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-   -   Stop strings from snapping so frequently when changing tunings? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=544492)

Thisisme 04-18-2019 03:32 AM

Stop strings from snapping so frequently when changing tunings?
 
Hello. I have a weissenborn guitar (acoustic lap steel) and I change tuning quite a lot especially from open d, dadgad and open d minor which means the 3rd string gets tuned differently quite a lot. The string breaks about every 2 weeks. Is there a way you wear your strings in so they last longer while changing tunings?

Guest 728 04-18-2019 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thisisme (Post 6039472)
Hello. I have a weissenborn guitar (acoustic lap steel) and I change tuning quite a lot especially from open d, dadgad and open d minor which means the 3rd string gets tuned differently quite a lot. The string breaks about every 2 weeks. Is there a way you wear your strings in so they last longer while changing tunings?


See where on the string it's breaking -- if it's at the nut or bridge, check for burrs there. A gentle filing or sanding of the offending slot might increase the lifespan your G strings.

Mandobart 04-18-2019 09:53 AM

You're experiencing metal fatigue failure. This is influenced by the applied loads and number of cycles. If you're going to keep changing the pitch (number of cycles won't change) your only other option is to reduce the load. Go to lighter strings, if possible. The smaller the diameter, the lower the tension. You may need to put together a custom set out of single strings.

Tahitijack 04-18-2019 10:02 AM

Hawaiian slack key players are constantly changing things. I've asked several how they avoid braking strings especially during concerts. They tend to use Elixirs. So, if all else fails try moving up to more expensive brands.

Steve DeRosa 04-19-2019 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thisisme (Post 6039472)
Hello. I have a weissenborn guitar (acoustic lap steel) and I change tuning quite a lot especially from open d, dadgad and open d minor which means the 3rd string gets tuned differently quite a lot. The string breaks about every 2 weeks. Is there a way you wear your strings in so they last longer while changing tunings?

I know a guy who might want to buy your guitar, as is... :D

Earl49 04-21-2019 08:56 PM

Per David Wilcox (who literally uses a different tuning for almost every song) use 4-6 winds on the post so that you are bending around the larger diameter of the capstan. I've done that for years after taking a workshop with him, and now rarely break a string -- even when working through the six tunings that I routinely use for slack-key and other styles.

Tuning up and down is the quickest way to kill the tone of a string, so after repeated changes you may need to change it for new anyway. I have multiple guitars so some of them live in dedicated tunings. But as a string set gets toward the end of its tonal life, I also practice changing between tunings to maintain that skill too.

shufflebeat 05-09-2019 06:40 PM

In my busking days I learned how to tie broken ends together. It's a handy skill but doesn't work so well when the breakage is halfway up the neck.

ljguitar 05-10-2019 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thisisme (Post 6039472)
Hello. I have a weissenborn guitar (acoustic lap steel) and I change tuning quite a lot especially from open d, dadgad and open d minor which means the 3rd string gets tuned differently quite a lot. The string breaks about every 2 weeks. Is there a way you wear your strings in so they last longer while changing tunings?

Hi Tim

On acoustic guitars I started winding the wound strings all the way down the shaft, and the treble pair at least 6-8 windings down the shaft, and it ended that issue for me.

The idea came from David Wilcox who is the most prolific re-tuner I've ever met. I once lost track of the 'next' tuning during a concert on the 11th time he re-tuned his guitar during the concert. It wasn't his last time re-tuning, I just lost track of what he tuned it to.

He started recommending the deeper winding back in the 1990s, and as recently as 5 years ago at a workshop, he's still dishing out that advice. And I've never seen him break a string during his concerts.

I'm not sure I buy his 'theory' as to why it works, but it works! He felt the string coming off the bottom of the shaft was suffering from less stress than when it comes off the shaft near the hole in the shaft.

I used to pop a 3rd string on my acoustic about one in 10 sets, and I have not broken a string (nor stopped re-tuning my guitars frequently) for about 15 years now.

Hope this adds to the discussion…

[EDIT]I see someone else mentioned David too (above)…[EDIT]



Thisisme 05-17-2019 03:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljguitar (Post 6058473)
Hi Tim

On acoustic guitars I started winding the wound strings all the way down the shaft, and the treble pair at least 6-8 windings down the shaft, and it ended that issue for me.

The idea came from David Wilcox who is the most prolific re-tuner I've ever met. I once lost track of the 'next' tuning during a concert on the 11th time he re-tuned his guitar during the concert. It wasn't his last time re-tuning, I just lost track of what he tuned it to.

He started recommending the deeper winding back in the 1990s, and as recently as 5 years ago at a workshop, he's still dishing out that advice. And I've never seen him break a string during his concerts.

I'm not sure I buy his 'theory' as to why it works, but it works! He felt the string coming off the bottom of the shaft was suffering from less stress than when it comes off the shaft near the hole in the shaft.

I used to pop a 3rd string on my acoustic about one in 10 sets, and I have not broken a string (nor stopped re-tuning my guitars frequently) for about 15 years now.

Hope this adds to the discussion…

[EDIT]I see someone else mentioned David too (above)…[EDIT]



This sounds perfect I checked the David Wilcox how to change a string video but have found it hard to understand. Do you know anywhere that does a step by step guide on this method?

Mycroft 05-17-2019 11:27 PM

Another trick is to lube the nut slot with some graphite. I used the lead from a mechanical pencil...

RustyAxe 05-18-2019 10:50 AM

I'd be suspicious of binding in the nut slot. And some "Nut Sauce" or similar dry lubricant applied to the slots might be all you need.


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