I bought some new strings for my bass and was informed that 40 is what you find on most basses when they come out of the factory. I restrung my bass today and the stock strings are actually thicker than the 40s I bought. I'm guessing they're 45 gauge. Having been a guitar player I know that you may need to adjust the truss rod after a change of string gauge. Am I being correct assuming that the lighter strings exert less pull which leads to a more convex bow which in turn means that a loosening of the truss rod is in order?

1 Answer 1


Chances are that you won't need to touch the truss rod. Assuming the pitch is the same as it was previously, the new strings are only 10% lighter, so the tension is down by that 10%. If the neck was fine before, it'll probably be fine now.If there is a difference then yes, the truss rod would be loosened, but only by maybe half a turn. The other thing to be aware of is the intonation which as a guitarist, you'll already be aware - the saddles may (or may not) need slight adjustment.And - you may be able to lower the action slightly more than it was with heavier strings.

  • Less pull results in a more convex bow (less relief), right? Will check intonation, thank you!
    – H3R3T1K
    Oct 17, 2013 at 15:10
  • Less tension=smaller relief=straighter neck. In theory.If by more convex you mean more bent, no !
    – Tim
    Oct 17, 2013 at 15:15
  • By convex I mean a bow towards the strings. That's if you got a straight neck and tighten it even more. My manual describes it this way. Turn clockwise if it's too concave and counterclockwise if it's to convex.
    – H3R3T1K
    Oct 17, 2013 at 15:20
  • If the bass has the fingerboard closer to the strings at 12th fret than at nut and bridge, you've got problems !!The truss rod will have a standard R.H.thread, so turning the nut on it, or it itself, clockwise will tighten it, and take any relief out of the neck. You've put lighter strings on, so MAYBE the opposite needs to be done. BUT - be gentle !
    – Tim
    Oct 17, 2013 at 15:27
  • 3
    Minor note for Users from the Future(tm): the amount "1/2 turn" varies depending on thread count of the truss rod.
    – horatio
    Oct 17, 2013 at 16:35

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