How to stop cables from tangling?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Cambass, Sep 22, 2002.

  1. I've had a problem with the guitar cables that I've owned in that over time they always tangle up and get messy. Even if I try to straighten them out they just get tangled up again.

    Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a way to stop it?

    (I hope this is in the right forum)
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I was talked into buying a high end cable last year, don't remember which one but it cost me about 5X what I'd normally spend. The cable tangled up like crazy. Returned it and bought a cheapo and my problem was solved. Not sure what that was all about, but it's my experience none the less. It is my belief that some cables just tangle up more than others - maybe it's the stiffness of the cable, or possibly the way the ends are secured. I'd try another cable and see if the problem persists.

    Also, before I had played lots and lots of shows I used to battle with my cable constantly. I'd trip on it, rip it out, get tangled in it - and I wondered how very few others seemed to have any problem with them. Time taught me instinctively how to keep from getting into trouble with my cable. I don't really think about it anymore and believe experience has taught me how to get around it - about 1000 gigs later though.

    If it's really a problem there's always the option of going cordless.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Just re-read the question and realized I may have misunderstood.

    If they're tangling after they get old it may be because of the way you're winding them up to store them. There's a method of winding them into a loop with a little twist each time you make a circle. I could never explain it without showing it. Maybe someone else here could. You might want to watch others rolling up their cords and ask how they do it. A music store person might be helpful. I learned it years ago when I worked in a theater.
  4. PolkaHero


    Jan 5, 2002
    Always wrap your cables the way Joe has pointed out. Also, do yourself a favor and purchase a Series 100 Monster cable. Not too expensive, solid as a rock, lifetime guarantee, and it will never tangle!
  5. I think what was hinted at was a thing called "Under Over". This is kind of like the industry standard for rolling up leads. It is supposed to simulate how the cable comes off the roll.

    Mine used to be a shocking mess before i started Under Over. Now they can sit on top of each other in a perfect circle with almost the exact amount of turns. and they never get tangled. So too, the reason many roadies do under over is so they can grab one end (the right end, grab the wrong one you get two knots in the middle of the cable) and can throw the lead out and it will land in a dead straight line.

    Its hard to explain without showing you. But the concept is this:

    Take the end of the lead and do one ordinary loop.
    then go about the same distance along the lead but instead of doing an ordinary loop twist/roll the cable with your thumb and first finger towards your body, and push upwards so the loop it creates falls on the outside of your hand.

    This is the "under". So when you go to put the loop with the other one, your hand should be under the new loop.

    Then repeat, do a ordinary one, then an under one. When you got unravell the cable, make sure you grab the end you were initially holding.

    Its confusing and can be shown in 30 seconds. Know anyone who roadies? walk up and say "hey can u show me Under Over?"


  6. Thanks for the replies. I think I've found half the problem, that is, that I leave the cable as it is on the floor after I finish playing.

    I'm going to try the under over thing :)