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How delicate are strings, typically?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by BassOfDiamonds, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Are the strings delicate enough to worry about snapping them off if I accidentally pluck too hard? Or are they usually strong enough where I'd literally have to TRY to tear them off?

    I just have a cheap rental Fender P Bass. Not brand new, but not antique or anything.

    I know it might be a ridiculous question, but wanted to make sure, lol. It was kind of in the back of my mind during practice tonight.

  2. Ottsworth


    Dec 14, 2010
    London, UK
    What gauge strings are you playing? I've only ever snapped strings whilst playing with a pick a little too hard, and even then it's only been C and G strings (on a 6er)... you should be fine!!! :D

    FYI I play medium light I do believe, my E string is .105
  3. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I grabbed my bass by the E string when I was younger just to try it (bad idea I know) but the string didn't broke.

    Unless you pluck hard (and I mean HARD) you don't have to worry.

    I broke three strings in my life, one was a 3 years old G string, the other 2 were tapered E string, same brand/same gauge of sets bought the same day, so probably a factory problem.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bass strings are pretty tough, and unless you're using metal picks playing as hard as you can, they'll usually take anything you throw at them for a good long while. But sure, they can break on you sometimes. Personally, I wouldn't give it a minute's thought. If you break a string, you break a string. You can always get another set.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Beginners tend to pull strings too hard and break them a lot.
    Cheap basses are more prone to string breakage too because of sharp edges on nut or bridge.
    I broke a lot of strings when younger. It hasn't happened for maybe 10 years.
  6. BluPhenix


    May 19, 2003
    They can take a lot of roughness, you can see for yourself here:

    Just ... don't do this at home, or wherever else. To stretch the strings a little is welcome, but what is shown in the video is overkill and IMO very stupid.

    Never broke a string on bass in 15 years. But I broke a D string on an acoustic guitar the first time I grabbed one. Obviously guitars (especially acoustics) are not ment for me :).
  7. Jordan S.

    Jordan S.

    Mar 25, 2012
    Blacksheep Effects Pedals
    ^^^ awesome example, I cringe every time I see that vid.
  8. swooch


    Jun 30, 2005
    i've snapped strings twice playing aggressively with my fingers, but those where old strings. If you change strings before they start sounding like flat wounds you should be fine.
  9. I have never broke a string in my 6 small years. Ive seen it done a couple of times though. A well known( to our community) and talented bassist in my area broke his b on a sound check. Blows my mind lol
  10. Only once have I had a bass string break on me. But the circumstances were ripe for breakage. About a year old well played set, after sitting for a year in storage with rust spots and crudded dust on them. lol. Bass strings are tough, however I don't use picks, so i've only experienced them to start sounding like someone strung 10 gauge stranded speaker wire for strings. ;)
  11. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Oh, dude... when I got a few beers in me I grab my bass by the strings and whip it around like a rag doll. Never broke anything other than a fingernail...
  12. lmfreeman9


    Sep 1, 2007
    Never broke one, but one reason beginners may is a lack of head room. If your amp is underpowered you may pluck too hard.
  13. As long as you don't pull the strings as hard as you can then I think you'll be fine. I've only broken one bass string in my life. A low B, but that was because the full wound was getting on to the tuning peg and causing it to bend in a wierd way.
  14. onda'bass

    onda'bass Supporting Member

    Sep 5, 2010
    Buffalo Ny
    only broke 3 strings in my life....all DR's ...never used them again, and never broke a string since .....10+ yrs
  15. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I've been playing since 1978. I've never broken a string. Not one time... :rollno:

  16. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    I broke an A string in 1982. Turned out there was a rough spot on the bridge saddle of my Peavey T-40. Haven't broke any since then.

    Although he is definitely going too far, String-Stretcher-Guy on that you-tube video does show just how strong an undamaged string can be.

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