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Why do my strings keep breaking?

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Jun 21, 2019 - 9:13:57 AM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

hey everyone,
I play a crappy old Regal rd 40.
But every time I do a lot of practice or playing I break a string, almost always the g string (3rd). and always at the tuning peg. never anywhere else. Im sick of this. I barely get a couple days in, and if i am tuning the guitar a lot, like using different tunings, which is a big part of my playing, such as F A C F C F , D  G  B G  B D, open E open D etc. they might break the first day out...

what the H*** is going on? any ideas???

its very frustrating.

thx
Doug

Edited by - Dobby on 06/21/2019 09:20:56

Jun 21, 2019 - 9:38:52 AM
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Players Union Member

otbreso

USA

1571 posts since 4/27/2009

If it's at the tuning machine there's probably a small burr or sharp edge there on the tuner. You can use a little bit of finer sandpaper and kinda run it around the edges of the string hole. I've used a small rat tail file too but it's never as smooth as I'd like.

Jun 21, 2019 - 9:54:30 AM
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104 posts since 9/24/2014

Yep, probably a burr. Is it binding in the nut? Any pinging when you tune?

Jun 21, 2019 - 4:27:54 PM
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191 posts since 4/5/2012

Are you using GHS 1600 or other GHS cryogenic strings? they had a manufacturing issue where the strings did exactly that...they wouldn't tell customers about it, but I talked to them, made them aware, and they say they have fixed it...but your strings could be from old stock...

Jun 22, 2019 - 1:23:09 PM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Wildeman

Yep, probably a burr. Is it binding in the nut? Any pinging when you tune?


no that's the weird thing... I cant see or feel anything. theres a little play in the tuner but thats it...i will look closer...thx!

Jun 22, 2019 - 1:24:29 PM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by otbreso

If it's at the tuning machine there's probably a small burr or sharp edge there on the tuner. You can use a little bit of finer sandpaper and kinda run it around the edges of the string hole. I've used a small rat tail file too but it's never as smooth as I'd like.


Yea i wondered if there was a sharp spot, but can't see anything at all, and it feels normal, but i will try that to see....much appreciated!

Jun 22, 2019 - 1:34:05 PM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by gzerninplatz

Are you using GHS 1600 or other GHS cryogenic strings? they had a manufacturing issue where the strings did exactly that...they wouldn't tell customers about it, but I talked to them, made them aware, and they say they have fixed it...but your strings could be from old stock...


gzerninplatz  I was using a variety, but mostly d'addario 13 - 56  I thought maybe its the tuning up and down...two strings seem to go. my high D string seems to handle the tension, but the D and G middle strings seem to be the issue. even just small adjustments broke them  but usually its tuning back to gbd tuning from an E or D tuning does it.  i'll see if its a sharp spot...thanks for your reply!

Jun 22, 2019 - 1:44:39 PM
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191 posts since 4/5/2012

I'm guessing that you got some bad strings...perhaps a number of them from a bad batch...when I had the problem with GHS, I spent time filing down everything on my instrument, but all that did was mess up the finish...try strings from a different batch (should be some fine print with a batch number on the string pack, if you still have it)

Edited by - gzerninplatz on 06/22/2019 13:45:58

Jun 22, 2019 - 1:50:16 PM
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51 posts since 8/14/2016

I once had a 3rd string breakage problem, but it was at the bridge (it was still a pain in the neck, however) My 3rd string life was measured in hours not days! I feel your pain, brother.
It may be the 3rd smallest string gauge but if it's wound, you'll probably find it has the smallest core gauge. The core is what is breaking first. I assume you're using at least a .026 in that position. If not maybe try heaver.
I believe the fact that it is breaking a the tuning peg is a significant clue. I'd bet it's the peg as other's have suggested. You could also try removing that peg and swapping position with maybe the peg of the 1st string and see what the results. It may solve the problem or move the problem to the 1st string. If so, you know for sure it's the peg and either find a way to fix it or replace it.
-Good luck

