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how do I know when to change strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by SottoVoce, Apr 9, 2001.


  1. SottoVoce

    SottoVoce

    Sep 16, 2000
    Canada
    The strings on the bass that I have at home is quite old -- I'm not sure how old, but the bass has been with the school for quite a while and there is no record of them ever being changed. The winding (sp?) is spaced unevenly on all the strings (all steel), and it's spaced out where it contacts the bridge. Also on the A string there's a warp near the bridge. However they all sound fine and plays well enough for my (relatively untrained) ears. So should I change them?
     
  2. My first instinct is to say Yes, by all means change them! But do you have a New set, or will you or the school have to buy them? Strings are not cheap, especially for a high school student.Do they stay in tune, or are they always stretching? Do they sound muffled, or muddy? Are you playing mostly Arco or Pizz? Do you mean a warp in the string or in the bridge? Is the winding separated enough that you can see the core of the string? Steel core strings usually last longer than Rope or gut core strings, But even they need to be changed occasionally. Do you know what kind of strings they are? Thomastik, Red Label, What? At any rate, I say if you have to ask, it's time to change them, or at least ask the school to order a New Set.
     
  3. SottoVoce

    SottoVoce

    Sep 16, 2000
    Canada
    Yes, the school has new sets of strings, so that's not a problem. I have no idea what brand they are. They stay in tune pretty well, except the A string (but I think that's because the peg is loose -- speaking of which, how do I fix that?) I can't really tell if they sound muffled . . . me being unexperienced as it is. I play both arco and pizz. The warp is in the string.

    On the E string near the bridge, the winding is separated enough to see the core, but otherwise it's just uneven.
     
  4. Okay, I'll use a metaphor to make a point here. When you get a used car, the first thing you should do is an oil change, because you have no idea when the last one was. My philosophy is similar with the strings. If you have no idea of the last time they were changed (probably never) then you should change them, especially since you have another set available. If nothing else, at least you'll learn how to put them on correctly. As for the tuning peg slipping, the gear is probably loose and you should be able to tighten it with a screwdriver.