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When to change strings for recording

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by funkybass, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    Monday my band is recording a song. It will be my first time in the studio. I'm going to put a new set of hi beams on my bass for the recording, and was wondering when I should change them. We are having a 2 hour practice Monday, so I thought maybe I'd put them on before practice and break them in a little.
  2. sounds good. just make sure you have time to let them stretch out. after you put then on and tune up, don't be afraid to tug on them a little and retune. by tug, i mean pull the strings between the neck and bridge away from the body of the guitar. this will help them stretch a little and a 2 hour practice will help as well.

    disclaimer:i have little to no experience with dr's. i've always done this with my d'addario nickels with great results for 10+ years.
  3. Depends on what sound you like.

    Playing them in for a couple of hours is good if you like the sound of fresh strings. That ought to let them stretch in and get fairly stable.

    OTOH, I'd leave my 40-year-old strings on my P-bass to record with it. (Member, Benevolent and Protective Brotherhood of Dead String Fanciers.)
  4. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    Many times prior to the studio, I'll string a new set up the night before and tune it a step up. That allows it to stretch overnight, at which point I'll then tune them to "standard" in the morning and won't have an issue.
  5. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006

    I definitely need a fresh set for this recording.
  6. Depends on the bass for me. If I was using a Fender, at least a couple of hours of playing, to settle them out. With my Roscoe, just stretch them as I put them on.
  7. In my life, I have bought 6 basses - spread over a playing lifetime of 38 year from my first to the newest. In this time, I have never replaced a string. Perhaps I just bought new basses each time instead. My first bass still has the original strings from when I was 16. A few years ago I worked with Herbie Flowers, and he was still playing the sets of strings he was given back in the 70s. Good enough for him .... good enough for me! He even gave away one set to a student of mine, which was really good of him.
  8. remainthesame


    Sep 24, 2008
    this all depends on what youre going for. as mentioned above, theres people out there with strings that are a few decades old. im part of the other extreme, i love strings that are brand spanking new.

    when i go to record, my strings have been on my bass for no more than an hour. i stretch them out really well before i play and i double check my tuning before the first few takes until im convinced that the strings arent going to stretch anymore.
  9. ^^^ This. And I'd very much like a BPBDSF card, please.
  10. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Chances are that you'll be playing for a couple hours anyway at the studio, whether warming up or actually doing takes. Just put them on there.
  11. I like my rounds brand-spanking new, then after a while, I hate them, then after another little while I love'em. Then they become pretty much dead and I change them. This cycle continues every 4/5 months or so.

    So, for a recording I'd either play them right away or had them settled in quite some time before recording.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    So the answer is, "When you feel like you should change them." For some, it's the second they start to go dead. For others, it's never. There are lots of in-between answers as well. Use your own judgment.
  13. Here y'go....save and print.

  14. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006

    I don't mean when to change them in a general sense. I'm asking for recording how soon to change them for a nice bright sound.
  15. jamersonburton


    Jul 22, 2011
    If I were in that situation, I would put the strings on Sunday night and practice a little bit. Do the rehearsal on Monday, then record and you should have a nice (still new), just settled in tone.
  16. In my case I change strings the day before the studio and make sure to use the same gauge to mantain the same tension and relief of the neck, you don't want to record with a buzzer...
  17. My strings are pretty new. I only just changed them... in March.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This, exactly. I actually grab mine by a string and swing it. My guitarist always swears I'm going to snap one doing that but I never have. (Also use D'Addario XL nickels)
  19. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I have three 5 string basses strung with different strings. An active Lakland 55-02 with steel rounds for a really aggressive, bright, tone. I keep pretty fresh strings on it. I have my passive Lakland DJ5 with D'Addario Nickel XL's to get the classic jazz tone. I don't mind letting the strings mellow a bit. Then I have my Fender P5. It's got Chromes on it what will outlive me and I don't plan on changing them.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh, well I know of dudes who change strings on the fly in the studio. Anthony Jackson changes his after 3-4 hours. Does it right there in the studio. Doesn't take long to settle a set of bass strings down. And you should check your tuning frequently in the studio anyway.

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