Is your Bass sounding Timid and Quiet on one particular string?
In a bass we want as balanced a sound as possible. If one of the strings is by its nature on the skimpy side, that can be a problem, especially for the fat E. Or the low B on a five. Keep in mind that every neck will have a few dead spots, places where notes do not speak as well as others. That is the nature of a wooden neck.
But sometimes this issue can be so pronounced that it is a problem. Keeping in mind that lower notes without amplification will cut through less by their very nature, let’s take a listen at our bass. In order to diagnose this, play without an amp and hold your ear to the bass. Pluck each of the strings with as equal strength as possible and listen. Do they sound in the ballpark the same, with the lower notes just a little softer than the higher ones? Or is there a marked difference, also in the way the strings ring out?
By doing this you can probably diagnose any potential problem.
In the article are a few things you can try if your bass has that issue. Especially if you bought it used, there may be something going on that you never noticed.
As always, I recommend a good set up. You can learn to do it yourself or bring it to a trusted shop.
Good strings are important. I boil mine to prolong their life. I use alcohol, but someone recently recommended vinegar. Worth a try. Pickled strings, why not?! Plus, I have a gas stove and that string boiling procedure always makes me a bit antsy, flammable and all!
READ HERE: (If you cannot see the preview click here for my response)
6 Replies to “Quiet E string? Bass not sounding balanced?”
The boiled vinegar strings are not very tasty but I find drinking the alcohol first helps.
So what’s the answer? I don’t see the article explain how to fix the problem of a dead E/B string, or the strings sounding different in levels. I assume you where gonna say to try raising or lowering your pickups? Try your action as well, and make sure your neck is properly scooped. Also if you have active pickups make sure your battery is fresh as that can affect it too.
“The boiled vinegar strings are not very tasty but I find drinking the alcohol first helps.”
Good one, John!
The answer is in the Quora box at the end. It seems some browsers do not show this. I pasted the link. Will do that for all such posts in the future. Sorry bout that, no idea why it is not showing for some! Here is the link: https://www.quora.com/The-E-string-on-my-bass-guitar-is-quiet-even-when-its-unplugged-Is-there-a-way-I-can-solve-this
I wouldn’t ever put strings into an acid bath, which is what vinegar is (acetic acid). Although it’s a weak acid it’s far stronger than the acid in our perspiration and heating it makes it even more reactive with metals, including some stainless steel alloys that aren’t resistant to acids. It won’t be good for tuners, saddles, et al. either. Don’t rely on my say so, ask a chemist or metallurgist.
Interesting, Kenny, thanks for your comment. Interesting, Kenny, thanks for your comment.