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Detune guts when not playing?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by buffalobillh, Aug 28, 2005.


  1. buffalobillh

    buffalobillh

    Jul 20, 2005
    Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    Is it important to relieve tension on gut strings when not playing - inbetween practice sessions or gigs? Just got my bass back with guts. Very nice. Want to prolong the life of the strings as much as possible.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
  2. CB3000

    CB3000 Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Madison, wi
    i'm no expert but i have been using guts for 6 years now and you don't have to worry about them. i would leave them at regular tension and eventually they will get broken in. mine are really doing great now-i have played a bunch of outdoor fests this summer and they have held up really well. it seems there is a lot of voodoo surrounding gut strings. to me, they are very tough strings and don't need to be babied. i thought i read somewhere they found an egyptian instrument with catgut strings in a tomb and the strings still worked! after 2000 years! i clean mine off with lemon oil about once or twice a year. when i play outside in the heat i crack my bag open and let the bass warm up and i tune the strings up a half step or so. before we go on i tune up- that has worked well for me lately. BTW my E string is about 40 or 50 years old-wrapped gut wondertone. my A is at least 6 years probably more like 10. what kind did you get?
     
  3. buffalobillh

    buffalobillh

    Jul 20, 2005
    Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    Hey CB,

    I read that same article about the 2000 year old strings. Changes any preconceived notions one may have.

    I bought Clef Guts - all plain. Really digging the sound. Glad I finally did it. I love that old school thump. I'm getting used to the higher action and slightly different intonation. (the height difference between before and after is considerable, affecting usable string length) I've heard and read all kinds of crap about guts over the years, and most of it seems to be BS. It's not as complicated as I was led to believe. Fit them properly, and do maintenance when necessary. How hard is it to pay attention and take care with your strings and your axe?

    Bill
     
  4. CB3000

    CB3000 Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    Madison, wi
    it's a piece of cake. the big thing is getting them fitted right so they don't get snagged or damaged at the nut/bridge slots. one big tip i forgot was: i wash my hands before playing. less gook and abrasion on the strings. you'll be fine. enjoy! all plain guts are fun! i did that for a while.
     
  5. buffalobillh

    buffalobillh

    Jul 20, 2005
    Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    I had it setup by a local luthier when I had a bridge fitting and a crack under the pegbox repaired. Working great so far.

    Yeah, I always wash before playing. I don't want funky strings. That's why I brush before playing tuba. No funk. A chem clean is as expensive as new clef guts. That little extra effort in cleanliness is worth it ($$$).

    Bill
     
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Are you talking about unwound or wound guts? I used to detune my wound Pirastro guts - Olivs and Eudoxas all the time. I won't go into all the detail but I had a bunch of situations where the windings separated from the gut core and I thought detuning would help. I did it for a long time. However in the end I gave up on those strings as the windings were too much of a hassle. I'm now using unwound guts on the top and steel on the bottom and I never detune anymore.
     
  7. buffalobillh

    buffalobillh

    Jul 20, 2005
    Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    Unwound/plain
     
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I don't think you need to bother detuning at all.
     
  9. buffalobillh

    buffalobillh

    Jul 20, 2005
    Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Samuel Shen Basses, NS Design, D'Addario Strings
    Thanks for the replies.