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Is tuning down/retuning bad for strings?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by the art guy, Apr 15, 2009.


  1. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Iowa
    Maybe a silly question, I don't know. But if I want to use one bass (Fender P) for 2 different bands, and one band tunes down a half step, is it going to be any kind of problem to tune back and forth every week or so? Will it make the strings wear out faster or anything?
     
  2. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    If you have a 5-string you could just play everything in normal tuning and not detune.
     
  3. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Iowa
    True, but I don't.
     
  4. GianGian

    GianGian

    May 16, 2008
    I don't know about the strings...I aimagine it won't make any difference, I used to do this every week. It could make some damage to the neck, because you will be always changing the tension, but I think it will be ok too. My neck is okay, and I did it for every week for six months or so.
     
  5. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    As long as you don't exceed maximum tension on the strings (and a half step won't) you'll be fine with the strings.

    Your neck will move every time you retune.
     
  6. Vakmere

    Vakmere

    Sep 6, 2007
    Philly
    Then buy one and that will be one less thing to worry about. Another option is to tune the whole bass down a whole step and leave it there. You may like the way it sounds.
     
  7. It won't hurt anything.
     
  8. It won't be as harmful for the strings as it'll be for your neck,

    Your neck will move everytime you retune and eventually this can lead to warping...

    I have a friend who warped his guitar neck very badly from constantly changing tunings, his luthier told him that it's very bad for necks to do this and that the best thing is to have instruments dedicated to each tunings and that are setup accordingly.
     
  9. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Iowa
    I suppose that makes sense (about the neck). I can see how trying to change tunings all the time would do that. Would just going from standard to 1/2 step down really have that much effect, though? Such a minor change...
     
  10. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Are you retuning the entire set? That can be as much as adding/subtracting 12 pounds each time.
     
  11. 98mtd

    98mtd

    May 24, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Tuning down your E string a half step down is nothing to be concerned with neck tension. Tune it down to D, but learn the fingerings required with D and Eb tunings. Marcus Miller is a great example of this.
     

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