#1
Im eager to start playing again but ran into a ball breaking issue. Maybe one of you with more experience can help me figure out this situation. Let me paint the picture with some background information. I have a barely touched starter jazmin accoutic guitar bought 2 years ago that recently grabed my heart thus i started playing like a mad man possessed every day for last 2 months. Initalally i had some buzz on my high e string so i adjusted the trust which killed the buzz (thank sweet jesus) but raised it really high. Nonetheless, stumbled on to drop d songs and have been tuning between there and standard.

Now suddenly one night, totally amped to touch it, I'm tunning up to drop d on and my e string snaps. Logic tells maybe i tunned it to fast, it's been sitting in the attic for two years so i chaulk it up to old brittle strings. So i buy a pair of elixers and then when i try to tune it into d again after letting the strings warm up i pop the e again at the same point by the machine head infront of where the slots meet the wire but then the new g pops too. Sam ash gave a new set of strings but suggested i bring the guitar in. Is that really nessesary?

Could tuning between drop d and standard have altered my neck? Is the high trust rod the insidious culprit? Any idea what could be the potential issue and how to fix it. Thanks in advance for any help.
#2
First things first. Do you mean it snapped between the nut and machine head? My cheap stagg gets changed between drop d and standard and even some open tuning at least 2-3 times a day almost every day. It will fatigue the sting over time but my last set was on for 6-8 months and I only replaced them because I wanted to try out some different strings.
Check the nut and make sure it's not chipped leaving a sharp edge. Same for the saddle. Also check where the string goes into the machine head and make sure that's not burred. I use a bit of 1200 grit wet and dry rolled tight every sting change just incase. Also which E sting are you referring to? Low E (sting 6/thickest) or high 'e' (sting 1/thinnest). I don't see how tuning between the two will alter the neck. Drastically enough to cause damage. And I don't see how a truss rod could cause issues like that unless it damaged.
#3
I could see it being a couple things. Like stated Thom, damage to a nut, saddle, or tuner and/or a sharp edge is the most likely culprit and the way to fix it is to use high grit sandpaper to smooth everything out. I wouldn't suggest doing it every string change, but if you are having an issue with string breakage that is the 1st thing I would do. Another likely cause is that your strings are binding (sticking) in the nut slots. If the strings are binding in the nut the 1st thing I would do is get a pencil and scribble in each nut slot. This will coat the slots in graphite which will lubricate them and help reduce sticking. Usually the strings are binding in the nut you will hear squeaking noises while you tune. Another possible cause, although unlikely, is that if your trussrod is too loose your neck may be flexing too much when you tune up and down. It is possible that when you drop the tuning of your low E the reduced tension on the neck will cause it to straighten and that increases the tension on your other strings which could cause one to snap. Finally, it is possible that your music shop got a batch of bad strings.

If I were you I'd make sure there are no sharp edges, scribble in the nut slots with regular pencil, and change string brands or buy strings from a different music shop. If you do those three things and the string still breaks then take it to the music shop so they can give it a once over.
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#4
Quote by Thom1989
First things first. Do you mean it snapped between the nut and machine head?


Yea it popped by the red marker on the picture.



Does that change the scope of things?
Last edited by zhunta at Mar 30, 2016,
#5
Quote by CorduroyEW
I could see it being a couple things. Like stated Thom, damage to a nut, saddle, or tuner and/or a sharp edge is the most likely culprit and the way to fix it is to use high grit sandpaper to smooth everything out. I wouldn't suggest doing it every string change, but if you are having an issue with string breakage that is the 1st thing I would do. Another likely cause is that your strings are binding (sticking) in the nut slots. If the strings are binding in the nut the 1st thing I would do is get a pencil and scribble in each nut slot. This will coat the slots in graphite which will lubricate them and help reduce sticking. Usually the strings are binding in the nut you will hear squeaking noises while you tune. Another possible cause, although unlikely, is that if your trussrod is too loose your neck may be flexing too much when you tune up and down. It is possible that when you drop the tuning of your low E the reduced tension on the neck will cause it to straighten and that increases the tension on your other strings which could cause one to snap. Finally, it is possible that your music shop got a batch of bad strings.

