What happens when a string snaps? Will it hurt?

Korala Girl

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Hi Everyone, here comes a silly newbie question:

What happens when the string snaps? Will it fly up and hit me like a whip? Will it hurt? :eek: I am scared of getting hurt by it, and also worried about having to put new strings on, which I will have to do at some point. My Uke is very new, and hopefully shouldn't need any strings changing for a while (I hope). How long do strings usually last before snapping?

Many Thanks, and apologies for the silly newbie question!
 

ukeeku

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I have a lot of strings break (Both guitar and uke) the answer is no, it will not hurt. it just scares the crap out of you.
I change my strings every year for my lesser played ukes. but my main ukes I go every 3 - 6 months. I can tell that it is time when they stay in tune for weeks. that means they are not stretching. staying in tune for a few days is normal and where you want to be.
this is all me. I hope others chine in
 

JamieFromOntario

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I have played most everyday for almost three years. I have never had a string break.

I don't think that it is a very frequent occurrence.


Depending on how much you play and what type of strings you have, you should be able to get somewhere from a couple of months to a year or two on a set of strings. The rule of thumb for when to change them is: run you finger along the bottom of the string; if you can feel indentations from where the string hits the metal fret, it's time to change.
Also, you really needn't be too worried about changing strings. It is a little fiddly the first couple of times but isn't too bad once you get the hang out it.
 

Kanaka916

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I've had many a string snap while playing and never had one that whipped. Nor have I been hurt or sustained any type of injury because of it. And yes it's a PITA to change one when you're playing. Just one of those things. Really tho, changing strings isn't that bad and as you so stated, you'll eventually do so at one point or another. As far as how long strings last. That really depends on the individual and there is no specific time period. Other factors to consider . . . 1) How long and how often you play. 2) When strings don't hold their tune and need constant tuning 3) When you want to try a different set of strings. 4) When the frets starts eating into the underside of the string.
 

Yestyn The Great

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As long as you do not sit with your face right in front of the bridge string snapping will not hurt. But it will scare the crap out of you. Don't be afraid of changing strings. I was at first but after doing it a few times you will acquire different techniques to help you. I change my strings when the do not sound in tune. Also remember that some strings just have better intonation than others. Go with the highest quality strings you can get. The most expensive pack I have ever seen was 10 dollars so your not breaking the bank. I have only had one string snap on me from age. It was a wound low g. If you stick to all unwound strings they will not snap unless something really weird happens or you really really over tune them. What size is your uke.
 

Freeda

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For me it's my A string that pops off my banjo uke. It's only done it once when I was holding it. Startling, but not damaging!
 

seeso

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It will mostly likely take an eye out. Make sure you have insurance. ;)
 

JamieFromOntario

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It will mostly likely take an eye out. Make sure you have insurance. ;)

Yeah, but make sure it takes off your baby finger too.

Isn't it always "one eye and one finger, or the left eye and three toes, or one middle finger and the thumb from the opposite hand" or some such to make your insurance claim?
 

barefootgypsy

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For me it's my A string that pops off my banjo uke. It's only done it once when I was holding it. Startling, but not damaging!
That's just happened to me as well - the only string that has gone on me so far. Changing strings? Couldn't be easier - don't worry about it!
 

bazmaz

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Snapped plenty in my time, never been hurt. Toughest part is when playing in a performance, snapping one at start of a song then getting through the song!
 

Teek

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I have only had strings snap repeatedly on an old Martin with a sharp spot on a tuner and wound Aquilas, and only the low G, and then only when first tuning it. Also on my latest new to me uke, they were new strings but I had them detuned and tuned and reseated and rewound so many times that they developed weak spots. What was funny was the uke had the consideration to wait until I had put it back in its case, then "twaaaang!". It is fine now with new, less tortured strings. I did have a couple of vintage sopranos have a knot pull through, so I learned to add a small bead. If they break they just kind of twang and then are flopping off of the headstock or the bridge, depending on where they break. I think if you are a more delicate player you would not have to worry about it.

More nerve wracking for me is changing strings with bridge pins involved. There are two pins I have launched and never found again. Now I string with beads on the ends, seat very carefully and make sure I feel for them to catch, then wind with my left hand and place my right palm over the bridge.

Strings are easy to change once you get the hang, and it is a way to change tone and feel, sometimes almost like buying a new uke with the potential for different sound and responsiveness.
 

SamJ1206

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In all fairness, My very first (very cheap) uke gave me a cracking bruise first time i used it. i tuned it a couple of times, sat down with it, started strumminhg, and the entire saddle ripped off and cracked me on the back of the hand! left a monster of a bruise! a little bit ogf areldite later and it was all sorted!
 
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Bao

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Recently, when I strung my baritone with Aquila reds, the G string would always snap and then whip my arm while playing. It has been the second time it has happened for me. It doesn't really hurt much so don't worry about it, it's just a pain to restring the instrument again.
 

mm stan

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Aloha Korala Gal,
No Worries Girl....and welcome to the UU forums....I had them even snap in my case, closed..ha ha Nah but usually it's a no big deal ....
looks like you have a tie on bridge too...no pins... Happy Strummings from Waikiki..
 
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Korala Girl

Korala Girl

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Thanks everyone, I am now much more relieved the strings won't hurt me!

Yestyn The Great, Thankfully I don't intend to play with my face right in front of the bridge! That would be a little strange! LOL! I have a Soprano Ukulele, the smallest I believe. Does that make any difference to how long the strings last?

LOL Spookefoote, I'm glad the strings don't feel a thing either! :D


Teek,I don't think I am a very delicate player! I am a typical Taurean, I tend to go at things like a bull at a gate!

SamJ1206 - Ouch! Maybe it's not the strings I should be worried about!

Thanks mm stan, I think it is a tie on bridge too, at least all the strings appear to be tied and wound round each other there! So does that mean it is easier without pins? At least it's one less thing to lose! :)
 

BigSkyUkuleleGirl

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OMG - I spent three days in the hospital when my A string broke - still in therapy for that........

Just kidding, I have not yet snaped a uke string but plenty of guitar and mandolin strings and it WILL scare the stuff right out of you......but should be otherwise uneventful.