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how long do you play your strings before changing them?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Willem, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    So the question is how much time in between string changing?
    I'm a little confused about this...
    I've heard people say up to 3 years but also someone who said if you don't wash your hands every time before you pick up your bass, you'll kill your strings in 4 months...

    How long do you keep 'm on?
    Of course it depends on how much you play... mention that to.
    I play about an hour a day...

    Thanks people!
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Most people, in my experience, change them every 2-6 months. Depends on how much you play. Flatwound strings, however, can be left on for years, because they dont have that bright tone to begin with so they dont really sound worse as they get older; some people even think they sound better with age. With roundwounds, though, i usually change them every 3 months. 2 if i am playing a lot, like if my band has several gigs and stuff.
  3. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    thanks, seems to sum it up!
  4. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    It all depends on your personal preference.
    I use flats these days, and the LaBella flats on my Precision will be 2 years old in August. But back when I used to use Rotosound rounds I still left them on for a very long time. I always liked the Rotosound rounds best when they were about 1.5 years old.
  5. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    About 3-6 months for me.
  6. Errm, every 2 - 3 weeks.

    I like the twang and zing of new strings, I also find that they lose their flexibility after a couple of weeks.

    I currently use DR strings, hi beams.

    I play for about 5 hours per day.
  7. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    I use roundwounds and flats.

    Typically it is a years between string changes. It all depends on the tone you want. Which, of course, depends on the kind of music you play combined with your interpretation of it. And to a certain degree, the kind of strings you put on.

    There is no 'right' time to change strings. Find out what you like and then do it. Don't let anyone tell you different.


  8. You mean you can change bass strings? :confused: :eek: :confused: :eek:

    :D :D :D :D
  9. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I change 'em when they die or I get tired of them. I have a Franken-P that has some Chromes on it that may be a year or so old, and have also spent time on other basses. To me, it sounds like it should.

    OTOH, on my Jazzes, I currently have roundwounds. On one, I have a set of DR Fat Beams that sound almost like new (which I like) after 2+ months. I'll change them when they die. I've tried other rounds that would last anywhere from a week or so (ugh) to 4-to-6 weeks. I don't mind changing them monthly if I need to, but if they last longer, cool.

    I do not like the sound of old roundwounds, but old flats can be pretty cool.

    IMO, YMMV, etc.
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I like a modern, roundwound sound... that is a curse sometimes... takes lot's of watts and relatively new strings.

    I get, on average 5-7 gigs from a set of strings... so when playing a 6 night a week club thing (not many of those left outside of Casino's now:( ), I change each week. Otherwise, at least every month if I'm only playing weekends.
  11. I generally have to change my strings quite a lot, usually every 3 weeks if I want to get the bright sound I'm happy with.

    Also, usually if I play a gig with a new set of strings they're at rubber band level after. So they need to be changed then.
    It's annoying, and costly, so I end up boiling them.

    Does washing your hands before you play really help?
  12. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    i usually change them when my G string won't stay in tune, maybe every 6 months.
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I mainly use rounds and change them every 3-6 months. I gig several times a week, on average.
  14. They lose their flexibility? I've got an 8 month old set of DR Hi-Beams which is my 'perfect' set of strings and to me they've gained flexibility.
  15. Ideally I would change stings once a month. Given financial problems it tends to be every other month. I play steels (at the moment Fenders) and I like a bright 'zing'.

    Six days a week I play for an hour. The other day I play a four hour practice.

    Really it is down to the sound you want. I've heard that flat wounds sound great for years.
  16. Skel


    Jun 19, 2005
    Boulder, Colorado
    I actually don't like brand new strings. It takes me about a week to break them in - they feel too harsh when they're brand new. I like the crisp brightness, but not the feel - that take me about a week.
  17. ahaTFJ

    ahaTFJ Guest

    Apr 2, 2006
    2 or 3 times a year.
  18. JKwo


    Jan 12, 2006
    yeah, I just change when the they won't intonate/tune properly... or if they start to suddenly sound completely dead. So every 5 months maybe for me.
  19. I change my strings every 2-4 months. But some of them are losing their sound brightness after a couple of days.
  20. I love that new roundwound sound and tone usually goes 'dull' to me with in 4-5 days!!!

    very very expensive!! :help:

    I'm moving to Elixir's... we'll see how they do. :(

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