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Breaking my high E once a week.

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Eardoc, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Eardoc

    Eardoc Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    50
    61
    Jan 29, 2017
    New York
    I've been playing guitar for almost a year. I've been playing electric guitar for almost five months. I have an American Standard that got set up 2 months ago. I am breaking my high e when I do a 1 1/2 bend. I had a d'adarrio 9, a slinky 10, a gilmour 10 and they last a week. I know it's probably my technique. I'm just going to keep the backing plate off so I don't strip the screws. I have a lesson tonight so I'll ask my professor. Any suggestions?
     

  2. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    There may be a bur or sharp spot on the saddle.
     

  3. alderre

    alderre Strat-O-Master

    530
    May 1, 2014
    New Braunfels
     

  4. jstewart

    jstewart Strat-O-Master

    668
    Feb 10, 2013
    Toluca Lake
    Where does it break? How much time do you spend playing in that week?

    The only time I ever break strings is when I've gone a while without changing them. Step and 1/2 bends are not a problem.
     
    BallisticSquid likes this.

  5. velvet_man

    velvet_man Strat-Talker

    333
    Sep 7, 2016
    Vancouver
    I used to get high e and low e breaks all the time (high e from bends, low e from palm muted riff madness). I put some Graph Tech string saver saddles on and haven't broken a string since.
     

  6. Eardoc

    Eardoc Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    50
    61
    Jan 29, 2017
    New York
    I play ~ 1-1 1/2 hr a day but I only practice that Pink Floyd money bend for like 5 minutes a day.

    The luthier who set up my guitar is awesome. He was a good friend of (Les Paul )I'll ask him but I think it may be my technique. I don't think there is a bur but I'll have him check.
     

  7. Inverness

    Inverness Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Dec 24, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    As asked above, where is the string breaking? I would also bet on a rough edge on the saddle/bridge. Is the string hitting the saddle screw by any chance? Mis-aligned saddle?
     

  8. ido1957

    ido1957 Strat-O-Master

    843
    Oct 13, 2014
    Canada
    Lots of good advice here - my Floyd Rose had that issue of E string breaking constantly years ago. Burr in the saddle and (knock on wood) no problems since.
     

  9. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Jul 27, 2012
    Virginia
    I used to break strings more often years ago, on my Gibson Sonex. I think it had a rough edge on some of the saddles, plus I used to beat on the strings pretty hard!

    Could be a burr on the saddle. Do you do a lot of bends on that string for other songs too?

    I find that I bend the B string more than the E these days ... plus playing a lot of acoustic and not bending a lot.
     
    bdtunaman likes this.

  10. stratmauler

    stratmauler Strat-Talker

    324
    Feb 10, 2012
    NZ
    If its breaking where the string first comes through the body of the guitar, behind the saddles; get some Big Bends String Savers. Good enough for SRV and good enough for me.
    They're just thin plastic tubes. And cheap.
     

  11. Eardoc

    Eardoc Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    50
    61
    Jan 29, 2017
    New York
    It's breaking in the vicinity of the 14th fret. At the peak of my bend. I'll have him check it tonight.
     

  12. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    It seems like you are practicing a lot, and you are working on a lot of bends. So you are giving the strings a workout.

    Do your hands sweat a lot? Is your sweat corrosive? Is there gunk building up on the strings and corroding them?

    I ask because I have this problem. My strings would get so crapped up that they would snap on bends like you are describing. What happens is the bends are rough on your fingertip calluses so some of the skin will collect on the string. Add sweat to the mix and the string will start to corrode at that point.

    I keep a piece of cloth (cotton from an old t-shirt) dampened with Dr. Duck's Axe Wax handy. I keep it in a small zip loc bag. Whenever I am done playing, I grab each string with the cloth and wipe the string down from the bridge on up to the nut. When I'm playing at a gig, I do this between sets.

    Even doing this, my strings start to turn black after the first hour of playing. I have to change my strings every 3 weeks, though I can squeeze 4 weeks out if I try.

    One last thing...you should be able to change the strings without taking the backplate off. I have never taken the backplate off my strat to change strings.
     

  13. Inverness

    Inverness Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    49
    Dec 24, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    You don't happen to have a ding in a fret in the area of the 14th that you haven't noticed?
     
    Strat-Slinger likes this.

  14. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

    Yep... get those frets smoothed, cleaned and polished up... that should fix the problem...
     
    Electgumbo likes this.

  15. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    76
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    When my high E broke
    It was where the string comes out of the trem block
    Hit that spot with a tapered dremel stone in a circular motion. Polished it
    And
    Viola...
     

  16. Davey77

    Davey77 Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    814
    Apr 29, 2014
    Monroe WA
    I think it is your technic/style. I used to break stings fairly often when I was younger and starting out.

    As mentioned a bur or a rough spot could be the culprit, which I think is a good reason to post some pictures of your guitar :)
     

  17. liltimmy

    liltimmy Senior Stratmaster

    I have had three strats and a loaner. They all broke high E's at the saddle.

    Tried to de-bur the saddle, same issue. Bought graph tech bridge pieces, same issue. Went from 10's to 11's, a little less breakage but same issue. Went from 11's to 12's, a little less breakage yet but still breakage and then my hand felt break-aged. Had to go back to 11's. With a brand new 11 I could *usually* make it through a 3-4 hour gig without breakage, but not always. I switched to a Gibson ES with 10's. I just went ten 3+ hour gigs straight without breaking my E string. Technique never changed, I'm still a hamfist. That is a little longer life than usual but I can get 4 or 5 three hour gigs out of my E on average.

    Beats me why. String tension, scale length maybe?
     

  18. Fatmaninthebath

    Fatmaninthebath Strat-Talker

    113
    Sep 27, 2014
    Southern IL
    The high E on a strat is often intonated forward enough the string breaks where it contacts the bridge plate as thomquietwolf suggests. His dremel solution is a good one. Rene Martinez used to slide pieces of teflon wire insulation over the strings on SRV's #1 to shield this area in addition to smoothing the bridge plate holes with a dremel
     

  19. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    42
    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    Wait it’s breaking in the middle of the string each time with different brands? You got something on the fret that is “sawing” the string when you bend and causing it to break.
     
    Deschain likes this.