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Vaseline On Flatwounds

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bassnomer, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. Bassnomer

    Bassnomer Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    Lakewood, CA
    I watched a video from Scott Devine (Scott's Bass Lessons) where he talked about interviewing session bassist Sean Hurley, and Sean told Scott that he's put vaseline on new flat wounds to make them sound broken-in quickly. I believe he said that he rubs vaseline along the length of the string, then take tissue paper and wipes it off. Has anyone tried this before?
  2. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Colonel Sanders chicken grease works best!
    Vinnie Boombatz and Kukulkan61 like this.
  3. CatSquare


    Mar 7, 2014
    Sounds messy
    fretlessguy, gebass6 and mbelue like this.
  4. ...and silly.
  5. neckdive


    Oct 11, 2013
    I'll have to try this. I have an 2 year old set of TI's on a P bass that I love and a new set of TI's on a Jazz bass that I hate because of the zing. The old set sounds great on the Jazz also.
  6. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Ew. Nope.

    Flatwounds are a relationship. There's a "get to know them" period, and then you've got years of that familiar broken-in feeling. And, just like relationships in real life, it's important to get the right flatwound strings.
  7. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    JimmyM likes this.
  8. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    I rubbed Vaseline on the G string of my Chromes to try to tame down the brightness. It didn't seem to do much of anything. Before that, I rubbed mineral oil on the G string with the same results. Both times, I let it sit on the string a couple of days before wiping it off. These were 1 year old strings though. With brand new strings, however, I do think that putting Vaseline on them would speed up the initial zinginess going away. Give it a try. You're not going to hurt anything. Just don't get it on your maple fretboard because it can soak under the finish at the frets.
  9. Most things in life we want to keep looking like new as long as possible. Our automobiles, for example... Thanks, Armor All!

    And there are things that people tend to go to rather extreme measures - anything from Vaseline to extra virgin olive oil to fried chicken grease and even cat litter - in an effort to make them age quickly and look (and sound) old from day one.

    Oh well... Such is life... I'll never understand all of its mysteries. Just sayin'... ;)
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  10. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Sophomoric I know, couldn't help myself.
  11. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah. When I first did it, I texted a girl that I was dating and told her "I just greased up my G string."
    ICM, tlc1976, Nashrakh and 3 others like this.
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Play them silly for about 2 weeks. This vaseline idea is silly ...
    Mediocrity Man and michael_t like this.
  13. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    But isn't playing your strings silly a silly idea? You should play them earnestly.
    Eric ER likes this.
  14. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Udder Balm with Shea Butter is the trendy uptown boutique choice.

    Artisan Lard or Free Range Hog Bacon Grease for hipsters.
    GrooverMcTube likes this.
  15. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I swear I feel like guys like Hurley and Stephen Stills just want to see how many gullible bass players they can get to rub slime into their flats and throw money down the toilet.
    el jeffe bass, Morrighan and lz4005 like this.
  16. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
  17. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah, that makes sense now that you mention it. Sean Hurley and Stephen Stills must be shills for the mega profitable Vaseline industry. Because of them, I probably wasted almost a penny of my hard earned money on the glob of Vaseline that I put on my G string. A large percentage of that money is probably lining Hurley and Stills' pockets as they laugh all the way to the bank.
    JimmyM likes this.
  18. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    What's good for the G-string is good for all strings. Just take a fresh new set and draw them one by one right up through your buttcrack. That's how to bring the literal funk! As a bonus, no one will even go near your bass or ask to play it.

    PS. For those of you who feel this is disgusting and in poor taste, I agree with you. It just seems the most obvious logical direction for where this thread was heading and I figure maybe if we get it to the end quicker we can past it and get on with our lives. Sorry and you're welcome.
  19. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I know alot of people are against aging strings but as someone with hands that aren't oily or sweat it takes a loooong time to break in strings.
    You can't fully break them in but you can put a huge dent in them.
    Here's what's worked for me.
    Oily hair. If you don't have any like me kids are great to use.
    Hand lotion. Spread it on my hands and play.
    Sweat. Wipe away sweat on your body then wipe on strings and play.
    Eat greasy food don't wash your hands and play. ( don't get stupid like smearing bacon grease all over them )
    I know people who can break in strings in a couple weeks and people like me who take 6 months.
    I do what I can to help it out and its worked for me.
    I hate new flatwounds.
    Although Sadowsky sounds good out of the box.
  20. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I wonder if he meant that he uses the Vaseline to make new flats FEEL more broken-in. Flats fresh out of the box often have a sticky feel to them, and people seem to use a wide variety of measures to remove the stickiness. I suppose a wipe-on-wipe-off Vaseline treatment might do the trick, though I'd rather use denatured alcohol or something.

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