Jun 23, 2019 - 8:27:41 AM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by gzerninplatz

I'm guessing that you got some bad strings...perhaps a number of them from a bad batch...when I had the problem with GHS, I spent time filing down everything on my instrument, but all that did was mess up the finish...try strings from a different batch (should be some fine print with a batch number on the string pack, if you still have it)


its been an ongoing problem. I have been doing more playing than usual ,so that could amplify the problem. true tho, could be i pick from the same area of strings on the rack, and maybe they were defective . but when i buy singles from other brands they break too...I seriously need an upgrade on my guitar. 

i wonder if anyone knows if I can rule out, all the tuning i do? maybe its the coat hanger effect?

Jun 23, 2019 - 8:32:09 AM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by UncleDave

I once had a 3rd string breakage problem, but it was at the bridge (it was still a pain in the neck, however) My 3rd string life was measured in hours not days! I feel your pain, brother.
It may be the 3rd smallest string gauge but if it's wound, you'll probably find it has the smallest core gauge. The core is what is breaking first. I assume you're using at least a .026 in that position. If not maybe try heaver.
I believe the fact that it is breaking a the tuning peg is a significant clue. I'd bet it's the peg as other's have suggested. You could also try removing that peg and swapping position with maybe the peg of the 1st string and see what the results. It may solve the problem or move the problem to the 1st string. If so, you know for sure it's the peg and either find a way to fix it or replace it.
-Good luck


Thanks UncleDave i was saying in my last post how I desperately need a guitar upgrade. 

Do you think the constant tuning up and down (about 4 different tunings per set) might be ruled out?

thx for your input, much appreciated !

Jun 23, 2019 - 10:07:38 AM
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104 posts since 9/24/2014

Constant tuning will definitely put added stress on a string. Maybe you need another Dobro to share the load.......sounds like a good enough reason for a new guitar to me??
You could always upgrade your tuning machines too.

Jun 23, 2019 - 10:39:34 AM
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189 posts since 8/29/2013

Agree with Wildeman...time for a new guitar. PM me for contact info on a luthier here in the midsouth who builds exactly what you need in a new reso at an extremely reasonable price.

No obligation of course.

Jun 23, 2019 - 11:19:09 AM
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191 posts since 4/5/2012

Another thing that I've experienced is that if the edge of the hole that the string goes through on the tuner peg is sharp, that can break a string. so be sure to leave enough slack so that the windings go down to below (or above) the hole.
The coat hangar effect could certainly be a thing also...you might need pedal steel strings which are made to undergo repeated stretching. Or maybe you are cranking the string up beyond the tension it is rated for - are the gauges you use correct for the pitch you are tuning to?
Regarding using a thicker string - that will only INCREASE the tension, and might make it worse, not better - with the flaky strings GHS advised me to use a thinner string to reduce the tension (before they took responsibility for the problem).

Jun 23, 2019 - 2:02:20 PM
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51 posts since 8/14/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Dobby
quote:
Originally posted by UncleDave

I once had a 3rd string breakage problem, but it was at the bridge (it was still a pain in the neck, however) My 3rd string life was measured in hours not days! I feel your pain, brother.
It may be the 3rd smallest string gauge but if it's wound, you'll probably find it has the smallest core gauge. The core is what is breaking first. I assume you're using at least a .026 in that position. If not maybe try heaver.
I believe the fact that it is breaking a the tuning peg is a significant clue. I'd bet it's the peg as other's have suggested. You could also try removing that peg and swapping position with maybe the peg of the 1st string and see what the results. It may solve the problem or move the problem to the 1st string. If so, you know for sure it's the peg and either find a way to fix it or replace it.
-Good luck


Thanks UncleDave i was saying in my last post how I desperately need a guitar upgrade. 

