Hello all...

My first attempt at building a CBG has had its problems, none that I wasn't able to overcome. It is fretless and I can't wait to strum and slide. I'm still waiting.

My question is; how does one get enough tight on the big string, ideally according to the CBG's suggested GDG tuning, without breaking the string? 

I used a .046 gauge wound string, a 0.34 and .026, all acoustic guitar strings, an A, D & G. All good, yes? No. The G string, the .026, went on, tighten to a nice G level... the .034 stretched and got comfortable with a D note. The big string on top, or bottom depending how one looks at it, tightened up to a very tight A... a few more turns and a heavy D ... another turn, getting close to the G... and it broke.

Darn. Another string... this time 0.36, because that's all I had at that time. Same story; tightened up to a very tight A... a few more turns and a heavy D ... another turn and it broke. Each time the string broke at the tuning end not at the bridge.

Other than over tightening in the attempt to reach that first G level, what do I do? What am I doing wrong?

Help. And in advance, thank you.


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Sorry your local music store is so close minded. Maybe try another shop? I worked in music stores for years & have actually worked with a few of those grumpy guys, so I kinda feel ya. I’m guessing you’re ear just needs more training, I went through that myself, popped many of brand new strings trying to find pitch? Just remember something about tuning- if it feels like it’s getting too tight, then stop & back up? It gets better, just hold on :)

I, like you, don't know squat about music stuff, but I'm learning.

I have a couple good tuners, and since key and tuning don't compute, I would start with my low string, start winding it up, and when I got to where it was just begining to sound like it was getting into a proper tension, then I'd start going up slowly to the first desired note I came to. Example: pluck, floppy and dull. Pluck, better. Pluck, now it's starting to sound like a guitar. What's the tuner say? G? I want a D, so I keep going up slowly until there's the first D I run into, and it sounds like a real guitar sounding a real note. The other strings are done off each other, the middle string might be an A, so I'd look for the first A above my D, etc.

I have no idea if that is the right way to do it (at least when stringing), but it seems to work for me.

I bought a 12-set bulk pack of acoustic strings for 3 string guitars from CBGitty.  The low G is .44, the A is .34 and the high G is .26.  Made by Southbound String Co.  Check that out, or...

I think I only used one set out of the 12-set pack I bought--I only use magnetic pickups now, went exclusively to electric strings.  So, if you're in the US, send me a postage paid envelope and I'll mail them to you for free.  They're just hanging on my workbench.

Send a message to my inbox and I'll reply with my address.  

Would like that, thanks. Oh, but I'm in Australia. Darn. Living in paradise has its problems.

However, I finally was able to get all three strings tuned without breaking the low G. I reverted to stripping three strings from an old electric gittar been sitting gathering dust. Have been able to tune to G-D-G. My first uses a mag pickup but the next one, if the first turns out successfully, will use a Piezo pickup. Just to determine which I prefer. 

This is an adventure into the unknown.

Thank you all................

another Aussie, and just up the road a bit from me too...lol

get yourself one of those clip on guitar tuners..  mine has different settings. C for chromatic, this is the one you want it will tell you what pitch you are playing . G is set for std guitar tuning ie. EAGBGE , then i have B for bass,V for violin and U for Ukelee.  its one of those cheap ones from Cash Converters Freedom branded.

Ah, so that's the problem... or at least one of them... I have one of those digital tuners, have used it with my grown up guitar and stuck it on the end of my CBG. But, in my foolishness, I was attempting to tune to the G not the C for chromatic. I don't recall ever seeing/hearing about that. Well, shuck, live and learn.


I have 2, a little clip-on with those different modes, and a Delta Lab chromatic (CT-40). When I first tried the clip-on, I got kind of confused, seeing that one note, the one the instrument was voicing, had different names between the modes. So I thought that 1. I didn't know what I was doing (still mostly don't), 2. since the operative word (in context) in all of this is 'chromatic', and 3. since I sure as heck ain't holding a violin, uke, or bass, and I have no idea at all what the builders consider a 'guitar', I figured chromatic was the safest bet.


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