D'Addario Core: How to Restring an Electric Bass Guitar

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Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: D'Addario Core Presents - Restringing a Bass Guitar]

Rob Cunningham: I'm happy to have Doug Redler here with me. Doug, you authored a book about guitar maintenance.

Doug Redler: That's right.

Rob Cunningham: You've been Guitar Tech to guys like Rich Robinson and the Black Crowes.

Doug Redler: Currently, with Slash.

Rob Cunningham: So we have the privilege of having you show us how to change strings on this electric bass. What are the essential parts of this instrument?

Essential parts of a bass guitar

Doug Redler: Very simply, the parts of your Fender Precision Bass, volume control, tone control, the bridge, the saddles, which are the part that the strings go over. You have your two pickups classic on a P-Bass, thumb rests, your neck, metal frets, the nut, tuners, and your string tree.

Rob Cunningham: All right, so Doug, we need some new strings on here. These have been on here a while. Where do we start? How do we take these strings off?

Remove the old strings

Doug Redler: Very easy. And I always like to use my D'Addario Pro Winder. You can see at this part of the winder is wider to fit onto the base tuning keys. Very simply, I'm going to take them off all at one time. Basses are real easy strings come right out of the slots and you could cut them or just pull them through. This type of bridge, let me just slide them right through, real easy.

Rob Cunningham: All right, now they're off the instrument. What do we do next?

Install the new strings

Doug Redler: Easy. Get our strings. We're using just regular light gauge strings, D'Addario XLs. I like to make a little bend before I put it in there because you have to get it over the saddle.

Rob Cunningham: That's just to make it easy to get the string through.

Doug Redler: Exactly. Okay, so pull through. Make sure the ball end of the string gets right up to the bridge there. Nice and tight. You're going over the saddle.

Rob Cunningham: All right.

Doug Redler: You pull it tight, and I usually have to go about two tuners past the tuner that I'm stringing. The one that string it up. Right. So I'm stringing the E so we're going to go one over the A and one over the D-string. Give it a little cut.

Rob Cunningham: Why is it important to get this length correctly?

Doug Redler: Well, because you want it to be very neat. You don't want the string to overlap itself. That'll all affect your tuning.

Rob Cunningham: Okay.

Doug Redler: Just put it right down in the hole in the slot. I like to wrap it around once, maybe twice. Push it down to make it tight. Get the Pro Winder, bring it over this. You want to make sure it's over the saddle.

Rob Cunningham: So that's it. It's that easy.

Doug Redler: Counterclockwise, and the same thing with the rest of those strings. Everything looks great under the string trees, over the saddles. Nice and tight behind the bridge. Now we stretch. It's really important to give it a good stretch. Can't overemphasize that enough. Once the guitar stays in tune after a couple of times you've stretched enough. See? Dropped about a half a step. We're going to bring it back up and go again. And we'll keep stretching until it stays in tune. And that's how you know. All right, all yours.

Rob Cunningham: All right, see you.



Doug Redler

Guitar Tech and Author