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Author Topic: String Life  (Read 3063 times)
Charles Baldwin
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« on: August 16, 2010, 11:38:02 AM »

I've noticed that this very hot and humid summer on the East Coast has been a string killer when playing outdoor concerts. I'll be lucky to get a set of strings to last two outdoor concerts of 60 to 90 minutes. Versus playing this weekend two 2 hour concerts in a air conditioned club. 2 hours in a highly air conditioned church and a 3 setter in a air conditioned club. My strings are as bright as the first day they were put on. To me this summer has been particularly cruel on string life when playing outdoors. I'm doing a few outdoor gigs on the West Coast soon and I'm curious if there will be a big difference in String life.
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Slave to the Rhythm

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Gerard Burick
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2010, 04:19:08 PM »

In my experience, outdoor gigs can be rough, but not usually too drastically...

I used to play lots of outdoor gigs in Pennsylvania and Ohio, sometimes barely a safe distance from the shore of Lake Erie.  I did a car show in Ohio where a storm was coming and the mist from the waves got us a few times! 

To further clarify.. if it's wintertime and I'm wiping my basses down between sets... that's when my strings last the longest.  Usually it's super cold and not high humidity then.  During the summer, however, I'm lucky if I get 2 nights out of them.  The heat and humidity combined with sweat can just eat the strings alive, but that's just the way nature works!

I had this stuff made by DR that you put on your strings and wipe them down.  It works wonders!  I would put the coating on right when I put new strings on, too. 
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Dbass60
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 12:34:27 AM »

Here in Dallas TX the weather has been so hot and humid as well ( 104 up to 112 F)  gigs in the coast (resorts, beach, etc) are the worst ones they will kill your strings in a couple of gigs.

I use Sadowsky Blue Label, and so far they last longer than others brands. I did a couple of gigs last week out side in New Mexico temp was around  100  or more, and I still have the same strings and they are still sounding good

After each set I clean the strings one by one and that works for me.

Open for any new ideas in how to clean the strings and how to make them last

Peace my friends.







« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 12:42:08 AM by Dbass60 » Logged
Gerard Burick
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 04:05:33 AM »

As far as string cleaning, I have a fresh clean towel/rag that doesn't shed everywhere and I put it under the strings and go up and down the scale length.  Then I do the sides and the top. 

I always try to do it right at the end of a set and at the end of the night before any sweat has a chance to dry on there.

I'll sometimes use a small amount of string cleaner on the rag, too... as long as it doesn't get on any other part of the bass.
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Fran Diaz
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 04:51:10 AM »

Since I'm using flats on my main bass, the worry and the expense dead strings generate is gone, but I'm also concerned about string life for flats.

Maybe Roger can chime in and gives us his view on this. When should I change my flats? the obvious answer would be when they can't get to intonate well, but are there other factors to consider?
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Charles Baldwin
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 11:55:29 AM »

I expect Strings to die quicker in the summer from the heat humidity and sweat. But, this summer has been or the last few months has been unusual in my experience. I use Sadowsky Blue standard gauge. The difference between gigging outside and inside this sumer has been dramatic.
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Slave to the Rhythm

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Gerard Burick
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 02:45:58 PM »

Since I'm using flats on my main bass, the worry and the expense dead strings generate is gone, but I'm also concerned about string life for flats.

Maybe Roger can chime in and gives us his view on this. When should I change my flats? the obvious answer would be when they can't get to intonate well, but are there other factors to consider?

I do let my strings go until the intonation is out.  I've learned that I love bright strings, but I'm just not that picky anymore.  I'll save keeping brand new strings on for when I have the cashflow to go that nutty or if I ever get an endorsement somehow.
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