I accidentally over-tuned my A string because of my blunder for not realizing my tuner was set to bass guitar instead of acoustic. I'm a beginner myself, and had this guitar for only 3 weeks now.

Now, I'm not concern about string replacement, I'm worried about my guitar's neck. Should I de-tune the rest of my strings so it wouldn't stress the neck,, since I am dealing with the A string?

Also, does breaking by over-tuning the A string affect anything?

Sorry but I'm panicking right now. That's the only things rushing back and forth in my head right now. My new strings won't arrive until next Tuesday/Wednesday.

  • 4
    Don't worry, it's a normal thing to break a string. Don't detune anything just replace the A string. The neck will be fine. BTW I love the 'accidentals' tag :)
    – Jarek.D
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:14
  • @Jarek.D thank you so much! that's a relief. It's just the sound it made when it pops traumatized me :(
    – anaiya
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:25
  • I strongly recommend buying a chromatic tuner instead of a "guitar tuner" . Two combo tuner-metronome models I like: smile.amazon.com/Korg-TM60BK-Tuner-Metronome-Black/dp/… or smile.amazon.com/Korg-TM40-Display-Digital-Metronome/dp/… Feb 22, 2019 at 13:43
  • @CarlWitthoft omg didnt know this exist. THank YOu!
    – anaiya
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:45
  • My female boss once asked me to tune her guitar, and I broke her G string. She seemed to think that was very funny.
    – Jomiddnz
    Feb 23, 2019 at 7:24

2 Answers 2


Tune the rest of the strings correctly and stop worrying! And generally the string breaks before the guitar does.

  • Thank you for the confirmation. Yeah, i'll try my best not make the same mistake.
    – anaiya
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:26
  • To be exact - you'll break about 1000000 strings before the guitar breaks. Feb 22, 2019 at 13:44
  • 2
    Interesting use of 'exact' to mean 'very loosely' :-)
    – Laurence
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:49
  • Thank you @CarlWitthoft I appreciate the assurance. Also i have 1 more question, when changing the strings, is it a must to cut the strings? I mean the string that i'm going to replace is only like few weeks old.
    – anaiya
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:50
  • 1
    @LaurencePayne i mean, i watched a lot tutorials, most of them cut em down like sushi.
    – anaiya
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:56

Whilst it's not normal to break a string on a guitar, obviously it can happen. A few days with one less string won't hurt the guitar. Keep things as they are.

A more important factor - and it's not the first time it's cropped up - is how so many can't tune without resorting to a tuner. Yes, it's accurate (but not in your case!), and it's quiet (not when amateurs do it!), but there's absolutely nothing wrong with being able to tune it properly yourself. That way, you'll listen to the sounds, and making a mistake like you did will be a thing of the past.

A couple of ways - fifth fret on a lower string will be the same note as the next string open. 5th fret harmonic is the same note on one string as 7th fret harmonic on the next higher. So once one string is at the reference point you need, the others can be tuned perfectly, assuming the guitar is intonated properly. It doesn't work between 2nd and 3rd strings, but the 7th fret harmonic on fat E is the same pitch as 2nd string open. Sounds complicated, but once you get used to it, it's as quick as with a tuner, honest!

  • 1
    No no hahaha, my guitar is acoustic's. My mistake was mistakenly setting my tuner to bass guitar instead of acoustic guitar mode. Somehow it recognized my A string as D string, that led me to over-tuned it. It was a silly mistake.
    – anaiya
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:37
  • 1
    @anaiya - edited accordingly. Better?
    – Tim
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:41
  • For beginners, my recommendation is: 1) tune the top string w/ tuner. 2) tune by ear per your instructions. 3) check each string with tuner to see how well you did. Feb 22, 2019 at 13:46
  • @CarlWitthoft -- by top string do you mean bottom string?
    – user39614
    Feb 22, 2019 at 13:54
  • 1
    @Tim Well, technically our strings are left-to right :-) . In practice, all us classical string players start by tuning the A-string because that's what the orchestra's tuning note is. For cellos, we then tune from the thinnest (A) on down; for other instruments they have to tune "up " and "down" from A-string. Feb 22, 2019 at 19:41

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