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#1
I should probably calm down before writing this, but:
My wonderful girlfriend just bought me new steel strings for my old guitar. Like a fool I try to string them myself. I watch a video, get the gist and get cracking early sunday morning. I manage to string them, but I also manage to snap not one, but three strings. Now I need to buy new strings because I'm an idiot.
I dont understand what I'm doing wrong. Clearly I wound them too tight... But I used my tuner and since the tuner wouldnt registrer the note I kept tightening until it would registrer as either too high or too low... I started loose, careful tightening, tightening more, and more... Why didnt it give a reading when it was loose? I did it slowly...
I made sure the strings were fastened to the nut at the top and let it wrap around, not overlapping, downwards...
Please help me out here. I guess I can bite the dust and hand it in for restringing, but I wanna manage to do it myself. But I'm on a limited budget and cant afford to snap several packs of strings...
#3
What kind of bridge does the guitar have?
Dunlop CBM95 Mini Crybaby -> (EHX Silencer) -> Ibanez TS9DX -> Seymour Duncan Palladium -> (EHX Silencer) -> Caline 10 Band EQ -> MXR Phase 90 -> Boss TR-2 Tremolo -> Visual Sound H2O
#4
What kind of tuner is it? And is there a chance the tuner is faulty?
As silly as it sounds make sure you're tuning to the correct octave and not an octave too high.
Are all the strings breaking at the same place? I.e. near the nut or near the bridge? If they are there might be a reason for that, there could be something wrong with either your nut or bridge that is damaging the strings.
Are you able to provide a picture of the tuning heads of the strings you did manage to get on? Just so we can check you're doing it right.
#5
Quote by derek8520
What kind of tuner is it? And is there a chance the tuner is faulty?
As silly as it sounds make sure you're tuning to the correct octave and not an octave too high.
Are all the strings breaking at the same place? I.e. near the nut or near the bridge? If they are there might be a reason for that, there could be something wrong with either your nut or bridge that is damaging the strings.
Are you able to provide a picture of the tuning heads of the strings you did manage to get on? Just so we can check you're doing it right.


How do I know the tuner is faulty? I mean, it did "work" with the D string. I should prefice that this is a dinky tuner, i.e. not one that tells you what the note is, but one that you set to a certain note/string and then it tell you if you too low or too high... They are breaking near the nut.

Here's a pic of the working d string. Ignore the rest, they broke and I havent removed the part still attached to the nut.

https://flic.kr/p/HnA74z
#6
Ok. I managed to do the B string right BUT I snapped the top E string... This time it didnt snap, but sort of frayed near the nut. I.e. it sort of uncoiled and became a wiry curly thing string. Man, my nerves cant take this. I'm sitting there, tightening, tightening, getting closer, then SNAP! And my heart beats a mile a minute. BAM! And I almost throw the guitar into the wall.
#7
Sounds like you are tuning it too high, check this for reference:

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jthm_guitarist
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#8
Quote by jthm_guitarist
Sounds like you are tuning it too high, check this for reference:


Could you dumb it down a little? By too high, do you mean too "tight"? Because with the E string I started out with it loose, like wobbly loose, then tightened. I kept the tuner on, and slowly waited for it to registrer. But it didnt. It only registrered on the "loose end". So I kept tightening. Slowly. Then it snapped. The end.
I dont get it.
#9
Are you using the tuner correctly?

Is this an electric guitar with the tuner plugged in the jack - if so check the guitar volume is set to max

Is this an electro-accoustic with the tuner plugged in - if so check the guitar battery is good (also applies to electrics with active pickups)

Is this a tuner that works on vibration? It needs to be the attached / clipped to the tuner head.

Is this a tuner that works with a mic input? check that you are doing this in a quiet room.

It is quite easy to miss the right octave with the thickest string (bottom E). If it is too floppy and rattles then it is too low. As soon as it stops rattling is when it is close to the E it should be tuned to. The rest of the strings should be compared to this for floppiness - too tight = too high = fail
#10
Do you have any friends that play the guitar (or bass or any stringed instrument)? Maybe ask them to help you with changing the strings.

Also, if you get one string in tune, you can use that as a reference pitch for the other strings. This way you don't need to just rely on your tuner. Or use that Youtube video as a reference.

Also, are you sure you are using the correct string gauges? Are you sure you didn't accidentally try to tune your B string to E or something like that?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
Quote by PSimonR
Are you using the tuner correctly?

Is this an electric guitar with the tuner plugged in the jack - if so check the guitar volume is set to max

Is this an electro-accoustic with the tuner plugged in - if so check the guitar battery is good (also applies to electrics with active pickups)

Is this a tuner that works on vibration? It needs to be the attached / clipped to the tuner head.

