My StudyBass

Breaking Bass Strings

Broken Bass Strings Make for a Broke Bassist

Breaking a bass string every so often can be normal – especially if you play aggressively, do a lot of slapping or use light gauge strings.

If you break your bass strings regularly, you need to figure out what is weakening the string and causing it to break.

Common Causes for Breaking Bass Strings

  • Did you put them on properly? Make sure you aren’t bending the string anywhere along its length when you install them. Read how to change your bass strings.
  • If the same string is breaking near the bridge, there may be a sharp spur on the saddle. After playing for a while the spur will cut into the string and it’ll snap. Get a file and file off the spur, or take it to an experienced guitar repair person.
  • If your string breaks over the frets somewhere, look for a fret that might be cutting into the string. This is pretty unusual. If you do find a bad fret or it breaks over the frets often, take it to a repair shop and have them fix it. Fret work can be tricky.
  • You might be using the wrong gauge string. If you’re tuning to a non-standard tuning, make sure you get appropriate gauge strings to hold the tuning.
  • You may be playing too hard on them and just wearing them out. This is often from having too weak an amplifier and compensating by digging in. This is bad for your amp, your strings and especially your hands! Get a more powerful amp and let the amp do the work. Your fingers are not amplifiers!