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#2784139 - 06/09/16 05:57 PM How often do you change strings?
duff beer Offline
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Registered: 07/23/06
Posts: 423
Loc: Winnipeg
I'm curious how often people change strings on their bass. I just changed mine today...roundwounds on a 5-string Ibanez bass. The last time they were changed was about 2 years ago, and based on an average of 12 - 16 hours a week of practice, rehearsals, and gigs, that adds up to about 1500 hours of playing time. I play gently, don't slap, and don't have acidic hands. I only noticed them starting to sound dead 2-3 weeks ago.

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#2784258 - 06/10/16 08:56 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: duff beer]
Danzilla Offline
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Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 5317
Loc: Baltimore, MD
When I was playing bass more actively in bands, usually 4-6 months between changes. Now that I'm playing lead guitar in a band, and only playing bass at church, I might change them once every other year. Especially since I have 5 basses that will get rotated as needed throughout the year. If I get a recording session, I might change them right before that. Maybe not, depending on how they feel & sound. The D'Addario half-wounds on my fretless haven't been changed in probably 5 or 6 years.
My hands & sweat are not corrosive (unlike my son's), but I do play hard when called for, mild slapping. But only for a couple of hours a week at this point.
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#2784263 - 06/10/16 09:18 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Danzilla]
Nicklab Offline
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Registered: 12/09/03
Posts: 4331
Loc: New Jersey
I've had the same set of D'Addario Chromes on my project P-Bass since I built it. That was back in 2014. Those strings have mellowed out nicely in the past year.

As for other strings? It depends on the instrument and how often I play it. When I'm playing an instrument pretty often (and it doesn't have flatwounds), I might change strings every 3 or 4 months. But the real test for me is the sound. I tend to play some relatively bright stainless steel roundwounds, that have reasonably long lifespans. Those are either DR High Beams or Dean Markley Blue Steels. And if I'm going to be heading into the studio? I will absolutely change roundwound strings before I start recording.
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#2784413 - 06/11/16 08:11 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Nicklab]
jeremy c Offline
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Registered: 02/01/01
Posts: 16418
Loc: Berkeley,CA,UNITED STATES
I would like to change them every three months, but it usually ends up being a year.

If I only had one bass, the three month thing would work.
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#2784558 - 06/12/16 04:26 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: jeremy c]
Paul K Offline
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Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 3607
Loc: Ithaca, NY
I change them all after one breaks....usually that's the sign for me that they're all done. But: My basses are either flatwound or groundwound on fretless. (One fretted that gets very little use, has groundwounds...) So since I don't like much zing in my tone, I'm not disappointed when they go flat. And with no frets, the strings don' get those flat spots at the fret that (my theory, anyway) is partially responsible for poor tuning in old roundwounds. And I never know when to change the battery until it's too late.
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#2784570 - 06/12/16 06:28 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Paul K]
jcadmus Offline
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Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 4917
Loc: Connecticut
On my active basses with roundwounds, roughly every six months or when I can't stand anymore -- depending on how much I'm using a particular bass.

The '76 Fender Jazz has been strung with Chrome flats for four or five years now -- I have no plans to change them at the present time.
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#2784620 - 06/12/16 10:20 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: jcadmus]
lug Offline
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Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 2264
Loc: League City,TX,UNITED STATES
When my strings start to sound a little dead, I just get a new bass.
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#2784675 - 06/12/16 04:14 PM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Paul K]
jeremy c Offline
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Loc: Berkeley,CA,UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: Paul K
I change them all after one breaks....usually that's the sign for me that they're all done.


Really? I've only broken two strings in the last 50 years.
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#2784719 - 06/12/16 07:26 PM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: jeremy c]
Paul K Offline
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Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 3607
Loc: Ithaca, NY
Originally Posted By: jeremy c
Originally Posted By: Paul K
I change them all after one breaks....usually that's the sign for me that they're all done.


Really? I've only broken two strings in the last 50 years.

You change them more than I do!!!!

I can snap a C string on occasion, sometimes a G. I happens when the strings are silly old and I've been conned into turning my amp down. It never, ever-ever happens until the core of the string is well past it's prime. And since I no longer fall for that con of turning the amp down after I play a couple three notes too loud, it's not happened in a long time....so that means I now have very old strings.
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#2784760 - 06/13/16 03:38 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Paul K]
Flemtone Offline
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Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1790
Loc: Mine Hill, NJ
I change mine every 2-3 years, depending on whether they're beginning to sound a little dead. I've also found the DR Neons to be a particularly good sonic match with my G&L.
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#2785190 - 06/15/16 10:55 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Flemtone]
Danzilla Offline
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Registered: 01/09/04
Posts: 5317
Loc: Baltimore, MD
I was reminded over the weekend about the need to change strings, due to playing 2 outdoor gigs. The heat & humidity did a number, so I'll probably change at least one set before this weekend's gig.
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#2785668 - 06/17/16 05:47 PM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Danzilla]
kenfxj Offline
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Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 5309
Loc: Princeton, New Jersey
I've only ever broken two strings and they were both E's.
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#2787773 - 06/28/16 05:05 PM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: kenfxj]
Imogene Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/10
Posts: 318
Loc: Colorado
I cant remember, but its been years. On my two gigging basses I have TI flats on one and d`ad chromes on the other. Both instruments play and sound great. The chromes were on that particular bass when I bought it used a few years ago and I dont know how long they were on before that.

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#2820787 - 12/12/16 10:31 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: Imogene]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 2738
About as often as I change piano strings.

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#2820789 - 12/12/16 10:55 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: p90jr]
The Geoff Offline
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Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 8820
Loc: Near Glasgow
Every 10 years whether they need it or not.....

G.
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#2820978 - 12/13/16 09:51 AM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: The Geoff]
J. Dan Offline
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 10521
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Probably not as often as I should since I have a Steinberger and you can't just run and pick up the double ball strings at GC, you have to order them. I did change them a few years ago after having the same ones for probably 10-15 years and the difference in the sound was amazing...the old ones had gotten really dull and muddy.

But I only played it regularly in a band for a few years of that time. After that I got an acoustic that I've played a LOT more....easier to just pick it up and play around the house, then I played it in an acoustic band for a while. The old Steinberger only gets played occasionally.


Edited by J. Dan (12/13/16 09:53 AM)
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#2821299 - 12/14/16 02:17 PM Re: How often do you change strings? [Re: J. Dan]
Basshappi Offline
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Registered: 06/16/03
Posts: 3353
Loc: Tucson,AZ
Flats - never
Rounds - When they start to lose their ability to stay in tune.

In 40 years of playing I had only broken 2 strings until a couple of months ago, I broke my A string during rehearsal. That really took me by surprise. I replaced them with a set of the new D'Addario NYXL's and I am really liking these strings! I may try them on a few other basses instead of my beloved DR Sunbeams.
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