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Unread 11-03-2009, 09:32 AM   #1
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Wearing in the strings...

WARNING: Dumb question

Is there a way to speed up the wearing in process on new bass strings? I just changed the strings on my bass after not changing them in about 5 years, and I find that I'm missing that worn in tone. Also, sorry. My knowledge of bass strings is almost none. I've only done it about 2-3 times ever since I started playing bass (8th grade)...

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Unread 11-03-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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Not that I have found, just playing them.

But, you can different types of strings. I have three different basses and they all different types of strings on them.
My Warmoth I string with D'Addario Half Rounds, my P-Bass has D'Addario Chromes (flats) and my Peavey T-20 has rounds on it.
I used to also string the P Bass with super thick tape wounds, but I like the flats better.

From your description I think you should give half rounds a shot. To my ear, they sound a lot like rounds after being played for a couple months, and they stay like that for a long time.
They have a really high tension and feel different so it may take getting used to, but giver a shot!
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Unread 11-03-2009, 01:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Micahb View Post
Not that I have found, just playing them.

But, you can different types of strings. I have three different basses and they all different types of strings on them.
My Warmoth I string with D'Addario Half Rounds, my P-Bass has D'Addario Chromes (flats) and my Peavey T-20 has rounds on it.
I used to also string the P Bass with super thick tape wounds, but I like the flats better.

From your description I think you should give half rounds a shot. To my ear, they sound a lot like rounds after being played for a couple months, and they stay like that for a long time.
They have a really high tension and feel different so it may take getting used to, but giver a shot!
I was going to shoot for some flats (tried them on a friends bass and loved them), but the store was out... I might have to order some....
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Unread 11-03-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
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I've got Chromes on one of mine too, and love the flats, nothing like Flats on a P...
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Unread 11-15-2009, 06:40 PM   #5
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I have half rounds on my 6 string bass and they are pretty good. I like the SIT brand Silencers or Power Flats the best. Silencers are basically their brand of half rounds, the Power Flats are flat wound but brighter than most flats.

I know what you mean by the old worn in string feel. My 1981 G&L still has the original strings on it and I love them.
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Unread 11-16-2009, 04:56 AM   #6
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isn't it funny how guitarists want new zingy strings and bassists want 'em all worn and dull!!

as to dulling them down, maybe use the tone control, or maybe play with dirty hands?

sorry, no help at all!!
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Unread 11-16-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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It's not the mud sound we like , it's the worn feel of the strings. That's why so many use flat wounds. My strings are always clean, I wipe them down after each use. Plus, I have very dry hands and don't corrode the strings like some people.

I've known guitar and bass players that have such acid sweat that they must change strings every week.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinedwards View Post
isn't it funny how guitarists want new zingy strings and bassists want 'em all worn and dull!!

as to dulling them down, maybe use the tone control, or maybe play with dirty hands?

sorry, no help at all!!
Playing anykind of stringed intrument where fingers go into contact with the metal, you should keep your hands clean and dry or the dirt and grit and stuff will get into the stings and corrode them, often from the inside so you dont see it, then all of a sudden, they go ping! You should keep your hands clean because I doubt you want to be in the middle of a gig when your bass falls apart!
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:21 PM   #9
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I have never, ever in my life seen a bass string snap from corrosion. And I've seen some ancient bass strings.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:28 PM   #10
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I have never, ever in my life seen a bass string snap from corrosion. And I've seen some ancient bass strings.
really?
I was told it can happen with really heavily used strings.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by whynot? View Post
really?
I was told it can happen with really heavily used strings.
The usual culprit for snapping strings is contact stress, at the nut or the bridge. If finger corrosion was actually the problem, then you'd see a lot of strings snapping in the middle of the frets, but most often, the strings break at the bridge, at the nut, or at the tuning machine. These areas have metal-on-metal or metal-on-plastic contact wearing away all the time at a single point.

Strings really shouldn't snap at all. Usually, if you have strings snapping, one of these contacts is too sharp, and needs to be gently lubricated.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:37 PM   #12
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I've never seen it either.

I've broken a few strings in my time, but it's never been from old strings - it's been from a sharp nut or saddle...or the singer of my band wailing on my bass strings as I wailed on his guitar strings...broke my very thick gauge, flat wound E string...still haven't totally figured that one out.
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Unread 03-24-2010, 06:03 AM   #13
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Just play.

You can pre-stretch strings to make them settle faster, but that worn-in touch and sound can only be achieved by wearing them in over time. Just practice 8 hours a day for the next month and should do it.

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Unread 03-24-2010, 09:52 AM   #14
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I've never noticed a difference with my basses. Granted I've not been playing bass that long. When I string up a guitar I usually push the strings down to the body near the bridge to sort of stretch them. This after it has been tuned. The tuning is off again then. I retune and repeat the "string stretching" and retune. I usually do this several times or until the tuning doesn't change once the stings are "stretched". It makes for more comfortable and better sounding playing. It also prevents the instrument from getting out of tune from playing as quickly. When I first started playing guitar and before gaining experience, I would restring a guitar and play it really hard, actually framming on the strings as if I were mad at it or something. This seemed to help a little, but I don't use that method any longer.
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Unread 03-24-2010, 10:28 AM   #15
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Hmm...go play in the local dirt pile, then go play your bass...or combine tasks and go play your bass in the local dirt pile.
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