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Am i playing too hard?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by bigmanb, Mar 12, 2001.

  1. I break my strings at least once a month, even the e string, is this normal? Do i play too hard (i use finger style and i slap), or are my strings too cheap? I've tried D'adario, Ernie Ball, and Warwick.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    my guess is yes. I play pretty hard and I've broken two strings in my whole life (both of them while tuning up, straight out of the package)
  3. maybe you are getting to much finger under the string when you slap, i play very very hard because my guitar player had a big mashall stack. i have broken 2 maybe 3 strings in 15 years.

    what king of bass? maybe the bridge has some rough spots that are breaking them.
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    pacman...supporting moderator? :eek: there goes the hood. :D
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    hehe dude, where ya been? took ya long enough, unsupporting moderator ;)
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I play really hard and I've only broken one string in my life.

    Do you boil your strings? That's what the cause of my one breakage was.
  7. You must be do something wrong, cause i beat the hell outta my strings (which are D'adario) and have only broken one since i started playing
  8. DR's are very strong, try them!
  9. Sampoerna

    Sampoerna Guest

    Oct 9, 2000
    W. KY, USA
    Where do they break? Do they tend to break in the same place? If it's not a technique issue, perhaps it's a problem with the nut or bridge saddles. Does this happen to all the strings?

    What bass do you play?
  10. Jebis

    Jebis Guest

    Nov 28, 2000
    Long Beach, CA
    Once a month?!?

    Are you playing with a crowbar?!?
  11. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Jebis wrote
    Once a month?!?

    Are you playing with a crowbar?!?

    Nail pullers? Wirenippers? Axe (!)?

    Is it possible to break a string by playing? If we're talking steel strings...
  12. You are abusing your bass, hands and possibly the sound of the music you're playing.

    Lighten up. You'll save enough money on strings to buy a Fodera in a couple of weeks !!!

  13. If they are breaking inside the loops where the cores go around the ball ends, check your bridge and see if edges of the holes where the strings go in are sharp. If so and you pull hard on your strings when installing them, sooner or later they will break right there. Take it to a machine shop. They can put a little rubber abrasive cone in a lathe chuck or drill press and you can use that to clean up the edges just a little, or if you have a bent tin bridge you can get a cheap cast replacement bridge (they usually have nicely rounded edges on the holes).
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm a string breaker; I've even broken an E-string while playing Country music(though I think I've only broken 4 on gigs; 1 "E" & 3 "G"s). Band rehearsals? Whew, that's another story! ;)
    I was weened this way: I set my amp's volume a little below where it "should be"(bass' volume is always at max). I then use my plucking hand to "make up the difference". This works for me & gives a bit of a bite to my tone; I also feel more "in control". I know I can't handle too LOUD an amp.
    And I know a lotta of you advocate playing "softer" & letting the amp do the work; & I know Gary Willis, one of my favorites out there, also champions the "crank the amp up & play softly" ideal.
    What can I say, I'm too old & stubborn to change. ;)

    I've been using DR's(Sunbeam Nickels)for awhile now; there was a time I used D'Adarrio Slow Wounds & I literally couldn't go a week without breaking 1 or 2.
  15. You wanna post a picture of your right-hand callouses? I bet they're the size of walnuts :)

    PS you probably already know this, but the closer to the bridge you play / pick, the more likely you are to break a string. At least that's what I've found.
  16. Dude I think you should stop worrying about the strings and start worrying about the damage you may be doing to your body. You should seriously look at the reasons why you play so hard because in the long run you may not be able to play at all due to RSI. I use to play fairly hard but the reason being was that my amp was not powerful enough and I otherwise could not be heard and It started to cause pains in my hands and also stopped me playing for long periods of time so I would say that it would be best to go to the grass root's of the problem and analise your technique and also the bass and see where the problem lies maybe show another player. Good luck.
  17. RSI is for pussies :)

    just trying to stir sh'it up..
  18. just what this place needs. :(
  19. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...true, very true. Plucking hard over, say the neck pickup, gives that popping Stanley-esque thing(at times, NOT desirable!) ;)

    RSI & CTS are, IMHO, not cool!
    As I alluded above, I've been in some macho rehearsals where nobody would be the, er, "sissy" & quit first. Back then, I had BOTH hands go "asleep" a few times...not cool, at all.
    That band is history(a good thing, I guess)...my main gig now is low-intensity & infrequent. Been checked, doc sez I'm "OK"...
  20. Yeah, you know i was just joking - lame, yeah, but brain gets tired. RSI sucks, and it's one of the most frightening things for a musician to contemplate ... second to deafness, i guess.

    If i hurt, I either stop or change technique. But I've had 'burning' a few times... :( gotta be ever vigilant.

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