Changing Strings Tips:
- When replacing all of the strings, bassists generally replace one string at a time. Do not remove all of the strings at the same time or the bridge could fall, or even worse, the soundpost or fingerboard could collapse.
- Although the order you replace strings isn't critical, many bassist start with the G string, and work their way down to the E string.
- When you loosen the string to replace, some bassists find it helpful to use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the string. Carefully observe how the string was wrapped around the machine peg roller so you can replicate the winding when you put on the new string.
- Insert the bottom end of the string through the tailpiece string hole, tug firmly to make sure the ball or knot is securely in the slot, and pull the string toward the bridge.
- Thread the top end of the string through the hole in the string roller. When the string is slightly protruding through the hole, you may find it helpful to use needlenose pliers to pull the end of the string out so enough of the fabric wrapped end emerges. In order to firmly secure the end of the string in place, try to replicate the way the loose end of the string was fastened on the string you just took off (it often is looped back under itself). Once the string is firmly secured, evenly begin winding the string.
- Some bassists find it helpful to use a string winder to assist with winding the long strings used on a bass. There are hand powered swivel roller winders and also electric winders that can be used with an electric drill or electric screwdriver. If you haven’t used these before, ask your bass teacher or a friend who plays the bass for assistance.
- It should also be noted that some bassists do not wind the entire string on the peg. Instead, once they insert the string through the hole, they wind it a few times until the string is taut and securely in place, loop it under itself, then trim the excess string (or tuck it in the pegbox). It is a matter of personal preference how to string a bass, and if you are unsure how to do this, consult with your bass teacher, bassist friends or your local bass instrument specialist for their assistance.
- When replacing all of the strings (one at a time), bass players often tune all of the strings to an approximate correct pitch, then do the fine tuning to get each pitch precisely in tune.
- Be aware that when you put on all new strings, it will take more adjusting than usual to tune the bass (strings often take days to stretch).
- Many bassists find it helpful to have extra set of bass strings on hand in case a string breaks. For a sampling of various types of strings, visit our Music Store - Bass Strings page.
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