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Old 12-09-2010, 03:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How often do your strings break and which string breaks most?

If you play a Guitar, Bass, Violin, Cello, Piano, or whatever other kinds of string instruments; how often do your string(s) break and which string breaks the most often?

I am a guitarist, for me strings only last 2 or 3 months, and the D string is always the first one to break. How about you guys?
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've probably broken about 4 strings in the last 8 years. My general approach to string breakage is that if its happening, you're doing something horribly wrong.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I've probably broken about 4 strings in the last 8 years. My general approach to string breakage is that if its happening, you're doing something horribly wrong.
What kind of music do you play? Certainly different genres require different strumming and picking methods, stuff like Rock and Metal definitely put more stress on the strings than genres like Country and Jazz.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I play everything from shred to jazz. its all about technique. After a point hitting the strings harder is just wasted effort, especially if you play with distortion, since distortion compresses transients. The styles hardest on the strings imo are blues and hardcore/punk. One because it relies on transients and dynamics a lot, one because everyone who plays it just thrashes away.

in fact....YouTube - Extreme whammy abuse - Ibanez ZR tremolo

Observe. I can do that to strings without them breaking. I can also hit them as hard as I like without them breaking, to the point where any further force risks damaging the guitar as a whole, or my hand!

If your strings break, you're using bad strings, you're hitting them WAY too hard, or theres something wrong with your setup or guitar hardware. Even with Elixir Strings, which for me last roughly 3 to 5 months (I normally change uncoated strings once a month or every 2 months at the latest), I've had not a single string break. Ever.

If you leave strings on your guitar much longer than that, and you play every day, then frankly I think you're killing your strings with age. By that time (3 months for uncoated and 6 months for coated) I consider my strings to be worn out and too dull to carry on with.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The only time when I break strings is when I'm changing the tunings on my guitars. Even though I do it pretty frequently breaking a string while tuning down or up is pretty rare and only happens when a string is past it's prime. I play my guitars pretty hard too, lots of bends, hard strumming and picking and I've only broken one string while in the process of actually playing and it was during a fit of angry strumming a la Sonic Youth.

Last edited by Farfisa; 12-09-2010 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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for me strings only last 2 or 3 months, and the D string is always the first one to break. How about you guys?
like GB said, there's something wrong here, especially where a WOUND string is always the first one to break...

where does the break happen? is it always at the same spot?

typically strings break at 2 locations, either right at the saddle or near the tuning peg. they're usually due to the same thing as well, some kind of burr or jagged edge in the path of the string. i used to get that a lot with my high E saddle, the file from a nail clipper fixed that. just slide through the groove a few times until it feels smooth to your fingertip. if you feel any kind of harshness or edge then rub it some more. you might have to find a rounded metal file if it's due to a sharp edge in the tuning peg.


i've NEVER snapped a string from strumming too hard, though i've worn down many pics at the top of the fretboard from the same ferocity. the only time i've popped strings in the last decade was from pressing down on them between the nut and the tuning pegs to fake pulling up on a whammy bar (and that was probably more likely to the guitar being in a frozen car for an hour before doing something like that within 20 minutes of taking it out.)

i also don't replace my guitar strings nearly as often as i should (i don't remember who said it but the basic attitude is, the tone can only die so much), and i don't ever plan on replacing the strings on my bass unless they snap.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I always break the high E string and sometimes B string on my acoustic guitar. But it really doesn't happen that often and when it does it's usually because I'm trying to put it into/ take it out of some weird tuning.

I've never broken a string on my bass or piano...
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've only broken strings twice - the high E once, and the A once.

As far as strings lasting - I've got Elixir Nanowebs on my acoustic right now which have been on there since the beginning of October. They seem to be holding up really well.

Before that, though, I got the guitar I'm playing now from my sister and it had the same strings on it from the time it was purchased - 2006 - to October when I finally got money I could use to buy new strings. No idea what kind of strings those were, though.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No idea what kind of strings those were, though.
after 4 years it REALLY didn't matter
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Usually the B string when it's first getting tuned.
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