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Breaking bass strings HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by xXMunchXx, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    hey im having a problem breaking my strings slaping this is happening once or twice every month or so now. i dont know whats breaking it because i tried adjusting the bridge higher and lower, further and closer and it still breaks near the bottom bridge and that dosent fix the problem is there anything i can do to prevent this from happening or is there a different type of strings i should/could use. I've been using Bass Boomers medium (flee edition) and heavys. DAMMN I HATE BREAKING IT!!!!!!!!
  2. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    If its always the same string, I would check for a burr in the saddle. Run a lead pencil over the saddle where the string is held and feel for "catches".
    If that's not a problem, you may need heavier guage stings, or lighter hands.
  3. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    ya i dont know bass parts that well so when you say saddle i looked it up on google and stuff but i still dont know what to look for egsactly, when using the pencil...
  4. The saddle is the little thing that the string runs over in the bridge (The metal thing that holds the strings to the body) I've played in some pretty hardcore funk bands where we'd play 4 sets a night of constant slapping and I've rarely broken a string, in fact I think I've only ever broken 3!!! Check your bass & technique first, I don't use Boomers, so I wouldn't know how reliable they are or if they're prone to breaking.
  5. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    so what do u use (strings) and how do i check for this burr what dose it look like where would it be on the saddle?
  6. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    ya i just broke another string (d) on my heavys, i cant stand this im gonna shoot someone. (not anyone from talk bass dont worry)
  7. Eldermike


    Jul 27, 2004
    It could be the string is hitting the sharp edge of a pole piece on a pickup.
  8. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    the strings are way to high up and there is nothing for it to hit
  9. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    Every time I've broken a string, save one instance, has been a chewed up saddle. The other time it just let loose from around the eye on the bridge end.

    Admittedly I popped several on a particular bass before I realized what was happening. Ever since, I alway inspect each one before restringing. I have to file them often, on all my basses.

  10. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    thx man u helped me understand it well :D im now going to file it myself instead of going to a gay repair shop. :)
  11. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    :eek: What, do they only service pink basses or something?
  12. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    your a funny guy lol :D
  13. holycrow


    Nov 13, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Hey Munch,

    I have played electric bass for over forty years... funk, soul, hard rock, etc. and I think I've only broken about three strings in all that time. I tend to agree with these other guys. There can only be two explanations... either something faulty with your bass... usually a bridge or nut problem, or you're pulling the strings too hard. Most of the slap players I know don't hit or pull the strings very hard at all. It just sounds like it. A lot of them even use light guage strings. One guy I know sets them way low to the fret board. Guys like Victor Wooten like to do that because they do a lot of hammer-on techniques and it seems to work better that way. He plays light and turns the amp way up! I use a medium guage string myself (D'Addario half rounds) because, unless I'm slapping, I play quite often with a pick. But I'm in the minority on that one! (McCartney, Carol Kaye, Sting, being a few others) I actually play harder than a lot of slappers, but the only time my technique has broken a string is when I was bending (stretching) a string. I don't think snapping or pulling it has ever broken one. You might check out Abraham Laboriel's video on right hand techniques. He shows just about all of them. And, of course, the guy who started it all, Larry Graham, has some good videos too.

    Hope I said something of help to you.

    Holy Crow
    Senior Soul Slapper and general fool
  14. xXMunchXx


    Jan 16, 2005
    how come all the guys who have been playing for more than 20 years all use a pick??? :eyebrow: :confused:

    it seems if u use your fingers you can do alot more stuff.
  15. holycrow


    Nov 13, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    You know, you bring up an interesting question. When I started playing bass in the late fifties I think I was the only electric bass player in my town of Mill Valley near San Francisco. Now there are probably hundreds or even thousands. The Fender P-bass hadn't even been out that long, and I remember the first bass method books all showed picks and pick techniques. It might be that they thought of the instrument more like a guitar in those early days. In fact, I think I started playing bass on my mom's Stratocaster, then I went to upright bass in school, and finally to the P-Bass. I think there are pros and cons to using a pick. You are right that you can do more with fingers, but then again, there are things that I can do with a pick that guys can't do with their fingers. So, I just kind of developed my own style. In a perfect world, probably a guy would learn all the techniques... playing with pick and all of the various finger techniques as well. I just happened to have gotten used to playing with a pick, so I stuck with it. I used to like the sound of fingers a lot better... until I started using active electronics in my bass. Now I can get the mid range punch I was missing. Picks can sound a bit "hollow". Then again, some people hire me because they think I have a "cleaner" sound than a lot of other guys, so that's exactly why I get certain gigs. I think it all depends on what you're going for. If I was teaching bass I'd probably teach finger style. Then too, some of the best bass players around play with their thumb... and not just for slapping.

    You know, years ago I went to a jam with "Tower of Power". They had invited a bunch of us down and when I got there, there were about a dozen bass players all lined up thinking they were going to outdo Rocco. I decided to pass on that. See, by the time they learned what he was doing, he would be on to something else and they'd still be trying to copy the next guy! I realized I was an oddball with a pick, but Rocco gave me the ultimate compliment once when he said I was one of HIS influences. That, from a guy who set a whole style of playing. I was greatly humbled, to say the least. My point is, learn as much as you can from as many people as you can, but then settle on your own style and be happy with it. Ultimately, it's not so much about chops or techniques as it is having something to say, and something of your own to contribute.

    Anyway, that's my two cents worth! What do I know? Above all, have fun! Life is short. If you can have some fun and spread a little joy through music, that's about all any of us can do. The fame and fortune is nice, but in the long run we're all just one big brotherhood of musicians trying to have some fun and pay the rent! My advice would be not to get too caught up in the competitions. Play because you love it! Everything else is just a fleeting moment. Here today... Gone tomorrow. Best wishes to you!

    Holy Crow
  16. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    Great Post Crowman - Not much to do with broken strings... All to do with life lessons.. Good teacher here...
  17. holycrow


    Nov 13, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks, Gapupten!

    I appreciate your kind words. I guess you could say life has a lot of broken strings in it! You just gots ta change 'em and play on!

    Holy Crow :D :bassist:
  18. xpcapox


    Nov 19, 2004
    I break strings like crazy,I odont even hit hard,they uncoil right near the bridge. its so lame.
  19. julo


    Jan 18, 2005
    Boulder, CO
    i've discussed with a guitar player (yeah i know that's bad but sometimes...) he told me that gibson bridges used to break strings because when you are bending, the string pull off the chrome or nickel (can't remember) so that the saddle is no more protected, the metal of the saddle is softer (or harder, can't remember either) and then you break the string by friction and difference of softness or hardness.
    so check the saddle of the broken strings to see if the metal has no hole (previous threads) and check the "chrome"

    hope it will help

  20. Panther


    Dec 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia

    ....a post certainly worth reading........

    ...........and remembering.........

    ...................it perfectly sums up what it's all about............