Is this a tuner that works with a mic input? check that you are doing this in a quiet room.

It is quite easy to miss the right octave with the thickest string (bottom E). If it is too floppy and rattles then it is too low. As soon as it stops rattling is when it is close to the E it should be tuned to. The rest of the strings should be compared to this for floppiness - too tight = too high = fail




It's with a mic. But believe me, it works. I tried tuning the old strings the day before. And I know the tuner in and out, I know which note it set to. It starts with the top E and goes down to the low E.
#12
Most (all?) tuners only tell you the note, not which octave you are in, so I'm guessing you were aiming an octave too high. That is where a reference pitch is useful. One way to do it is just to change one string at a time, using the other strings as the reference pitch - which is what I do. Another way if you have all the strings off is to put the new one on fairly slack, then find which fret is the same as the reference pitch - I use an old-fashioned pitch pipe for that. Then I wind the string up until the reference pitch matches the open string. I then fine tune the whole thing with an electronic tuner.
#13
Quote by Tony Done
Most (all?) tuners only tell you the note, not which octave you are in, so I'm guessing you were aiming an octave too high. That is where a reference pitch is useful. One way to do it is just to change one string at a time, using the other strings as the reference pitch - which is what I do. Another way if you have all the strings off is to put the new one on fairly slack, then find which fret is the same as the reference pitch - I use an old-fashioned pitch pipe for that. Then I wind the string up until the reference pitch matches the open string. I then fine tune the whole thing with an electronic tuner.


So the consensus is I just tuned them too high. That sounds right - I just dont get why it went from slack to snapping. But I'll be gentle this time. Bought new strings.
I heard you shouldnt remove all the strings as it might bend (?) the fret board? But if you say it's cool, it's cool. Boy, I'm nervous... I have a serious issue with noises like strings snapping. I mean serious. Like people who are genuinly afraid of balloons popping.
#14
Quote by AnrBjotk
So the consensus is I just tuned them too high. That sounds right - I just dont get why it went from slack to snapping. But I'll be gentle this time. Bought new strings.
I heard you shouldnt remove all the strings as it might bend (?) the fret board? But if you say it's cool, it's cool. Boy, I'm nervous... I have a serious issue with noises like strings snapping. I mean serious. Like people who are genuinly afraid of balloons popping.


It's not recommended to remove all the strings and leave the guitar like that for long periods of time. If the strings will be off only for a little while like when changing them, i'll be alright. And about being afraid of strings snapping, I think this is a common issue among guitar players. I'm also very, very nervous every time I'm changing strings to my classical even though I've never even managed to snap one. Then again, I've never been stung by a wasp either, and I'm still deathly afraid of them, so go figure. The point is, you're not alone in this.
#15
Quote by AnrBjotk
So the consensus is I just tuned them too high. That sounds right - I just dont get why it went from slack to snapping. But I'll be gentle this time. Bought new strings.

As I said earlier, are you sure that you were using the correct string gauges and weren't accidentally using a B string instead of an E string or something like that? And instead of using a tuner, use something as a reference pitch. Only use tuner to fine tune the guitar.

I heard you shouldnt remove all the strings as it might bend (?) the fret board? But if you say it's cool, it's cool. Boy, I'm nervous... I have a serious issue with noises like strings snapping. I mean serious. Like people who are genuinly afraid of balloons popping.

You can remove all strings at once. Nothing will happen. But changing them one at the time is easier because that way you can use the other strings as a reference (and that way you can make sure that you don't tune the strings too high). Remove all strings if you want to clean your fretboard, but otherwise I would suggest changing them one at the time.

Also, if you know how to do it, you don't need to be afraid of snapping strings while changing them. The strings will only snap if you are doing something wrong. It has happened to me only once and that was the first time I changed my strings.


And I'll ask this again - do you have any friends that play the guitar or other stringed instruments? I would suggest changing the strings with the help of your friend.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#16
Quote by MaggaraMarine
As I said earlier, are you sure that you were using the correct string gauges and weren't accidentally using a B string instead of an E string or something like that? And instead of using a tuner, use something as a reference pitch. Only use tuner to fine tune the guitar.


You can remove all strings at once. Nothing will happen. But changing them one at the time is easier because that way you can use the other strings as a reference (and that way you can make sure that you don't tune the strings too high). Remove all strings if you want to clean your fretboard, but otherwise I would suggest changing them one at the time.

Also, if you know how to do it, you don't need to be afraid of snapping strings while changing them. The strings will only snap if you are doing something wrong. It has happened to me only once and that was the first time I changed my strings.


