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Going from 10's to 11's - decrease incidents of string breakage?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by TeeVee, May 18, 2011.

  1. TeeVee

    TeeVee Member

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    Perth, Western Australia
    Currently using 10-46 on all guitars, thinking of moving up to 11's.

    On my Strat, I've broken the D string at the last 2 gigs, which is not an extremely common occurrence for me.

    My right hand attack isn't ferocious when playing rhythm, but I'm not feeling confident after the last two breaks to dig in a bit more when it's required.

    Question - will the change to 11's make string breakage less likely?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  2. whackystrings

    whackystrings Member

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    Vancouver, Canada
    Two D strings like that? Hmmm...my advice is take your guitar to a guitar tech at some point and see if the bridge string saddle needs to be smoothed out...maybe some kind of burr or wear is creating an edge that is weakening the string at that spot. Normally, strings should wear out with tone loss and funky intonation rather than breakage (for the average player using a moderate playing style, etc. etc.). In the meantime, carry some extra D's :dunno
     
  3. TeeVee

    TeeVee Member

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    Good point whackystrings. Might make a visit to my local tech.
     
  4. golfnutt67

    golfnutt67 Member

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    Try some nut sause stuff that stuff works well
     
  5. Hugo Da Rosa

    Hugo Da Rosa Silver Supporting Member

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    Los Angeles
    Yeah, I definitely agree with this. There's a good chance that it has something to do with the hardware on the guitar. If it is a hardware issue, going up a gauge won't do anything - just break the string maybe not quite as quickly but still likely frequently. I would check on this first, as if that's really the issue, you don't have to readjust your familiarity with the guitar, as going up a gauge does change the tone and its playability.
     
  6. tonejunky

    tonejunky Member

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    if there is nothing wrong with the hardware, you could always try going up a gauge or two on only a couple of the strings. heavybottom/skinnytop and hybrid gauge packs are fairly popular.
     
  7. aaland_brian

    aaland_brian Member

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    Minnesota
    I'm guessing it's the saddle, next time one breaks pull it down and see if the break is at a contact point and then lightly file it or sand it with abrasive cord or sand paper wrapped on the broken string. I used to get this with certain guitars and it's an easy fix. What kind of guitar, tune-o-matics can be pretty bad when they get burrs on them.
     
  8. nrandall85

    nrandall85 Member

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    Buffalo, NY
    In my experience, if you're breaking strings on a regular basis it's either bad strings or as whackystrings pointed out, burrs in your saddles.

    Check out at which point on the string the break occurs. I've had issues with tuners, even a fret that developed a strange divot somehow. If there's anything at all for the string to catch on, it will find it.

    I prefer 11's on most of my guitars. They just feel more stable, and it is a little extra assurance against breakage.

    I had one strat type guitar, and no matter how many times I would dremel and polish the high E string saddle, I would continually break strings. In that case, I just got sick of fighting it, and switched to Graph Tech saddles. Honestly have not broken a string since on that particular guitar.
     
  9. Hwoltage

    Hwoltage Member

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    Corvallis, Oregon
    If you still have the strings, it's very easy to find where they broke at. If you don't have them, do you remember removing the longest half from the tuning peg or the saddle?

    They most likely broke at the saddle. Unless it's being pinched at the nut, the nut most likely isn't your problem as the material simply isn't hard enough to score metal. That's assuming it's bone or plastic and not metal.

    It's also possible that there is a sharp edge on one of your pole pieces that you are raking the string down into and across when you strum hard.

    I suppose you could roll up a very thin piece of tin-foil and lightly slide it back and forth in the saddle. If it tears easily there is most likely a burr. You can try and get rid of the burr by taking a piece of the broken D string and running it back and forth a couple times in the saddle, but you're better off taking it to a tech.
     

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