Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 51

Thread: Terrified of changing strings

  1. #1

    Default Terrified of changing strings

    Does anyone else have this problem? I have popped two e strings within a month. The first one was old and popped at the top. The second one was brand new and it broke at the bottom right through the loop as I was tuning the darn thing. The brand of string was elixir medium gauge. Now I'm kind of new to string instruments and mandolins of course. So I wince whenever I get to D sharp. I'm terrified of it. The amount of money that's wasted is ridiculous. So in short, is anyone else afraid of changing strings? Did you overcome this fear? And if so how?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Wichita, Kansas
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellie View Post
    Does anyone else have this problem? I have popped two e strings within a month. The first one was old and popped at the top. The second one was brand new and it broke at the bottom right through the loop as I was tuning the darn thing. The brand of string was elixir medium gauge. Now I'm kind of new to string instruments and mandolins of course. So I wince whenever I get to D sharp. I'm terrified of it. The amount of money that's wasted is ridiculous. So in short, is anyone else afraid of changing strings? Did you overcome this fear? And if so how?
    It sounds as if this is a new mandolin since this is the first time you restrung it, if that's the case restring is just like playing, it gets better with practice, you might take it to the shop where you bought it and have them see if there are any sharp point thay may be contributing. One thing with tuning is that you should go slowly when bring it up to pitch, always the strings will "stretch" a bit so they will go flat a few times. Now of a admission, I not "terrified of changing stings, I I just despise it, I'd rather spend the time playing. So when I was playing mandolin a lot I would drop it off at with the luthier at the shop I work with had so 10 bucks and the cost of strings he would change my strings and "check the mandolin over" , that was my excuse, to have it checked over, the older I get the more my favorite thing is easy...

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dave Simmons For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,187

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Changing strings on a mandolin is possibly my least favourite thing to do - but i sure as heck like the end result !. I just take it one step at a time,& do things slowly - it's not a race !. If a string breaks close to ,or 'at' the loop end,i'd think that there was maybe a sharp edge somewhere, or that the loop was deffective. In over 50 years of playing banjo,guitar & now mandolin,that's never happened to me.

    I think that most folk on here remove & replace one pair of strings at a time - i usually remove the A & E strings,& replace them from the centre outwards ie. A strings first,then the E strings. I then remove the G & D strings & do the same thing - D strings first ,then the G strings. If you use a string winder,take it slowly, & make sure that the strings wind on in a straight line = no kinks.

    As i said,it's not my favourite thing to do,but i like the end result,& i've got 3 of the beasts !!,

    After replacing all the strings,don't forget to check the bridge position,in case it's moved slightly, & make sure that it's perfectly vertical as well,so that the string pressure is acting straight down,through the bridge,
    IvanClick image for larger version. 

Name:	Trio 2.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	154.8 KB 
ID:	170513
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    Changing strings on a mandolin is possibly my least favourite thing to do - but i sure as heck like the end result !. I just take it one step at a time,& do things slowly - it's not a race !. If a string breaks close to ,or 'at' the loop end,i'd think that there was maybe a sharp edge somewhere, or that the loop was deffective. In over 50 years of playing banjo,guitar & now mandolin,that's never happened to me.

    I think that most folk on here remove & replace one pair of strings at a time - i usually remove the A & E strings,& replace them from the centre outwards ie. A strings first,then the E strings. I then remove the G & D strings & do the same thing - D strings first ,then the G strings. If you use a string winder,take it slowly, & make sure that the strings wind on in a straight line = no kinks.

    As i said,it's not my favourite thing to do,but i like the end result,& i've got 3 of the beasts !!,
    IvanClick image for larger version. 

Name:	Trio 2.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	154.8 KB 
ID:	170513
    yeah it split right through the loop. It's really weird. I think I just have defective strings. I bought some d'addario's maybe they will do better.

