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Breaking strings

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by backwoods012001, Nov 17, 2001.


  1. Hi. Im a bass player from WV. In a band BACKWOODS. Ive been playing for about 2 years, I switched from gtr after 12 years. I lost the use of my middle finger on my fret hand. The problem that Im having or was is breaking strings mainly the low E string. Ive broke them at practice and playing shows. We are tuned down to B as our standard. I sanded down the saddles a bit to rid burs and it seemed to help. Do you have any ideas?
     
  2. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    try buyin a 5 sting bass with a low B-String...that way you don't have to worry about breaking it beacause it is tuned down

    bp13
     
  3. That would solve the tuning problem, But it doesnt solve the current problem. which is breaking strings on the 4 string. Im not being a smartass or anything Im just happy with the 4 strings of death.
     
  4. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    i love the 4-stringer too...ummm...i pretty sure u can buy low-b strings...or i kno there are 4-string basses that are tuned to B E A D...u just have no G

    bp13
     
  5. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Sorry to jump in here Mr. Watt...

    Excellent point... you just have to widen the nut slots to accomodate the wider strings... As for breaking the strings, are they breaking at the nut or the saddle? Since you sanded the saddles to remove burrs, I'll assume there... Weird, since lower string tension would seem to eliminate any chance of breaking... What gauge??

    -robert
     
  6. Im using D'Addario Xl. 050,070,085,105. My tuning is BEAD. The strings are breaking behind the saddles. Its a major pain in the ass. I broke one at one of our first shows and I didnt have any replacements so I had to tune the other 3 strings down in order to finish out the night. Talk about working my tail off. I learned quick to always have spares.
     
  7. MJB

    MJB

    Mar 17, 2000
    Well we're jumping all over this before Mike has a chance to respond, but then it probably really doesn't belong in his forum anyway.

    :D

    My guess is that your amplifier is underpowered for your needs and you are plucking WAY to hard trying to get more volume. If your bass is in good shape, no burrs or any saddle problems, you shouldn't be breaking strings, period. Watch some pros play, they really aren't plucking the strings that hard, they let the amp do the work.
     
  8. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    good point...try getting a bigger amp...or get an effects processor...those things can increase your volume a WHOLE lot
     
  9. Im using a Zoom 708 processor, and my amp is a Crate 115w/a 4x10 cab. For the stage and in the P.A the drummer and I share 2- 4x15 cabs. I have enough power. Maybe its just the way I pick?? Who knows?
     
  10. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    How the hell do you get a .105 E down to a B without it flapping against the neck?
     
  11. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    hi,

    I break e strings too. do you play w/a pick? the angle of attack on the e string is pretty intense, even if you're plucking w/fingers. maybe you might want to calm that down. also, check the saddle the e string sits in on the bridge. it might have some rough edges that are kinking the string or acting like a knife edge. smooth them very lightly w/a very very fine file. don't remove too much material from the saddle. take it to a repair cat if you're not sure.







    on bass, watt









     
  12. Im using a Dunlop 1mm nylon pick. 90% of what I do is with a pick. Ive been changing the way I pick and seems to be helping. I played gtr for 12 years and its hell changing the way to approach playing. But Im up for anything. thanx
     
  13. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    hi,

    maybe try holding the pick w/more of it in your hand and less exposed to the string. this shorter piece of pick hitting the string will result in less force against it. have more of just a nub of pick sticking out from your fingers. also, more discipline on keeping the picking strokes calmer and not such sledgehammer-like throws, use more of just wrist and less forearm (even shoulder!).

    good luck.







    on bass, watt