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How to Lock Bass Strings in Place

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by The Crying Reaper, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. I have been starting to play a lot of metal and I noticed that when I downtune, my strings detune rather quickly, so I was wondering if there was a way for my strings to stay in place.

    I use a Rogue VB100LH
  2. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
  3. Perhaps you need better tuners. Rogue hardware is not the best.
  4. when you tune down, don't just tune down to the pitch you're looking for and stop
    tune down below the pitch you want, and then tune up
    It makes the gears in the tuning machine lock in the right direction.
    Atshen, ShadowImage, JLS and 7 others like this.
  5. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
  6. jfh2112


    Jun 18, 2013
    Brookhaven, MS
    Stretch your strings when you replace them; that'll help keep your tuning stable.

    Also this.
    The Crying Reaper likes this.
  7. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Killed_by_Death (post #4) is correct. ANY tuner tuned down instead of up will go flat on you.
  8. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Yup, tune lower, pull/stretch/tug the strings a bit, then tune up.
  9. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Depending on how low you down tune, you may want to up your string gauge to offset the tension lost with the lower tuning. For example, if you usually play 40-100 for E tuning and down tune to C#, you may try to find some strings that are closer to 55-115. You might have to file the nut a touch to accommodate the gauge. Dedicating a bass to specific tunings, especially when it's a whole step or more lower, is usually a good idea.
  10. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    Did not know that about the tuners needing to be tuned up, makes sense though. THANKS!
    Also, OP may want to try to up the string gauge as others have mentioned, helps greatly with tension.
  11. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I looked into your bass, it's a 31" scale. That's right on the fence between short and medium scale. This alone is a major issue for staying in tune with lower tunings. All things being equal, a shorter scale has less tension with the same gauge strings. That bass design came from a time when high tension flat wounds were the only string option and the vast majority of music was in E tuning. The shorter scale helped them play easier and the resultant lower tension kept the hollow bass from imploding under the tension.

    I will reiterate the designated bass argument--a Violin bass is not quite the proper tool for the down tuned metal job. A 34" scale bass with 50-110 would do lower tunings better in terms of holding tune, sounding snappy and intonate better than a 31" with much heavier strings. Most any $100ish used left handed 34" scale bass would do the job much better.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016

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