  6. The following members say thank you to Kellie for this post:


  7. #5

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Update these are just bad strings. Expected more from elixirs. The other e-string in the pair snapped the same way

  8. The following members say thank you to Kellie for this post:


  9. #6
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    San Francisco, CA now, Co. Mayo later....
    Posts
    2,922

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Just a thought - there were counterfeit Elixir strings being sold recently, I know there were folks who'd gotten some having purchased them on Amazon, and read about someone else who'd ended up with fakes that they'd gotten at their local guitar shop. Apparently the packaging is slightly different, but it's quite subtle so you'd have to look real close to tell. Folks with the fakes had commented on breakages and also the strings sounding nothing like Elixirs.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 Ome Juniper 19 fret open back tenor banjo
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel
    Blog: rural.trad.punk

  10. The following members say thank you to Jill McAuley for this post:


  11. #7
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Charlottesville Va
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    A defective string would generally unwind the loop. It sounds like the hook might have a sharp spot that is cutting through the loop. This is especially a possibility if it is a new instrument. Actual defective strings occur but are not usually common unless you are using a cheap no - name brand. A competent luthier with a small file can round it off. The same problem could be occurring at the tuner post. It might not hurt to have that looked at.
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
    Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk.

  12. #8

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Moss View Post
    A defective string would generally unwind the loop. It sounds like the hook might have a sharp spot that is cutting through the loop. This is especially a possibility if it is a new instrument. Actual defective strings occur but are not usually common unless you are using a cheap no - name brand. A competent luthier with a small file can round it off. The same problem could be occurring at the tuner post. It might not hurt to have that looked at.
    The thing is it held strings before. They worked perfectly. Only now with these strings has it become a problem.

  13. #9
    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Chesterfield, VA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    time to have someone experienced look at it perhaps...
    "All of us contain Music & Truth, but most of us can't get it out." - Mark Twain

    Eastman MD615SB
    Martin D35
    Gibson SG

  14. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    Posts
    3,212

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Remember the first time you attempted to ride a bike without training wheels ? Practice, practice, practice ! You will get on to it ! Perhaps you do have defective strings so have someone more experienced restring it and see hoe it goes.
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

  15. #11
    Registered User geoffa's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    It does get better. I wince tuning up those E strings a tad less each time. Maybe it’s overkill, but I change mine a string at a time when changing out a set of strings. Haven’t broken one in a while.

  16. #12

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Try getting a pedal steel G# up to pitch. Terrifying. And when it pops it aims right for you.

  17. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mmuller For This Useful Post:


  18. #13
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    2,863

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Get online and look at resources. The method show here http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musi...dostring1.html is excellent. One thing people seem unsure of is how how to wind onto the pegged, you don't do much. The previous will show great method.
    Jammin' south of the river
    '20 Gibson A-2
    Stromberg-Voisinet Tenor Guitar
    Penny Whistle
    My albums: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/album.php?u=7616

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Capt. E For This Useful Post:


  20. #14
    Mediocre but OK with that Paul Busman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Frederick,MD
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Buy some extra E strings, different brands. I'd think most plain steel strings were pretty much the same,but maybe not.

    Check every place where the string touches metal, on the bridge and tailpiece, for sharp spots. Those are easily fixed.

    Bring them up to pitch slowly.

    I've RARELY had any string break while restringing on many different mandos and other instruments. This suggests that it may be a problem with your instrument.
    For wooden musical fun that doesn't involve strumming, check out:
    www.busmanwhistles.com
    Handcrafted pennywhistles in exotic hardwoods.

  21. #15
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Statesville, NC
    Posts
    3,215

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    First put on a new set of different Brand strings. If you get breakage again, get a tech to look at the mando. (drop mic)
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  22. #16
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    San Francisco, CA now, Co. Mayo later....
    Posts
    2,922

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Kellie, are these two E strings the first time you've changed strings before? If so then the problem might be that you aren't allowing enough "slack" in the string when slotting/winding it around the tuner post - this would result in the E strings being too taut even before you start tuning up to pitch, just a thought that occurred to me.
    2018 Girouard Concert oval A
    2015 Ome Juniper 19 fret open back tenor banjo
    2015 JP "Whitechapel" tenor banjo
    1969 Martin 00-18




    my Youtube channel
    Blog: rural.trad.punk

  23. #17

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    I had a new import that had a burr on one of the tuner holes. A small round needle file did the trick.

