How to change your bass guitar strings 

Bass guitars come with thicker strings, which may lead some to believe that restringing a bass guitar could be a daunting task.

However, with our comprehensive guide and handy tips, you’ll master the process of restringing bass guitars in no time.

Essential tools for restringing a bass guitar:

We need just two things:

  • A new set of strings
  • Wire cutters

Optional: We recommend using a neck cradle or headstand to ensure stability and balance while working on your bass guitar.

Follow these simple steps to restring your bass guitar:

Remove the old strings

Begin by detuning the first string until completely loose, then remove it from the tuner. Depending on your bass guitar type, extract the string either through the bridge or the instrument’s body.

Gripping the string might be tricky at times; try pushing it in before pulling it out for a better grip.

Clean the bass guitar

Once all the strings have been removed, it’s time to clean your bass guitar.

While the manufacturer may have specific cleaning recommendations, using a clean, soft cloth will suffice in most cases.

Prepare the new string

Ensure each string is placed correctly by checking the packaging or the colored ball at the end of the string.

Read what it says on the package or look at the color ball at the end of the string.

Restring bass guitar

Insert the New Strings for Your Bass Guitar

Begin by inserting the new strings, one at a time, through the bridge and carefully pulling them out. Align the strings over the nut guides and the bridge saddle.

Trim the New Strings

Pull the string toward the tuning post, and measure an extra 2-3 inches. Bend the string at a 90-degree angle and attach this part to the tuner. Next, measure another inch or half an inch from where the string is bent and snip off the excess using the wire cutters.

Alternatively, use the old strings as a template to measure the new ones before inserting them through the bridge. Place the strings side by side on a flat surface and cut the new string to match the length of the old one.

Tighten the New Strings

Rotate the tuning key to the right, maintaining pressure against the post to keep the string secure. Continue until the ball end is firmly anchored on the bridge, ensuring the string isn’t overly tight.

Tune the new string

You can tune your bass guitar by ear or using an electric tuner.

Initially, the strings may go out of tune due to tension. To address this, gently stretch each string around the 12th fret and retune. Repeat the stretching process if necessary.

How to change string on a bass

FAQs on Restringing Bass Guitars

How often should I restring my bass guitar?

The frequency of restringing bass guitars depends on the player’s style.

The more you play, the more often you’ll need to restring your bass guitar. Proper string maintenance can prolong their lifespan.

Some bass players note that using a pick reduces the need for frequent string changes.

How quickly do the strings of a bass guitar break?

Thicker strings tend to break less often, while harder strings break more frequently.

As previously mentioned, the more you play, the more often you’ll need to restring your bass guitar.

What can go wrong while restringing a bass guitar?

  • Choosing the wrong strings
  • Arranging the strings in the wrong order
  • Unpacking all the strings at once
  • Scratching the guitar body during string installation
  • Cutting the string too short
  • Winding the string in the wrong direction
  • Overtightening the string
  • Failing to stretch the strings after installation

Why does my bass sound bad after I restring it?

Several factors could contribute:

  1. Wrong strings: Selecting unsuitable strings can impact your bass guitar’s sound after restringing. Ensure you use strings that meet the bass model requirements and match your playing style.
  2. Incorrect installation: Improper string installation may result in strings being too close to the pickup poles or improperly tuned.

Mistakes like these are common, especially for first-timers.

How much does professional bass guitar string replacement cost?

Professional string replacement services can cost up to $50 or more. By restringing your bass guitar yourself, you only pay for the new strings.

Is restringing a bass guitar more difficult than restringing an acoustic guitar?

Restringing a bass guitar is generally considered more challenging than restringing a regular guitar. For beginners, both tasks may seem difficult, but the ease of the process ultimately depends on the individual. If have an acoustic guitar and want to know how to restring, check our guide on that – restringing acoustic guitar guide.


Restringing bass guitars may not be a favorite task for players, but it’s crucial for maintaining optimal instrument performance.

Follow our straightforward steps for restringing bass guitars, and you’ll find the process can be relatively simple.

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