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HELP!! I can't stop breaking my G string....

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(@switch10)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 49
Topic starter  

Thats sounds kind of bad...

But seriously I buy Elixer strings which as you know are not cheap. I play in a band in Mammoth Lakes CA, we play out at least once a week. This G string problem started about 8 months ago. Before that I never broke one string more than any other string, and definitely never as often as i break the G now. Sometimes i can go about a month without breaking a G, other times they will only last a few days. I use a .60mm nylon dunlop pick. My guitar is a 1978 Alvarez. They seem to break up by the nut, but as far as i can tell there are no burrs or anything in the nut. I also thought it may have been a humidity issue since i live in a dry climate, so i bought an oasis humidifier, but it hasn't helped.

This is really starting to get to me. I ordered 7 g strings from www.stringsandbeyond.com about 4 months ago, and i've completely exhausted the supply. I'm getting ready to place another order.

Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before??? What could be causing this?? Any help would be very much appreciated

Thanks
Dave

Dave


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

Dave

If they keep breaking at the nut, there must be a problem there. You could try a slightly larger wound string (but not too much larger) and pull it back and forth through the slot a few times. You don't want to widen the slot, then you can get a very annoying and unpleasant harmonic chime. And you don't really want to deepen it either. But there must be a little sharp edge or burr that is causing your string to break at this point.

And the angle the string takes from the nut to either a string tree or tuner can sometimes be a problem. If you are overwrapping the string around the tuner, it might force the string down at an angle that is causing a problem. You want about 3-4 wraps around the tuner. This is probably not the problem, but it is a possibility. And the angle the string turns from the nut to travel to the tuner could be wrong. The string should wrap from the inside of the headstock out. I'm sure you know that, but folks get that mixed up once in awhile.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@number6)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 152
 

You might try lubricating the nut a little bit - olive oil might work well.

I used to break my G string just below the tuning peg all the time. It's hard to describe this properly, but when the string wrapped around the hole in the tuner, it made a sharp corner on the edge of the hole. That was right at the point where the string left the tuner. Every time I tuned it, it was weakening the string right at that point until it would snap. Between wrapping the string more times around the peg so that it doesn't have a sharp bend over the hole, lubricating the nut and tuning slowly and carefully, I haven't broken it in months.

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(@switch10)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 49
Topic starter  

Thank you for the replies. I will run a d string through the slot a few times and see what happens. I might also lube up the machine tuners, just because. should i use WD40??

Thanks

Dave


   
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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I wouldn't use WD40, it is actually quite acidic. I have worked in a quality lab for many years and we have to keep gauges lubed to prevent rust. We never use WD40 because it will damage them. It is primarily designed to break rust down. We use a super light machinist oil.

Graphite is excellent, I will just take pencil lead and scrape it on sandpaper, then put it in the slot. But.... it is very dirty, it gets on the strings and turns your fingertips black.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1224
 

Ha! Yeah, I've broken many a G string in my time. That's why I'm with the same gal after all these years!

(What can I say???)

Cat

Seriously, the post about the graphite in the nut channel is the best one I've heard. But in reality...buy bulk strings!

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


   
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(@greybeard)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

Using a pencil may not be the best idea, because the "lead" in a pencil is not pure graphite by a long way. There is a filler used, the amount determining the hardness of the pencil. The filler is finely ground clay and the more clay, the harder the "lead".
Go to a DIY or auto parts place and get pure graphite powder - it usually comes in a little puffer bottle. A good way to get the graphite into the slot is by dipping some dental floss into the graphite and rubbing the floss in the slot.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

I over-paid for something called Big Bends Nut Sauce. It was like $20, but has a handy little dispenser, easy to use, etc. Keeps my g-string from getting stuck after a bend. It's amazing how the tiniest of burrs can cause that much havoc.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@jeffster1)
Reputable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 231
 

What gauge of strings? I've seen this problem many times where a guitar comes with 9s or something, and if you put 11's on it the string gets caught in the nut and/or bridge and breaks. Do you hear "popping" when you tune that string?


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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I use 10's mostly. Both the ones that did it badly came with 10's. Most everything I have does make some sort of "tink" on the G-string though. This stuff reduced it a lot.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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(@hyperborea)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 827
 

I over-paid for something called Big Bends Nut Sauce. It was like $20, but has a handy little dispenser, easy to use, etc. Keeps my g-string from getting stuck after a bend. It's amazing how the tiniest of burrs can cause that much havoc.

Yeah, I've tried that stuff (didn't buy but got a free shot of it) and it does work as well as graphite in the nut but it isn't as messy. Plus it has something sticky in it to keep the lubricant in place.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


   
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(@rahul)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 2736
 

I can't help if you can't stop breaking. Its a good news for string manufacturers. :note1:


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

After my recent beach trip I'm in danger of breaking G strings for a while!

For some reason the third string seems to be the one that is most likely to catch in the nut slot and not slide easily while the tuning machine's being wound up. Stress concentrates in the string segment above the nut, and POW! You'll get warnings when you see you keep tweaking the tuner but the pitch doesn't go up, and you may hear PINGs as the string breaks loose after tension builds. The suggestions about "sawing" a string in the slot (make sure to do it at the angle the string naturally bends through the nut toward the post) and lubricating it are right on. In addition to graphite, I've found anhydrous lanolin works well as a nut lubricant. Olive oil really doesn't do much here. It's too low in viscosity and flows out from between the string and nut under pressure. Lanolin's used extensively as a lubricant and metal preservative. Holds up under pressure. Works well in homemade cast bullet lubricants, too!
:D

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@schauv01)
New Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1
 

My g string keeps breaking as well - but at the bridge everytime, sometime once a week. I use an New Guild D-55 acoustic guitar with Elixer Nanowebs (11). Can't figure out why..... Need help. Spencer


   
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(@clideguitar)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 375
 

Switch10, I posted this last September. There is something wrong with the way Elixer makes their G string. You need to try a different type of string. It's not you, It's not your guitar, it's the strings. In the meantime, Somewhere in there is the number you can call Elixer and they will mail you the number of G strings that have broken.

https://www.guitarnoise.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=37879

Again, just use a different type of string. Bob Jessie


   
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