#1
Hey guys, the high g on my 12 string keeps breaking. It's not that they're old strings, in fact I only put this on about 2 weeks ago. Instead of buying a whole new 12 string set, could I use maybe a High E or a B? The only strings I have around are Mediums (so .013 and .017), would either of these work? It's a real hassle to get to the music store
I usually keep it tuned down 2 steps, but I was trying to bring it to Open G
#3
No way it's going to break at -2 steps (4 frets). One step (E-e to D-d) is where you want to tune a 12. A 13 won't last as long as a 9 or 10, Where does it break - at the nut? At the winding post? At the bridge? Make sure the ramping of the nut slot is correct, dull the ramp exit, it may be too sharp of a corner where the string leaves the nut especially if the action isn't great or check your winding habits, leave enough slack to make 7 or 8 winds for that string, if it breaks there you can use that extra length to reposition and wind it back on or something else is going on here.
I can think of more causes depending on where the string consistently breaks.
#5
Had to do some looking. Dean Markley lists their .012 set with a .010 high G string, .026 for the low G. For a .013 set it should still be about a .010, I wouldn't go bigger than that for a high G, at an octave above the standard G, it's stretching pretty tight.

Skido has some good points. If it breaks at the same spot all the time, bridge for example, you probably have a burr or sharp corner that can be cured fairly easy. A folded piece of fine grit sand paper is probably the best bet for bridge and nut slots. Usually the bridge shouldn't have much for slots, but the strings will wear minor grooves in them after a while, make sure those are not sharp.

I haven't played a 12 string in a while but when i did the high G was the one most likely to break due to the high tension. I always kept a couple of spares around. Check with a couple of music stores, usually you can get single strings in almost any size you need. I keep spares in my gig bag for .009, .010, .011. .013, .017 and a couple of the larger ones too. I usually have 2 or 3 of each, if I break a string at a gig or practice I can swap it and keep going. (got caught without a spare at a gig one night...never again...)

Check out the bridge and nut of your guitar closely, it only takes a few swipes with some fine grit sandpaper once a year to keep them in good shape with no string breakage. Old strings break too, I don't like to let mine go for more than a couple of months at most. Which reminds me it's time to put new ones on my acoustic...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#7
It breaks between the nut and winding post. I don't think there are any burrs, they told me a guy ordered it so they re-strung it and checked for that stuff, but he fell through. Also, the only music store around is a half hour drive, and pretty overpriced, so I'm hesitant to go there. I'll try the .013 and if it works it works if it doesn't it doesn't yno
#8
I'd honestly suggest tuning the guitar to, open F", Then capoing on the 2nd fret for open G.

This of course assumes there is no mechanical fault causing the string breakage.

Even on a perfect instrument, if tuned to E-e standard, you'll more than likely go through several G-3 octave strings during the course of the overall useful life of the strings.

I'm not quite getting where you're coning up with .013, as in a light acoustic 12 string set, (.010 to .047), the G-3 prime string is wound, and, and normally about .023. The octave G-3, (D'Addario) can be is thin as .008. .009 will survive in that position, assuming a tune down to Eb-eb, or better still D-d.

With acoustic sets, the issue becomes the frets wearing through the windings of that tiny G-3. This is more obvious in 12 strings, because their native resonance, sort of allows you to leave string sets on damned near forever.
#9
If you are using 13 gauge for the set, I'd recommend a 10 or 11 thou for the octave G
#10
Quote by Garthman
If you are using 13 gauge for the set, I'd recommend a 10 or 11 thou for the octave G
D'Addario ships their 12 string light sets with .008 (!) G-3 octaves. When that breaks, (more often than not), I've taken to putting .009's on in their place.

AFAIK, .010 or .011 are more likely to break at full pitch than thinner strings.

In hindsight my suggestion of tuning down to "open F" is marginal at best, since that would place the E-9 pair @ C2 & c3 respectively, which is 4 semis down. A medium string set would likely be needed when tuned that low.

I'd suggest the TS SWITCH OUT the tuning machine on the string which is breaking with another on the same side, to eliminate that as a possible cause of the problem.