And I'll ask this again - do you have any friends that play the guitar or other stringed instruments? I would suggest changing the strings with the help of your friend.


Yes I'm sure I used right gauges. I'm pretty OCD so each packet was labeled with the right name (and I tripple checked with the chart that came with the packet and labeled them with both name AND number - I always start with the top as 6 and work down).
Sadly no one I know plays guitar, so no.
#17
Quote by AnrBjotk
They are breaking near the nut.


Near or right at the nut? If it's not something you're doing wrong, it could be the nut is worn and has sharp edges.
#18
I've put all the right strings on - just havent worked up the nerve to tighten any of them yet. GOD, I MISS playing...
#19
In case you haven't seen Dave Doll's superb tutorial (from Martin):

“High fly ball into right field. She is… gone!" - Vin Scully
#20
Maybe it's just me but I always start with my ears. My tuners generally will play the notes so you can just use your ears to make sure you are in the correct octave and near the correct note before you start tweaking with the tuners meter. This serves several purposes but one thing is that it helps you develop your sense of pitch. Also many tuners these days have different scales for ukulele, banjo, mandolin or other stringed instruments. Make sure your tuner is set for guitar.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#21
Quote by Standard_A440
In case you haven't seen Dave Doll's superb tutorial (from Martin):



I used this video, but it seems it's the same gist.



Quote by Rickholly74
Maybe it's just me but I always start with my ears. My tuners generally will play the notes so you can just use your ears to make sure you are in the correct octave and near the correct note before you start tweaking with the tuners meter. This serves several purposes but one thing is that it helps you develop your sense of pitch. Also many tuners these days have different scales for ukulele, banjo, mandolin or other stringed instruments. Make sure your tuner is set for guitar.


Everyone here assuming I'm using the tuner wrong makes me concerned that snapping strings is not a common thing to happen... Believe me it works. It worked for the three strings that I did right. It only has one setting. You starrt with top E, it tells you lower or higher, the you press the button for A, etc.
It's this one:


Today I hope to work up my courage to tighten the strings a little more. They are still wobbly, i.e. clearly too loose.
This might be a silly question, but does anyone know how much pressure it takes for the strings to snap? I mean, they are always tight anyway... So, if we start off with a correctly tuned string, how much more can it tighten before it snaps? Is it a, say, a few turns of the screw? Or a many?
Last edited by AnrBjotk at Jun 21, 2016,
#22
Today I hope to work up my courage to tighten the strings a little more. They are still wobbly, i.e. clearly too loose.
This might be a silly question, but does anyone know how much pressure it takes for the strings to snap? I mean, they are always tight anyway... So, if we start off with a correctly tuned string, how much more can it tighten before it snaps? Is it a, say, a few turns of the screw? Or a many?

That depends on the string gauge. On electric guitar the B string of a 9 set is the same gauge as the high E string of an 11 set. And you can tune both to standard tuning. I would guess you could tune some strings even a fifth higher before you are in danger of breaking them. But it depends on the string gauge.

What I would suggest is using your ears to tune the strings. Only use the tuner for fine tuning.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#24
So I managed to ""do it". I.e every string is tuned correctly according to the tuner. BUT, something is off... Some strings sound good, but with certain chords something sounds bad (others sound really good). And it has this metally hollow sound. No idea what I did this time. Guess I just gotta hand it in to a guitar shop and ask them to redo it. Dammit... So close.
#25
Even got the Guitar Tuna app (should have had that to start with, it tells exacly how low or high you are by decimal points) and it pops up as perfectly tuned individually...
#26
Now try tuning the strings relative to other notes, i.e. make sure the d string and the d note on the 3rd fret of the b string are in tune. I have to do this on my acoustic or open position chords will sound a little off.
#27
It seems it's the top strings that are troubled (EAD) because I play a riff from Dylan's "You belong to me" and it sounds off. Like hollow metally off...
#28
Use your ears to tune your guitar. Every guitarist should be able to do this. If you can't do it, learn to do it.

And also what kabadi.man said.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#29
Quote by kabadi.man
put something on youtube so we can hear it


Here (and again, both tuners claim all strings are in key)


#30
AnrBjotk
I know it's the top strings that are creating the problem. They also seem to get out of tune very quickly...
#31
Quote by AnrBjotk
AnrBjotk
I know it's the top strings that are creating the problem. They also seem to get out of tune very quickly...


New strings have to stretch before they'll stay in tune. I tune them slightly sharp and then bend them in various places on the fretboard.
#32
Quote by cujohnston
New strings have to stretch before they'll stay in tune. I tune them slightly sharp and then bend them in various places on the fretboard.


