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im constantly snapping strings...could it be my bridge?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by (hed)-less, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. im forever breaking my low B strings during gigs...im in a metal band and live some times i let my attack go a bit "heavier handed" than normal. i tend to use warwick red package strings for my 5 string peavey C5.

    i used to think maybe how i play [going a bit rough when head banging/moving etc] was the main factor of snapping my Bs' but...something my guitar player made me think otherwise.

    it happens TOO often to be just "wear and tear" and the way they break as well. the strings snap in an odd way, ALWAYS at the bridge, the piping in the center of the string snaps always about the same area towards the bridge and the string starts to coil outwards and unravel as a result.

    anyways...my guitarist seems to think i need to file the slot in my B strings saddle and widden it slightly. or maybe the hole it comes through in the bridge?

    i was wondering if the same has ever happened to any one else? especially fellow heavy music bass players?

    a friend of mine who plays bass in a nother metal band commented that the edges on his tuning pegs were deffective and caused him to break alot of strings prematurely. could that also be a possibility?

    was also wondering if switching over to flat wound strings might be worth doing perhaps? we tune down to Bb and i dont like much top end in my sound. could flat wounds possibly last longer and with stand more beating? its almost never one of the other strings snap, its ALWAYS the low B...and its becoming costly...cheers very muchly to anyones advice in advance

  2. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Probably you have too sharp an angle at the saddle. Is your B saddle all the way back? If it is it's putting too much pressure on one point. You'll have to move it forward.
  3. nah its not all the way back...about the sharp angle though that would make sence...at the moment the saddles are kind of in an upside down U if you get me... is that abit dodgy too have :S?

    i dont understand intonation/saddle position etc that well and tend to leave it be
  4. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Where EXACTLY does it break? Directly over the saddle? Don't be afraid of adjusting you intonation. All you do is tune your string perfectly with a tuner, then pluck that string at the 12th fret. If it's sharp move it back, if it's flat move it forward. It'll take some practice to get good at guessing the distances. It doesn't have to be exact, just within say 10-15 cents of the note. B's are sort of a special case though. On both my 34" scale 5ers even with the saddle all the way back they were still a little too sharp. :bassist:
  5. yeh, its always above the saddle. would good intonation solve my worries?
  6. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    id recomend a setup, and then see if it still happens. what i do before i put on a new set of strings is take a pencil and rub it over the saddle where the string lays. the graphit acts as lubricant so if there is junk under the string it helps prevent brackage.
  7. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    All good advice hed. You should check out the ideas the others have given.

    But also, you *could* try playing a little gentler on the bass. There's some guys I knew who *looked* like they were just about tearing the strings off, but it was all part of the act. They were rocking back and forth, hair flying, etc, but they were playing actually very soft on the strings and let the amp do all the work. Nice clean sound too because they weren't forcing the string way out of the normal operating sine of the string, which can also make the first attack of the note go sharp.

    But like I said, they *looked* like they were going to bust a string any moment.

    Take care.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    It's your "technique."
  9. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Hey man I had this problem on my MM Sterling and a D string that broke every two weeks or so. The problem for me was that there was a burr or sharp spot on my saddle that would cut at my strings until they snapped rather spectacularly. My solution was to replace the saddles on it with GraphTec graphite saddles. Problem solved, haven't broken a string in nearly two years since puttin em on. Plus they were only like 30 bucks stateside for four of them. Just a thought, good luck boss.
  10. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
  11. cheers for all the advice/replies people :D ...you've given me alot to think about so i should hopefully have this sorted before i go into the studio with my band in october...thanks again.