upright bass strings
Cleaning your upright bass strings is a good way to keep them sounding
good for a longer time. Even with our low prices, bass
strings are not cheap! One way to help keep your upright
strings last longer is to wipe them off after playing. The
best way (and only takes a little more time), is to individually
grab one string, and run a dry cloth up and down. Some player's
skin can be so acidic that it can wear out a string in just a 2
or 3 short months.
Another way to rejuvenate bass strings: Loosen one
string, (for example: loosen the G string down to an 'F').
I loosen the string a little so that I have enough working room
and can get under the string. Then take a cloth and just put a dab
of Vaseline or mineral oil on the cloth. Run the cloth (with
your fingers and cloth wrapped around the string) up and down, a
few times) with a fairly good amount of pressure. This could
be from about an inch from the bridge, up to the nut. Then
tighten the string back up and go to the next string.
If you have too much rosin caked up on the string you can use a
light steel wool or a copper scouring pad first. You will notice,
that the cloth will definitely turn black from all the soil on the
strings, not to mention the burn from the friction! For some
strings that are super 'gunky', you can use fine steel wool.
You can finish this cleaning by carefully moistening the same cloth
with a little rubbing alcohol. (You can also use this to clean the
fingerboard underneath and around the string. I clean the whole
board this way and have never had a problem. Take special
care to keep the alcohol away from the bass. I actually moisten
the cloth I am using in another room, so that I don't knock or splash
any alcohol on the bass varnish. This will leave a spot (and
will not go away!) so be careful.
When you are all finished, give your old (now clean) strings another
try! This should bring back some new life to your old strings
and actually make the bass feel much more comfortable and easier
to play on.