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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through October 05, 2010 » Breaking strings - More problematic for Short scale, or Long Scale basses? « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: toma_hawk01

Post Number: 157
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 9:04 am:   Edit Post

What size basses has the greatest propensity to maintain strings integrity the longest?

Please share your thoughts...

Peace and Love,


(Message edited by toma_hawk01 on August 16, 2010)
Senior Member
Username: bassman10096

Post Number: 1250
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 9:44 am:   Edit Post

Good question. I've played both a lot and never noticed a difference. I'll be interested to hear from others. Bill
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2084
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 10:17 am:   Edit Post

I've only broken strings on my short scale as far as I can remember. Probably more to do with my playing technique than anything else. I do play it a lot harder than my other basses.

Advanced Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 318
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 1:54 pm:   Edit Post

Been playing bass for 18 years, never once broke a string. But I never had a short scale bass for any significant length of time, as far as that goes.
Senior Member
Username: hb3

Post Number: 512
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 4:10 pm:   Edit Post

I don't think I've ever broken a string on my short scale.
Senior Member
Username: mario_farufyno

Post Number: 475
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 4:32 pm:   Edit Post

Don't use short scales, but never broke one single string in 20 years...
Advanced Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 248
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 4:37 pm:   Edit Post

I play 34" scale instruments.
I have used various types of string but predominantly Dean Markley Blue Steel.
I have never broken a string in 37 years of playing.
Once they start to sound dull I replace them.

Senior Member
Username: hb3

Post Number: 513
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 7:13 pm:   Edit Post

I've broken lots of strings, both at gigs and rehearsals. Not so much practicing, but I'm sure it's happened. But the short scale...never.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1465
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010 - 9:45 pm:   Edit Post

When I broke strings in the old days, I was framming the hell out of them with a heavy pick and playing entirely too hard . . . . when I grew up and let the gain knobs do the work and lowered my action, it's never happened since. I've always played 34" scale.

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: mike1762

Post Number: 631
Registered: 1-2008
Posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 4:15 am:   Edit Post

I've never broken one on an Alembic, but I broke a bunch on my Stingray. Back in my "Metal" days, I "dug in" pretty hard. I probably didn't break as many as I would have otherwise since I pluck pretty close to the bridge. I've been trying to follow Joey's advice lately... no problem when practicing, but as soon as I start playing in a band situation I fall back into my old habits. I was thinking about getting a ramp, but I hate to deface an Alembic.
Username: slammin

Post Number: 57
Registered: 10-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 10:07 am:   Edit Post

I break G strings all the time. Especially when using 40-100's but I also break them when using 45-105. In the year I've owned my Persuader, I've broken two. I've also broken G and D strings on my 35" Peavey Cirrus.

The biggest difference is in the way I break them on the Alembic. With the Alembic (32" scale), I tend to stretch the crap out of notes sometimes, and invariably break a string. With longer scale basses, it's harder to stretch notes as far as I can on shorter. I usually break strings on longer scale by thumping and plucking too aggressively.
Senior Member
Username: pierreyves

Post Number: 659
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 10:25 am:   Edit Post

never broken a string before I change it (each 6 month). If you have a problem of breaking string, take a (in french) lime and take the corner of saddle more sweet.
Username: krystoof

Post Number: 89
Registered: 1-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 1:26 pm:   Edit Post

I used to break the A string twice in a very short time, with a previous bass I used to play, but I guess the scale lenght was not involved in this problem, since I changed for another brand, and it never happened again...

(Message edited by krystoof on August 17, 2010)
Intermediate Member
Username: toma_hawk01

Post Number: 158
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 5:59 pm:   Edit Post

I'd never broken strings on my short scale basses...

Sadly, long scale basses; Alembics and others basses (strings) always break on me...

Peace and Love,

Intermediate Member
Username: karl

Post Number: 174
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 4:40 am:   Edit Post

Don't usually break strings at all - maybe once or twice, Louis Johnson style, pulling the G a little too vigorously during a slap solo in my younger days ...

That said, I went through a phase where I broke three D strings in quick succession on my short scale, no slapping or pulling, just fingerstyle. Didn't seem right, so I took the bass in to my tech and he diagnosed a burr on the D string saddle, filed it down gently and it's never happened since.

I wouldn't have thought shorties would be any more prone to string breakages than long scales. In fact, since the tension feels lower, my gut instinct says they'd be less prone to breaking, wouldn't they?
Intermediate Member
Username: rockbassist

Post Number: 190
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 5:52 pm:   Edit Post

I have been playing for more than 30 years and have never broken a string. I have heard of other players breaking them but this was usually due to a problem such as a burr in the bridge.
Advanced Member
Username: peoplechipper

Post Number: 217
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 12:54 am:   Edit Post

I am a heavy hitter, and always found that within a few hours of saying " these strings are dead" they were dead and broken; bass strings too...

scale length doesn't matter really, it's where you hit the strings and how, especially with an Alembic, as they're set up so well there's no problems on that end...Tony.
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1351
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 1:15 am:   Edit Post

The only time I broke a string was when I was using ultra light guage(90 on the E) when I was doing my slap thang!.
Since going back to 100's none for many a year
Senior Member
Username: jet_powers

Post Number: 511
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 6:46 am:   Edit Post

In 30+ years of playing a bass I've only broken a string once. It wasn't even my bass. I had been invited up to play a song and, count them, two notes into the song, the E string broke. It was a Dean Baby (short scale) and the owner confessed they were the original strings. He had owned it nine years.
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 727
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, September 17, 2010 - 2:18 pm:   Edit Post

I recall back in college at UC Santa Cruz, the band I was in was playing an event at the school. I broke a string (on a Gibson EB2-D, short scale) and the remnant cut my finger. I borrowed a bass, bled on it and broke a string and then borrowed another and did the same thing! There were three three string bloody basses by the end of our set.

I used to break strings a lot, but I played way too hard and used to slap a lot more than I do now. These days I also get my basses set up better and have the bridges attended to more carefully so breaking strings is not so much of a problem. Also, in my great string search of 2001, I discovered that for me, DR strings broke a lot less often than some of the other brands I tried.

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