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injury from string breaking??

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by tbassist4, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. I've always kind of worried about this...haha. I'm a generally new player, I started about 2 years ago and now am studying bass in college, and, being this new, I've never had to change strings or had one break. I've heard horror stories of strings breaking and either cutting off the player's hand or severely gouging it. I've read some threads on these forums about the tailpiece cable snapping and the whole thing flying up and the bridge launching across the rehersal hall, so I know everything is under immense pressure. Can someone separate fact and fiction for me?
  2. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Double bass trings rarely break, and when they do, its usually just the core. At least part of the string stays intact so it doesn't act like a whip. My old highschool directer has a scar on her cheek from a broken cello string, but with bass strings its highly unlikely for that to happen.
  3. Dave Whitla

    Dave Whitla

    Apr 25, 2006
    Even when the string breaks completely, the winding makes the string so stiff that it doesn't act like so much like a whip the way smaller strings do. It just makes a big loud "Thunk" and then sits there, broken! I've had a couple of strings break, and seen one or two go on other basses- all without leaving any visible scars. Don't know where you heard the "severed hand" story. And as far as a tail wire breaking, that should really NEVER happen unless you have one of those horrible coat-hanger types, in which case you should just change it now and never worry again. If your tail wire breaks it's from poor maintenance.
  4. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would say your reading a lot of urban legend. I've played bass and guitar a LONG time and on bass no problems other than blisters. A string breaks they usually just go limp even a complete break which is rare. I done more damage playing guitar, cuts from sharp bridge pieces, small cuts from snapping strings. Worse thing I was playing in a show once and had quickly changed strings before show and half-ass job of cutting excess string from pegs. My hand shot down to first fret (half position :D ) and index finger got stabbed by the excess high-E string and it stuck like a fish hook. I couldn't stop playing so just thought this is going to hurt and yanked my finger free. Oh it hurt and bloody finger and fingerboard, but show went on and I learned a lesson. Take time to do things right.
  5. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I've never had a string break, whether on slab or upright. But my dad had a string break on upright about 30 years ago, and the broken end acted like a whip and cut the drummer's hand. Thank goodness it wasn't a severe injury.
  6. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    I've broken three strings. It hurt my feelings, but nothing else. As Joey mentioned, usually just the core breaks. Two times the winding didn't break, so the string didn't even really move more than a couple inches as the winding unspooled. The third time the winding did break, but even then, I just heard a bang and then noticed that one of the strings was REALLY floppy.
  7. Bobby King

    Bobby King Supporting Member

    May 3, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I've had a few wound gut strings break, usually above the nut.
    They didn't fly or snap, the winding came unraveled but didn't break. Once or twice a gut string broke overnight while I wasn't even playing it. I've never had a steel string break.
  8. A friend of mine who plays guitar (hiss boo) got whipped in the face with a guitar string that broke. I told him it was his fault for not playing a real instrument.
  9. MixedMsgr


    Jun 10, 2006
    Once while tightening the high E string on the guitar I had it break and shoot through my pinky finger. It broke at the nut and the long end of the string went through my finger and out the other end about an inch. It was just like being pierced by a needle. I was able to pull the string out quickly and disinfect... No pics you sick bastards.
  10. haha man, it seems you can get worse injuries from a guitar than a bass...
  11. I've broken 4 strings on upright, all steel, 2 g's an A and an E. Each time the string just went slack.
  12. I have seen the tailpiece cable snap -- the bass was lying on it's side...the bridge went flying, and the tailpiece could have bruised someone's ankle...

    The owner of the instrument kicked or bumped it by accident; I regularly inspect my cable on my basses now. That is probably the only way someone might get hurt (except their feelings and wallet for the price of new strings ;-))
  13. wingnut


    Apr 18, 2007
    Las Vegas Nv.
    I've only broken one URB string, it just went floppy. I did get cut by a BG string twice. Once on stage and the "D" string snapped at the nut and it sliced the dog turds out of my hand as it went by. The next time it was the "G" string and it broke at the tail and sliced my right hand and my thumb. I did see a guy at a show get cut when the "G" string on his URB snapped. It cut his forearm pretty good, they were steel strings.
  14. I once had an A string break (on a school bass, so the strings weren't terribly good anyway). All it did was make a 'pop' and then go limp. I've broken my G a couple times on bass guitar, but what was really crazy was when I broke my E string on bass guitar--at a gig! Of all the places for the impossible to happen! It went limp, making it hang over my other strings, so I had to literally rip it off during a quick rest so I could get through the rest of the song. I was thumping with my thumb on the E, but not very hard (really!), so that definitely caught me by surprise. Luckily I had a spare!
  15. dchan


    Nov 19, 2005
    Bethlehem, PA
    Didn't Mythbusters bust a myth about a cable under extremely high tension that is cut suddenly could slice a person in half? I think they used a dead pig for the experiment, and they increased the tension quite a bit. In the end, I remember that the cable only made a deep cut at worst on the dead pig. Since bass strings are under much less tension, I doubt that anything too bad can happen. I would venture that if a string completely, it would act as a whip and give you a lashing, but it would give you a deep cut at worst.

    Anyway, I concur that the windings of steel strings would hold a snapped core and keep the string intact. That's mostly because that's exactly what happened in my only string breakage.
  16. shadowhywind


    Feb 17, 2007
    In High school i noticed that my bridge was starting to tilt up a little, So i thought i would loosen the strings straighten the bridge and tighten the strings again. In the process of loosening the strings, i had the bass standing up, i was standing directly in front of it, and started to loosen the E string. But because i was in front of the bass and not behind the bass i forgot to turn the other way and ended up tightening the string to the point where it finally broke. All that it did was a loud "Thawk" and it looked like a stretched out slinky. Everything stayed together, thankfully or i would have been hit.
  17. Cosmos


    Sep 21, 2006
    New York, NY
    My tailpiece wire broke a few summers ago at Tanglewood. It made this huge cracking sound and when I picked my bass up everything fell off -- I mean, the tailpiece fell off, the bridge fell off... it was atrocious. I had it fixed quickly though at Gage's and the tailpiece wire I have now is much better. So yes, I would agree, if you have one of those metal tailpiece wires, do get it changed as soon as you can!

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