All sound comes from vibration and that only comes from tension.
Even then, sitting in the dark of the stage while the rest of the band milled about the amps and cables, our tour manager talking to the club about merch, I set to put on a new set of strings.
There was tension.
Every time I change a string, I feel the tension. The resistance.
I don't know why I get anxious about it...
There was very little light on the stage. And darkness everywhere else. I was thinking of words. Words I had last night when I was alone that left me now. So I turned the strings.
I like to start on the heaviest string. The E. Sliding through the body, pulling it over the bridge, the slide of steel as it passes, reaches up to tuner, catching on in a turn. Then I move to the lightest one, on a bass that's a G. Then fill in the A. And last the D.
It's the way I learned it from violin. I was probably 5 when I tried to string up my instructors violin. He had me practice on his. That made me even more nervous especially since he didn't talk as I carefully went through the directions he told me the week before.
Start at the lowest. Align the string. Careful not to move the bridge, which is a disaster on the violin, tighten slowly.
"Very slowly," my instructor cautioned, with the first word spoken in 5 mins, "you wouldn't want the string to break and cut back at you." He whipped his finger up to his eye.
Now slower than before, I tightened.
It doesn't take long for a strong to get enough tension to make a sound. The lower the tension the bigger the vibration and the sound stays low. The more you tighten, the higher the sound gets. It's all very simple.
But even simpler to understand: too much tension and everything breaks.
"Are we ready for sound check?" I asked only to be met with a shoulder shrug.
The last part of changing strings, cutting off the ends to make it look nice. Four silver tines. Pointed up to the stage lights. Newly stretched and wound and bent. They came out of the headstock. With a set of wire cutters I snipped off each one. Listening to them rattle and bounce as they hit the floor of the stage.
It's a terrible feeling waiting for the snap.
Always makes me anxious.
to be cont.
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mood: Hiroshi Suzuki - Cat