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Dressing Strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Landy67, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. I've been using "Fast Fret" on my guitar and mandolin strings for the past year. It keeps the strings from tarnishing and they sound bright for months. I've also gotten used to the slick, lubricated feel of the strings.

    One of my basses has very coarse strings, and it's a real hard bass to fit strings. I've tried the Fast Fret, but it's nowhere near the difference you get with the thinner strings on a guitar.

    So does anyone use a dressing for bass strings, and if so what do you use? Is there a quick way to break in new bass strings?
  2. Sweat.
  3. Where do I buy it? Is there a specific brand I should look for?
  4. :D
  5. Danno1985


    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    You can't really mess with the good old "eat a big ol' bucket of KFC before the gig and then don't wash your hands afterwards" technique.
  6. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    Can't really kill that old Jaco myth, either. ;)
  7. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Jaco!???! He liked bright new Rotosound stainless. Now.Stephen Stills did actually say he rubbed barbeque sauce into new bass strings to make them loose the new found. It was in Guitar Player magazine around 1973 or so.

    I also recall an article in Bass Player about a session player (I want to say it was a Philadelphia based player) who did mention chicken grease. The book "Studio Bass Masters" has a mention of a Memphis player who kept petroleum jelly in the studio and used itbto lubricate his fingertips. That would have a similar effect.

    But never heard any mention of Jaco wanting to kill strings.

  8. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Maybe he meant Jamerson...
    Anyways, I also use Fast Fret. Bass strings are simply bigger and have thicker windings, and so will be inherently rougher. I actually use the Fast Fret on brand new strings to sort of break them in and help tame the super bright tone, and then continue using it to maintain that almost fresh tone. But unless you try something like Pressurewounds, Groundwounds, Half-wounds, or Flatwounds, you're gonna deal with that Roundwound roughness.
  9. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    Yes, I know Jaco played bright and fresh Rotos, and that is why I said myth. Never said anything about killing strings either, but the story about Jaco using chicken grease to lube his strings is well known. And incorrect.
  10. So what am I supposed to do with this bucket of KFC?

    Party at my place! I've got plenty of beer to go with the chicken.
  11. Danno1985


    Aug 27, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI
    Nope, haha. Funny thing is I know people who have heard the story and tried it though. Gross.
  12. kander


    Feb 3, 2007
    I gently rub my fingers on my nose/forehead for some natural grease.
  13. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    I may be crazy, but:

    Find a better set of strings.

    Try elixirs (coated) or maybe some GHS Pressure wound. They aren't as bright as "normal" strings, though.
  14. Kubicki440


    Feb 6, 2011

    I used to use Fast Fret years ago. Found I don't need it for the Elixir strings.
  15. AwesomeWithAQ


    Nov 25, 2012
    I use XLR8 by Planet Waves. Excellent cleaner/lubricant.
  16. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    The best advice I can offer is to get used to playing without lubricant. Are you using stainless steel or nickel strings? Nickel are much smoother feeling.
  17. Too late... I took the advice from above, but instead of KFC, I went with Lay's potato Chips (Classic.) I decided on the potato chips because the Trans fats are much healthier, and it doesn't go rancid as fast.
  18. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Someday I'm going to wipe my strings down with some McDonald's
    french fries. That lube should last a lifetime.
  19. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    In that case, I recommend a mixture of silicone spray, *bacon fat and Olestra. Slather it on liberally. Rub any excess on the fretboard and the back of the neck. *Tallow can be substituted for the bacon fat.