Do you think the constant tuning up and down (about 4 different tunings per set) might be ruled out?

thx for your input, much appreciated !


Hi Doug,  I can't speak from experience regarding 4 different turning/set effecting string breakage, but it certainly seems that it would add abnormal stress on the strings. 

Jun 23, 2019 - 3:19:57 PM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by UncleDave
quote:
Originally posted by Dobby
quote:
Originally posted by UncleDave

I once had a 3rd string breakage problem, but it was at the bridge (it was still a pain in the neck, however) My 3rd string life was measured in hours not days! I feel your pain, brother.
It may be the 3rd smallest string gauge but if it's wound, you'll probably find it has the smallest core gauge. The core is what is breaking first. I assume you're using at least a .026 in that position. If not maybe try heaver.
I believe the fact that it is breaking a the tuning peg is a significant clue. I'd bet it's the peg as other's have suggested. You could also try removing that peg and swapping position with maybe the peg of the 1st string and see what the results. It may solve the problem or move the problem to the 1st string. If so, you know for sure it's the peg and either find a way to fix it or replace it.
-Good luck


Thanks UncleDave i was saying in my last post how I desperately need a guitar upgrade. 

Do you think the constant tuning up and down (about 4 different tunings per set) might be ruled out?

thx for your input, much appreciated !


Hi Doug,  I can't speak from experience regarding 4 different turning/set effecting string breakage, but it certainly seems that it would add abnormal stress on the strings. 


thats my fear...because this is how I play. I necessarily must use different tuning, and if it is acting like a coathanger and weakening the strings, its a huge barrier. I know the hipshot double shot goes from D tuning to G B D tuning and it doesn't break strings, but it uses rollers on the nut and that would reduce tension significantly. But I am afraid that and a new instrument are far off dreams ...maybe some oil on the nut could help?..I do really appreciate all the feedback . thx!

Jun 23, 2019 - 6:10:25 PM
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917 posts since 1/10/2009

Sounds like it's the tuner since it always breaks there. You could do an experiment to rule it out by simply swapping the tuner with one of the others and see if the problem persists or not. BTW, are you doing any "locking wraps" or crossing over with the string? Anything beyond 2 or 3 simple wraps with the 3rd string is unnecessary.

Jun 23, 2019 - 8:14:04 PM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Wildeman

Constant tuning will definitely put added stress on a string. Maybe you need another Dobro to share the load.......sounds like a good enough reason for a new guitar to me??
You could always upgrade your tuning machines too.


Wildeman  ha! I need one for sure. I figure its maybe time to look into it.  I guess most guys use two gits. this gets into a whole new game of    "is it better to..."

i.e is it better to swap out parts than buy a new one? i.e new cone, nut, tuners etc, or buy a new axe?...the best I can do would be a gold tone pbs-d but my understanding is they don't make them anymore...?

Edited by - Dobby on 06/23/2019 20:24:36

Jun 23, 2019 - 8:23:13 PM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by AK Slider

Sounds like it's the tuner since it always breaks there. You could do an experiment to rule it out by simply swapping the tuner with one of the others and see if the problem persists or not. BTW, are you doing any "locking wraps" or crossing over with the string? Anything beyond 2 or 3 simple wraps with the 3rd string is unnecessary.


hey Greg, big fan of your playing btw...hope you will post some YT vids again so I can steal some tricks from you. No, I just do simple wraps about 3 maybe. then cut it off. I am an accomplished finger style player (or was till i developed carpal, hence i switched to slide and now love it!) and just string it the same but I only wrap about 3 times maybe 2 on the G (3rd and 4th) go a little more on the higher strings B and D. just use  simple wire cutting pliers to nip off the ends. back in the day i used to love letting my strings hang out and fly everywhere for flashy effect but, those days are over.  always grateful for the help and input!