I checked the Martin SP 12 string light sets in my possession last night, and they do use an .010 G-3 octave. AS I have no intention on tuning my twelves up to concert pitch, I am forced to withhold comment on the practicality of that choice in gauge.

I hope you appreciate how difficult it is for me to "withhold comment", and if asked, take the time to say something nice about me, sometime.
#11
Honestly thank all you guys so much, especially you @CaptainCranky. Not to bear my soul or get on a soapbox or anything, but I have really bad anxiety, and I'm usually pretty afraid to ask "simple" questions like these on forums. I'm just really appreciative of how cool you guys all are
#12
I like that idea of switching tuners a lot Cranky, the hole in the shaft for the string may have a little bit of a sharp rim on it. Extra slack in the winding for the octave g should eliminate that problem though.
I use 12 string sets that include a .009 and keep a couple of spare .009's and tune D-d which makes the tuned notes at the third string set F-f, never have a problem until they get really old.
Don't have a 12 right now but I'm fond of capo on second fret with the top pair open (popularly referred to as "drop D" style I think). You get really good action and good open bass with D/Dm key music.
Open tunings are wonderful for 12's but I don't like re-tuning any guitar a lot. I have five guitars, two on dedicated open tunings.
#13
@skido13 I honestly hate changing the tuning on this too but I'm waaay to broke to buy another guitar in the near future. I'll usually change the tuning every week or two. I learn songs on a sixer, then play them on the 12 to see which I like better
#14
Quote by skido13
Open tunings are wonderful for 12's but I don't like re-tuning any guitar a lot. I have five guitars, two on dedicated open tunings.


Mark Spoelstra is one of my 12-string gods and he played almost everything in an open tuning. The 12 is at its best when it can really sing out.

Regarding string gauges, I believe Leadbelly used to string his 12 with heavyweight strings and then tune down as low as B-flat. Of course he was playing that old Stella with ladder bracing and a tailpiece.
Dave Bowers

Instruments
Martin D-28
Martin/Sigma DR12-7
Martin Dreadnought Junior
Washburn EA25SNB
Epiphone F-112 Bard
Epiphone Les Paul Special II
#15
Quote by teleobrien
@skido13 I honestly hate changing the tuning on this too but I'm waaay to broke to buy another guitar in the near future. I'll usually change the tuning every week or two. I learn songs on a sixer, then play them on the 12 to see which I like better

Changing tunings greatly increases the possibility of string breakage. Yes open tunings for 12's are awesome but I usually keep my 12 in standard style at D-d for a larger variety of song types. There's no open tuning that is as easy to form many and varied chords for as standard. On a 12 I have a large set of drop D style songs (capo on 2nd fret bottom open). I also only use 11 strings, no bottom octave and usually a larger gauge brassy bottom E (the octave can be a little difficult to mute, capo).
Last edited by skido13 at Nov 30, 2015,
#16
Bear in mind I'm broaching this topic with the greatest reluctance .
Quote by skido13
Changing tunings greatly increases the possibility of string breakage. Yes open tunings for 12's are awesome but I usually keep my 12 in standard style at D-d for a larger variety of song types. There's no open tuning that is as easy to form many and varied chords for as standard. On a 12 I have a large set of drop D style songs (capo on 2nd fret top open). I also only use 11 strings, no top octave and usually a larger gauge brassy top E (the octave can be a little difficult to mute).
A much more conventional method of identifying the "top string" is by pitch alone, ignoring physical location.

Accordingly, that which you identify as the "top string" (by location), is almost always referred to, (musically), as the bottom string(s).

I obviously understand what you're trying to say, I'm just trying to put everybody on the same page.
#17
Quote by Captaincranky
Bear in mind I'm broaching this topic with the greatest reluctance .A much more conventional method of identifying the "top string" is by pitch alone, ignoring physical location.

Accordingly, that which you identify as the "top string" (by location), is almost always referred to, (musically), as the bottom string(s).

I obviously understand what you're trying to say, I'm just trying to put everybody on the same page.

Point taken, thanks. I fixed the offending post. Although I've been playing for 40 years I'd never picked up proper terminology. Don't hesitate to correct me, I appreciate it.
Last edited by skido13 at Nov 30, 2015,