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How Long Do Your Strings Last?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ZenG, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. How often do you change yours?

    What's your average time before replacement?

    Do you find you have to tune them frequently to stay in tune?
  2. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    I change mine every 8 months- 1 year, maybe year and a half. Depends how often I am playing them. Tuning has never been an issue (except when they are brand new)
  3. What would be the average "settle-in" time?
  4. austentaciousC


    Mar 17, 2010
    Average settle in time is roughly 3-5 hours of play, although certain brands will take longer or shorter and have a more drastic difference in tone after break in. I'm speaking strictly about round wounds, flats are different.
  5. grinx

    grinx Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    change them every 10 years or so

    i replace when they break (once in 28 years)
    i replace them when the silk color bores me (once in 28 years)
    i replace them when Carvin puts LaBella flats on my recent purchase and brand new they sound like mud farting

    rarely have to tune them unless i knock a beer over with the headstock
  6. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I change mine after about 200 hours of playing.

    They're too zingy sounding for the first two hours or so.

    What is 'frequent' for tuning? I automatically tune every bass when I first pick it up, and check the tuning every 5 or 6 songs. One or two strings are usually a tiny bit out, but not so much that anyone else but me would notice.
  7. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Roundwounds: every two or three months.

    Flats: people change flats?

    Tuning: I check my tuning every time I pick up the bass. I have to make minor adjustments about every other time.
  8. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    How often to change strings?
    Kahler-equipped bass: every 6~8 shows(24 to 32 hours playing time) go more = increase possiblity of a string break during a song(entire bass shifts out of tune because of trem springs pull with 1 string missing). If the E string is dead, they get changed OR if visual inspection shows a weak spot developing over a trem roller.

    Normal bass: when the E string goes dead

    Settle-in time and why:
    No frequent tuning required but a good rule of thumb(unless you have roadies) is to play a new set an hour or two prior to a show. Going out of tune during a performance is not fun and the audience isn't there to hear that.
  9. Going on 6 years for my oldest set of rounds. I change them when no amount of EQ will get them to sound the way I want. When I put new strings on, I stretch them a bit manually then tune them up and don't notice any tuning instability. I tune every time I play, generally once and I'm good for the night.

    For flats, I just use an old set of rounds. Eventually they get to sounding like flats.
  10. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I've never played any set of roundwound strings by any brand that doesn't start going dull by 5-7 days of playing. I certainly don't change my strings that often though, too friggin expensive!
  11. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I can get many years of good tone out of a set of strings with proper care and cleaning, though I don't prefer to. After 6 months(around 300-500 hours of playtime) or so they become harder to manipulate and perform certain techniques with. I haven't run into any tuning issues yet.
  12. How long do they last? About a week.
    How often can I stop being lazy enough to actually change them? Months to years.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    That is the correct question! AFAIK the answer is "No". Depending on the bass, mine vary from only a couple of years old to 40+ years old.
  14. Lou Bottini

    Lou Bottini Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Never change the flats on the P-Bass
    3-4 months with the nickel wounds on the Jazz
  15. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    every month, (roundwounds) cant imagine more than that.
    freaks me out to hear years mentioned above. to each their own.
    i like em brite.
  16. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    1. Years between changes

    2. They stay in tune just fine, thank you.

    3. Settle-in time? You're kidding, right? ;)

    4. You didn't ask, but they're TI flats! :)
  17. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I change strings if one breaks which is almost never.
  18. I change my strings religiously every other Friday. It averages out that I put a new set of strings on my main gigging basses every 16-20 hours of playing time. And, if bass strings were a bit cheaper, I'd change 'em after every gig. Hell, truth be known, I'd probably change 'em after every set if I could! There ain't nothin' that sounds better to me than a fresh set of grindy, zingy stainless steel strings.:bassist:
  19. For me its up to 3 months I play a lot.
  20. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i'm sure that genré is responsible for some of you extremist. funk and clank-rock being the number one reason for frequent replacements. i keep my strings until i get bored, which usually takes several months.