View Full Version : String Breakage....

Shred Fan
01-26-2003, 08:44 AM
Hey guys, talking about bad luck, having been working on technique and speed for a fair while I decided to go and learn some rythym and was working on "The Wicker Man" by Iron Maiden.

I was working on hitting every note in both the 4 string powerchords...


and the 3....


In order to hit every note I was slamming down rather hard and lost the low E, shortly after when I was mucking around a little , there went the A as well. After this I think it's more a matter of technique than bad luck. To get up to speed I was slamming harder as opposed to slowly working up to it being relaxed, a lesson learned :)

I have taken to angling the pick recently (mainly for faster speed in lead playing), I doubt it is the cause though.

I think the main cause was that I was just slamming the chords to hard and wasn't paying enough attention. I know, when I get new strings on I'll work on being able to play the riffs relaxed and focus on hitting all 3/4 strings (for a long time I was lazy and only ever did 2 string powerchords). But I just posted to get your opinions / experiences on matters like this.....so fire away.

Also, what are you guys' stances on alternate picking powerchords (3 notes, 2 note & 4 notes), I know some guitarists tend to downpick mostly but for economy I'm gonna work on alternate picking them, because it's good for faster riffs (though you need a lot of accuraccy to make sure you only hit the right strings/all the strings you need to).

I guess this is "what's your opinion/experiences?" type thread more than a "help me" one. So feel free to make any comments on stuff I've mentioned such as avoiding breaking strings, powerchord picking techniques etc.

-Shred Fan

01-26-2003, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by Shred Fan

Also, what are you guys' stances on alternate picking powerchords (3 notes, 2 note & 4 notes), I know some guitarists tend to downpick mostly but for economy I'm gonna work on alternate picking them, because it's good for faster riffs (though you need a lot of accuraccy to make sure you only hit the right strings/all the strings you need to).

For me it really depends on what kind of song I'm playing? if its a hard rock/metal type of song I go for downward picking only. for other kinds of genre I usually use alternate picking. If I'm alternate picking power chord, I usually use a barre powerchord.
IMHO, I think strictly DW picking sounds a lot more heavier than alternate picking.


Shred Fan
01-26-2003, 09:14 AM
Yeah I'm with you there MettallicBeast, but for speed purposes it can be better to alternate pick, or to achieve a smoother sound. Both styles have their good and bad sides.

Oh yeah and people, think I worked out my problem. Just using a bit to much force and tension, you see

1.I was slamming the strings real hard and fast

2. I was very tense in the fingers holding the pick, if i relax them, the pick will move slightly if i hit a string, and not get "stuck" or "dig" into the string as much, so to speak, therefore causing a lot less pressure on the string.

So I think the problem is solved.

Keep posting your experiences/opinions though, I'd like to hear them :)

01-26-2003, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by Shred Fan
Yeah I'm with you there MettallicBeast, but for speed purposes it can be better to alternate pick, or to achieve a smoother sound. Both styles have their good and bad sides.

Actually I used to alternate pick but when i realize that Metallica uses DW picking on all their songs, I started to do the same thing as well.

I'm a big fan of Slayer as well and they do use alternate and DW picking. Eventually it really depends on what kind of sound you wana achieve. Speed would be a factor as well.


01-26-2003, 06:41 PM
Metallica downpicking is as fast as my alternate picking :eek:
They do use AP too for some songs (which are incredibly fast). These 2 techniques sound really different. DP is heavier.
I think it's a matter of habbit...

PS: someone can play Battery (Metallica ?), I'm having trouble playing the triplets in the main riff. Sound bad with me :(

01-26-2003, 08:48 PM
hey shred fan,, did it occur 2 u that u might be using 2 hard a pic?

i dont know but that could be a factor as well

and sorry man i dont know how to play baterry

i should im like one of the biggest mettalica fans

Shred Fan
01-26-2003, 11:25 PM
Na, I'm using a Jazz III, moderatly thick, but it's shouldn't make to much of a difference, heaps of players use Jazz III's and Yngwie uses 1.5mm Delrins and i'm sure there are players out there that use thicker.

