So I broke the high e string on my guitar and it could be a long time before I replace it. I am afraid if leaving it like that for a long time will deform the neck. So should I tune down the rest of the strings to even out the pull or its ok to leave it as it is? Thanks.

  • I'm just reaffirming what Tetsujin and Tim's answers say: The guitar will not be damaged by leaving it with a missing string, even for a long time. You are safe to leave it, or even start to learn the 5 string guitar... Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 4:35
  • What could cause the lack of string? DO you not have access to a music store? Amazon?
    – user50691
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 23:31

2 Answers 2


For starters, there's no clue as to what sort of guitar it is. For seconds, it won't make much difference either way. For thirds, make sure you have enough spare strings next time for all eventualities.


Theoretically, you should tune the rest of the guitar high not low until you replace it, but even if you managed to judge the exact tension difference & not make a mess of it all, then

  1. it would be so minor as to make no practicable difference overall &
  2. any practicable difference it did make would also be contributing to twisting the neck very, very slightly out of true.

Fix is to just buy a new set of strings, or even spend a whole quid/buck/shekel on the one missing string... as it's probably pretty much unplayable with only 5 on anyway.

  • it's probably pretty much unplayable with only 5 on anyway; I wouldn't say this is exactly true. There are plenty songs that can be played with only 5 strings (there are in-fact, songs played on a single string). Just depends on what you're wanting to play. Definitely makes sweeping more difficult as you'll have to move your high e notes to your B string. Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:30
  • @davisj1691 - I'm taking the apparent skill-level of the OP into consideration here.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:31
  • Smoke on the Water and Smells Like Teen Spirit can be played on the first four strings, and both are great beginner songs. Even if the OP was an intermediate player, Sweet Home Alabama can be played on 5 strings if you work at it (makes the solos difficult either way). Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:35
  • @davisj1691 - I'm sure you can - but I think you're making a meal of it. Just buy a new string. It'll cost a whole $£€ 1
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:40
  • I just wanted to point that out, with respect to the OPs playing level. It's best not to tell beginners that they can't really play if they don't have all their strings. I agree completely, just buy new strings. Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 15:43

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