How often do you chaps change strings?

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pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 574
I gig about every two months. 2 x 1hr sets. Rehearse once a week generally. Maybe two hours, at least half playing. Home practise anything from nothing some months to 10 hours a week.

I play mostly with fingers these days and change strings three times a year.
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3462
    three times a year ...
    ... whether it's needed or not.
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16145
    With flats, I reckon it’s looking like 1-2 years per set. 

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  • martmart Frets: 2888
    Once per bass - to take the original strings off and put Thomastik jazz flats on. Then never again. Simples.
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 4441
    I use Elixirs. Every 2 years or so for less-used guitars, max every 6 months for busier guitars 
    For classical guitars, not sure - not as long as that. probably 3 to 6 months

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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3947
    On the bass, hardly ever.  The current set have been on mine for 5 or 6 years as far as I can remember.  Didn't James Jamerson have the same set on for 20 years?
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 11377
    Electric - when I break a string I replace it. I hate the 'zing' of a new set, I prefer tired old strings. Bass, never.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 19088
    On bass- 2-3 times a year.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback

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  • Shark_EyesShark_Eyes Frets: 309
    About every 5 years. My P-bass is due a new set, and I'll do it when I finally get round to replacing the pickups.
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 981
    I changed the strings on the Musicman when I bought it in 2013. I last changed the Ashbory strings in 2008. The NXT still has the original strings from 2014.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33702
    Whenever I'm working on someone else's bass and it needs new strings...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16145
    ICBM said:
    Whenever I'm working on someone else's bass and it needs new strings...
    So never then? 

    Unless its still got that original set on from 1978 and they are rusty of course...
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33702
    Bridgehouse said:

    So never then? 

    Unless its still got that original set on from 1978 and they are rusty of course...
    I have actually never 'changed' the strings on my 4001. When I acquired it in 2013 there were no strings on it. I fitted it with a set and they're still on it...

    I will change them if they wear out or go dead of course, but there isn't any sign of that yet.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16145
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    So never then? 

    Unless its still got that original set on from 1978 and they are rusty of course...
    I have actually never 'changed' the strings on my 4001. When I acquired it in 2013 there were no strings on it. I fitted it with a set and they're still on it...

    I will change them if they wear out or go dead of course, but there isn't any sign of that yet.
    Rounds or flats?
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1461
    When they start to sound dead, and bass notes sound flabby, they’re replaced.  I probably get through 12 sets of strings a year across six guitars.  
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33702
    Bridgehouse said:

    Rounds or flats?
    Rounds - Rotosound Roto Bass, which are far superior to the more expensive Swing Bass in my opinion.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16145
    ICBM said:
    Bridgehouse said:

    Rounds or flats?
    Rounds - Rotosound Roto Bass, which are far superior to the more expensive Swing Bass in my opinion.
    Do you clean them from time to time ?
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 33702
    Bridgehouse said:

    Do you clean them from time to time ?
    Not often, unless I've been playing somewhere hot. I don't sweat a lot normally though.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 9143
    edited July 30
    No one boiling their bass strings then
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 574
    I tried it. Bit of a faff and I'm not sure I noticed a difference.
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  • MattBansheeMattBanshee Frets: 733
    Measured in years not months. I've changed strings on 3 basses in the last 12 months, two of which were straight after being bought on ebay, and the other hadn't been played for 10 years and was getting a full overhaul.
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  • meltedbuzzboxmeltedbuzzbox Frets: 7856
    change strings on a Bass?
    The Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now called a whammy bar or tremolo arm, although vibrato is the technically correct term for the musical effect it produces. In standard usage, tremolo is a rapid fluctuation of the volume of a note, while vibrato is a fluctuation in pitch. The origin of this nonstandard usage of the term by electric guitarists is attributed to Leo Fender, who also used the term “vibrato” to refer to what is really a tremolo effect.
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  • valevale Frets: 1039
    edited July 27
    if and when they go dead and unresponsive to the way i play. it's all about me.
    the usual first sign for me is i start to feel and hear more rattles and flubbiness and less ping and zing (sorry if i'm confounding you with technical jargon).

    bass strings i don't even really think about. sometimes years without a change.
    guitars a lot more, but no idea exactly how much in years because i switch between instruments. so i might use my guitar loads or barely in the same year (eb slinky 10s usually).

    of basses, bass rounds last least for me it seems. plus i like my rounds super-responsive to all the 'non-musical' noise that accompanies my playing (mine probably more than most).
    so they above all types, can't be dull or slack. maybe every 2 or 3 years on average, as i play.

    i'm only just trying my first set of flats, so have no idea how they last. possibly longer since they don't have the 'noise' of rounds that makes me aware of them starting to go. i've only got basic flats, but if they last years i might try fancy. budget dictates prudence.

