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Changing strings before a gig

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Eoghan, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Eoghan


    Dec 5, 2004
    I'm wondering: should I change my strings the day before a gig? OR should I change them the week before to let them settle in perfectly, or should i not change them?
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It depends what kind of sound you're after. If you've got to have that new string zing, the day before might be reasonable, assuming they're the same type of strings you've just taken off and that you've got a bit of time to practise on them and get that initial stretching out of the way.

    Personally, I tend more towards infrequent string changes and working with a more settled sound... :D

  3. I do the day/night before. I like the new string zing. Yeah, what wulf said, you need to give them time to stretch, otherwise you'll be inadvertently detuning in the set. Not good.
  4. Eoghan


    Dec 5, 2004
    Ah... So At the moment I want a drab, not too bright sound, so would the best idea to be put on the newbies today (gig in just over 1 week) so they arent completely dead, but a little dulled, or would that sound be nice with new strings and simply the bass's tone?
  5. If you don't want any new string zing, put them on now, it will give you time to wear them in a bit. They won't be dead in a week (unless you have killer hand acids) but they wont have all that initial zing. what you could do, is put them on the day before anyway, listen to the sound, if you like: keep, if not, fiddle with your treble EQ a bit to dial out some of the zing.
  6. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Change them like you normally do. I can't recommend doing something new before a gig. I want predictability at a show, If I get surprises I want it to be a titty shot or something, not a bad string or "to bright" a sound.

    Unless you change them all the time, Of course, then that is normal. :hyper:
  7. Arnie


    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    I am very rough on strings ( a lot of hand acid, or something) can kill a set of strings in 1 week. So I used to use rubbing alcohol to wipe them down on the bass, and they would immediately get that bright, new sound.

    I also used to go as far as to boil them in baking soda to clean them, before a gig. You should have seen my mom while I was using a sauce pot with grimy strings boiling away with dirt floating on top!
  8. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    If my In my case, I need New String Bite every night. I play out 2-6 times a month in a Rock-Funk Trio...at least once a month new strings go on. I don't know if it's me or the Stage Environment (we play outdoors a lot in North Carolina) but my strings die quick. I keep Rubbing Alcohol and a rag close by too. I have tried many brands of strings and many price ranges through the years but for this project I go with whatever's cheap...I have Hartke's on now and they work out great.
  9. basspunk2005

    basspunk2005 Guest

    Jan 31, 2005
    i always try to re string my bass/basses before every gig a)so i get the nice new string bright sound and plus so I dont have to worry if a string is going to break
  10. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I alternate two sets of strings, one always soaking in a PVC tube full of denatured alcohol. I then swap them the afternoon on each Friday, before that weekends' gigs. That way, I always have fresh sounding strings.

    Even after "rejuvenating" strings with whatever method you choose, they will go out of tune after being reinstalled until they are played for at least 30 minutes or so. So, if you change your strings or put on new strings, play for at least 30 minutes so that the windings settle around the tuning posts, through the nut, etc. etc. so that they are stable for you at your show.
  11. Tyler_W


    Jun 15, 2005
    Woodbridge, VA
    I'd do it 2 days before, just to get rid of the metallic sound of brand new strings.
  12. dean5master


    Feb 20, 2005
    i wouldnt change them unless you break your strings alot....what i do is just make sure i have an extra set of strings with me...but if u do change your strings try doing it a week before....at least with me i always have to adjust the neck when i put new strings on.
  13. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Unless they won't stay in tune, I would leave them alone...
  14. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    A friend of mine (a guitarist) changes his strings on all of his guitars before every performance... even if he's got one on Fri and one on Sat and one on Sun, he'll change before each.

    There is a way to change strings that makes it so they won't go out of tune on you, but it takes a lot of practice and certain ways of doing things.
  15. Well on my last (second) gig, my E string broke, so my first ever replacement of a string was undertaken in a moving vehicle with no wire cutters so my E string looks a bit munto at the headstock.
  16. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    When I change strings just before a gig, I tune them 1/2 step higher which stretches them, not completely, but about 95%. Just before I play I tune them 1/2 step high again to stretch them one more time. Then as I'm about to play, I tune them to key.

    Hope this helps.
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've never needed much time for strings to stabilize (I'm referring to tuning, not tone). I use 2 to 3 non-overlapping windings at the bottom of the post, tune to pitch, tug them *very* gently, re-tune. I'd be comfortable changing strings 1/2 hour before a gig.

    As noted many times, changing right before the gig gives brightest tone. It's up to you whether or not that's a good thing. :)
  18. DrewBud


    Jun 8, 2005
    I really think it comes down to if you want more of the new string sound. I personally HATE new strings...it takes at least 3 weeks of rehearsing and gigging 3-4 nights a week before I'm happy with their sound. So if I ever need to change them I time it as best I can so that I don't have any important gigs or studio sessions coming up before the dreaded "zing" in gone.

    ...I a big fan of the round, warm, non metallicy sound.

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