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Thread: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

  1. #1
    Mandoline Morology
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    Question Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    Hey all, not sure if this would be better off in the repairs section or not, but that's not the point. I just reset the bridge on my cheapo Rogue RM-100A to fix the intonation issues, but in the process of tuning back up after getting the bridge sorted, one of my high E strings (The outer one specifically) snapped at the tuning peg.

    I was wondering how long I can/should stay tuned up and playing it without a string since the closest retailer for a replacement (Not to mention I'd need to buy a whole replacement pack, they don't sell singles) is about an hour away, and I'd rather not pay for shipping on Amazon.

    Will only having one E string cause damage to the instrument over time? Should I even be concerned since I should move on from the RM-100A anyway?

    It should be noted these are not the strings that came with it, I put this set on a few months back but have barely touched them (Literally tuned the entire instrument down and left in it's case for give or take 3 months) since I got a Bouzouki in the interim.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    I'm not a luthier, but can't imagine it would hurt anything...
    Chuck

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  4. #3
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    https://www.amazon.com/Martin-M400-M.../dp/B0002GZSWW

    Free shipping. Btw you'll probably be fine less one string gor a while.
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
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  6. #4
    Registered User Tim N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    Ah, you got a bouzouki! It's dangerous thing having multiple instruments - one always wins out. I also have both, and at present the mando is winning, although it's the bouzouki that I take to the Irish session. Are you worried about the imbalance in tension if one string is missing? My instinctive response would be the same as above, but I'll bow to authority...
    Regarding shipping costs for single strings with Amazon, don't forget the added benefit of a huge cardboard box and lots of packing!
    "What's that funny guitar thing..?"

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    No problem running less one E string.
    Robert Fear
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  9. #6
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    I saw a band tonight and the mandolin player had a problem with his E string unwinding at the loop. He didn't have any extra strings with him and didn't know what to do. I told him to remove the problem string and tune up. He did that and the band finished their 2nd set with no one the wiser. The puzzling thing is that he said this keeps happening to him. I'm not sure why that is but it sure would bug me.
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  10. #7
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    I bought several extra single e strings just to have around for when one breaks. One of our sponsors, Juststrings.com, will be happy to help you with single strings for many of the more common brands and guages.

    Funny thing is that after I bought about a half dozen, I pretty much stopped breaking them. Oh well, it's great to know they are there.
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    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    Experience, over several decades, has shown me that the unwound strings - assuming you don't break them - tend to last far longer than the wound ones, so, the next time you change a set when they're not totally shot, leave the old Es on and you'll have yourself a spare pair.

  12. #9
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    I don't mean to be insulting to the OP, but you do know that you could use an appropriate gauge guitar string on the mandolin,right?There's nothing special about mandolin strings except that you might have to remove the ball from a ball end string.
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  13. #10
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    A guitar string will work well without removing the ball end. The tailpiece cover still fits on as well. The Rogue RM 100A has a different bridge configuration but if you pull the string through the hole in the ball end you can loop it around the string post.
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  14. #11
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    The tailpiece for a Rogue 100A with ball end guitar string looped around the post.
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  16. #12

    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    Hi Guys, I have a question. My guitar has only five strings on it. I used the sixth string to replace my broken E mandolin string, is it alright to leave the guitar as is, and play it like that?

  17. #13
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    Quote Originally Posted by atsunrise View Post
    Hi Guys, I have a question. My guitar has only five strings on it. I used the sixth string to replace my broken E mandolin string, is it alright to leave the guitar as is, and play it like that?
    Well, you should take the D string off your banjo and use it to replace the guitar string. No one will care if it trashes the banjo, and it can't sound worse than it does already, can it?

    By the way, if you're taking a 6th (low E) string of a guitar, and using it to replace the E (1st) string on a mandolin, you've got problems ID-ing strings of similar diameters, IMHO.
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  19. #14

    Default Re: Should I stay tuned up with a missing string?

    Simply, reducing the string pressure on an instrument wont harm it, guitar, mando., short term, at least.

    Banjo, it will change all the other string's pitch, but nothing else.

    Follow hanks suggestion.
    Buy a few loop end singles, by the dozen. After they arrive, curl them and put them in a large freezer bag, with a silicapacket to keep them " fresh". Save your old string envelopes.

    I just ordered singles and a few sets this very day! Mando, guitar and banjo. Singles, and a few sets.

    I find its better to buy more, as shipping is the same regardless.

    Typically the thin strings,( e and a mando and guitar) and extra g strings for guitar , as i seem to kill them a bit faster than the rest of the set. Nice to have in your case too in a pinch, aside from a spare set. Its just convenient, and a lot less $.

    Do this and theyll arrive in about three days.


    Buy a couple of regular guitar and mando sets too. Youll save a lot.

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