    When I know I'm going to do setup work, I buy half a dz. e strings.mi always have at least two extras around. Once I get up to D, I increase tension very gradually. If there is no physical problem like roughness of bridge or tuner parts, you shouldn't have much of a problem. But I find I'm lucky to get four tries when I'm detuning to cut nut slots. I just prepare with extra strings.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  24. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,452

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    I had a new import that had a burr on one of the tuner holes. A small round needle file did the trick.

    When I know I'm going to do setup work, I buy half a dz. e strings.mi always have at least two extras around. Once I get up to D, I increase tension very gradually. If there is no physical problem like roughness of bridge or tuner parts, you shouldn't have much of a problem. But I find I'm lucky to get four tries when I'm detuning to cut nut slots. I just prepare with extra strings.
    If I detune for any reason I rarely get both E's up to pitch. Trying to restrech almost always breaks at least one sometimes both. It doesn't make sense to me that bringing to pitch too fast will cause a string to break, but I have found that to be true even with new strings. Go Figure

  25. #19

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Yep, they pop for me too, bringing the E's up very slowly helps, but I like to have two sets of strings handy when changing strings.

    I found a trick when moving bridges for intonation (lost several E's the first time I tried it), I found with just one G and E string tensioned, I could move the bridge without too much force without detuning the strings. Using very small movements of course.
    Trinity College TM325 Octave Mandolin (converted to 4-string tenor guitar).
    Eastman MD-605SB, MD-604SB, MD-305, all with Grover 309 tuners.
    Eastwood 4 string electric mandostang, 2x Airline e-mandola (4-string) one strung as an e-OM.
    DSP's: Helix HX Stomp, various Zooms.
    Amps: QSC-K10, DBR-10, THR-10, Sony XB-20.

  26. The following members say thank you to kurth83 for this post:


  27. #20

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Besides the expense of breaking strings, there is also the danger of string popping back at your face. There is an infamous story from 30 years ago at Gruhn's -- a string broke while tuning or detuning a mandolin and it hooked into someone's EYE!!! So, just when you thought it was safe..........maybe wear safety glasses or at least look away when bringing fully up to pitch....

  28. #21
    Registered User Cindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Hyde Park, Ma
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    I was one of those people who did not understand why anyone had a problem with changing strings. Find something on TV that was interesting but you didn't have to look at, like old episodes of Austin City Limits, and go to town. Just don't take all the strings off at once (oops. Where did the bridge go?)
    Then, a year ago, I changed my strings. Did not mess with the bridge. But when I was done I could not play beyond the tenth fret without horrible noise. Someone said raise the bridge. I got up the nerve and managed to give that little wheel a few turns. It worked! I could play! I should probably change the strings again, but I have a big gig coming up. I'm afraid.

  29. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    2,872

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    I myself enjoy changing strings. The only thing that irks me is waiting for them to settle in, Other than that and occasional poke in the finger, it is not that much of a chore. Please don't send your mandolins to me for string changing, do it yourself.

  30. The following members say thank you to George R. Lane for this post:


  31. #23
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Crockett, TX
    Posts
    844

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    Darn. I guess I misread the title.

    Here I thought this thread was about torrified strings..
    Chris Cravens

    Girouard A5 Mandolin
    Montana Flatiron A-Jr.
    Girouard A Mandola
    Leo Posch D-18

  32. The following members say thank you to ccravens for this post:


  33. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    the elixirs are coated. They’re grabbing because the surface is softer.

  34. #25
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England
    Posts
    14,187

    Default Re: Terrified of changing strings

    George - My Weber with it's Weber tailpiece is the fiddliest tailpiece on ANY instrument i've ever owned !. There's just about 3/16" at the string hook end,for the string loop to be bent sharply to get it onto the tiny string 'hook'. To call them 'hooks' needs a bit of a stretch of the imagination as well. Without some Bluetak to keep the loops on the 'hooks',i'd be seriously sunk !,
    Ivan
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Weber Tailpiece.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	124.9 KB 
ID:	170537
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •