One Broken String?

A lot of people will say, just buy a new pack and change all the strings out…

However, there are times and it happens to us all, when we just put new strings on the guitar a day or two ago and we snap a string.  And to complicate matters, let’s say that we don’t have a spare pack to borrow from.

First, which string is it that is broken?

#1 is the bottom and #6 is the top

Second, let’s figure out a general gauge for that string.

Typically strings 1, 2, or 3 will be the first ones to pop, so let’s focus on these.


#1 – .010 to .014   (.25 to .33mm)

#2 – .014 to .018   (.33 to .43mm)

#3 – .023 to .027  (.43 to .50mm)


#1 – .008 to .012 (.20 to .30mm)

#2 – .010 to .016 (.25 to .40mm)

#3 – .015 to .020 (.38 to .50mm)

These strings, both acoustic and electric, are typically just a steel string.  They are pretty much interchangeable…. especially in a pinch.

So if you bust a #2 on your acoustic, but only have a spare electric string set around…  you can use any of those strings in the .014 to .018 (.33 to .43mm) range to replace it.

If you have no spare string sets, then call up your local music store and ask if they sell “single strings.”  Most of them have a box behind the counter.

You could also stock up on single strings.  Here is a link to FullRigged Amazon where I grouped 6 packs of a single gauge strings.   Bookmark it!

If you pop string #4 to #6 then you need to purchase according to the type of guitar.  Strings are wound with different materials for acoustic than electric.

You can look up typical string sizes and get lots of cool info on them at Wikipeida.

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