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Is this bad?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by stepswork4me, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. I've never damaged a bass doing this.

    25 vote(s)
  2. I've hurt my baby and I'll never do it again.

    1 vote(s)
  3. I have never and would never treat her so roughly.

    10 vote(s)
  1. Let me start by saying that this was nothing I was taught to do; I could not afford lessons as a kid...

    When I string my basses, I always start with the center string (5'er A string). I next string the D, the E, the G, and finally the B. After stringing it, I place the palm of my hand under the strings and lift on them fairly hard. I do this to stretch them fully so they stay in tune. I've been doing this for 19 years or so and haven't had any problems. It just occurred to me that I could possibly do some damage to my bass. Any experience to share?
  2. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    I don't stretch my strings. It causes your strings to die faster for little benefit.

    On the other hand i don't think you are damaging your bass.
  3. I've always gotten quite a bit of bright life out of my good ol' DR highbeams. I just figured that they stretch anyway, hence the tuning issue with new strings. After stretching, they would stay in tune forever.
  4. Labi


    Jun 14, 2006
    Stretching the strings is essential for me. Though I stretch them one by one not all at once. I seriously doubt it that this shortens their life.
  5. thwump64


    Feb 2, 2010
    Oshawa, ON
    That's pretty much how I've been doing it.
  6. Its what I was taught to do. String 'em up, firmly stretch each one, retune, maybe even stretch again. Bass always stays in tune.
  7. donut


    Jan 27, 2004
    I always stretch when changing strings, but I do it one at a time. Grab it at the 12th fret and pull the string across the fretboard so it's touching the one next to it. Re-tune and repeat until the string stays in tune.

    I find if I don't do that then I very quickly go out of tune when playing normally.
  8. Well, with this being such a common practice, has anyone ever pulled a bridge or tuner loose, or bowed a neck after years of doing it? I've not had these problems but wondered how probable they are.
  9. lowregister


    Feb 26, 2009
    Madison, WI
    I suppose it's still a highly contested area, but read all the negative feedback after "Expert" village put out this video:


    I personally don't stretch them. It doesn't feel right to do it. IMO I perceive the string instrument as an item in a consistent equilibrium of forces (not spiritual mind you). I suppose that video above is the EXTREME of it.

    What do luthiers have to say about it?
  10. Never happened to me either with cheap basses (Squier, OLP) or with (relatively) more expensive basses (MIM, Am. Fender). I'm not a luthier, but it seems to me that if this kind of tension change took something off or bowed a neck, it would be due to an inherent problem with the construction of the instrument that would have eventually happened anyway. Basses are pretty sturdy, in my experience!
  11. I also do this, stretch string, retune, stretch string, retune, and then a final time. It definitly keeps them in tune a lot better.
  12. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG! Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    I never stretch my strings. In fact I’d say on average it only go’s out of tune two or three times due to not stretching then there good to go. Also there are plenty of other factors that cause a bass to go out of tune such as the weather, gig bags and playing to name a few. I don’t mind tuning my bass I do it all the time. Thus stretching seems kinda pointless.
  13. I don't bother with string stretching procedures anymore. I just install strings, tune, play, tune, play (repeat as necessary) and after about an hour of doing this, they're good to go. I don't believe that the practice of 'stretching' strings does anything beneficial to the core of the string so all I care about is allowing the windings to settle 'naturally' into position.
  14. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    I stretch em. Probably because I learned how to string on a guitar!
    But I've never had a problem with a working bass-I did have a problem where one of my set screws on a b string wasn't holding so when I stretched the b string it'd move.......but the stretching alerted me to an issue that needed fixing.

    That said, I wouldn't do them all at the same time and I definetly don't do it sharply or overly hard. I don't yank as yard as I can.. I just pull em up about 1/2", for me, its to settle the windings around the posts. I noticed that they tighten up when I pull them by hand faster and I don't get any major slippage later.

    If you hear creaking, don't pull any higher :)

    Should add a poll to this :)
  15. Ask and Ye shall receive!
  16. Ned Starks Head

    Ned Starks Head Yis, actually.

    Sep 25, 2004
    Charlotte NC
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
  17. +1 This is exactly what I was going to say.
  18. Gojiras_Hejira


    Feb 9, 2010
    Is there an official word from manufacturers? What do the guys at rotosound or Ernie Ball do with their new strings?

  19. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Doesn't hurt, stablizes tuning.

  20. I'm a string stretcher.

    I get my finger beneath the string near the nut, put a fair amount of tension on it, and run my finger to the bridge and back a couple times on each string. Then I tune a bit sharp, then flat, then correct....set to go for several days.

    Edit: I really doubt stretching your new strings will cause any noticeable life lost, nor damage your instrument...at least if you're not getting all gonzo with it.

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