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Changing Strings Before Show

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Discosteve86, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Discosteve86


    Jan 12, 2012
    I am playing a show exactly 9 days from now. I plan to change my strings tonight before a 3 hour practice followed by a 2 hour practice and another 3 hour practice next week before the show. Does this give me sufficient time to break the strings in nicely? I have broken strings before a show and I want to avoid this, however, I have sanded the cradles on the bridge in hopes of preventing string breakage. Thanks.
  2. depends on the strings, weather, temperature on stage, and how you play.

    i never change strings the day of a gig. i try to give it 2-3 days before, witch would on average land me somewhere around 10 hours of playing time, between teaching and rehearsing.

    really if you play on them for one long rehearsal that should be fine, perhaps 2 hours of playing time.
  3. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    Should be plenty of time, if by "breaking in" you means staying in tune. I don't know if 8 hours of playing time is enough to take the edge off rounds if that's what you mean. I've never broken a string in 46 years of playing, so I assume you must play really hard. Seems to me, though, that a new string would be less likely to break.
  4. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Sounds like a good plan.
  5. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    May depend on brand and type of strings, as well as on playing style. My chromes normally need 10 to 20 hours of playing to be totally broken in. This might be less if I were using all strings equally, but E and A are used far more than D, let alone G, which I hardly use.
  6. Usually bass strings (and guitar strings) with proper stretching before use should work fine during the show. Proper stretching, of course. I've seen (good) technicians put brand new guitar strings on guitars one hour before the show starts...
  7. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    I'd have to change my strings after all of that use. lol.

    I change my strings the day before the show. I play an hour or two before the show. I never have any tuning issues.
  8. Buxtehude


    Jan 5, 2011
    On the afternoon of a show. Put them on. Stretch them. Play for half an hour. A couple of tuning checks during first set and all is well. I love my strings with the new sound. And I want the audience to hear that sound. Others prefer a broken in sound.
  9. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    I've changed strings minutes before shows and never had tuning problems. Just make sure your winds are clean and that you stretch them properly until they stabilize.

    If it's about making sure that your strings lose their brightness thats another story.
  10. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    Just have your bass tech play the strings in if he changes them before a show...:)
  11. You will be fine bass strings arn't as picky as guitar strings
  12. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    DFW, TX
    Though I did play with a guitar player who changed his strings before EVERY show. Even if we had 2 shows in the same day, he would still change them.
  13. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    Chris Squire change strings before every gig, so totally fresh Roto's each show
  14. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    You can even change your strings on the day of the show. As long as you stretch them properly, you wont see any issue.

    I habitually change my strings the morning of a show.
  15. So does Steve Harris. And those are Flatwounds!
  16. iCombs


    Jan 6, 2009
    I've changed strings as little as an hour before I go on stage...but when I was touring...a set would only last me 3-6 shows (high-energy band and I played pretty hard).

    Call me crazy...but I can deal with a touch of tuning wobble at the end of the song vs. a set of rubber bands/linguine noodles for an entire set.
  17. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    I restrung my P-bass last week about 2.5 hours before hand. I stretched them retuned, stretched them again, repeated probably 4x and the bass has stayed in tune beautifully. Took me 20 minutes or so.
  18. why would he do that with flats? i hate new flats..
  19. Liam Wald

    Liam Wald Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    California Coast
    Yeah, I changed strings once. They were getting pretty funky. If I remember correctly that was in 1992. They were only 20 years old but had gone really dead. The new ones are lasting a bit better. It took about 5 years to break them in but they are doing just fine, thank you. I might get another 10 years or so out of them. Flats of course.
  20. Talk about overkill. was he always tuning? seems like when a gui**** changes strings they stretch for a couple days pretty bad. Maybe, It is just my perception.

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