Interesting take on changing strings

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Thumpinshelton, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. I was talking to a fellow player who is a regular studio and for hire bassist. He works regularly throughout the nashville scene. We were on the subject of changing strings and he told me something very interesting. He told me on his 5 string basses he only changes his B string about every 3 or 4 changes. So, he only changes his E,A,D, and G strings on a regular basis. Has anyone else ever done this?
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I can see how someone that doesn't use the B string nearly as much as the others would benefit from this (cheaper to buy 4 string sets and a B every now and again); it makes sense.
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    NE ND
    I suppose that might make sense. I wonder, even though it isn't "actively" played as much as the others, how much "wear" a string gets just from being on and under tension?

    Can strings "get old" from just being on a bass. It might be interesting to take a bass and string it up, record it being played for a couple minutes and put it in a closet for a year. Check tuning very month to keep it at tension and then record it again in a year and see if there's a difference.
  4. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    I can tell you from experience of having had to change careers and move, and the gigs and bands came and went over the years, and playing other instruments as befitting the gig of the day, that I have a bass that I didn't change strings for several years, and only played it occasionally for a recording session or short (less than an hour) gig here and there. I estimate the strings were at least five years old, possibly older. I do have recordings. The strings did not age. They actually did have external rust on them, and I did finally change them for cosmetic reasons, but the tone was the same. The strings were GHS Progressives.
  5. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Inactive Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    The Brains:
    Everyone's body chemistry is different so they wear strings differently.
    Everyone has a different ideal tone.

    My instruments with Low B strings, the B string is usually first to go when playing rounds.

    I have one six string that hasn't seen a strong change in years and another that sees a complete change every week.
  6. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    I do this. On my 6- and 8-string basses, the C and F strings are the least played and sound good when they're slightly mellowed, so I'll often just replace the other strings and leave those to a simple DA soak.
  7. I change my B string every other time I change my E,A,D,and G.
    I change my F# string every other time I change my B string.
  8. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I have to believe economics drives this and not tone.

    Low strings - particularly those that drop below the reproduction threshold - benefit from as much upper harmonic content as they can get. At low E and below no rig gives you any fundamental at all so EVERYTHING you hear is harmonics, and an old string is absolutely harmonics-compromised.
  9. PluckyThump


    Jan 4, 2008
    The Hammer
    This has been my experience as well. I had considered buying a few single B-strings separately for just that reason.