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Killing my bass strings too fast

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by ThodorisKar, Aug 13, 2020.


  1. ThodorisKar

    ThodorisKar

    Jul 20, 2020
    First post on this forum so nice to meet you all !
    I play the bass for 10 years and always had a problem with string life due to my sweaty hands.The only strings that do the trick for me are from the brand Elixir but i do not like the way they sound and the feeling of steel in my fingers.
    Any advice on how to keep the strings last longer or another brand like Elixir but not that harsh will be appreciated.
     
  2. Well my first question is, What kind of music do you play? Cause if you play, say for example, Country, Reggae, Classic Rock you can easily use Tapewounds for a very suitable sound that fits those genres. But if you play something like Progressive Rock, Metal, Funk, youre going to need that more agressive Roundwound sound.

    Secondly, I see a Rickenbacker in your profile photo. Is that your main bass? If it is, what are the strings on it?
     
  3. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Strings going dead fast or lasting for a long time are relative terms. Some people call week old strings dead.
     
    DTRN, Mili, Tony In Philly and 8 others like this.
  4. Have you tried their nickel-plated steel version, vs. stainless steel?
     
    MonetBass likes this.
  5. ThodorisKar

    ThodorisKar

    Jul 20, 2020
    So, I play in heavy metal groups only and i want my sound to be as bright as possible.
    The rickenbacker in my profile picture is my main since march and so i use it with Elixir strings ATM.
    For me when a string is not clearly bright it's about time to change them and every other brand than Elixir that I've used so far didn't last more than 2-3 weeks
     
  6. ThodorisKar

    ThodorisKar

    Jul 20, 2020
    In some specific brands like ernieball i think i am one of those guys. Nice sound but low life
     
    SteveFromBerlin likes this.
  7. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There are tricks with cleaning or boiling or the ridiculous "slap the **** out of them" method. The best thing to do try to keep your hands clean, wipe the strings off with a dry cloth, and try to live with them for longer. It's not easy to change your own standards but it's doable.
     
  8. ThodorisKar

    ThodorisKar

    Jul 20, 2020
    I've only used the Stainless steel ones , are the nickel plated softer to touch? and does the nickel plate affect the string life ?
     
  9. Gorn

    Gorn

    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Aren't you touching the thick coating on elixirs and not the strings themselves?
     
    Dominic DeCosa and mcnach like this.
  10. ThodorisKar

    ThodorisKar

    Jul 20, 2020
    That might be the thing that's harsh on my fingers but at the same time it's the thing that keeps the strings last longer
     
    DrThumpenstein and HG1180 like this.
  11. NPS does feel a bit smoother in texture than SS, and they're warmer in tone...at least with non-coated strings. The longevity with Elixirs has more to do with their coating than the type of cover wire.
     
  12. And I

    And I Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Definitely wipe the strings down with a clean cloth after playing. Try some other coated strings, you may like the sound more than Elixers. DR black beauties, dragon skins, or neons?
     
    smogg and GitmoMango like this.
  13. ugly_bassplayer

    ugly_bassplayer Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Québec
    The age old question of new strings without getting new strings.

    Bite the bullet and buy some when you consider them "worn out or dead".

    Either that or settle for elixir or other coated strings.

    My 2 cents
     
  14. I have the same issue you do!

    I have been using stainless steel strings but recently switched to a nickel plated string and it seems to be lasting a while. Haven't used them long enough to know for sure but another thing is they aren't as stiff as what I was using. I also made a habit of using a microfiber cloth to wipe the strings down after playing (before switching strings).

    I went from Dunlop Marcus Miller SS to D'Addario EXL-165 (5 string sets). They are bright enough for me and I like em BRIGHT lol
     
  15. Vinny_G and gebass6 like this.
  16. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    I play in an acoustic band with a guy that can kill a set of uncoated acoustic guitar strings in an hour. No joking at all. His body / skin chemistry must be extremely acidic. He has to play coated strings or change strings in the middle of a jam. He went with the Nano-Web version of elixers and still gets at least 95% of the brightness he gets with uncoated strings. You can probably learn to use them and EQ your way around the bright-kill of the coating. There’s not much other choice unless there is a stainless alloy out there that your body chemistry won’t kill.
     
    SteveFromBerlin likes this.
  17. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    If you want a consistent bright tone, you have to change strings often. I knew someone who did a lot of studio work - he used to change strings every session. Other than that, wipe down your strings after every use.
     
    Omega Monkey and Brad Easley like this.
  18. Agreed, totally relative. Janek likes to change his strings after 2-3 days of just practicing... but he gets string sponsorships and can do that (currently with DR). ;)

    I just switched to a set of flats on my Pbass out of Covid boredom, but had rounds on it until just recently that were maybe almost a year old that were perfect. (for that old school P bass tone anyway. :cool:)

    Can't argue with these. I also agree on wiping down strings.

    @ThodorisKar - D'Addario just recently introduced their XT bass strings, might be worth checking out. I have a set waiting to try as soon as I get them on a bass, so can't comment on them from a personal standpoint yet.

    5sg.
     
    SteveFromBerlin and Geddaric like this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Another thought - look for less expensive strings so the bite isn't sonar, and change when needed.
     
    MCF likes this.
  20. Also, I don't know how it would work with coated strings (have only tried with regular strings, years ago), but you could maybe try the string boiling trick to get a little more use out of each set.

    5sg.
     
    danesdad likes this.

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