I'm pretty sure it was just that I was slamming the strings REAL hard (was practising without and amp beforehand) and didn't relax the fingers holding the pick enough. I'm sure the problem is fixed, just a matter of refitting strings and going it again now :)

Yeah metallica do use alternate picking in some of their songs. I'm referring to if you have to play a riff that's lets say only powerchords would you alternate pick those chords?

Metallica I don't think alternate picks powerchords at all and from what I know most rythym is downpicked (the intro to "Master of Puppets" probably being the most notorious for this, great riff). Though metallica usually use alternate picking where there is open fast palm muted strings , or a single note quickly repeated ......

For Example, bits in....
Four Horsemen
Hit the Lights

..and by the sound of it, Battery uses alternate picking, just listening to it, the speed and especially the sound do not sound like downpicking in the fast bits.

But in songs where where there are slower open strings, they are downpicked mainly

eg.Enter Sandman

The only time I know metallica may alternate pick powerchords is while tremelo picking like right at the start of hit the lights.

But yeah, like I said I'm working on getting the A.P powerchords to a high standard because it's good to be able to do both I think. They both have their benfits in my opinion.

01-27-2003, 12:25 AM
its like impossible to snap a string with anything under .2

that what i use

Shred Fan
01-27-2003, 08:44 AM
0.2mm? I could never use a pick like that, I'll stick to Jazz III's, the occasional breakage is acceptable.

01-28-2003, 01:19 AM
i think its . 2 some thing along those lines

they easy to shred with

thougt they would be your favourite

Shred Fan
01-28-2003, 01:33 AM
No way, far from it. Most of the time I'm using a Jazz III which is a small, thick pick. Thick picks are more common among fast players to, and very thin picks do nothing for me, I used Dunlop 0.88mm nylon for a while but haven't looked back since going to Jazz III.

01-28-2003, 01:39 AM
have you heard of dava?>

Shred Fan
01-28-2003, 02:18 AM
Nope, who is he, someone who uses 0.2's? :)

Yeah I'm sure some fast players may use thin picks, but for me I like the thicker ones.

01-28-2003, 02:39 AM
na just a pic brand
its like thick and chunky kinda thing

but in the middle its skinny so it bends easy
and then it gets thick again

so like its thick yet easy to shred and strum

hard to explain

but its one hell of a pic

Shred Fan
01-28-2003, 02:42 AM
Not bad, but I have taken a huge liking to Jazz III picks so I'm not going to change anytime soon :)

01-28-2003, 02:43 AM
not asken ya 2

just tellin ya wat i use

hehe this was sposed 2 b a string thread

Shred Fan
01-28-2003, 02:46 AM
Not bad, ah well I may check out one of them picks one day. Obviosly it is a bit bigger than 0.22mm which is REALLY thin.

Yeah it's strange how some threads get a little off topic, ah well. If anyone has anything on topic to say then go ahead.

01-28-2003, 02:47 AM
(nows da time i shut up ey?)

Shred Fan
01-28-2003, 02:49 AM
Well at least try to stay reasonably on topic, we don't want this board to become full of spam.

01-28-2003, 06:07 AM
What's up?

The idea behind the Dava pick is pretty unique, I did use that pick for a couple of hours b4 I decided that its not the pick for me.

You can find more info here. (http://www.davapick.com/index.html)

The reason why I stopped using the Dava Pick is cuz you gotta learn how to use the Dava pick in order to get the most out of it. And I didn't want to spend time learning or should I say relearning how to use a pick again.


Shred Fan
01-28-2003, 06:20 AM
I checked out the site, it's quite an interesting idea, but like I said, after much experimenting, the Jazz III is the pick for me. But when I get around to it I just might try out these Dava picks to see what they are like.

01-28-2003, 06:53 AM
what kind of learning did you have to do?

i picked it up and just decided it was cool

01-28-2003, 08:45 AM
I guess it also depends on your touch...
Brian May i.e. uses VERY thin strings ( 008-038 if Iīm not mistaken ) and he doesnīt use a pick, he uses a coin, yet he hardly ever breaks strings.

