Author Topic: Why am I breaking so many strings?  (Read 2140 times)

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Offline midnight_lightning

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Why am I breaking so many strings?
« on: October 30, 2018, 04:22:18 pm »
Hi, Hope someone can help me with this.
I have dabbled with guitar for 30 years but when I retired a few weeks ago I decided to 1) Learn Guitar properly, 2) buy that Fender Strat I have wanted since being a teenager.

My American Pro arrived two weeks ago and I have been learning Justin's 5 blues licks for the past week in which time I have broken 3 thin E strings - all broke at fret 8 where I was bending at (both sides of the fret). I was only bending up one tone - but practicing the licks repeatedly.

The original fender string went first followed by two D'Addario XL's - the latter both broke within 5 minutes of putting them on.

I have checked the frets and I cant see anything rough about them that might cause a breakage.

Could it be my technique (I cant see I am doing anything different to what Justin does in the video), or perhaps the strings?

Not sure what to try next, I have ordered 4 Ernie Ball 9's?

Thanks

Jon





Offline LBro

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Re: Why am I breaking so many strings?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 05:54:50 pm »
Hi & welcome,

When are the strings breaking? Bends, whammy bar, tuning or looking at them?
Where does the string break at? Same place and length? i.e. by the nut, bridge, in the middle?

You should dab some of this stuff on at every point the strings touch something. Nut, saddles and more if there. Just follow the string all the way and lube it where it is a potential bummer.

This stuff is great, expensive and a little goes a long ways. It will help you stay in tune as well. Use it every string change! You might want to slack each string you have on now and make sure a small dab is under the string:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/NutSauce--big-bends-nut-sauce-in-groove-luber-1.5cc-tuning-lubricant

All my best...
LB
You can rock a bit here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOrtongjfX4RI33JWKwn7Q/featured

"I just experiment in guitar and music, at times something good comes of it..."
LB

Offline midnight_lightning

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Re: Why am I breaking so many strings?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 06:57:00 pm »
Hi and thanks.

The problem is bending

"I have broken 3 thin E strings - all broke at fret 8 where I was bending at (both sides of the fret)"

Happy to try the lube if that will help, getting fed up of not being able to practice :)

Offline LBro

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Re: Why am I breaking so many strings?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 07:15:39 pm »
The nut sauce is a good idea for sure but may not solve this one.... You have played a long time. That is a light gauge of strings. Could you be over bending?

LB
You can rock a bit here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOrtongjfX4RI33JWKwn7Q/featured

"I just experiment in guitar and music, at times something good comes of it..."
LB

Offline midnight_lightning

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Re: Why am I breaking so many strings?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 07:24:19 pm »
I'm sure I'm not over-bending, I've only dabbled over the years and I'm at the stage where I'm playing the note I want to bend to first (two frets up), and then bending up to it, so not going past the tone.

It's really odd (and frustrating  :'( ), could I be pushing down on the string too hard?

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Why am I breaking so many strings?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 07:43:56 pm »
could I be pushing down on the string too hard?
Yes, it’s very easy to do just that, you shouldn’t press down any harder than to fret a note.

Offline Styrr

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Re: Why am I breaking so many strings?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2018, 05:34:39 pm »

Not being a luthier or a guitar tech I can only give some guidelines’ of what I would look at to solve your , what must be, a frustrating issue.
1:- Strings of different manufacturers will mostly break at similar tensions unless they are old. So changing manufacturers is probably not going to help. I am surprised though that the fender strings lasted longer than the d’addario’s

2:- Old strings get weaken/corroded and break more easily. As you are using new ones we can safely rule that out too.

3:- Over tensioning can break strings particularly the thinner strings. With the strat style bridges unless it has been hardtailed or you change the strings one at time its quite easy to do this. As you tune up 1 string; then tune another the bridge lifts and detunes the one you have done. This just keeps going in a vicious circle. Of course the higher the bridge the higher the action so when you fret the strings you are putting even more tension on and if you bend then even more. Solution to this is make sure that the set  up is OK after changing strings and tuning up. In particular the action (which might also be too high if the truss rod isn’t adjusted correctly). This, for me, is the only way that fretting  too hard should cause your problem; especially if you are only bending a tone. caveat:- not knowing off hand what fret heights are on the Strat Pro, then yes if they are the tall ones then it just might be the problem.

Question what happens if you only bend a semi-tone?

4:-The string is rubbing on something like a burr. The usual suspect is a burr on the saddle. Next most likely is the nut. But these would cause breakages that those particular points. As you say the string is breaking at the 8th fret then check that there isn’t anything on that fret to catch it on. If the break happens only after a while of it rubbing then the ‘burr’ may not visible or maybe not even felt.

Question does it ONLY happen for bends at the 8th fret? What about bends at say the 6th or 10th frets ?

Solution if this is the problem (on the saddle or fret) then is get some very high grit and smooth it out. I would recommend micromesh pads at 3000 grit or above or very fine steel wool. Just protect the fret either side with masking/electric tape. The reason I recommend the micromesh pads are that you can get a pack that goes from 1500 to 6000 and the very high ones are useful to give the frets an occasional polish to remove any tarnishing.

Failing this take it to guitar tech. (or quit the Bends JK)

Hope you solve it.

Styrr
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I cannot accept not trying.”
Michael Jordan

 

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