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Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by outofstep, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    my Low E string pops out of the nut whenever i play it open... it doesnt happen when i'm just messing around, but when i play wiht my band it pops out... i dont know what to do? do i need a new nut? i'm not sure how or why this is happening all of a sudden.. i always use the same strings..... sooo hmmm... help me please~!
  2. jani_bjorklund


    May 22, 2002
    Do your bass have proper string slots?
    The strings should sit in round bottomed slots, filed to the shape (diameter) of each string and filed to the depth of one-half of the strings diameter. If the slots are properly deep and shaped and the string line to the tuning peg is straight there should be no problem.
  3. It's obvious that you do have a problem here. Since it started doing this just recently, perhaps a portion of the nut has broken off. This would be the part that is at the end of the nut right next to the E string. Just a little portion might be missing and that's all it needs to allow the E to pop out. If you've got a plastic nut, it might be a good time to consider replacement since there isn't too much that's easily done to build up missing material. You can purchase blanks and cut the string slots yourself or have a technician/luthier do it for you. If you aren't confident with your hands and tools do the latter. It's not a real expensive job but how the bass plays after the change will depend on it being done correctly.
  4. You said it doesnt happen when you muck about but when u play in a band situation....

    Playing too hard perhaps and not enough string tension... Try a new nut and soften off on your playing.


  5. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    band situations are different, 'cause we are out to rock. we're a high energy band and playing soft doesn't exactly work :) any ideas on how much it'd cost to have the nut replaced at a typical guitar store?
  6. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    LOL :D

    Have you changed your strings recently? Perhaps you just don't have enough downward pressure on the nut?
  7. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I am going to go out on a limb here ( hand me that saw will ya....thanks)and bet that it is someting you are doing in your playing that is popping the string out of the nut slot and nothing is wrong with the nut. If I am correct nothing you can do to the nut short of Floyd Rose style lock will keep it in place. So look the nut over real good and see that it is in proper order. ie- Slot is not damaged or chipped or too large for the strings etc.etc. Then play it like you do live till it pops out. If it happens with the band, you can do it by yourself. Now try and figure out what you did specifically to "pop' it out of the slot. Correct it.
  8. Bizzaro probably has it right. Your technique may be the reason. The easy call would be that you "pull" too much string rather than plucking in an upward or downward direction. I hesitate to suggest cutting the nut deeper if you like the action you currently have.

    To have a nut done professionally will usually run in the $35 range. If you get a new one, by all means get a high mass nut - brass, aluminum, phenolic etc. Better to have more mass under the witness point. These won't break either.
  9. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    i think what's happened is this:

    i let my friend take my bass out on tour with them as back-up.. and it just so happened they needed to use it... and it looks like the string wasnt in the slot all the way and it was tuned.. cause the side it pops out on is lower, and more 'curved'...

    it happens more when i play close to the bridge... but it happens when play near the fretboard too.. so i dunno. :meh:
  10. Could be the string diameter is a tad bigger than the file that was used to cut the E string nut slot. See if you can see any daylight between the bottom of the string and the bottom of the nut slot using a flashlight behind the nut. If so, have it filed by a pro. If not, just wind more string onto the tuning peg the next time you change strings, maybe up to 3 full turns, so the string angle over the nut will be more radical.
  11. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    woah. there is daylight. strange how this is a problem now though. bla bla bla.
  12. Well, did the problem start just after you changed strings?
  13. outofstep


    Dec 5, 2001
    Sonoma, CA
    i swear i put on the same strings everytime.... hmmmmm... maybe not? oh well.
  14. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    It's hard to believe that the string would pop off the nut at full tension even if the slot was shallow without seriously unusual playing techniques.

    The first and most obvious thing, as mentioned, is that you don't have a stong enough break angle of the string over the nut.

    Make sure the string wraps DOWN the tuning post from the top to the bottom. So the the string emerges from the very bottom of the post and creates the strongest possible angle at the nut.


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