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Is there a way to tell if a string is about to break?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by tallicabassist0, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. tallicabassist0


    Feb 16, 2005
    Every show my band has I am always paranoid that one of my strings is going to snap mid show and cause a delay. So I always get new strings for each show to be sure they wont break. Typically it is the Low E string that breaks over the bridge.
    Now the more shows that get set up more frequently, I do not want to be spending so much money on bass strings so often. Is there any way to tell if a string is about to break by looking or feeling the string?
  2. There is a problem if you are constantly breaking low E strings.
    Sounds like you have a sharp bridge. Take the string off and have a look. Get a file and remove any burrs from the bridge or anything else that could be causing your string to break.

    Ive never broken a string.
  3. I can usually only go 2-3 (3hr) shows on a set of DR's till the E string breaks. I play really hard though. I once broke three E's in one night and had to have a friend go get me his Warwick cause he lived closer than me to the gig.

    I just buy (and install) strings every third show.
  4. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    There is no way to tell if a string is about to break, unless you look at it and see some grossly obvious damage.

    Breaking strings after one or two shows is crazy. Even the worst made strings should last much longer than that. You have to be playing way too hard. Your sound must be pretty bad from hitting them that hard.

    Changing strings every show is also pretty silly, unless you're going months between each show and playing the bass hard in between.
  5. Get a tech to look at your bridge. Something is very wrong here.
  6. Bassman7PM


    Mar 13, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I'm curious, What kind of bass are you playing? What strings are you using and what type of music are you playing? Lastly, what playing technique are you using that would cause your E to break so often, or any string for that matter?
  7. have you looked to see if you have a burr somewhere?

    NOONE should break strings like this.

    I've broken 1 single G-string in 17 years...

    I should mention that this is across 9-10 different basses...
  8. uaudio


    Apr 11, 2008
    This is odd. Logic says its probably not the strings you choose, its something about the bass or your technique.
  9. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    How are you playing?

    Pick, Slap, Fingerstyle??? Regardless, whichever it is it sounds like you need to lighten up a bunch.

  10. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    I would not put money like that into strings... no way, no how.
  11. Talli-
    Good advice above. Somethings way wrong here. I doubt if anything on your bass is cutting on your string (bridge, nut) to make it break after 3 shows. You really need to look at your playing style. Is it real a real agressive, hard, slap & pop style? if so, new strings are the price for your playing style.
    I've also never broken a string, but I have a very light touch.
  12. tallicabassist0


    Feb 16, 2005
    well i use a Warwick RockBass Corvette Classic 5 string with DR lo riders

    and i play a show every month or 2, just play it quite a bit in between

    i use my fingers for playing and i do have a somewhat hard hitting style, i also slap occasionally
  13. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    I cut my giigging teeth in the 70's playing through a woefully inadequate 150 solid state watt combo against a very, very loud drummer and a guitarist with a Hiwatt half stack.

    To keep up, I hit my strings so hard that despite callouses a mile thick on my plucking fingers I used to regularly finish gigs with my fingers raw and bleeding and blood splattered all over my Ric.

    I hit the bass so hard that it's taken a couple of decades to cool it down and learn some proper control

    Despite gigging regularly in the 10 years that I hit the strings really hard and in the 25 years since I've only ever broken one G string on stage in all that time

    Get the bass looked at.
  14. :eek::eek::eek:
    woah! thats awesome! i cant play hard enough to break a low E string even if i want to! you have some real POWWA! or you need to get the bridge checked:bag::bag:
  15. David1234


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: SWR Amplifiers
    you're probably just playing way too hard, but to see if it's the bridge saddle that's the problem, try swapping that saddle on to another string. If you start breaking (say) A strings then you have a saddle problem.

    If you keep breaking E strings you have a technique problem or may simply want to play quieter. Then think about lifting your amp up closer to your ear's height so that you might not want to play so loud, which might save you some $$ on strings.
  16. Sounds to me like you should go have your bridge looked at. Also, when I used to play guitar I used to hear the strings bottom out on the frets before they busted about 2 minutes later. In my bass playing career I think I've busted 1 string and it was an E string. I used to play with a pick when I first went from guitar to bass so I believe that my hard playing was what caused it to break. Seriously though I'd go have your bridge looked at by a luthier.
  17. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    I've only broken one string in my life - it was the E from hitting it with the pick too hard. If you're really paranoid, get a second bass to grab quickly should a string break. An SX would be a perfect backup
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Your profile (or your original post) doesn't tell us much about what kind of bass or basses you are playing. What kind of strings? What style (finger, pick, hacksaw?) Anyway...
    ALWAYS have a spare bass (whether it's borrowed or yours). If you are playing that many shows you should have at LEAST 2 basses and you should have them WITH you (on a stand on stage so you can reach back and grab and go).
    Second...there is something very wrong going on here. I'm going to venture a guess that I play harder than the vast majority of bassists you will ever come across. I have broken quite a few A strings over the years, a few E's, and one low B. If you are breaking them that often, put down the hammer and play with your fingers. UNLESS (like previously sggested) there is something sharp on your bridge that is chewing up strings, then take it to the guy at the shop.
  19. caillean


    Mar 2, 2008
    east anglia
    Well - I was gonna say - book a recording session - that usually seems to be when I break anything! However, it does sound like your bass needs looked at.

    I would agree with having the second guitar - is nothing worse than playing someone else's in desparation - but that might just be me!
  20. impactwrench


    Feb 22, 2009
    the only time I broke a bass string was when I was cleaning it...I had it string side down on my lap polishing the back and I popped the E string...but it was the original string, a fender taperwound.

    geez I cant remember the last time I broke a guitar string.

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