I use 009-042 strings, and Iīm one of the guys using 1.5 mm Delrins, though they are cut to a certain size, so theyīre even "edgier" than the regular ones. And I donīt break strings a lot neither.

So I dunno, maybe itīs the touch / attack also.

And regarding Metallica, James Hetfield is quite popular for his speed when it comes to downpicked riffs... itīs astonishing. A lot of players use alternate picking when it comes to fast riffs though, itīs just more efficient.
Also, it depends on whether youīre picking power chords ( where it makes quite a difference whether you pick up or down ) or single note-riffs...


Shred Fan
01-28-2003, 10:00 AM
Yeah like I said I'm pretty sure I figured out what the problem was, you know relax a little and don't attack the strings so hard (I was more tense and was whacking the strings much harder than normal when I broke them the other day).

So you use 1.5mm Delrins Eric? I always thought you used Jazz III's for some reason, I got some 1.5mm Delrins just to see what they were like after I heard that Yngwie uses them, just to try them out, but in the end I was more partial to the Jazz III and it's smaller size.

That said I never really gave the 1.5mm Delrin a huge chance for me to get used to it, and when I get around to it will try it some more and see how I go.

01-28-2003, 12:07 PM
Well, I used to use Jazz IIIīs. Then I switched to Pickboy Jazz Picks, which were perfect, but hard to find sometimes. Then I found the Jazz III XLīs, used them for a while, but still I felt that the Pickboys worked better for me.
But, since they are kinda hard to find sometimes, I was trying out a filed Delrin 1.5. Itīs smaller... about as long as a Jazz III, but wider. I didnīt like the smooth edges of the Delrin... but once you file them down, those smooth edges are gone, and you can get a real neat picking-sound with those picks.
Thatīs why, right now, I am using those exclusively. Who knows, maybe Iīll get back to the Jazz IIIīs one day... I never settled for one kinda pick for a really long time...

01-28-2003, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by 7_stringa
what kind of learning did you have to do?

I guess learning wasn't the best word to use. Trying to get used to the pick would sound much better. I prefer to hold my pick low and I'm having problems shifting the pick. Plus holding it higher for strumming feels awkward to me.

I like Stubbys. I feel that my tone sounds alot smoother and rounder. Jazz III is pretty good as well. I'm using this two picks currently.


01-28-2003, 11:51 PM
jazz III sounds cool
does anyone know if they can be found in sydney?

01-31-2003, 12:39 AM
Hey there,

since my scanner is working again, here is a scan of one of the Delrin 1,5 mm-picks I mentioned above... my currently favorite pick. ( #2 on the pick )
As I said, they are being cut and filed to a slightly different size and shape.
I put a standard Fender Heavy Pick ( #1 ) and a regular Jazz III next to it so you can see the size and shape of the Delrin a bit better...


01-31-2003, 12:40 AM
...and actually, the Delrin is pretty symetrical, even if it doesnīt look like it in the pic...


01-31-2003, 03:02 AM
I use jazz 3 picks (I file them down a little), however I don't like the sound I get from them on acoustic. To fix this I had to file down a fender heavy pick to the jazz 3 shape, however there is still something missing. I was wondering what all the jazz 3 users used for acoustic.

Shred Fan
01-31-2003, 06:22 AM
Yeah, I like the feel of Delrin 1.5's though I don't like the larger size, and prefer just to use Jazz III's. However the Delrins I have are about the same size as the Fender Heavy in the picture.

I'll see if I find some Delrin 1.5mm that come in smaller sizes (I've found Dunlop Tortex 0.8mm in three different sizes, back when I used that thickness of pick). After using the Jazz III, I need something that small or just a little bigger, if I can't find a smaller version of the Delrin 1.5mm then I might try filing one down.

01-31-2003, 06:53 AM
well my pic is cooler den all of yours anyway

who needs jazz 3

01-31-2003, 06:55 AM
I recently switched to Dunlop Stubbies 2.0mm. The edges work great for my picking style. They wear down fairly quickly though, so I go through several a month.