The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I consider myself to be a fairly clumsy guitarist. I have never broken a string while playing. I can play quite hard at times, including strums.

Broke one once by overwinding while stoned.

I use eighteen to seventy-six guage. Just kidding. I always used nines, but have switched to tens in the past decade.

I always make sure I have not twisted the string before putting it in the peg. Is that it?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,255 Posts
Guitars with sharp break-points, usually at the bridge (metal to metal contact) can be a contributor. Faulty strings can be another one.

I just about never break strings, but I had a bad batch of D'Addarios once that gave me some grief. Emotions can sometimes get into it as well, getting a little to aggressive while rockin' or punkin' out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
I've had a string break in the wrapping near the ball while tuning up. That's the only one I've broken in the last twenty years, since I switched to fingerpicking. Before I switched to fingerpicking, it had been a few years, even though I had been using really thick picks, but 11s or 12s.

The thin strings broke all the time, even when I used the thinnest of picks.

My touch got lighter and lighter with experience.

I also use fewer strings, I hardly ever change them, and I don't buy store brands either, so maybe I don't encounter as many bad ones.
 

·
Occasional CEO
JB Custom
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
IMO, the following are the most common contributors:
- locking tuners turned too tight
- floyd nuts/saddles tightened too much
- sharp edges on poorly designed saddles, tuners, etc.
- improper string installation (and tugging them way too hard to stretch them out)
- faulty/defective or overly cheap strings
- playing hard on fairly old strings can do it too

I can think of maybe 1 or 2 times in my lifetime that I've broken a string while playing. Generally when playing REALLY hard on some well used strings.

Once a good set is installed properly on a guitar with decent hardware, there's no reason for them to break until they start rusting. By then they are long passed the point of needing a replacement anyways.
 
L

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Back in the eightie's, our bassist broke his E string.
He was a finger plucker, but he dug in deep for the metal that we played.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,190 Posts
I think mine usually break due to age. If it's show #3 and I haven't swapped on the guitar I'm using, it's risky business.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lola

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,467 Posts
I've broken everything up to the G string, nothing heavier than that though. But in 25 years or so I can likely count the number of times on my 2 hands, strings are pretty durable. I must say I still flinch when tightening up the high E to pitch the first time. Always sure I'm going to "poke my eye out".
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,190 Posts
Breaking two low E strings on my new-at-the-time LP studio, I went to the "local" music store (40min. drive one way) and asked for advice. I was handed a pack of 10-52's and told I shouldn't break any more strings. Jim was right! 10-52's 99% of the time ever since.
 
  • Like
Reactions: davetcan

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
I've worn out 3 nylon D strings at the second fret. I finally replaced it with a metal one, and had no problems since. I've never broken a guitar string any other way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
I break a few strings a year. I never change them, they get changed when they break. I have observed my strumming hand and noticed when I am going to town, I use as much of my index finger as my guitar pick on the strings. This would be hard strumming for fast punk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,936 Posts
I haven't broken one in ages--I used to break them a lot on my Iceman--so I checked the bridge--as that's where they broke (Mostly the D string actually.)--I did some very light filing to smooth the saddles--and I rub a pencil on them with each string change---and no issues.

I have had strings break when I was a beginner & I tuned them too high.
And I've broken them on purpose. (Stress relief)

And that time my strap knob pulled out of the wood (No strap locks will help if the screw comes flying out of the wood)
I had my left hand on the neck when it happened--so I was able to catch it.
But a couple of strings broke.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,465 Posts
I had my high e string break, I think twice while I was playing! I know I was doing a bend at the time.

Snap and gone.

But here's a question(sorry, just a little bit of hijacking going on. ;))

Will you:

A) change that one string

B) put on a brand new set

C) say, "screw it" and do it tomorrow? You sit there and noodle on the 5 strings that are left.

Hint: there is no right or wrong answer
 

·
Occasional CEO
JB Custom
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
I had my high e string break, I think twice while I was playing!

Snap and gone.

But here's a question(sorry, just a little bit of hijacking going on. ;))

Will you:
A) change that one string
B) put on a brand new set
C) say, "screw it" and do it tomorrow? You sit there and noodle on the 5 strings that are left.

Hint: there is no right or wrong answer
Depends on the guitar I'm playing and the situation.

Practicing or gigging with no backup?
Non-Trem Bridge - Finish up with 5 strings.
Trem Bridge - Change the string.
Locking Tremolo - Option D. Unwind the string a little so it can reach the saddle and reinstall.

After the session/show, change them all and give it a setup.

Just noodling around? Change them all and give it a setup.

That said, if the strings are fresh and/or this has happened more than once recently, I look for possible causes that I might be able to fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
I think the only time I’ve ever broken a string was on my first acoustic; it was a total dog of an instrument, it sounded good, but played horribly and had lots of issues.

In recent years I don’t recall breaking any strings at all, and I play mostly heavier styles of music. I guess strumming technique could have an impact on string life? I do mostly efficiency picking and hybrid picking, so 99% of the time, only my wrist is moving and it’s in small fluctuations; my arm almost never moves up and down over the strings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,936 Posts
I had my high e string break, I think twice while I was playing! I know I was doing a bend at the time.

Snap and gone.
I used to bend the 1st string behind the neck (under & behind)
I liked the way it sounded with lots of distortion.
I haven't done that in years--but that;'s who I sometimes broke strings on purpose...
(Teenage angst I guess)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,963 Posts
As a kid, I put steel strings on a classical guitar and they eventually tore the bridge right off the guitar, but that's another story. :)

In the '90s, I was using 9's and a .88mm pick and was blowing the G string too often.
When I broke one during the first set of a gig with new strings I had to take action.
I checked the saddle and it was good, so it boiled down to probably the string I bend the most.
So, I went to 10's and a slightly lighter pick. I hadn't broken a string in a very long time afterwards.

I still use 10s, but have gone to a thicker pick, up to a 3.5mm and no breakage.
My touch must have lightened up over the years.

I did have a couple break since, but they were on new guitars, probably crappy stock strings.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top