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D String Dilemma

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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4,848
I break D strings- across brands, across bridge types 9/10 times when I break a string it’s a D. It’s not a string I bend much. I use 10-46 so they are .024 and pure nickel. They break at the bridge.
This includes a vintage tele style bridge. It’s not like they break the day I string them but I would guess after 10 hoursof playing or so. I can feel them start to have a little extra vibration and a few songs later they go. I am good about wiping them down after I play with a cotton cloth but the break point is a fairly clean area.
Thoughts?
 

Any Name You Wish

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Apr 15, 2021
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461
Assuming you are playing rock mostly, you could try to lighten up on your pick attack. Turn up the amp/guitar volume and go a little easier on the strings when playing both lead and rhythm. Let the pick hang out from your thumb and index a little more, and/or perhaps go to a lighter gage pick.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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OK- more info. Yes playing rock. .88mm (green Tortex pick). Playing thru a 1960 Brown Fender amp that between 2.5 to 2.75 on the volume goes from nice to holy shit. I might have to try mitigating the volume with a drive pedal a bit. There's just nothing "in the middle".
 

Any Name You Wish

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Apr 15, 2021
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I use yellow tortex on electric to get a lighter pick attack, green on acoustic because I need to get that volume on that guitar. Tube amps like yours (and mine) do indeed get very loud very fast, so the volume knob on the guitar comes to the rescue. Players that started on acoustic and played one for many years often have more trouble adjusting to the lighter touch that an electric guitar requires. You can hear it on recordings from the 50's when guitar players were transitioning to electric (and actually being heard for a change). Some players also rotate their hand inward at the wrist more so the pick is not at a 90 degree angle with your thumb, which results in a lighter touch.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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Exactly the same spot.
I was wondering if I should be doing more to the string during restringing than I do- I will slightly pinch the string and run it from the ball to the loose end. Sometimes they spin a little. I am in the electrical wire business and they call this "neutralizing"- removing back twist.
Maybe I should just leave them alone?
 

bursty

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Dec 25, 2012
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505
so, what is the location of breakage? Nut, bridge saddle, other, etc.?
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
Messages
434
Always at the bridge.
it might be a burr on the saddle causing the string to break.

Check the saddle with a magnifying lens and use some nut sauce after filing it.

Hope this helps.
 

ourmaninthenorth

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Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
7,103
Exactly the same spot.
I was wondering if I should be doing more to the string during restringing than I do- I will slightly pinch the string and run it from the ball to the loose end. Sometimes they spin a little. I am in the electrical wire business and they call this "neutralizing"- removing back twist.
Maybe I should just leave them alone?
If this is happening regardless of guitar and bridge type, I'd try straight out of the packet stringing, get them stretched and up to pitch, and then clip the excess only when the string has stabilised after stretching.

So maybe do less in string prep?

Seems spooky that it's only the D that's breaking.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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4,848
Happening on 2 different LP’s and a tele with a vintage bridge.
OMITN- I will try that although what I do is minimal.
 

mdubya

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Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
1,010
Deburr the d string saddle.

FWIW - I wear D strings (through the windings) at 3 x the rate of big E strings and 2 x the rate of A strings.

I buy 3 x D strings and 2 x A strings and replace each as I can feel wear on the windings where they engage the fret.

I use D'Addario Pure Nickels and buy sets and individual strings from juststrings.com

If there is a sale, I will order 10 sets at a time from musiciansfriend.com

JMHO.
 

charliechitlins

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Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
975
D strings take a beating, for whatever reason.
My general way to see if I need fresh strings is to run a finger under the D string and check the depth of the wear above the frets.
It's always much more prevalent on the D than on the A or E.
Even if it's not a coincidence, it would pay to polish your D saddles.
If I feel a burr, I start with 400 paper. If I don't, I go to 600, 1000, 1500, 2000.
Just did this for a regular client and haven't heard from him, so I assume it's all good.
I used to hit them with a buffing wheel, but that not only might be overkill, but it's fiddly and risks zipping a saddle off into space.
 

Ashevenny

New member
Joined
Jan 24, 2024
Messages
1
I understand your frustration with breaking D strings frequently. It's a common issue, and it can be quite annoying. It's interesting how it happens consistently across brands and bridge types.
It's like trying to predict when to flip a coin! One thing you might want to consider is the tension on your D string. Since you're using a .024 gauge, it might be more susceptible to breaking under higher tension. You could try a slightly thicker gauge D string, maybe .026 or .028, to see if that makes a difference.
Additionally, have you examined your saddle and nut for any sharp edges or burrs that might be causing excessive wear on the D string? Sometimes, even a small imperfection in these parts can lead to premature string breakage.
 
Last edited:

Crisco

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Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
7
Deburring is a good idea. If it is a tune-o-matic bridge, try top-wrapping the D string, if you're not already doing this. Last resort, graphtech saddles.
 
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