1. TheGrandEnigma
  2. Ask Sheldon
  3. Friday, 15 February 2013
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Sheldon/Any Member,

I was talking with a guitar player a while back and we got on the topic of stretching strings after changing them. He told me that the only thing stretching accomplishes is tightening the wrap on the tuner post, so he just grabs the string in the middle and give it a good "warble" back and forth and calls it good. I on the other hand said that stretching a string literally STRETCHES the string, so I "pinch" the string, starting from the bridge and working to the nut and back again on each string, re-tune, and repeat. Sometimes I'll do this 3 times before I figure it'll keep tune properly.

What is actually going on when you stretch a string? How do you stretch your new strings?
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Smallmouth_Bass Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I am like you, I stretch them in the middle and work it along the string two or three times. Not too much, but enough to settle the string in.
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Bocete Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Pretty sure you're right, GE. An easy way to verify: put a new set of strings such that there are no wraps around the tuner poles, maybe only 1 full wrap; then tune, stretch the string thoroughly and check the tuning.

I too stretch the strings the same way, not too much though. Just to reach that stay-in-tune point.
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Grand Wazoo Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Before Sheldon replies, I am going to quote what he has said in the past in relation to string stretching and here is what he said:

First you must bend the string over the saddle, trying to create a V shape over the 2 saddle screws, you do this by pushing down on either sides of the saddle screws so that it forms a defined anchor / bend.

Then for each string, he said that it is better not to pull, bend, pinch or stress a string by hand, but instead using your tuner, tune each string (ONE AT A TIME) to the next highest note, i.e. for the low [b:3hp4101w]E[/b:3hp4101w] string you tune it to [b:3hp4101w]F[/b:3hp4101w] first then back to E, and do the same for all the other strings and there will be no need to stretch the string by force with your hands, because the strings are mechanically designed to be pulled from the ball end to the wrapped end and not sidewise or other.

I have followed this advice and I have to admit the strings tend to last longer and maintain a more accurate tuning than when they are stretched by force.
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Funkshwey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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It's more important for guitarists to stretch thoroughly if they'll be playing a lot of bends in their leads/riffs especially if they're changing strings right before a show. When you do it to a bass string you're creating micro damage to the core of the string.

I would do it like Sheldon suggests or apply some vibrato to the middle parts of the neck, nothing extreme. Smallmouth has the right idea.

By "pinching" up and down the string you're creating inconsistent crimping up and down the string.

Best thing imo, is to crimp at the bridge, [i:uz69i828]and[/i:uz69i828] pull horizontally to the fretboard on the larger strings between the nut and the tuner post for the straightest string path. Then, just play the strings to break them in.
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joebar Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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some really good food for thought here
one thing i have noticed about all three DW's i have/had is how stable they are-they rarely go out of tune and can hold tune for long periods of time with the smallest micro adjustments.

i remember when i bought my AB1 6 string off earle, he shipped it from arizona to vancouver (two entirely different climate extremes; very hot and dry to very moderate and humid). the bass arrived overnight and he left the bass tuned up. i pulled it out of the bag and it was dead in tune...i couldn't believe it. now that folks, is a quality instrument.
perhaps it has to do with the reinforcing rods as well; i dunno.

a friend of mine taught me as i am winding up the string to let the string uncoil unto itself. just before i am done, i take the string and pull on it from the nut to the ball and make sure it unravels itself fully before winching it up. another little trick that lends itself to stability. maybe this is old news but it was a huge revelation to me.
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Mark L Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I've been string-stretching about 40 years. :oops: Learned it from a local tech long ago. He also taught me to bend the string where it crosses the nut and bridge (no need to on a Fender style saddle), but on the Thunderbird, yes. Anyway, I dont recall ever breaking a new string by stretching it. IME, you can tune up to the next note, or step, even, but the string will still slip unless it is stretched really well and cinched up around the post. I pull it in the middle -5 or 6 times, pull, tune, pull, tune- until it stops moving. I use a lot of wrap on the posts all the way to the bottom- so it figures that I would have to stretch mine more. My name is Mark, and I'm a string-stretcher.
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Smallmouth_Bass Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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I've only ever broken one string in my lifetime and had one dud (the outer wrap came off of the core).
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TheGrandEnigma Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Thanks for the info guys.
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