string life problems!!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by tormato, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. tormato


    May 25, 2004
    Ok here's the deal. You know how when you get a new set of strings, they've got that nice piano-like ring to them, and when you really dig into them, they kind of give you that cool buzzing sound? Well, my strings seem to lose that very quickly (within like a month). My strings begin to sound dull and clack a lot when i hit them. is there something that I'm doing wrong maybe? could it have something to do with extensive playing? or maybe i stretch them out too much when i put them on? ( are supposed to stretch them a bit when you put a new pair on, right?)

  2. tormato, there could be a number of things causing your strings to go dull.

    1. Consider the brand and try another and compare the string life between brands.

    2. Make sure to wipe your bass down after each playing session, practice or gig.

    3. Make sure your hands are clean every time you pick up your bass.......gig, rehearsal, practicing at home. I use PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer, it's alcohol based so you can carry it with you in your gig bag and use before, during and after your playing sessions. I dries immediately because of the alcohol and keeps the sweat, or acidic sweat from your hands.......this is the number one cause for dead or dull string life. You can purchase Purell at any store, safeway usually has it in there sample trays for 99 cents a bottle, it's the perfect size to carry with you.

    4. Wipe your strings down with cotton balls and denatured alcohol, 99%, being very careful not to get it on the finish of your bass, just the string, this will clean all the sweat and dirt out between the grooves of the string wrap, which will help the life of the string.

    Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide!

  3. slugworth

    slugworth Banned

    Jun 12, 2003
    So. Calif.
    >>> I wish I could keep that sting and zing for a month!
    I can burn that sound up in about three hours doing
    a gig under the lights, sweating and playing agressively
    with a pick. How long your strings keep their desired
    tone can be affected by many factors, including
    temperature, humidity, body chemistry, and how old
    the strings were when you installed them. Treena's
    advice is right on; keep your hands as clean and as
    dry as possible, hand sanitizer works great, I keep
    a bottle handy in my rack drawer and use it before
    play and wipe the strings and bass down with a clean
    diaper after playing. I also swear by GHS Fast Fret;
    the stuff helps prolong string life, and I like the feel
    it gives to my Rotosound roundwounds.

  4. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I was thinking the same thing Slugworth, I wish my strings would keep their tone for a month. When I play out three times a week a fresh set of strings will keep the zing for three to four weeks tops. And that is with all the care and maintenence treena suggested. Good advice Treena, I think I will use some of your tips as well.
  5. Treena...thanks for the info on Purell.
  6. Having a brighter sounding instrument can also help, Ash or Maple bodies will almost always sound brighter than Alder or Poplar.
  7. Dr_Trundlebush


    Apr 23, 2004
    Hey guys,

    This old bass player I met once at a gig told me to coil up my bass strings and soak them up overnight in acetone and it would make them as good as new for a good few months at least. According to him using this method he only ever has used the same 3 sets of strings for gigs for over 30 years in a rotating shift. Has anyone else heard of this? I can't tell you anything from firsthand experience as I have never done this myself yet.

    - Dr T
  8. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    *Cough clean freak cough* :p
  9. I went to Walgreens Pharmacy. They had Purell in 8 oz. bottles for about $3.49. Right next to them was a Walgreens version with the same ingredients on sale for $1.00 in a dispenser type bottle. :hyper:
  10. This stuff (Purell or equivelent Handsanitizer) worked really well. My hands stayed dry during playing for once.
    :hyper: :bassist: :D
  11. Awesome, that's a great price for the same product!

    Glad I could be of help Gentlemen and Ladies!

    Whafrodamus, you busted me......I'm a clean freak, I admit it! :D

  12. Treena,

    Thanks for the info. I always try to keep my hands clean. My strings seem to last about a month or so before dying a bit. I'll have to try the Purel. In fact, I have some around the house right now. I've never been one to wipe my bass down after playing. Maybe I should adopt the practice. I think I'll try the fast fret as well.

    Barry :bassist: