Solo #1 Breaking High E String

Discussion in 'SWS Questions' started by wongtheo, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. wongtheo

    wongtheo Blues Newbie

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    Solo in Bb broke 3 strings in 3 weeks right at 11th fret on a MIM Strat. Broke stock Strat strings, d' adarios, and DR Tite Fit. Frets looks smooth, no burrs. BTW strings are 9 to 42s. Is this par for the course, wrong technique, equipment problems, etc? Should I go to 10s?  I like the 9s because they are easy to bend.

    Tedd
     
  2. Marv

    Marv I play 'err' guitar.

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    Are you pushing the string into the fret and maintaining that pressure before you bend?  No need to press down on the string and grind away at it.  You want the tip of your finger on the side of the string when bending, on top of the string when fretting. 

    Are you spreading the force of the bend across multiple fingers so it isn't in one place on the string?

    Are you applying your bends smoothly or going 0-60 on them?

    I only ask these questions because I'm about a year and a half here and have yet to break a string bending. I do use 9's on my Strat and Strat-like guitars, 10's on my Gibsons.
     
  3. wongtheo

    wongtheo Blues Newbie

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    Now that you mentioned it, I do notice I tend to scrape the strings pretty hard against the frets. I bend with three fingers and definitely pretty slowly. I'm starting to think it must be technique because the strings broke twice on a real Strat and once on a Strat clone. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll try them out after I change strings, again.

    Tedd
     
  4. mark

    mark Blues Newbie

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    I had the same problem while learning this solo. I kept breaking 009 high E strings, but I didn't want to switch to 10s.

    I'm now using D'Addario EXL120+ Nickel Wound, Super Light Plus, 9.5-44. They do break, but not nearly as often as 9s and they are easier to bend than 10s.

    Mark
     
  5. wongtheo

    wongtheo Blues Newbie

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    I noticed when strings were breaking, I was bending as shown in the first case below.  My middle finger (M) was at the 10th fret and ring finger (R) was at the 11th fret.  It looks like it puts a lot of stress on the string since the string is bent over the red fret as shown.  I will try to bend as in the second case below by putting my middle finger and ring finger at the 11th fret.  Hope the graphics make sense. I will also try the 9.5-44 strings.


    1st case:
    __________M_____R_____   E-string
    o--------o--------o--------o--- frets


    2nd case:
    _______________M__R_____ E-string
    o--------o--------o--------o-----frets
         9th       10th      11th
     
  6. Rockybottom

    Rockybottom Senior Bluesman

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    Understand the diagram and it seems logical to try what you suggest.  Will ber interested in the result.  I suppose it depends how thin or thick your fingers are.  When I just checked on my guitar I found that with my middle finger just behind the 11th fret my ring finger falls on top of the 10th fret and my index finger just below the ninth fret.  When I watch carefully I find my pressure is on the fretboard sliding on the wood and the string is pushed ahead of them, in fact sometimes the string will slide up the calouses on my helper fingers and slightly off the fretboard obviously easing the pressure of the string on the lower frets, so maybe there is a bit of technique there which is helping, even though I didn't realise it !!
    Cheers
    :cool:
     
  7. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    Breaking string wile learning to bend, is a rite of passage. (And a cost of doing business???).
    It has taken me quite a while and loads of great suggestions like folks here have offered, but in time you will stop breaking strings. I truly can't remember when I last broke a string. BTW, I switched form 9's to 10's and I'm sure that helped some too.
     
  8. Lame_Pinkey

    Lame_Pinkey Guest

    If you break the string so consistently at the same fret ( I thought it was Blues Man again when I saw the title of post  ;D) I would be having a strong hard look at the fret wire to see if there are any problems there, like a burr perhaps & maybe look at the fretboard as well.
    Personally I do not think thicker gauged strings are the answer , yes it may save you from breaking them but if its not an equipment fault then its a technique fault. If you're bending technique is sound then you should not be breaking strings - the occasional one yes - I'm currently using 008-038's & I'm not breaking any & yes some of my guitars are tuned down a whole step but some are not.

    LP
     
  9. panther

    panther Blues Newbie

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    Yes, go to 10's.
    Dan
     
  10. diresteve

    diresteve Guest

    Just crossed over from accoustic to electric guitar this month and the first thing I do is break that E string doing solo 1 :( looks like I got the same problem...
     
  11. Ivan

    Ivan Blues Newbie

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    I had the same problem working on solo#2. I was breaking the 1st string weekly. At the time I was restringing with 1 fret of slack. Now I restring with 1.5 frets of slack and haven't had a problem since. I'm thinking the extra half wrap on the tuner is giving me more of a strecth giving the string a little more life. Don't know for sure but just thought I'd share that with you.
     
  12. diresteve

    diresteve Guest

    Thanks for the input Ivan will have to try that if I break string number 3  :) [smiley=beer.gif]
     
  13. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    For what it's worth, I used to break strings every day and now hardly ever break one, even doing a 2 1/2 step bend.

    I use 10s... but I've heard that 9s actually handle the bends better because they are more stretchy in general. I don't know about that but I do know that when your hands are better at doing the bends the string gauge won't matter.

    The downside is that it will be quite a while before that happens. In the meantime, Musician's Friend allows you to order a single string in bulk. I suggest a pack of a dozen high E strings and keep them handy :)
     
  14. diresteve

    diresteve Guest

    Aha.. An order for a dozen pack of high E strings coming up.. and maybe some B's while I am at it  :-/  [smiley=beer.gif]
     
  15. MikeS

    MikeS Moderator... Another Man In Black.
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    That is actually the cure!!!
    As soon as I bought high E strings in bulk, my string breaking stopped.

    :D

    Just keep at it. You will find that you are probably pressing down too hard when you bend instead of sliding up with as little pressure as is necessary to fret the string.
     
  16. myvalk

    myvalk Guest




    +1
     
  17. Lame_Pinkey

    Lame_Pinkey Guest

    Griff nailed it, its  something that a new player has to suffer through. since returning to playing 3 yrs ago I've probably broken about 6 strings - 1 was an overuse of the whammy 1 was a burr on the fret the rest have been when tuning - none done while playing and I use 008's & 009's.
    It hard to describe & I'm sure Griff would say the same thing, its a "feel" type thing and the more you play the better you'll get not just in playing but in being able to recognise this "feel" thing.
    In the mean time getting a dozen E strings as Griff suggests might be a good idea.  [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    LP      :cool:
     
  18. snarf

    snarf audiences like their blues singers to be miserable

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    Like the others have said, keep at it and you'll get it.  It took me a while to get there, but I finally got to where I recognize the difference in the feel of correctly bending a string by just pushing it up and incorrectly bending a string by pressing it into the fret when I push it.  When I feel it scrape against the fret I know I need to change the way I'm bending or get ready to start replacing strings.

    Keep at it.  Soon enough it'll occur to you one day that you haven't broken a string for a while.  That's when you realize that you got it figured out.
     
  19. diresteve

    diresteve Guest

    It just occured to me.. since I got the spare strings I haven't broken one :D and I am practicing solos 1 and 2 of SWS every day.. focusing on pushing the strings up seems to work for me.. cheers all  [smiley=beer.gif] [smiley=beer.gif] [smiley=beer.gif]