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Restringing Guitars

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btimm  
27 Oct 2010 10:16 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
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I have a question about this topic. I have to restring my acoustic guitar pretty frequntly, say every 3-4 weeks. With two little ones at home, I don't get as much playing in as many of you do, so this is relatively frequent. I notice it always breaks near the tuning pegs while changing the tuning of the guitar. So I have a couple questions for you guys.

1) Is this a byproduct of cheaper strings? I use Martin Standard strings that are light. Do better strings break in that spot less frequently?

2) For those of you that play in multiple tunings often, how do you deal with this issue? Is it something you just live with or do you have solutions to this problem. I imagine, it'd break more frequently if I played more frequently.

Thanks!
gx1327  
27 Oct 2010 10:44 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
i have zero experience stringing an acoustic guitar. i'm just thinking out loud here...

how many times to you wind the string around the peg? for instance, when you string the guitar to you pull it taught from the bridge to the nut, insert it into the tuning peg, and begin to tighten? or do you pull taught from the bridge to the nut, and then pull back a fret or two to allow extra string to wind around the post?

and do you stretch your strings after tightening?

also, you say you change them every 3-4 weeks. do you do this because they get old and worn? or do you only change them when a string breaks?
macandkanga  
27 Oct 2010 11:42 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
It might have to do with your nut. Is it the same string/s that breaks all the time? I use Elixir .10s which are considered extra light on an acoustic. It's a Tacoma D9 and I have never broken a string. I do different tunnings all the time. Martin lights are .11 or .12 I think. Do you know what gauge? Also, Elixirs are coated so they will last much longer. When I first heard of these I thought they would sound kinda dark because of the coating but they are bright and feel nice.
btimm  
27 Oct 2010 11:51 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
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Karma: 16
@gx: I just go ahead and restring the entire guitar so I can clean it when a string breaks. To put the strings, I allow for some lack before tightening, but not 2 frets worth of slack, maybe 1 fret, since the acoustic strings are thicker than those of an electric guitar. I do stretch the strings after tighening as well.

@mac: It's happened twice and I don't recall if it was the same string or not, but I do remember that both times it was one of the higher pitched strings, one of the 3 highest for sure. I will check into the gauge, but I think it's .11. fwiw, the guitar is an Ibanez AEL20E. I am still really new to the guitar scene relatively speaking, so I am not sure how good this guitar is, but when I played several in the store, it seemed like a pretty good bang for my buck, given I don't do performances or anything.

Thanks for the comments guys!
Domigan_Lefty  
27 Oct 2010 15:28 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
I keep my acoustic at D/drop C (two half steps down from Standard 440) (DGCFAD/CGCFAD).
I dont tune it to standard because no matter the string gauge, they barely have room to touch the fret at 2 half steps down, so i cant imagine it at full tension.
case211  
27 Oct 2010 16:13 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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acoustic guitars are usually going to have a higher action, but it shouldn't be so bad that you have to tune to D std or Drop C. I think maybe you should get the neck looked at, as it might be bowing.
MoshZilla1016  
27 Oct 2010 16:14 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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macandkanga says:
It might have to do with your nut.

I agree this may be your problem. I had a 12 string that would break the G string while tuning. Turns out the groove in the nut was not cut wide enough so it would pinch the string resulting in breaks. I used a piece of soft felt to cushion the string until I could get the nut replaced. I don't know if string gauge would make much difference as long as you use acoustic strings. After all they are made to handle 440 tuning. Good luck man.
JustJeff  
28 Oct 2010 07:19 | Quote
Joined: way back
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string gauge does make a difference. Lighter strings have a tendency to break more often, however heavier strings put more tension on your neck and may warp a more expensive guitar's neck.

If it's consistently the same string at approximately the same cases, I'd check to see where these breaks are occurring. Of course you can always bring it in to your local guitar guy to take a look at it (expect 50-100 for him to do so).

Otherwise I'd play the guess and check method >.<


I often stay away from tunings that involve me dropping many strings together. This has a tendency to **** with the strings and may be causing your problem. ONe of my guitars I'll rotate between Open D, DADGAD, and standard (sometimes going to open G or open G minor), while my other guitar (old epi) deals with lower tunings like drop C, open C, open A, etc.
gx1327  
28 Oct 2010 09:11 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
my first squier had a problem with the B string breaking at the bridge. since this was before i even knew how to restring a guitar (since i had only owned my own guitar for < 2 weeks) the guy at the GC where i bought it was telling me that if there are burrs in the saddle they can cause extra rubbage which may lead to string breaks.

i would pay attention to whcih string breaks, and if it's consistently the same string it may be nuttttt related.
tinyskateboard  
28 Oct 2010 11:04 | Quote
Joined: 28 Apr 2010
United States
Karma: 11
Domigan_Lefty says:
they barely have room to touch the fret at 2 half steps down


Are you saying the action is low or high?
gshredder2112  
4 Nov 2010 02:12 | Quote
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
United States
Licks: 3
Karma: 22
id have one suggestion try wrapping more string aroud the headstock this is better for droptuning and changing


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