Workshop: How to String-Up Your Fender-Style Bass

Well, above is how not to string it up. Look at that mess!

Fender-style basses have a design flaw where the E&A strings have no extra down-pressure against the nut except for what comes off of the tuner shafts themselves. Above you can see that the owner of this G&L has wrapped them willy-nilly onto the shafts.

The first problem is that it's untidy and very possibly not tuning-stable. The second problem is that with the strings departing the tuners near the top of the shafts, they're not applying down-pressure against the nut as they should.

After I set this G&L up, I fixed each string's loading at the tuner. Here I've taken the low E off and I've clipped the string about "3 post-lengths" beyond the low E tuner (almost to the tip of the headstock).

Now I insert the string's end into the hole of the shaft...

...and start cranking the tuner while applying some down-pressure on the string to attempt to keep the wraps around the post to "stack up" from top to bottom, so that...

...when I'm done the string comes off near the bottom of the post, thus increasing back-pressure on the saddle. It's simple and obvious once you think about it, but plenty of bass players have come into the shop complaining about overtones or E&A strings that bounce out of the slots in the nut.

This is usually why!