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My Bass Strings Die Too Quickly

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by HazyMan, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    I recently got new Dunlop bass strings (most likely about a month ago or maybe less) and they lost their bright sound too quickly and sound semi-dead. What could be causing bass strings to die so quickly? I want this to stop. On my old bass i got an older set of Elixir strings which STILL sound good btw.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Keep your hands clean and wipe down the strings after you play for a while and they'll last longer.
  3. It may be that you simply like new string zing. This will disappear on almost any string after a few weeks. No simple solution for that other than what you already did. Try coated strings like elixir which don't sound as fresh out of the pack as other strings but keep this sound for quite a bit.
    Other than that what Gorn said.
  4. madbass6

    madbass6 Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    I do not give consent to use any of my photos ! please respect that. thank you.
    Always Wash your hands before playing and rub down your strings on bass with a dry cloth before putting it away . here's just an idea..
    I carry a small hand sanitizer in a zip lock bag in my gig bag to make sure my hands are always cleaned before each set at gigs!
    Further more, Some Elixir strings are known to have some sort of special coating Wish is probably the reason why they've lasted you longer then others .
    BrentSimons and MrLenny1 like this.
  5. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    Thank you people for your replies... I didn't know that wiping the strings with a dry cloth would help. I have a question. Every Thursday specifically i get to play with some kids and we play 3 songs. 2 songs are in E standard which is where i'm tuned at, but in one other song i have to go to Drop D. So every thursday i basically drop and tune back to E. Could that also be another reason why my E string sounds dead already?
  6. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    My Bass strings didn't keep their fresh sound even for one week though, but thanks for your reply. Are there any coated strings besides Elixir? Elixirs are pretty expensive so i want to see if i could spend less money.
  7. Whippet


    Aug 30, 2014
    Some people just sweat more on their hands. This could be the reason.

    I have heard several professional bass and 6 string players say that when you put on a new string, before you play, wipe it with those lubricants like fret ease, finger sleaze, etc etc. This will make your strings last longer. The key is to apply right after you string your guitar with new strings. Start playing after you use this. And obviously as others have mentioned, wipe it after you play.

    I ended up with dr. duck and Planet Waves xlr8 applicator. Long story short it's mineral oil. The XLR8 will last you several days and then you just drip some Dr Duck on it and continue your job of wiping before and after and in between. I've used all sorts but by far, this combo is the cheapest. Dr Duck will literally last you several years with one bottle. XLR8? I use mine several times a day, and I mean I scrub that thing hard and it's lasted me 9 months and still going.

    I've used this method on my Elixirs and they seem to have no horrible effect on the strings. I have also been using this for my nylon tape strings and it's caused no problem. Just do what I said and thank me later.

    As to strings, just get some Warwick Reds. They are really bright in the beginning but settle down after some time. They are cheap, you won't miss anything. If you must have coated, I personally have never used them but I believe Ibanez have them and are a little cheaper.
    trothwell likes this.
  8. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    Thanks for your statement, i'll keep that on mind
  9. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    Use DRs or something. Dunlop in particular sounded dull quickly for me and I'm definitely not a string killer.

    Btw, drop tuning isn't hurting anything. My one bass will cover standard, Eb and Drop D with the same strings.
  10. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    okay, thanks! the constant tuning changing could BREAK a string tho if used too much right?
    someone told me that if i change tunings constantly my strings could break so im wondering if constant tuning changing can damage my strings in any way. thanks for your response!
    btw, i had ordered red glowing DR strings and they had died pretty quickly, but i guess there are better DRs and i had opened the package with those red DRs and left it there for few months before actually putting them on. I guess ill try DR strings next time
  11. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    My knee-jerk answer would be "Get a Drop-D tuner, and switch to flats", but that probably isn't what you want to hear. Although, if you're going to keep doing this drop tuning thing, a Drop D tuner might be a good idea... As for the strings dying? Other than keeping your hands and the strings as clean as possible, the sad fact is - that's just how round wound strings are. The new-string zing fades quickly, and they die completely soon after. Some die quicker than others, but none of them last for very long. Coated ones, like the Elixers, and nylon tape wounds (which are rounds under the tape), can last a surprisingly long time. But, none of them will even begin to last as long as flat wounds. But, flats will never sound as bright as a new set of rounds, either; so, as with most of Life - you gotta choose one thing or the other...:whistle:
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  12. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    i really should look into coated and nylon tape strings
  13. jasonmatthews


    Jul 10, 2016
    Atlanta, GA
    Strings die. It's normal. When I was playing shows daily years ago I'd change strings at least once a week.... I like my instruments to sound a certain way, and constantly having new strings is paramount.

    Some people adamantly disagree with this, but sometimes I'll recommend finding really, really, really inexpensive strings to use. Once I found some strings on clearance for like $3/set, so I bought 50 sets. Then I don't feel bad about changing them so often. People say "oh but those are crap," and yes... they're not great strings, but they play well and I can change them often. Just a thought.
    Arthur U. Poon and trothwell like this.
  14. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    I have tapes on a couple of my basses. I like them, but I like flats an awful lot, too. If that new round wound brightness is what you want, you won't get it with tapes. They are much more like flats. If you do want to try them, though, the La Bella White Copper Tapes are supposed to be the brightest. The Roto 88's and La Bella Black Tapes that I use, are way over on the darker side... If you like how the Elixirs sound, you might consider just sticking with them. I don't have them on a bass, but I do have a guitar with Elixers on it; pretty nice strings, but IMO, the gauge is too light for that guitar. Otherwise, they'd stay...:cool:
  15. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    Well, coated strings in general have that bright long-life sound that i am looking for i think, so elixirs and other coated strings?
  16. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    I honestly don't know; with only a couple of exceptions, flats and tapes are what I use on basses. I know about the Elixers because of that guitar. I'd recommend going to www.bassstringsonline.com, and checking out what Jason has under the "Tapewound and Coated Strings" listing. If you see something that strikes your fancy, Jason is a great guy to deal with - and, being a member here, you'll even get a discount...;)
  17. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    thanks, ill check it out
  18. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
  19. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    I've been using this stuff on my guitar strings for ages now. I certainly notice more life out of them, and it certainly feels more comfortable to play as well. I haven't used it on bass though, as I haven't played bass in a band in a bit.

    It's not overly fragrant or greasy feeling at all, which is one of the things usually keeping me from using string lubricants.

    Planet Waves XLR8 String Lubricant and Cleaner
  20. HazyMan


    Feb 21, 2018
    Thanks for your recommendation of the XLR8. I am currently looking to buy it so i guess it's really great indeed.

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