1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

String breakage during gigs?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by duckyincarnate, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Is this something that I should be worrying about?

    I have recently started gigging with my EUB and I don't have any backup strings, let alone a backup EUB at the moment. No problems so far, knock on wood.

    I have read about people using strings for several years. Can I assume that a properly set-up bass will be relatively hassle free in terms of breaking strings? Or would you recommend having strings handy?
  2. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    I never use a pick... have probably played 5,000 shows over the years .. zero broken strings.
  3. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    I have never broken a string either, but my luck is not your. Maybe you should carry a spares.
  4. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Wipe your strings down after every session, and change your strings every X months (whatever is most comfortable for you).

    I used to worry about backups etc, then I saw Jimmy Haslip play a 2-night gig with the Yellowjackets at a local jazz club, using only his workhorse 6-string bass (he had no other instruments onstage that night). I asked him about string breakage. He told me that over 25+ years of tons of gigs around the world, he's had maybe 4 times that a string broke, and that it hasn't been a problem since he started using D'Addario and Dunlop strings. One time when a string broke he managed to change it on stage in the few minutes between tunes.

    So I figure that if a hard working musician like Jimmy can get by with one bass for a major gig, I certainly don't need a backup for my occasional, small gigs.
  5. Seems all the answers are from BG players.
    Don't know why.
    (maybe it was moved from the BG side)

    Anyway, DB string breaking is kinda unusual.
    Happens more with synthetic core or gut.

    If you use good strings like Spirocores for instance, there are very few chances you break one.
    (it never happened to me in 25 years of playing)

    But it may be a good idea to bring spares on a gig anyway.
  6. Barry Clark

    Barry Clark

    May 9, 2007
    Had one string break and it was a manufacturer's flaw. Other than that... nope. Never hurts to have strings handy though.
  7. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Solid core strings like the ones that come with NS for example break easily at the tuners. When you constantly bend a solid piece of metal at one point it fatigues and breaks.

    Spirocores have a woven metal rope core which is much more flexible and does not fatigue anywhere near as quickly as solid cores, and ive never broken one.
  8. Thanks for the answers everyone. That puts my mind at ease a bit. I suppose a pack on spare strings won't hurt (only my wallet).

    Concerning the BG answers, I think my message must have been on the TB frontpage for a while, and drew in the hordes that way. Yeah, I never play with a pick either ;)

Share This Page