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Using vaseline to deaden new strings?


markdavid

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Sorry if this seems like a dumb question but , I have heard about some bass players rubbing vaseline on there new strings to remove some of that trebly new string sound , I want to try this when I change my strings next , but I was wondering , will this do any harm to my bass especially the wood on the neck and fingerboard , also how much will this kill off the new string sound, I mainly use flatwounds

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Erm, if you want to deaden the sound of new strings, why are you changing them in the first place? Maybe choose strings that are not so bright to start with?

Vaseline is petroleum based, so I'm really not sure what sort of effect that might have on finishes etc. but I can't imagine it would be good, otherwise we'd all be using it.

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If it does work I'll make sure I keep my hands well clear of it! I take great pains to keep that lovely bright fresh new string sound. :)
Just play them in is the only advice I can give you. they lose a bit of zing quite quickly, especially if you don't protect or clean them.

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MB1. :)

Stars eh!think that was all jaco ever ate, so it wouldnt surprise me it ended up on his basses,however putting chicken grease on a fretless fender will not however make you play like jaco.He was RATHER GOOD to start with,chicken grease or no chicken grease!.

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i tried a tiny tiny tiny tiny smear of vaseline on the saddles of my tele as it kept breaking strings - i got one tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny smear in the wrong place and it had the effect of deadening the G (they're mega cheap strings so i'm not averse to changing them once a fortnight).
on the plus side i haven't broken a string yet!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the Chicken grease was James Jamerson - Thought I could be wrong....

As for grease or vaseline on the saddles, instead of that, try rubbing a bit of pencil in the grooves and in the nut, should help smooth out the action when you're tuning. I certainly noticed a difference. Plus it'd remove the risk of ruining the string.

Sorry for the wayward topic-ness, by the way.

Maybe if you change the strings if they're getting too dull, boil them up and put them back on. They'll be bright again, but will dull out a lot quicker (or so I found when I used to do that - Now I always use fresh string, helps me control the EQ much easier and I find the lows are much lower. Again, could just be me).

Cheers,

Rich

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Like some other members, i go to great lengths to keep my strings bright, PA's and Rooms always deaden your sound. Make sure my hands are clean before i play, rub down my strings after each gig/set.........
Just don't do any of that! :-D

Si

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  • 14 years later...

sorry, a bit late to the party, but wanted to share my experience. I've used vaseline to deaden d'addario chrome flats. They come out of the package super zingy which is not my cup of tea. I basically smudged a bit of vaseline into a paper towel, ran it across the length of each string, and then cleaned it off with a fresh paper towel. They sounded quite nice after that, almost 'woody'. And, yes, as has been mentioned above, it was nice and smooth on the fingers, at least for a while.

 

 

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I'm sure there's a joke in there.

 

We've got the internet, 14 years old, vaseline, paper towel, woody, and smooth on the fingers.

 

I've just done a long drive back from a gig and can't formulate a snappy punchline, but you can probably imagine the kind of muck I would normally have come up with from that lot.

 

And there's a pun- it literally wrote itself. That'll have to do for this evening.

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Put some foam under the strings to deaden them a little. IMO Vaseline wouldn't deaden the strings but it would mess up anything else you touched!

 

In the 60's Binky McKenzie, a bassist with Alexis Korner's Free At Last, put Vaseline on his fretting fingers, but that was only to speed up his playing. I never saw him but friends who did were very impressed. Unfortunately his career as a bassist was cut short when he killed his parents and brother in law!!

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