Broken E string?

I just finished reading Limelight: Rush in the '80s by Martin Popoff. Being an unapologetic Rush fan, I enjoyed it more than most people would. I think Popoff does a good job of staying honest about his subjects, so it reads as more of a documentary than a love letter or a hit piece.

But to the point! In one of the interviews, engineer Paul Northfield described working with Geddy Lee: “…he’s the only bass player I’ve ever worked with who broke an E string on his bass in the studio.” When I read this, I was a bit dumbstruck. Being a relative beginner, the only way I can ever see myself busting an E is by overtuning. I immediately started to wonder if this had happened to any of the folks on this forum. If you have ever broken an E (or any bass string by playing), please tell the story!


Breaking an E string is quite a feat. The only time I ever broke a sting was when I overtuned the D string, but never by playing. You have to be whacking those strings pretty hard to break one while playing.

1 Like

I never have, but saw Victor Wooten do it in concert, and then he grabbed it and spun his bass around with the bottom on the ground and continued to play it and it sounded cool.


I thought about quitting bass that day, because it was like, what’s the point? I won’t get that good! Of course I’m glad I didn’t. Still am not that good, but I still have my own unique contribution to the music world!


Gang Of Four bassist breaks his in this video at 30:40 and just moves up an octave:


Awesome! And then he changed it without even taking a break.


Yeah totally how to spot a pro :slight_smile:


I’ve never broken ANY string on a bass, let alone an E string. :slight_smile:

Clearly I’m not thrashing my bass enough…

I don’t even have a spare set of strings, but I should probably sort that out. :stuck_out_tongue: