How Do I change strings?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BassDmb18, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. BassDmb18


    Dec 28, 2002
    Davie, FL
    Can someone walk me through it? I have never tried to, I just bought myself a new set of 5 string D'Addario strings. Help me out?
  2. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    yeah, i hade this problem for 2 years, too lazy to learn. but like after 2 years, like 2 months ago i learned :bassist: . So anyway, look as the things where the strings are hooked on to, and on your bridge. its pretty self explanetory. just either slip it through a hole on the headstock things, or you have to put it in a hole going vertical (like mine). but then apply pressure by pulling, and let it go around a few times, then while holding on to it, insert the gold (or whatever color) |o| like that, and then just when you don't have to pull anymore, just wind, sorry about the bad explanation, i tried my best, :bassist: _-Soto-_:bassist:
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
  4. BassDmb18


    Dec 28, 2002
    Davie, FL
    I just strung the B string.. But I think I messed up the Action or the Bridge, cuz now I get nothing but Rattling when its tuned to B.. How do I fix that?
  5. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Banished to "Setup"...
  6. I had this problem way back. It could be that there's not enough clearence on the string leaving the nut. I string my bass so the strings are all wound in the same direction, and wound from the top of the peg down, so that when the string goes through the nut it's going through at an angle (down, towards the headstock) and there's enough tension pulling it up.

    Hope that helps.
  7. BassDmb18


    Dec 28, 2002
    Davie, FL
    Well, the gauge on these strings are thicker than the old ones, so should I just raise the action? How would I do that?
  8. BassDmb18


    Dec 28, 2002
    Davie, FL
    **** it man, i'll take it to someone else. All I'm getting is rattling no matter what i do. this sucks
  9. Try raising the action. You do this via the little saddles the strings sit on. You know the metal bits the string comes over on the bridge? There are two hex screws in each saddle. Tighten them. Consistently aka 2 turns each or something. Until the action is raised a bit.

    Also check the curve of the neck, look down the neck from behind the bridge to the ehad stock.. is it too flat? A nice gentle curve upwards is quite alright. ;)


  10. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!!!!

    Lets go through this again. No offense to Obsolex but if he doesn't know the names of all the parts of the bass (headstock things?) then he likely isn't the right one to tell you how.

    First, don't make a judgement of how good a restring is when all you have is just the low B strung up. These sets are designed to work together. I prefer to remove all of my strings at once so that I can clean my fretboard thoroughly. Then, starting with the lowest, I install the string. Do this in the exact opposite way that you took it off. If you have to pull the string through the bridge and over the saddle, fine. If you have the kind of bridge where you just hook the ball end in the bridge (quick release) then do that. Feed the string through with your fingers - one hand pushing the string while the other pulls. DON'T just pull the string through. When you get the ball seated snugly against the bridge chassis, seat the string on the saddle and turn your attention to the tuner end. Now comes a difficult but learnable part. You have to determine how much of the string to cut off to make it wrap around the tuner post without doubling but while making sure that you have at least 2 complete turns of string around it. For the thicker Fender style posts, I clip the string about 4" longer than where it passes the post. For Gotoh (sealed) type tuners that are smaller, I clip it at 2"-3". Don't worry, you'll learn exactly how much with time and repetition. Now, take the end of the string that you've just shortened and poke it down in the hole in the center of the tuning post. Make it bottom out in the hole. This hole is used to trap the string so that it can be tightened and not slip out of the slot on the tuner. When the string is bottomed out, bend the string down so that it makes a right angle turn out of the slot. Once this is done, you can then begin winding the string around the tuner. On most basses, you will turn the tuning key away from the body so that the tuner post turns in a counter-clockwise rotation. Here's a very important part - as the string winds on the post, keep the tail you put in the hole pushed down. As the first loop is completed, start the second loop under the first one. As you do this with each individual winding, it will press the incoming string down towards the headstock. This is exactly what you want. By keeping the windings under each other, you create a certain tension across the nut and this keeps vibrations from occuring. If you find that you fill the post with windings before the string is tight enough to tune, then back it off and shorten the string by the amount you put in the hole then start your winding process over. Do NOT double the string windings. When you are done, you should have at least 2 complete winds around the post but 3 or 4 isn't uncommon. Of course the larger the string is, the fewer the post will hold but you'll learn after this one. Bring the string tension up to where has some tension on it. Repeat these steps for each string until finished. After I do this, I will "pre-stress" the string so that it comes to tune and stays in tune quicker. I start at the bridge end of the string and use my thumb and forefinger on each hand to grasp the string about 6" apart. Then I move my hands back and forth a couple of times to stretch the string. I keep shifting my hands about 3" up the string until I reach the nut. Then I tune to pitch. With this method, I usually only have to re-tune a couple of times before the string settles in at the proper pitch. When I haven't done this procedure, I've found that it could take a week before the string settles in.

    I mentioned that I remove all of my strings at the same time. I know there are folks out there that say this is a bad thing to do. Their reasoning is that the neck has no tension on it and that can lead to poor action after the strings are installed. Well, my take on it is that this is hogwash. It takes me all of about 15 minutes to do a string changed as I've described above and that short amount of time without tension won't hurt a neck whatsoever. Besides, any string change - especially one where gauges are changed - will necessarily take some time to get set-in. Also, changing gauges will definitely take some additional setup to make sure the nut is properly cut and that the relief is suitable with the change in tension.

    Only after completing all of the strings and making sure that the new strings seat down in the nut properly can you determine if there are additional parameters that need changing.

    Hope this helps
  11. BassDmb18


    Dec 28, 2002
    Davie, FL
    Maaaan! I'm seriously gettin frustrated. Whenever I try to hold the string down to get tension, no matter how hard i put down, either using my fingers and tearing them up, or pliers, when the string starts getting tight the string around the peg just slips up higher and higher losing the tension and just making it rattle like ****ing crazy man, this sucks, I was seriously getting so frustrated I just wannted to break it! ... I'm afraid I'm gonna do damage or somthing to the bridge or mess up the curve of the neck. Is it ok that the Neck is curved a little slightly outward? I'm just done ****ing with it and jus gonna take it to someone tomorrow and have them do it and waste my money.

    ~AJ/ pissed
  12. Hmm, good indepth explanation Hambone.



  13. NO NO NO! What it is is that when you only have your B string on, of COURSE it is going to rattle! You need to have ALL of your strings on and up to pitch before you try to determine if there is a rattle or not.
  14. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    You need to just put the bass away for the moment and chill out.

    When you are trying something new and you start getting frustrated you are setting yourself up for a big mess up.

    As Spankbass pointed out, all the strings have to be on the bass and tuned up to pitch before the string rattle goes away.

    I don't quite know what you were doing with the pliers but if you're not just using them to cut the string you're about to screw something up.

    Save yourself a lot of grief and possibly some money. Take the bass to pretty much any shop that sells strings and ask them to show you how to do it.

    Hambone gave a great step by step.However, It is impossible to know the extent of someones mechanical ability from what they type on the web.

    I've said it once before and it bears repeating.

    If you are not reasonably handy with your hands and tools, you probably are going to have a hard time with even the simplest adjustments and repairs to your bass. You'll also have problems unless you have a GOOD amount of patience.

    Even with help from a TB member one should do some research on thier own before attempting repairs/adjustments.

    The Gary Willis site is suggested frequently and is a great site- easy to understand and loaded with pix. GO THERE FIRST! it makes it much easier to understand instruction if you have a pix to go by.

    Sorry to hi jack your thread, BD18. Good luck with the restring.

    Now if someone can tell me why Davo737 still has buzzing on his E string, we'll both appreciate it! :) :)

  15. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Bring your bass to the music store.

    And trade it in for some drums. :rolleyes: