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is my bass shrinking?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by PocketRocket, May 28, 2002.

  1. PocketRocket

    PocketRocket Guest

    Apr 25, 2001
    Topeka, Kansas
    I play on older fender jazz which I cannot put down or trade in - in other words, I will play this bass as long as I play the instrument.....
    However........the bass consistantly goes sharp as it sits in it's stand - especially on breaks of 15 to 30 minutes. The bass has done this for years. No temperature/humidity change seems to be doing this. It does it from the first set to the last and has made me wonder for years what is going on.
    Anyone have any ideas??
  2. I think the tuning would be going flat if the bass was shrinking (assuming the strings weren't affected by whatever is happening to the bass) - therefore, based on your description, I would suggest that the bass is, in fact expanding - tell me, does it still fit in its case? ;) - Joking aside, I've no idea what could be happening to your bass - perhaps one of your band-mates is having a little joke... ?

    - Wil
  3. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Its my understanding for some reason never explained to me that for some apparent reason a gu*tar or bass goes sharp after being played for a decent amount of time. It seems my bass and other guitarists I play with will have there instrument go sharp as they play for awhile.
  4. Chambers


    Apr 9, 2002
    Vancouver, WA
    *out of left feild*
    Possibly since you've been playing, and your hands have been in contact with the strings for a while, and you've retuned while playing.... then theoretically the string, after sitting and losing small amounts of heat from your hands, contract and the pitch goes sharper...
  5. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well, if there really isn't any temperature changes going on, it's a mystery to me. Is the bass stored in a different temperature before you play it ? If it were the tuners, it would be more logical for the bass to go flat, since the strings pull on the tuner, sort to speak. Strange. Chambers theory might work, but that has never happened to me.
  6. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Maybe the strings are shrinking.:p
  7. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    How much does it go sharp? If you don't retune it before you start playing it after it sets does it go back in tune as you play it?

    Are you checking with a tuner or by ear?

    I've seen some old tuners that changed calibration slightly with temp changes.

    Are all the strings changing by about the same amount or is the problem confined to one or more strings?

    Do you ever hear voices that aren't there? J/K :)


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