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I have a Granada acoustic guitar in which I adjusted the truss rod due to high action. Prior to adjusting the truss rod I loosened up all the strings. After tightening the truss rod slightly, I re-tuned the guitar. I observed that the E string now identified as a B in the auto tuner. I changed it to manual mode but I can feel the string tension. Fortunately nothing happened to the thinner E and B Strings but the G String broke near the tuner nut. Is the problem due to the Truss rod adjustment or due to the age of the string? The strings are almost 8 months old. Did I mess up my Guitar?

  • How much is 'slightly'? A quarter or half turn max. is slightly - or too much. It's best to do this sort of surgery a little at a time, and leave the neck to settle for a day. The string may well be at the end of its life - with some players strings may only last a month or so, others, years. What might have happened is that the string was already too tight, and you tried to tune it to an octave above its original note. It happens with inexperience, sometimes. – Tim Sep 15 '17 at 10:31
  • i could say that as quarter. I am sure its a standard normal tuning not octave. – Anand Asir Sep 15 '17 at 14:10
  • My only concern is whether the truss rod having any thing to do with the broken string? If i am putting a new one could there be a possibility of this happening again? – Anand Asir Sep 15 '17 at 14:12
  • If you tuned the guitar, then the E string should have identified as E on the tuner. So it sounds like you over-tightened the strings and then checked it with a tuner. If that is the case, then it may simply be a case that you tuned the guitar many steps too high and that could break strings. – Yorik Sep 15 '17 at 14:40
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Can Truss Rod adjustment lead to String break?

When you tighten the truss rod, it increases to a degree the tension on the strings. For a small adjustment, that slight difference should not cause a healthy string to break. But if the string was already compromised, the slight increase in tension might be enough to stress it to the breaking point.

Even without any increase in tension, loosening and then tightening a weak string could be enough to snap it, because the precise dynamics of the tension on the string have changed slightly: Such changes could exacerbate/expose the weakness of the string and cause it to break.

Did i mess up my Guitar?

You can damage your guitar by tightening the truss rod excessively. You can damage the truss-rod, and untoward stress on the neck can cause neck buckling, fret buckling, weaken its structural integrity etc - all sorts of bad things, many of which will only be manifest over a period time. But it's unlikely that a quarter turn would cause that, unless you were already at "the breaking point" before you started. So you needn't to worry about that, assuming it was new when you got it, unless you've tightened it a quarter turn not just this once when the string broke, but a few times.

(Just keep in mind that if one morning you find your guitar with the neck cracked open for no apparent reason, it might be because you overdid it with the truss rod.... just joking - sort of :) )

As @Tim mentioned in the comments, whenever you adjust the truss rod or the action, go slowly and incrementally, and make you sure you know how to get back to your starting point. Here are two good links about the subject:

Ask the Expert: How Does a Truss Rod Work?

Guitar 201: Adjusting the Truss Rod (Very detailed)

When in doubt bring your guitar to a good guitar tech, to do a set up for you. It's the cheapest, best way to improve your guitar: Many problems that are often blamed on the quality or manufacture of the guitar are actually the results of poor set-ups. (Factory set-ups are often far from good, same when you buy something off the rack in a store.)

As it stands, you should be fine just putting on a new string (Or maybe a new set of matched string that are all at the same starting point) . If the string keeps breaking, definitely bring it to a pro.


Go play your guitar - enjoy yourself.

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    After reading your answer i got some relief. Thank you. Waiting for the arrival of my new String. – Anand Asir Sep 16 '17 at 16:28
  • Good. As mentioned, if you have any doubts, bring it to a pro for a check up and set up. It's money well spent. Just make sure you have a good tech - a reliable local music store is probably your best bet. If you're in a big city, you can find a repair shop dedicated to such work. Sam Ash is usually pretty good also - GCenter, a bit of a gamble IMO. If the string keeps breaking, definitely bring it to a pro. You can also accept this answer... :) – Stinkfoot Sep 16 '17 at 16:35
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Any tightening of the strings can break them, but this is very unlikely due to your truss rod adjustment. It's much more likely that it was simply an old string that was about to break anyway. Strings break, it's not something to worry about unless it starts happening frequently.

Also, if the same string keeps breaking at the nut, then it could be a little sharp spot on the nut itself.

I observed that the E string now identified as a B in the auto tuner.

What kind of tuner? Is this one of those guitar-specific tuners that assumes that the note you're playing is an E, A, D, G, or B? I've seen those get confused very easily. If it's a fully chromatic tuner, then it could be an issue with the overtones: B is the third harmonic of E, and if you pluck the string in a way that resonates the third harmonic loudly, then the tuner could have picked that up instead.

  • No i tried Guitartuna app from the playstore. sure I'll check for any sharp points in the nut. – Anand Asir Sep 18 '17 at 5:21

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