kind. A day before the gig is not soon enough IMHO.

  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It will radically alter your sound for a few days and then gradually settle down. Especially if you're not used to the sound of new strings, I wonder if a week or more before the gig might be better than a couple of days. They'll have lost some of the "zing" but might be a bit more predictable (plus, if everyone loves the sounds of brand new strings you'll end up having change more often ;) ).

  5. I like to get 2 or 3 good long practice sessions on a set of string before I gig with them. Just to let the tuning settle down and take the edge off a bit.
    So I will usually change strings when we have a couple weeks of downtime with no gigs.
  6. tonynoriega

    tonynoriega Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I like to have 2 or 3 days between stringing up and gigging. When I put on the strings, I like to do a little stretch routine: first I use a tuner to get them close to acccurately tuned, then I put the bass on my lap and pinch each string close to the middle of the fretboard, and gently lift up on the string with a small tugging motion, using the weight of the instrument to provide resistance. That helps the string to get seated in the nut and also provides a little stretch.

    I usually have to tune "up" for two or three days after putting them on, as they will stretch just sitting in the stand.

    I personally prefer the sound of new strings, not necessarily for their brightness, but primarily for the fullness of tone. Speaking of brightness, with new strings I often will roll off the treble on the bass or eq it down until the brightness subsides.

    Good luck,

    Tony Noriega
  7. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    my guitar strings usually take a full couple of hours to stay in a nice, consistent tone after ive stretched them good and well (in a similar fashion to what tonynoriega does, except i like to pull the strings everywhere between the bridge and the 3rd or 4th fret). i havent changed my bass strings either...but considering how much easier the bass stays in tune vs the guitar even with worn strings, i'd say just give it 2 days or so.
  8. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Changing strings a few days in advance is not a bad idea; they'll still sound fresh, but will have had time to settle. Brand new strings rarely stay in tune at first.

    Beware of stretching your strings, though. Some manufacturers, such as DR, actually recommend AGAINST stretching your strings, while other manufacturers recommend IN FAVOR of it.
  9. mnadelin


    Apr 6, 2003
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I agree. Put the strings on a day or too. The tuning thing is an issue, but I've also found that if you put them on 1-3 days before the gig and practice a lot beforehand, it'll break in the string and by the time you get to the gig, the strings will be at that week-long period where they sound really sweet. Personally, I think roundwound strings start sounding too dead after a week or two.
  10. I sometimes put strings on a few hours beforehand. I rarely have issue, at the most, a song to break in, usually during soundcheck... I get them to pitch, check the intonation quickly, give a slight downward pressure on the string at the bridge and nut, to create the "breaking points", and then give a slight stretch followed by a bit of open flogging of the string. Retune, good to go.