How often....

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bassopotomus_2, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. How often should i change my strings??

    i dont play gigs yet and i learn for about 2 hours a day, how often should i change my strings?
  2. I've known people that practically never change their strings. They leave them on for even a whole year. It's mostly a matter of personal taste. If you like the sound you get with old strings, then you can probably leave them. There are a couple of good reasons to change them though.

    Strings can get stretched out unevenly which can lead to intonation problems.

    Over time, you lose the tone of the string. Some people don't mind this though.

    If you keep your strings on too long, your frets can get worn by the windings easier. Since the same parts of the winding touch the frets all the time, they get little grooves worn in them. I have seen this before but it is probably rare. By changing your strings, you vary the contact points more.

    I change my strings, on average, every 2 months.

    - Dave
  3. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    on some basses i love old strings. they lack of soustain and highs, but i like how they sound on my jazz bass. the sound is similar to the flat strings.
    i hate otherwise the sound of old strings on my rickenbacker..
  4. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Don't let the calendar tell you when to change strings, let your ears do the talking. Another person can have their bass strapped on the same amount of hours as you, but the amount of time either of you is actually playing can vary widely.

    If you don't trust your ears, ask others. But ultimately, you have to be the judge of when your sound isn't up to your standards.

    When it's right for someone else to change and when it's right for you depend on too many variables. Like barroso, I like strings to "mellow out" for certain styles of music. If you're playing some form of hard rock, you probably will change fairly often once a set loses its steely, almost grand piano-like, "zing."

    The amount of acids in your body oils and just how oily your fingers are matters a lot.

    If you think you might be due for a new set, put them on and see how much difference there is between your sound before the new strings and after. Then you'll know whether your sound deteriorated a great deal or just a little.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    It is all a matter of personal experience. I play my basses 15-20 hours a week. I have dry skin, I hardly ever sweat when I play and I always wipe down the strings and fingerboard after every use with a non-abrasive polish cloth. I can keep a set of strings 3-4 months and they still sound bright. I usually change them out of habit about every 2-3 months because they start to intonate funny.
  6. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    Once i had a set on for 2 1/2 years and i finally broke a "G."