Do you detune between gigs?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Roger Davis, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    I posted this under 'strings' but got zero response so I'm hoping to make it a bit more visible in the Jazz section. Any comments most gratefully received.

    I've read some TB posts that mention the beneficial effects of detuning , slackening, whatever, strings that when they are retuned to pitch give a new brighter sound. This accords with my recent experience. After a few days that new brightness seems to fade away.

    Do any of you do this routinely, between gigs, once a month, whatever, to maintain the brightness? I'd be very interested to know.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Never. My bass is so stable these days, I've been able to go a month between retuning. Plus, detuning can be hard on synthetic strings.
  3. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    +1. I only ever have to do minor tweaking.

    I tried Oblis and Doms and I felt like taking them on and off the bass (ie changing tension) made them dies quicker.
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    There's been such wide swings in temperature and humidity up here this summer that my bass has thoughtfully taken care of that for me.

    Siriusly, the last two sets of Animas, after 3 or 4 weeks on the bass I only had to tune if I hit a handle by accident (or had a gig at Sofia's, that piano HAD to have been white at some point. It gets tuned once a year whether it needs it or not), but this summer it's about every time I take it out of the bag....
  5. I think I am stupidly misunderstanding this here, but do you mean you don't even have to tune your bass for a MONTH? If so, that is amazing!
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Maybe not a month but def for several days in a row. Usually the heat/weather/humidity changes things on us. Me personally, I would not detune at all. Doing it too much might shorten string lifespan. It's fine without it anyway. Some strings, you dont' want bright anyways, like Spiros - which sound like a banjo when you first slap them on.
  7. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Not to mention that taking tension off the bridge by detuning make the bridge and soundpost more susceptable to moving. Don't need that in my life.
  8. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Yes, and I'm very pleased about it. :) And people often ask me why I haven't tried gut strings yet...:ninja:
  9. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    That's what I'm sayin'! I've had the urge to try other stuff but so many things about Spiros make things so care free.
  10. Menacewarf


    Mar 9, 2007
    Just like with the ladies. You choose to be satisfied or you choose to be restless.
  11. Dan Conwell

    Dan Conwell

    Mar 27, 2007
    Wooster, Ohio
    A luthier here in Ohio recommended tuning down once a week, and I find it really improves the sound of my instrument. I do avoid traveling with the instrument tuned down.
  12. I know a guy who is a serious pro (BBC etc) and he detunes by about a tone or so evertime he has to move his bass. This sounds like good practice since the structure is still solid enough to hold up against slight nudges but reduces the damage which might be done if the bass takes a serious knock. Also the strings should theoretically last longer. I tried this for a while but got bored having to completely retune (as opposed to fine tuning) at new venues every time. It's a personal thing. If you've got patience and dicipline it might help a bit but It's not for most of us lazy lopers!