#1
I'm a relatively new guitar player. But that hasn't got much to do with my question.

I'm holding my friend's bass right now, messing around with it, and I remember that he has had this bass for probably over two years, and has absolutely never gotten new strings for it. (Yes, they reek pretty bad. I'll have to wash my hands after playing this thing.)

Seeing as it's advisable to change your strings every so often, I wonder what problems may arise from his neglect.

Thanks.
#2
Rusty horrible strings. They look bad, feel bad and sound bad.
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#3
Yeah they get stinky, and eventually they get CRAPPY and start unwinding you'll probably want to tell him to change them soon new strings always sound best anyway
Gear: Gibson SG standard EMG ZW pickups, vintage Acoustic combo, Boss ME-50, 12 string Ibanez.
#4
lowered sustain, tonal suckage, smelly fingers, just to name a few things
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#5
If they smell, then a) that's pretty disgusting, and b) that's really unhygenic. He's setting himself up for possible boils on the skin from staph infections and if he doesn't wash his hands before he eats, maybe a nasty stomach bug.

But let's back to the tonal properties. Dead strings sound dead. They lose brightness over time, meaning if you want to cut through in the mix, its more difficult.

Also, really old strings tend to have kinks in it. This can mess up your intonation, meaning you're out of tune on different parts of the neck.
#6
Thanks for the responses, everyone.

He's dense and stubborn and probably wouldn't change them even if I bought him new strings myself. I have no idea why, but it's not my bass or my problem, so I don't really care too much..

I just wanted to know what, exactly, he was doing to his instrument.
#8
I think it's like this more out of laziness than preference, but that's interesting to know as well. Thank you.
#9
Quote by Deliriumbassist
However, dead strings are sometimes what people look for- Tony Levin has a bass he intentionally used in order to give it dead strings, for example.


Okay, I know some bassists like dead strings... but to the point of when they smell?
#11
Quote by Deliriumbassist
*sniffs strings*

No smell. Smelly strings aren't from deadness, they're from poor hand hygiene.


Sorry... I was referring to the TS's friend. I know you were defend the use of dead strings, which I have no problem with. But it seemed that you advocating that he still keep those strings, which I wouldn't thing you would.

The thing is I've just done a clincal microbiology course, and it's made me ultra freaky about stuff like that. During the course, I was almost OCD about washing my hands.
#12
Dead strings sound good at times but there is nothing like the sound of a new set of strings the first day you put them on :p
#14
Quote by Deliriumbassist
*sniffs strings*

No smell. Smelly strings aren't from deadness, they're from poor hand hygiene.


It's not poor hand hygiene, it's sweat, salt and dead skin from your fingers being rubbed onto the strings and making them rust/smell like dead skin. Even people with really clean hands get smelly strings.
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#15
Quote by Crookedjon
(1)Rusty horrible strings. (2)They look bad, (3)feel bad and (4)sound bad.

1. NOT
2. What the hell? First of all, is looks really what oen should care about when handling his strings? and second, mine looks great.
3. No, they feel great.
4. Personal preference, I, and a couple of better or lesser known bassists like the sound of old strings.

Please, I recommend to almost everyone in this thread to stop talking out of their ass.
Don't advice anyone unless you know what you're on about.
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race toward an early grave.


Ben Hamelech
#16
Quote by mrcool123456789
It's not poor hand hygiene, it's sweat, salt and dead skin from your fingers being rubbed onto the strings and making them rust/smell like dead skin. Even people with really clean hands get smelly strings.


I disagree, unless you're talking after years & years. If you change your strings once a year, and wash your hands, there's no way you strings should get to the point of smelling PROFUSELY. If you mean even having a scent... even new strings have a scent. But being literally smelly? why my lord. wash your hands.
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#17
+1 to all thats been said above.

My strings have been on my bass for so long that there so dirty and worn in that they literally look like flatwound strings.
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#18
Quote by ChainsawSnake
What are the consequences of not changing your strings? Thanks.


You'll have more money to spend on cannabis
G&L L2500
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#19
Quote by John Swift
You'll have more money to spend on cannabis



This man makes a valid point.
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#20
Quote by BassistGal
1. NOT
2. What the hell? First of all, is looks really what oen should care about when handling his strings? and second, mine looks great.
3. No, they feel great.
4. Personal preference, I, and a couple of better or lesser known bassists like the sound of old strings.

Please, I recommend to almost everyone in this thread to stop talking out of their ass.
Don't advice anyone unless you know what you're on about.


I strongly believe there is no point in dead roundwound strings. Flatwounds have that sound wrapped up, and you don't even have to wait.
#21
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I strongly believe there is no point in dead roundwound strings. Flatwounds have that sound wrapped up, and you don't even have to wait.

I feel the same way. The idea of dead roundwounds is just unnerving to me.
#22
Quote by Forcemaster
This man makes a valid point.

+1
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#23
Quote by John Swift
You'll have more money to spend on cannabis


I am not a fan of dead sounding strings, so my advice is to bogart someone else's reefer and spend the cash on some strings
#24
Quote by Hergiswi
I feel the same way. The idea of dead roundwounds is just unnerving to me.


I love killing strings. It makes me feel I've accomplished something

Quote by mrcool123456789
It's not poor hand hygiene, it's sweat, salt and dead skin from your fingers being rubbed onto the strings and making them rust/smell like dead skin. Even people with really clean hands get smelly strings.


Which is why I clean my hands with rubbing alcohol before every session.
Last edited by Deliriumbassist at Feb 9, 2008,
#25
What will happen if you leave your strings on for ages? They will sound great.
#26
My strings are coming up 2 years old and I still like their sound. A matter of taste.
And I've never - in over 20 yrs playing - ever had smelly strings.
#27
It sounds like its might not be a matter of laziness, or lack of funds. If you explain this to him, and he still says he won't do it even though he doesn't like the sound of his strings, then he probably just doesn't know how to do it, and is afraid to admit it.

Point him to tunemybass.com, and ask him if that helps. Now if he likes the sound of dead strings, then tell him to stop jerking it before he plays his bass, or at least wash his hands afterwards.
#29
Old acoustic bass strings smell very, very bad. And they tarnish your fingers.
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#30
Personally I like dead strings too. I usually keep my basses with dead strings on em, however, none of mine have ever gotten to the point that they stink. Also I end up changen them occasionally because I need to slap. I only have two basses and I like to have one strung up BEAD and the other EADG. When I need to slap, dead strings just don't cut it. So if I had another bass I'd keep two in standard tuning and get fresh strings for slap and dead ones for everything else.
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#31
Can someone explain why they prefer dead roundwounds over flatwounds?
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#33
Quote by Deliriumbassist
It's easier for me to find roundwounds cheap around here

No kidding! And cheap generic strings go dead even faster! I guess it's win/win.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#35
Quote by Deliriumbassist
You have to remember I'm a dirty student, and I do actually quite like the sound of dead Elites, rather than dead EBs or rotos.

That's the thing though - I'm a broke-ass student too and the Rotosounds that are on my Jazz I've had since September and have played 7 gigs on them - their driving me nuts!
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#38
Yes as is posting in a thread almost 8 months old. This is necroposting......read the rules por favor. Closing thread.