Acoustic guitar - my B string keeps breaking.
March 29, 2004 6:00 PM   Subscribe

Acoustic guitar question: I wonder if anyone is familiar with this problem. I have an old steel-string guitar, where the B-string breaks every time I tune it to the right pitch. Every other string is fine. Has anyone ever encountered this problem? Is it fixable?
posted by inksyndicate to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
Husband says:

If it's breaking near the bridge you may have a bridge out of alignment or a sharp edge on it (or where the string attaches to the bridge). Near the neck, the neck bridge may have a sharp edge. At the tuning post, something snagging on the post itself.

You don't say if it breaks immediately, or as you are playing. If it's as you are playing, a sharp edge on a fret could do it as well.

Or you are using either really cheap strings or the wrong strings for the guitar (some guitars seem to work better with nylon strings and steel strings will break more often on them).

And are you certain your tuner is tuned right. Once had a friend who had this problem with his violin, and when we compared our tuners, we discovered that his was much, much higher than it should have been.
posted by Orb at 6:35 PM on March 29, 2004

You could try using a thinner gauge string, which doesn't need to be strung as tightly to obtain the same pitch.
posted by cbrody at 6:49 PM on March 29, 2004

Or a thicker string, which should be stronger… As Orb said, check for sharp edges and if the string keeps breaking in the same place. It should be pretty clear if you're tuning much too high by the feel when you're playing.
posted by fvw at 7:20 PM on March 29, 2004

Response by poster: Oh, I meant it breaks as I'm tuning it to the right note. Tuning...tuning...SNAP. Then I have to buy new strings, and then it happens again.

I know I'm tuning it to the right keeps happening repeatedly, even if I tune down a half step.
posted by inksyndicate at 8:52 PM on March 29, 2004

Where does it snap? Orb sounds right on the money to me.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:05 PM on March 29, 2004

My B string is the most consistently out-of-tune string also, but it doesn't break. I credit my switch to heavy strings.
posted by interrobang at 12:54 AM on March 30, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for your help!
posted by inksyndicate at 6:30 AM on March 30, 2004

Your B-string's tuning machine or your neck may need adjustment. Please note: if you aren't familiar with either of these terms, I recommend having an expert do the work for you.
posted by Lynsey at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2004

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