Jun 23, 2019 - 9:14:34 PM
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917 posts since 1/10/2009

Right on Doug. Hope your string breakage problem gets solved. I have a song all ready for a video that I think everybody will really like, just waiting for my band members to have time to shoot it. That’d be my son Dan and wife Amanda who have a newborn and have to move by the end of the month into a house they just bought that needs work! Whew!

Jun 23, 2019 - 9:27:58 PM
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gtani7

USA

45 posts since 2/26/2019

What i used to do (before Gotoh locking tuners): put string thru tuner hole, pull it back from nut to fret 1 to get right slack, then 1 handwind above the tuning peg hole and 1 1/2 winds below using the tuner button, so no sharp folds in the string and the cross over keeps the string from slipping.

Jun 23, 2019 - 10:38:39 PM
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917 posts since 1/10/2009

I like the Tim Scheerhorn method, fast, no slippage and easy to remove. Pull the string up tight from the tailpiece, wrap around the tuner post and stick the end through the hole. Three wraps for the plain strings, one or two for the wound strings. No crossing over, no locking wraps. Tune up to pitch with a string winder.

Jun 24, 2019 - 3:54:18 AM
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1980 posts since 8/5/2008

Dobby, Is this a regular, or slotted head guitar ?

Jun 24, 2019 - 7:11:41 AM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by AK Slider

Right on Doug. Hope your string breakage problem gets solved. I have a song all ready for a video that I think everybody will really like, just waiting for my band members to have time to shoot it. That’d be my son Dan and wife Amanda who have a newborn and have to move by the end of the month into a house they just bought that needs work! Whew!


Awesome! I will stay posted to your channel. sidenote: is it you that does teaching seminars? would be cool, to drop by one of them.  again mucho gracias!

Jun 24, 2019 - 7:22:15 AM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by gtani7

What i used to do (before Gotoh locking tuners): put string thru tuner hole, pull it back from nut to fret 1 to get right slack, then 1 handwind above the tuning peg hole and 1 1/2 winds below using the tuner button, so no sharp folds in the string and the cross over keeps the string from slipping.


gtani7  thanks for your post.  I am going to try anything, so Ill take your advice. I looked closely at my G string yesterday, and found that the edge of the tuner, had nearly worn through the string, almost like it was ready to go,and that the edge of the tuner hole was sharp enough to cut through it, but not a burr. 

It was hanging on by the windings around the core..and I just got this string two days ago. I have kept it in one tuning (E A E G#B E) since. 

fwiw I use that tuning for  doing my practice work on the John Fahey piece "last steam train"  which requires an open A (dropped from the B) to make it work. I have gone back and reworked my arrangement for the third time because i wasn't happy with my original arrangements. so the tension is high in an Altered E tuning. that is always the issue, some tunings are really high tension , like F A C F C F. but it allows many things that cant be done normally in GBDGBD

Jun 24, 2019 - 7:32:22 AM

Dobby

Canada

46 posts since 2/19/2017

quote:
Originally posted by AK Slider

I like the Tim Scheerhorn method, fast, no slippage and easy to remove. Pull the string up tight from the tailpiece, wrap around the tuner post and stick the end through the hole. Three wraps for the plain strings, one or two for the wound strings. No crossing over, no locking wraps. Tune up to pitch with a string winder.


Greg, I think in time I will save up for the L body Scheerhorn(although I need to try the both  Beard and the Scheerhorn still). I think of all the guitars on YouTube I have heard,  its the one I like best followed closely by an R body Beard or a belle Beard. but i suppose I need to try them in real life.

I am amazed that no one has re-engineered an easier  system for string changing on reso? I play acoustic electric, reso and classical.    reso is by far the most time consuming instrument to change strings on.

maybe its my guitar, but  the string ends always seem to snag up on everything. or come out of the slots in the tailpiece when changing a string.  maybe im just not doing it properly.

Do you know if  The Gold Tone PBS d is still in production? I have heard they arent. but, its not confirmed. 

anyone know if there are used ones on here?

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