Bass guitar strings last far longer than regular guitar strings. In fact, most sets can last for upwards of a full year. But what if you don’t want to buy a new set?
What if you have become emotionally attached to your bass guitar strings and you want to cherish them for another year to come?
Well, you could try boiling you bass guitar strings.
Although, unlike guitar strings, boiling bass strings is almost certain to give you a bad outcome.
This is because, unlike guitar strings, bass strings are much thicker, and because of the greater thickness, they have to be wound tighter. Boiling your bass guitar strings can do one of the following things to your once perfectly wound bass strings:
They can cause them to unwind! And not in the traditional sense of uncurling, but in a much more subtle way; by loosening the coils and creating dead spots all along the string. For obvious reasons, dead spots are bad, but if you don’t think so, picture this; you are playing your favorite bass line. You go to transfer from the fifth fret, to the seventh. But nothing happens. You pluck the note, finger it until your knuckles are white, but it produces absolutely no sound.
Awful, huh? This is most players nightmare; a missing note. Well, when you boil your bass strings, you can reassure yourself that you will in fact lose at least one note.
Another issue that is more prominent when boiling bass guitar strings is calcium deposits. When you boil your strings, it is very likely that you are not using a brand new pot. This means that there are microscopic remnants of both food and soap, which in turn create calcium deposits. These can, in turn, erode the cores of your bass strings.
Bass strings are thicker, which means they have thicker, stronger cores. This also leaves more places for things such as erosion to quicken their pace; in a tighter strings, erosion moves slowly.
In a thick string with more room, erosion will spread more quickly. It may seem like a stronger core is more resilient to rust, but in fact the rust will spread at the same pace, if not a bit faster due to the space given.
All bad things aside, there are some possible positives involved with boiling bass strings; you have a slim chance to renew your strings life for a few weeks, even a month. The cores will erode even if boiled properly in a brand new pan.
However, they may last a little bit longer if you simply try. We suggest you wait until you have extra bass strings readily available before trying to boil your strings. Never boil new strings; you have a large chance of simply ruining them.
In the end, boiling your strings is a gamble. There are a lot of bad possible outcomes, but in the end the only good possible outcome is a few extra weeks with the strings. Unless you really want to experiment, or you simply can’t front the cash for a few weeks, either keep your strings for those extra few weeks or buy a new set.
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