Imagine playing with the tattered bass strings? Disaster! When your strings become old and broken, you must immediately replace them with new ones.
No idea how to restring a bass? Fret not. We will show every step to discard old strings and set up a new set. Whether you have been playing bass for years or just beginning, strings are the sound producers. Changing them to a new set is all about taste and maintenance.
After removing the old strings and cleaning the fingerboard, it is time for you to restring your bass with brand new strings. Follow the steps below to begin the changing process.
How to Change the Strings?
After you are done selecting strings for your bass guitar, you are free! This is actually the most challenging part. Then comes the changing, where all the magic happens.
As we gradually unfold, we will walk you through 3 phases of changing your bass strings: detune and discard, install new ones, and stretch and tune.
All at once or one at a time?
The answer: it depends. Using one string at a time will divert the tension on the bass’s neck and reduce the stabilizing time. If you, however, like to polish the fingerboard, it is understandable to discard all the strings before setting up a new set.
Tools needed for changing
The only essential tool to change bass strings is the wire cutter, but other useful winding and cutting tools that facilitate this method make it efficient and easy.
While some tools are fully aligned for changing the bass strings, others have multiple other features to accomplish different tasks. Keep in mind that they are also used when installing a bass guitar, so invest in the right tool wisely for future benefits.
1. Detune and Remove
Start off by discarding the old strings. Being the easiest step, it involves cutting the strings one at a time, remembering to tune them all the way down before starting.
By doing so, the neck is allowed to rest and adjust better to the change in tension. It is not mandatory to cut the strings, but we recommend it because it is easy to remove. Old strings, though not commonly reused, can be recycled or repurposed.
- Detune one by one until they no longer produce a pitch
- Using a wire cutter, cut them close to the pickup region
- Takedown from the tuning bridge and post
Clean the Fretboard
After removing strings, now is the best time to clean your fretboard. First, use a soft cloth to discard the built-up body debris. If needed, take out your bass’s user manual for particular maintenance instructions and specific care.
2. Set Up New Strings
Now that you have gotten your old strings out of the picture, let us start with the new ones. Remember not to overtighten your strings too much when installing new strings, that too at the very first stages. This is because the stretching strings need time to fit into the new tension.
You can set up the strings and shift them to pitch, but they need to be retuned a couple more times for stabilizing. Just be aware that if the strings are overly stressed due to tuning up too high, they could snap.
To prevent the strings from breaking, transform every string one at a time, tending to the one you are replacing and the tuner key employed to tighten it.
Recognize and insert
- Take out the strings from the packages and untangle them. Recognize each string by the color of the ball end or by its packaging label.
- Through a corresponding bridge entry, insert the string. Pull it throughout the way carefully, using your finger to avoid it from hurting against its bridge hole. Adjust the string above the nut guides and bridge saddle.
Crimp and cut
- Leaving no loose ends, direct the string from the bass’s nut to the middle of its tuning post. Measure an extra 2 to 3 inches of string from that tuning post, then curve (that is, crimp) the string at an angle of 90 degrees.
- Measure another extra 0.5 to 1 inch of string from that crimp and later trim it off with the help of wire cutters.
Unfold and wind down
- Discard any folds that may have happened while securing a string against a bridge, remove it from the tuning post and send it 4 to 6 inches back out through that bridge. Reinsert that crimped end into the tuning post. Later, realign your string on the bridge saddle and the nut.
- Turn your tuning key to secure the string, keeping the string pushed down beneath the post, below each wind.
Keep rotating the key, and as its ball end comes towards the bridge, deviate the string so that it remains straight and has loosened.
Once you are done, continue this method and direct the string unless the ball end is tightened against the bridge.
Stretch and Tune
Once you have restrung your bass, you will see that your strings keep going out of tune. It is because they need to adjust to their new tension.
One way to reduce the time it takes for adaption is by stretching the strings. Carry out a stretching motion along the string’s entire length to adapt it faster and stabilize the pitch.
Tune, stretch and repeat.
- Bring it up to pitch using a tuner
- Stretch it along its length (the bass’s fretboard) lightly
- Until the pitch has stabilized, repeat its tuning and stretching motion.
We call it a wrap here! Give your old strings the brush up that they need. If you follow our steps, the changing part becomes a breezy task for you.
Now that you know how to restring a bass, we would like you to try it out by yourself now.
Hope this article came in handy for you!