How long do you play on a set of strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by tobie, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. tobie

    tobie Guest

    Nov 26, 2008
    Please forgive if this question had been asked before - I could not find a similar thread.

    I've still got the guitar-bought strings on my guitar, so I have no idea what type it is. I reckon I've played between 40 and 60 hours on them. I think that they don't sound so good anymore, but I'm not sure if I'm imagining things. How long do you guys play on strings before replacing them?
  2. Big Galoot

    Big Galoot Guest

    Aug 14, 2008
    The flats on my P-bass are 15 years old
  3. YCBass


    Aug 29, 2007
    For me there is no set time, I go by how they sound.

    I happen to like semi-worn roundwounds so I tend to hang on to them longer. I even change sets and keep the old one then put them back on sometimes.
  4. chjohnst

    chjohnst Guest

    Nov 24, 2008
    I play a bit of slap bass and I am also a little aggresive on my strings. I have swapped them out about once a month sometimes longer on previous basses. I have been using Ernie Balls lately which seem to loose their 'crispness' rather quickly but when they are new they sound excellent to my ears.
  5. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    If you think they don't sound as good as they used to, it's time to change them. You're not imagining things, and you'll see that when you restring it.

    It doesn't matter how long anyone else keeps theirs on.
  6. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay Guest

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Hummm... I think the last time I changed mine was August '07? Maybe July, actually. I never understood the whole 'dead strings' thing, but I also have a severe hatred for everything above about 3kHz on bass. Bleh, treble. Leave that trash for the guitarists.

    The thing with stock strings, though, is floor models often have poor setups and all sorts of whackos playing on them - they might have fret dents in really odd places, bad seating, slip winding, whatever. I'd change them ASAP, especially since they're sounding bad to you anyway.
  7. glen_with_1_n

    glen_with_1_n Guest

    Aug 12, 2008
    Melbourne, Victoria
    your response on this on will vary a lot. it depends on the player.

    for me i like a set of strings to last a while. ive currently got flats on my j bass and i intend on keeping them there for another year at least. the rounds i had on it before were about a year old.
    for me i like a nice worn in set of strings. but thats not for everyone.
  8. Until the harmonics don't ring, and then I just stop playing harmonics for a while.

    My yammy was strung with the same set of D'addarios for 2 years. They still sang before I swapped them out for some ProSteels, which I reckon will be on there for a full year at least.
  9. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    I hate the sound & feel of brand-new strings. I go as long as I can, until a producer or engineer makes me change them. I didn't change the strings on my MTD for two and a half years or so, until yesterday. The harmonics are much better but ugh, so bright and metallic-sounding in trade! The strings on my Variax are stock, probably 3 or so years now.

    I'm the opposite for guitar, though. I change the strings wound strings on my guitars about once every few weeks, and the plain strings for every gig/session.
  10. chanson

    chanson Supporting Member

    If I could afford it, I'd change them every 2 or 3 weeks. But seeing as I am not that wealthy, I try to change them every 2 months or so. I just got some new ones, the ones I had on until now were probably around a year old.
  11. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    I don't mind the loss of zing on my roundwounds - over time the sound mellows down somewhat and I actually like it.

    That said, none of my basses have strings fresher than six months.
  12. I change them every 2-3 months, but I also wash my hands before I play and wipe my strings down when I'm done so they will go a bit further if I do those things.
  13. I use flats and go for the big thump. My newest are 15 months old and the oldest are at least 6 years old. As long as The intonation is good, there's no reason for me to change them.
  14. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    I'd like to change them twice a month, but untill I win the lotto a set lasts me 1-2 months. I have the dreaded "acid hands" though, so strings die much faster for me.
  15. EADG mx

    EADG mx Guest

    Jul 4, 2005

    I do a seasonal setup tweak that also incorporates a cleaning of all components, as well as a string change.
  16. HelloJerk

    HelloJerk Guest

    Dec 28, 2008
    La Jolla, CA
    I change strings when one breaks.
  17. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    Change isn't good for some.
  18. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Round wounds: bout 5-8 gigs. (Round every 3 months)

    Half rounds: about every year or so.
  19. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    Same. My strings break about once every one to two years.
  20. Depends on the gigs.
    Flats I leave on 'till they break or won't hold pitch.
    Round-wounds I change every couple weeks if the band does a lot of slap-funk. They seems to lose their bounce after that.
    Hope that helps :D

    BTW, the previous poster's comments about strings on a bass in the store are spot-on. Sometimes those instruments (and the strings) get played to death before you buy.