    the longest lasting bass strings i have ever had were tapewounds, and my theory is that the winding keeps them 'sealed for freshness'. obviously sweat and air can't get to the metal.
    a bit of hand sweat and air may not seem a big deal, but salt (acid) and oxygen (oxidising) are quite heavy duty corrosives when combined with time. will happily wear through stone in a few years.

    but i regularly played tapewounds for more than five years and they never lost their zing at all. i switched to guitar for for five years and retuned to the bass, and they were still good. for all i know (i sold the bass) they are still going now.

    so if you want lasting (desert island), i recommend tapewounds all other factors considered.

    but i think all this 'must & should' change every three gigs, every three months, every three years, is just marketing with maybe a bit of player superstition and neurosis fed in.
    hofner hussie & hayman harpie. what she said...
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 3462
    edited July 27
    For those who insists on having frets, these will eventually wear a flat spot on the part of the string that comes into contact with the crown of the wire. This is sub-optimal for intonation. Time to change.

    vale said:
    a bit of hand sweat and air may not seem a big deal, but salt (acid) and oxygen (oxidising) are quite heavy duty corrosives when combined with time. will happily wear through stone in a few years.
    I know of three individuals within a thirty miles radius whose corrosive sweat is so bad that they can kill all of the treble of brand new strings in eight days. Two of them also smoke roll ups. I do not know what contribution the tars make to the issue. 
    "It's no wonder the Pacific Ocean is blue."
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14380
    Hang on - you're claiming that it's possible to change bass strings?

    Citation most definitely needed. 
    Parachutes are great, for dogs and Frenchmen. 
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  • martmart Frets: 2888
    For those who insists on having frets, these will eventually wear a flat spot on the part of the string that comes into contact with the crown of the wire. This is sub-optimal for intonation. Time to change.
    ...
    Time to change indeed ... to fretless.
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  • valevale Frets: 1039
    edited July 28
    For those who insists on having frets, these will eventually wear a flat spot on the part of the string that comes into contact with the crown of the wire. This is sub-optimal for intonation. Time to change.
    thanks @Funkfingers ;;;;;;; this i didn't know but will watch out for from now on.
    vale said:
    a bit of hand sweat and air may not seem a big deal, but salt (acid) and oxygen (oxidising) are quite heavy duty corrosives when combined with time. will happily wear through stone in a few years.
    I know of three individuals within a thirty miles radius whose corrosive sweat is so bad that they can kill all of the treble of brand new strings in eight days. Two of them also smoke roll ups. I do not know what contribution the tars make to the issue. 
    just applying my science brain to that for moment, it may be that the tars in the smokey ambient environment leave a thin tacky oily film residue over everything in the environment they occupy, including the strings.
    so just like greasy smears on the inside of a car windscreen in winter frost can hold condensation to it, sweat on fingers when playing (and general humidity in the air from breathing and interior climate) will be trapped on the string surface 24/7.
    or at least to a considerably greater degree than would be the case if the water could evaporate off unimpeded.

    so the strings are effectively constantly acid wet from the first instant they get that sticky coat. with resultant corrosion and oxidisation accelerated (in relation to normal string ageing) by whatever factor that may be. could be anything from marginal to major.

    it's an idea to consider anyway.
    hofner hussie & hayman harpie. what she said...
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3947

    I know of three individuals within a thirty miles radius whose corrosive sweat is so bad that they can kill all of the treble of brand new strings in eight days. Two of them also smoke roll ups. I do not know what contribution the tars make to the issue. 
    Don't think it's the rollups.  Some people just have that kind of sweat.  I play in church, and I lent a guitar to clean living young church lad for a weekend for conference we had.  When he had finished the strings were black.  I couldn't have got the strings into that state if I'd left them on for 5 years.
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  • funkyfrazfunkyfraz Frets: 77
    I'm very glad I don't like the zing of new strings. If I did, bass would be a very different expensive hobby!
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  • GuyRGuyR Frets: 217
    crunchman said:

    I know of three individuals within a thirty miles radius whose corrosive sweat is so bad that they can kill all of the treble of brand new strings in eight days. Two of them also smoke roll ups. I do not know what contribution the tars make to the issue. 
    Don't think it's the rollups.  Some people just have that kind of sweat.  I play in church, and I lent a guitar to clean living young church lad for a weekend for conference we had.  When he had finished the strings were black.  I couldn't have got the strings into that state if I'd left them on for 5 years.
    Does he have a "666" birthmark?
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  • PaulWarningPaulWarning Frets: 8
    I use DR Neons, usually green (I am in a punk band!) they're coated, play for about 4 hours a week and change them every 6 months, I did try longer and snapped the A string mid gig, tbh the new ones don't sound that much different after a couple of hours
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