Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Leaving Strings Off....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ibanezist, May 3, 2003.


  1. Ibanezist

    Ibanezist

    Mar 24, 2002
    so I know your not supposed to leave the strings off a guitar, but I don't know exactly why. Does it mess up the necks bow and can it be fixed?:confused:
     
  2. do you mean leaving it with no strings at all? i never heard that was a bad idea. it might be undesirable to leave a bass with, say, just the E and A strings on and no D or G, since the neck would warp from uneven tension.
     
  3. Ibanezist

    Ibanezist

    Mar 24, 2002
    yeah I mean leaving it completely stringless.
     
  4. BassDodger

    BassDodger Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    I'm no Luthier, but I would imagine that it's simply not a good idea to let any string intrument go too long without strings on them. That bow you have in the neck of the bass disappears when you remove the strings, so it seems logical that leaving them off for more than say...a day, then it *might* lead to probs down the road. No matter how cheaply a bass is made, I can assure you that making a neck is probably the hardest part- you simply can't just "widdle" a bass neck from your favorite wood. Alot of though and engineering has to be present there.

    I would think the MAIN reason for not doing would be temperature variances. It's never a good idea to subject a bass to extremes. Say you live up north and your playing a gig that's an hour away by car. It's 20 dgrees outside, but you and your bass are comfortable as you have the heat on in your car, as you did in the house. Leaving the bass in it's case OUTSIDE when you unload for more than 20 mintues is dangerous to the neck. I think that doing this WITHOUT strings would amplify that danger.
     
  5. no, it should be fine. you might want to loosen the strings halfway, let it sit for an hour, and then take them off so the change in tension isn't so sudden. but leaving them off for a long time is no big deal. think about it, there are tons of necks sitting in warehouses around the world with no strings on them, or even bodies for that matter.
     
  6. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'd loosen the trussrod to prevent overbow...
     
  7. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    I agree. Take all of the tension off of the neck by lossening the truss rod and you should be fine.

    I learned this lesson the hard way about ten years ago with a mid eighty's Hamer.
     
  8. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I would say not to do it. It's true there are necks all over the world with no strings or bodies but they have never had strings on them. Once that wood is used to having tension it's a bad idea to change that. I've seen necks ruined because the strings were off for a couple weeks even with the truss rod loosened. That's why many people when they change their strings do it one string at a time. I believe wood has a sort of memory and it's best not to tamper with.
     
  9. CS Bass

    CS Bass

    Feb 18, 2003
    I always change all my strings at the same time. The strings are off for more than an hour or so while I clean everything.
     
  10. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    If you're talking about taking the strings off and leaving it that way for an extented period of time, it's a stupid idea. I can tell you first hand. I did that to one of my basses, left the strings off for about 3 months, and when I decided to set it up and start playing it again, the neck had such a bad bow that I had to take it to have some work done to it. I relesaed the tension as someone mentioned, but that didn't seem to do anything. Long story short, I had the neck fixed for a minimal cost, but the downside is now I have to play with heavier strings so that the tension will keep the neck from bowing. I would seriously not recommend ever taking the strings off for any extended period of time unless maybe it's a graphite neck that ill affected by these type of things.