G String keeps breaking

June 15, 2019, 7:45 AM · The G string on my violin is low according to my tuner so I used the pegs to tune it up, however, seems like every time I turn it pass the coloured part of the string it breaks.. so how I’m I supposed to get my string in tune? Is there something wrong with my violin?

Replies (14)

Edited: June 15, 2019, 8:10 AM · You're doing something wrong and it's unlikely that anybody here will be able to tell you exactly what! However I'm feeling reckless so I'll give it a go.

How many G strings have you broken? Or do you mean every time you tune it up it winds down again? Did you thread it through the hole in the peg first? And make sure the first turn goes one side of the hole and subsequent turns to the other side.

June 15, 2019, 8:58 AM · I would also like to add a question. Do these G strings break on a particular spot? If so, which one?
June 15, 2019, 9:54 AM · is your tuner mis-calibrated? I had a customer who kept doing this only to find that her tuner was calibrated to a number other than 440.
A break in the winding area beyond the nut usually indicated that the string has been overtuned. If they are breaking at the nut, have a luthier look at the instrument.
Edited: June 15, 2019, 10:01 AM · I think he means the string has gotten so curved that its slipping out of the hole every time you bring it up to tension. I had this happen on a G string I kept restringing to adjust the afterlength, I ended up sticking a toothpick in the hole the side the playing string comes out of, then breaking it off flush, pulling the string out would remove the end of the toothpick so its non invasive, worked like a charm.
Edited: June 15, 2019, 10:08 AM · I would try Lyndon's trick. Might as well try something easy and non-invasive first! The other thing you can do is look at the peg and the nut with a magnifying glass and see if there is any rough spot. You won't have the eye of a skilled luthier but it's better than nothing.
June 15, 2019, 11:08 AM · This may sound silly, but please make sure you are not installing D in place of G string. Also, the groove may be damaged or too narrow to accommodate new string. Always use a pencil to deposit graphite along the groove. This will help string glide under pressure.
June 15, 2019, 2:55 PM · Does your tuner detect octaves? Maybe you keep going past the first G and then try to go to the *next* octave of G, because your tuner is telling you "E" or something so you naturally go higher rather than lower?

What type of tuner are you using?

June 15, 2019, 3:27 PM · Lyndon's trick is a good example of "there's always an engineering solution", a phrase I was hearing almost every day in the years I spent working with engineers in aerospace.
June 16, 2019, 3:48 AM · Erick, i think that might be the case.. i use a chromatic tuner and it says "E" so i tune it up and then it breaks. The strings look really tight, but if i loosen it then its too loose. I don't know what is going on.
June 16, 2019, 6:17 AM · does the string actually break, and where, or is it just coming loose on the peg??
June 16, 2019, 6:28 AM · Lyndon, the string just snaps at the bottom I think.. it’s not lose on the pegs it’s tight but it keeps going down in tune so I think I have to tune it up and then the string snaps
June 16, 2019, 6:36 AM · you mean at the tailpiece?? might be your fine tuner having rough edges
June 16, 2019, 10:15 AM · Please if you have the time tell us about a few numbers:

1. Vibrating string length of the string in question (measure it -the string length- from where it starts to stop contacting the nut till it meets the bridge)
2. String action/clearance (at the edge of the fingerboard, the distance between the fingerboard's surface and the G string, this distance could/should be measured as close as possible to being vertical to your instruments top plate)
3. String afterlength (string length from the bridge till it meets the tailpiece)

Those numbers should be somewhere near some limits (supposedly we are talking about a full scale violin, please let us know if it's not the issue). Experienced luthiers are reading the forums, they could point out if something is really wrong with the setup regarding those numbers.

Like Rocky said, please make sure you use graphite where the string makes contact with the instrument, and look for sharp spots, edges etc.

One last thing, like Erik said, is your tuner really ok? Besides telling you the note, does it also display the note frequency in Hz? if so, what does it read?

June 16, 2019, 1:38 PM · You're most likely tuning the string WAY too fast, and shooting past the intended G. You need to push *in* at the same time you're turning the peg, so it keeps friction, and only go maybe 1/8 turn at a time, and then test the pitch again. Then repeat that.

Violin pegs are not like guitar pegs. They are not geared, so small turns make large adjustments in the pitch.

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