all my strings are vibrating!
so i just installed some new heavy strings and they sound fantastic but there's a problem, and i'm not sure it has to do with the strings or not because it's happened before, but never this much. a lot of the time when i strum one string, all the other ones start vibrating mildly and it causes the horrible crashing noise you get when you strum all the open strings at once. does anybody know how to fix this problem?
One of the difficulties in playing bass is that all the strings do vibrate pretty much all the time and you have to become adept at muting the unused strings, usually with a combination of both hands. As you develop as a player, you don't even notice that you're doing it after a while because it becomes so automatic.
If you're just changed the gauge of your bass strings, then you're going to be dealing with a new factor and it will take some time to get used to them. If you've radically changed gauges (or even if you've not), you might want to consider getting a basic set up from your music shop (or performing one yourself if you know how) in order to get your guitar in better shape to handle the ringing.
Hope this helps.
Dealing with one string causing another to vibrate is just a reality of bass playing. It is definitely possible that your new strings made matters a little worse, but that's just something you'll probably have to deal with.
Of course, without seeing/hearing the bass in person, we can't really say that your strings are vibrating more or less than they should be. If you feel that the problem is significant and is beyond the scope of a normal bass' behavior, take it to a good repair tech or luthier for a setup. Tell the tech/luthier about the issue you're having and listen to their opinion.
Also, like dhodge says, a good setup should help at least a little. It depends on the bass and the player, but it is usually pretty beneficial to get a setup after you change string gauges.
Just spotted this, slaphappy. The others are right, your issue is muting. It worries me to hear you use the term "strum" with regard to the bass. Strum is what a rhythm guitarist does when he/she isn't playing arpeggiated patterns or broken chords - i.e. an upstroke or downstroke (usually of the pick) brushing over all the strings together. Bass players rarely if ever strum, and if you do, then that may be your problem.
Read this excellent article at StudyBass.com: http://www.studybass.com/lessons/bass-technique/plucking/ - a fine resource, with which I'm not connected by the way - especially the bit 2/3 way down the page headed "Muting". Don't forget that right hand position has a lot to do with this. I favour the "wandering, or floating, thumb" technique (think Geddy Lee) rather than the anchored thumb (against the E-string or the pickup casing) because I can play faster and more fluidly. But that's just me.
Of course if you're slapping as your nick suggests, then muting's a whole different ball-game, and mostly comes from the left hand. Things like this are where a live teacher comes in useful!
thanks guys :D
yeah, it sucks, my guitar does the same thing, even though i bought new strings. so anyways, you should check how close the strings are to the fretboard, and if they are close, take it into a guitar shop and they should be able to give higher action which should get rid of the slapping noise. it helped my one out, but it still slaps, oh well, you should try it anyways