Learning to restring your Epiphone viola bass guitar is vital if one of your strings has broken or its tone has dulled. The Epiphone viola bass has a viola-shaped body, with an inward curve at the centre of the body. Epiphone is a branch of Gibson, and makes more affordable instruments than its illustrious parent-company. The viola bass features maple construction, a hollow body, chrome hardware and two mini humbucker pickups. The instrument can be restrung in the same way as many other bass guitars.
Loosen the old strings at the machine heads. Locate the machine heads by looking to the top of the neck of the instrument. The Epiphone viola has four machine heads, two on either side of the headstock, and they are triangular in shape. Turn the upper machine heads (those connected to the thicker two strings) clockwise to loosen the strings. Turn the lower machine heads counterclockwise to loosen the strings. Loosen the string enough so that you can remove the string from the post it is wrapped around by hand.
Remove the strings from the tuning posts. Each string is attached to the tuning post and to the stop bar at the opposite end of the guitar. Look on the underside of the stop bar (the opposite side to the pickups) for the small ringed ends of the string. Push some of the string through from the opposite side so that the ring comes out of the opposite end of the stop bar. Pull the ring end to remove the string from the bass entirely. Repeat this process for each of the strings.
Push the end of the new E string (the thickest string -- largest gauge number on the string packet) through the hole in the stop bar. The end you push through shouldn't have a ring. Look up to the neck from the bottom of the bass. The hole farthest left is for the E string, and as the strings descend in thickness, they move one hole to the right.
Pull the string up to the headstock. Ensure that the string rests on its spot on the bridge of the bass, which is directly in front of the hole in the stop bar. The closest white lip to the stop bar is the one for the E string. Stretch the string up the length of the viola bass and ensure that the string sits in its relevant hole in the nut. Again, this is farthest to the left if you are looking up toward the headstock.
Cut the end of the string two inches past the tuning post. The tuning post for the E string is closest to the neck of the bass on the same side of the string. The tuning posts for each string work around clockwise from this point. Push the cut end of the string into the top of the tuning post and bend it down at a right angle. Wind the machine head around counterclockwise so that the string wraps around the tuning post from the inside. Tune the string to E when it has been tightened.
Install other new strings in the same way you did with the E string. Each string must wrap around the tuning post from the inside. Turn the A string's machine head counterclockwise when tightening the string; and the D and G strings turn clockwise.
Things you need
- New bass guitar strings
- Wire cutters