If I were you I'd make sure there are no sharp edges, scribble in the nut slots with regular pencil, and change string brands or buy strings from a different music shop. If you do those three things and the string still breaks then take it to the music shop so they can give it a once over.


Appreciate the suggestions. Now thinking of it i did hear sqeauking during the 1st tune. The nut was somewhat sharp by the E slot so sanded that baby boy smooth. Used the pencil technique which stopped the sqeaking but now the tension feels too strong as if it will snap again tuning nto the D. Looks like I may have to take it to a mechanic.
#6
The fact that it's low e that snapping is odd in my book. I've never had E,A or D snap on me. What gauge strings are you using? IIRC low e nut slot is usually filed out to .6 which cover almost all available string gauges. Are your machine heads open or covered? If the latter take the backing cover off and have a look at the teeth on the cog not the worm gear. If damaged that may explain your tension issue if not then there's something really odd going on there. The fact it's snapping between the nut and the machine head is an odd one and suggests its binding on the nut. take a bit of 240 sand paper that's about 1 inch by 4 inches. Place it over the nut slot so it's length is down the neck. Then take one of your snapped R strings and press it into the slot sandwiching the sand paper and then gently sand the slot. Then do the same with 1200 grit or higher. Then try re stringing and tuning.
#7
First off, the buzzing string isn't fixed by adjusting the truss rod except in the case of buzz between the nut and the fingered fret. The truss is to keep stable "relief" only! And you mentioned it ruined the action (strings too high) so you're making some serious mistakes.
Get the action LOW and and the relief correct, if there's buzzing fix it with nut and/or saddle adjustments.
I noticed in your windings at the posts that some strings are above the post hole and some below, you should start one wind above the hole and the rest below. This helps to "lock" the string and take tension off of the point where the string enters the post hole. Strings coming off the post too high don't have enough tension and can result in poor nut seating and BUZZ but fingering can be easier so some experimentation there can get you what you like. Some of your strings don't have enough winding which could result in slippage and is hard on the point where the string enters the post hole which could cause the breakage condition of the type you have.
From the break point it looks most likely that the breaking is from too sharp an edge or too sharp of a bend in the string at that point at the post hole. You start winding with some slack on the string and let it bend from the hole gradually (some folks kink the string at the post hole, bad idea). You should have enough winding on the post for 2 360deg turns before the string tightens. The unwound strings get a double pass through the post hole.
BTW, you mentioned tuning "up" to drop D. Drop D is when you only tune the top E down one step, you don't tune anything UP! Always tune DOWN to your open tunings. Anything above standard concert can ruin your guitar.
The right capo can be placed behind the second fret and leave just the top string (wound E)open so you get Drop D with no retuning, of course you're playing in the key of E but it's Drop D style.
#8
Quote by skido13
First off, the buzzing string isn't fixed by adjusting the truss rod except in the case of buzz between the nut and the fingered fret. The truss is to keep stable "relief" only! And you mentioned it ruined the action (strings too high) so you're making some serious mistakes.
Get the action LOW and and the relief correct, if there's buzzing fix it with nut and/or saddle adjustments.
I noticed in your windings at the posts that some strings are above the post hole and some below, you should start one wind above the hole and the rest below. This helps to "lock" the string and take tension off of the point where the string enters the post hole. Strings coming off the post too high don't have enough tension and can result in poor nut seating and BUZZ but fingering can be easier so some experimentation there can get you what you like. Some of your strings don't have enough winding which could result in slippage and is hard on the point where the string enters the post hole which could cause the breakage condition of the type you have.
From the break point it looks most likely that the breaking is from too sharp an edge or too sharp of a bend in the string at that point at the post hole. You start winding with some slack on the string and let it bend from the hole gradually (some folks kink the string at the post hole, bad idea). You should have enough winding on the post for 2 360deg turns before the string tightens. The unwound strings get a double pass through the post hole.
BTW, you mentioned tuning "up" to drop D. Drop D is when you only tune the top E down one step, you don't tune anything UP! Always tune DOWN to your open tunings. Anything above standard concert can ruin your guitar.
The right capo can be placed behind the second fret and leave just the top string (wound E)open so you get Drop D with no retuning, of course you're playing in the key of E but it's Drop D style.


