Hi everyone

I just thought I’d try to get a bit of advice because I’ve had this problem for a while and it’s really frustrating. I’m a casual player still playing pretty much every day playing predominantly rock music. I break strings.... the low strings... E, A, D. They don’t break cleanly and just over-extend at the bridge.

Now I’ve done my research and I’ve come to the conclusion its either one or a combination of the following things. Burrs on the saddles. Sharp plectrum. Playing too hard.

I have four guitars which makes things more confusing: A Jim Reed Telecaster copy, an Epiphone Les Paul, a Gibson Les Paul Junior Special and a Guild Acoustic Guitar. I’ve had this problem on all three electrics.

The Telecaster copy was my first guitar and it they still occasionally go (the reason I’ve written this post tonight infact). The saddles are smooth so it can’t be a burr in my opinion as the bridge feels smooth. It’s usually A that goes and sometimes E. I can go months without breaking one on here and then one goes two weeks after a restring.

The Epiphone was my second guitar and it happens pretty rarely on here (touch wood). Usually the only strings I’ve broken on here have been clean breaks on tired strings (G, B, e) that should have been changed a while ago.

The Gibson LPJ is my most recent guitar and it was straight out of the factory into the shop where I bought it from. I’ve broken A twice and D since I’ve had it. The bridge saddles are really rough and my guitar teacher says it’s because it was straight out of the factory. I’m looking to get this smoothed out soon because its just a waste of a new string if I put a one on! If they still break after that...

I’m left with the assumption I play too hard. While it’s difficult for me to accept that I will try and form a defence by saying I have never broken a string on my acoustic, despite playing the same (if not harder on it). I also know people who play harder than me and get away without breaking anything! Plus I’ve read that playing too hard leads to breaking G most often as it is under the most tension and it takes the brunt of the force when you strum. I don’t break G very often. One final argument is that they sometimes break when I’m playing really lightly.

I don’t change my plectrums very often and they are frankly a state at the moment but could this really be enough to break strings? Looks like I need to get some new ones and test one guitar at a time for a while.

Thanks for any advice from anyone who read this long and probably dull post! I apologise if I've gone on too much. I use D’Addario .011s.
I would get some fine grit sandpaper, fold it once and sand the saddles where the string sits. That kind of breakage usually happens because when you pick all the force bends the string right at the saddle, and if it's not smooth it's just going to break faster.

You could also get graphtech stringsaver saddles. I put them on one of my guitars because I always break the A and E strings as well and I haven't broken one yet.

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Thanks for replying

I definitely want to sandpaper the bridges. I've been reluctant to do it so far incase I do something wrong but as long as I'm careful it should be fine. I'll get the shop to look at my Gibson because it's due a setup anyway.

Those graphtech stringsaver saddles look really good actually, I've not seen them before and will definitely check them out!
i have a pair of the graphtech saddles for my strat, due to a burr.

i would just file it out (only if you have really really small and fine files (likely you won't just because they aren't used for many other things)or hit it with light sandpaper as jthm stated. sand paper is safer IMO

its a long shot, but i do it anyways, put a tiny bit of graphite in the nut to lube the nut, helps most guitars stay in tune a bit better and it doesn't hurt anything.

but this guitar was a gift from a friend who is very faraway an he asked to keep it stock. i could put the saddles back any time, and be there, i know he didn't want it touched. hopefully they are the solution.

for some reason i got some bad d'addarios a few times (one full 10 pack) i called them and they sent me 10 new sets plus a new type of string that is fresh on the market. i just stick to them though.
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I don't really stretch my strings when I put them on, do you think this could play a part on their life? I make sure I get a few turns.

I'll definitely give the sand papering a go and if I don't have any luck with that I'll try the graphtech sadles. I did think I might have had some bad strings but as it keeps happening in with similar patterns I reckon it must be the guitars.