Fair enough. But it doesn't explain that weird sound the strings are making in the video? Does it?
#33
I don't hear any weird sound in that video. Your guitar is just a bit out of tune, that's all I'm hearing. The clip is also pretty short...
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#34
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I don't hear any weird sound in that video. Your guitar is just a bit out of tune, that's all I'm hearing. The clip is also pretty short...


Really? Maybe I'm just used to playing with 10 year old strings? But I'll record more in the weekend and upload. When I play the riff from the opening of "You Belong to Me" it sounds way off at least. So it's something with the top strings.

Quote by MaggaraMarine
IYour guitar is just a bit out of tune, that's all I'm hearing. .


And it doesnt make sense that it's out of tune since it was just tuned two seconds before.
Last edited by AnrBjotk at Jun 24, 2016,
#35
I'm kinda new and just wondering if its possible that your guitar is in perfect tune, but your not exactly matching the 'tone" of whatever it is your trying to play. Maybe thinking its something to do with your strings or something, don't know...just sayin'.
Flying in a blue dream
#36
Quote by SanDune65
I'm kinda new and just wondering if its possible that your guitar is in perfect tune, but your not exactly matching the 'tone" of whatever it is your trying to play. Maybe thinking its something to do with your strings or something, don't know...just sayin'.


I'm playing what I've always played. I just doesnt make sense. It is normal for strings to get to out of tune so quickly with new strings? Or does anyone have any theory what it might be? Like I said, I'll record more on sunday.
#37
I think the recording you provided is pretty clear, what I would do is post pics for the experts to take a good look at what your doing, and what your working with. Frustrating to be so close to playing, but locked out because of something that could be a simple fix.
Flying in a blue dream
#38
Quote by AnrBjotk
Really? Maybe I'm just used to playing with 10 year old strings? But I'll record more in the weekend and upload. When I play the riff from the opening of "You Belong to Me" it sounds way off at least. So it's something with the top strings.


And it doesnt make sense that it's out of tune since it was just tuned two seconds before.

Sometimes you need to tune the guitar a couple of times (because when you change the tuning of a string, it causes the neck to bend slightly and that affects the tuning of all of the other strings. Also, your string may get stuck in the nut. And when you have fresh strings, it takes some time for them to stretch. This is why people usually tell you to stretch the strings after you have changed them and they won't go out of tune so easily) and also check the tuning by ear. But it definitely sounded like it was a bit out of tune. Again, use your ears.

I would suggest always tuning by ear, unless you are gigging. Use tuner to make sure you are tuning to the correct pitch, so first tune one string with the tuner. When one of your strings is in tune, use that as a reference and tune all the other strings by ear. As I said, all guitarists should be able to tune by ear. So learn to do that.


And again, I don't hear anything strange with the sound. It obviously sounds bright, but that's how new strings sound like. And if your old strings were dead, it does sound pretty different. The only thing that sounds off is the tuning.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jun 25, 2016,
#39
I actually think I'm just being self-depracating. Maybe they are OK. The certainly sound great with a capo. Maybe I just forgot that those old songs always sounded a bit off anyway. And again, I've been playing on 10 year old strings that were so worn down I could see the difference in thickness of the strings.
I'll wait and hope they stretch or whatever and stay more in tune.

Thank you all so much for all your help. Can't believe I got those suckers on eventually. I did it!
#40
Quote by AnrBjotk
How do I know the tuner is faulty? I mean, it did "work" with the D string. I should prefice that this is a dinky tuner, i.e. not one that tells you OKwhat the note is, but one that you set to a certain note/string and then it tell you if you too low or too high... They are breaking near the nut. ...[ ]....
OK, an electronic tuner will tell you that "X" note is a "D". IT WON''T TELL YOU WHICH D. Considering there are 8 D's on a piano keyboard, I can almost hear strings breaking from here.

It's this simple, if your guitar was reasonably "in tune" before, and wasn't breaking strings, pretty much the only thing you can be doing wrong is tuning to the wrong octave. One octave high, is enough to kill all 6 strings.

EDIT: My bad, I think there are 8 C's on

FWIW, this is a fairly common newbie mistake. Every once in a great while, I'll miss the 1st octave up on the G-3 octave string on a 12 string. It takes very few turns of the key to reach the 2nd octave up, and then...............BOING, POP, SNAP. (Not necessarily in that order).

So, instead of any on board tuner, I suggest finding a guitar tuning app for your phone, or an online tuning app for your computer, and tune IN UNISON to that.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 27, 2016,
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