Nice of you to shed some light on the darker areas of owning a guitar as I'm a drummer that is relatively new to this space.

Funny you mention the action, for some reason instinctively I adjusted low when restringing and my previous fret buzz was elminated.

What do exactly you mean by "relief"? And why/how would jave action too high affect the guitar?

Also after noticing your notice lol I noticed when comparing the E string to my electric axe there is a noticeable angle/bend. Under further thought this takamine came with light gauge steings on it. Is it safe to put medium guages on it? Finally, how can I correct the angle on the high E string?
#9
Quote by skido13
First off, the buzzing string isn't fixed by adjusting the truss rod except in the case of buzz between the nut and the fingered fret. The truss is to keep stable "relief" only! And you mentioned it ruined the action (strings too high) so you're making some serious mistakes.


That isn't very accurate. An improperly adjusted truss rod causes lots of buzzing from several different places but has nothing to do with buzzing between he nut and the fret. You are correct in the fact that the truss rod makes the neck stable and adjusts relief but that is about it.


TS, Relief is how much your neck bows forward giving the strings room to vibrate. If there is too much relief it will make your action feel high, especially on the upper frets but adjusting your saddle will have little effect on action or buzz. When the trussrod is too tight that means there isn't enough relief (forward bow) and that can cause buzzing when you play the lower and middle frets. Usually adjusting the truss rod too far in either direction means that action is adjusted too high in order to compensate.

Given your lack of experience combined with what you have been saying I think it's a safe to say that there is a strong possibility that the truss rod had been incorrectly adjusted. The best way to learn to adjust the trussrod is to take it to a luthier for a setup and watch them do the work. Most luthiers will be happy to have you watch and will even explain what they are doing and why if you show an intrest. Then you can apply your newly acquired knowledge next time your guitar needs adjustment.


Edit: Also, are you sure you are not tuning to the wrong octave? Are you tuning the E down to D or UP?
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Apr 3, 2016,
#10
Quote by CorduroyEW
That isn't very accurate. An improperly adjusted truss rod causes lots of buzzing from several different places but has nothing to do with buzzing between he nut and the fret. You are correct in the fact that the truss rod makes the neck stable and adjusts relief but that is about it.


TS, Relief is how much your neck bows forward giving the strings room to vibrate. If there is too much relief it will make your action feel high, especially on the upper frets but adjusting your saddle will have little effect on action or buzz. When the trussrod is too tight that means there isn't enough relief (forward bow) and that can cause buzzing when you play the lower and middle frets. Usually adjusting the truss rod too far in either direction means that action is adjusted too high in order to compensate.

Given your lack of experience combined with what you have been saying I think it's a safe to say that there is a strong possibility that the truss rod had been incorrectly adjusted. The best way to learn to adjust the trussrod is to take it to a luthier for a setup and watch them do the work. Most luthiers will be happy to have you watch and will even explain what they are doing and why if you show an intrest. Then you can apply your newly acquired knowledge next time your guitar needs adjustment.


Edit: Also, are you sure you are not tuning to the wrong octave? Are you tuning the E down to D or UP?


Ahh so depending on the situation, the trust rod essentially can give the strings more or less fret room to breathe without restriction that makes sense thanks for the helpful detailed explaination Corduroy. : )

Yea I'm tunning the Low E 6th string tighter up down to D if that makes sense. If I cant fix it myself, going to take it to sam ash sometime this week.
#11
Quote by zhunta
Yea I'm tunning the Low E 6th string tighter up down to D if that makes sense. If I cant fix it myself, going to take it to sam ash sometime this week.


You want to loosen the E string to get to D. That's why the tuning is called drop-D.
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#12
Quote by zhunta


Yea I'm tunning the Low E 6th string tighter up down to D if that makes sense. If I cant fix it myself, going to take it to sam ash sometime this week.


"tighter up down"? Are you messing with us?