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How long should strings last

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by brutal bassist, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. i have marcus miller DRs and i play every day, how long should they last?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Depends how much of the bright "new string zing" you hope to hear. Cleaning the strings after every time you play will lengthen their tone life, and it helps if you aren't an aggro pick player, and also depends on how acidic your sweat is. If you don't mind the sound of broken-in strings, they can last for months. If you need the bright zing and have acidic sweat and play with a pick, you can expect to change your strings every day. :)
  3. Guest043

    Guest043 Guest

    Apr 8, 2008
    i use S.I.T. rock brights and i do like a lot of that "fresh pack" sound, but ive used one set for over a year before..but because at the time i wasent doing much recording, and diddnt have the cash to spare..

    but id say on average about 6 weeks, without boiling them. if you boil them, you can keep using them till they break, really.
  4. Use flats, they last until you break them.
  5. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    They should last one show. Anything after that is gravy.
  6. bonzo4880


    Sep 16, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    wipe them down after you play or practice. makes a huge difference.

    and dont boil them. alcohol is the way to go.
  7. You got it. Jamerson claimed at one point his were 17 years old... that "fresh out of the soul" sound.
  8. steve4765630


    Feb 27, 2006
    I change mine every 2 to 6 weeks depending on what I'm doing. If I'm recording I consider it my duty to have a fresh set on my bass. If I'm just jamming, I'll milk them a little longer. What I say is, when you don't like what you hear anymore, change them. Marcus Miller's tech changes his every other show I think. It's gotta be nice getting them for free:)
  9. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I'm pretty low on cash lately, so my strings have been going for 8+ months for a while. I've grown to like the sound of dead strings.

    I should just change over to flats at this point and not have to worry again. (Hell, the strings on my DB are at least 4? years old. :))
  10. tapp01


    Apr 10, 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    I too enjoy the sound of a thoroughly used string. Lots of lows and none of that yucky high end zing.:bag:
  11. I can generally keep a string set sounding good for about 3-4 months before a change.

    I like the new "zing"...but after 2-3 days, that sound stabilises to where I can get consistant tone for the next few months.
  12. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    AFAIK some people here have had flats on, still sounding good, for up to ten years. :eek: :D
  13. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    How much do your hands perspire? Do you wash your hands before each set? I'm typically satisfied with the sound of mine for several months at a time. Sometimes I'll change early if I have a gig or session where I need a brighter sound.
  14. There is no right answer. Flatwounds can last years. Change them if you don't like the tone you're getting.
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Regardless of string construction, they will last many years. The biggest factor in how long strings retain their "zing" is the PH / acid level of your finger sweat. I usually wash my hands before I play and only change my strings when I want a different contruction type (go to flats from rounds, etc.).

    After a preiod of time dependant on how hard you play they will start to have trouble keeping intonation, you'll notice they are difficult to tune. That's when it's time to replace them.

    Set up your bass and rig EQ for older strings after they at least three - four months old and you'll save a lot of money in the long run.
  16. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    +1. I once read (probably here) that you should change them as many times per year as the number of hours you play per week. One hour per week = one change per year, 4 hours per day X 7 days per week = 28 changes per year. :rollno: No, I don't necessarily believe that. :rollno:

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