The Instigator
guitarlover33
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Wallstreetatheist
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Is the g-string the most susceptible to breaking on an acoustic six string steel guitar

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Wallstreetatheist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,786 times Debate No: 21449
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (6)

 

guitarlover33

Pro

I love guitars. For some reason I have a passion for guitar strings. I have snapped the g-string more than any other string. I snapped the g-string from loosening and even a simple tuning adjustment. The g-string is under the most tension. Furthermore, it is wrapped unlike the high e string, which is plain steel. The high e although tuned to a higher is under less tension. In addition, more bends are done on the g-string. As a resuit it wears out faster than the other strings The g-string also has the thinnest core of all the strings. For those reasons the g-string is the easiest to break.
Wallstreetatheist

Con

Welcome to DDO, young Padawan! Many exciting adventures will you find here; many exciting people will you speak kind here; many exciting debates will you mastermind here. Okay, that’s enough rhyming. Admonition: beware the lurking trolls who attempt to pollute the pristine waters of DDO; come on often for thrilling raconteurism and witty rhetoric. Cheers and beers!


Signposting:
I Definitions
II Main Argument
III Counter Arguments


I Definitions

G-string - fourth largest string on a guitar, more commonly “plain,” but also sold in “wound”
susceptible - yielding readily to or capable of
breaking - the act of coming apart
thinness - how thin (not wide) something is


II Main Arguments

C1: The high e-string is the most susceptible to breaking.

The high-e string on an acoustic guitar is the thinnest string on that instrument. As a result, the high-e string is the most likely to be broken while playing, tuning, and stringing. Due to its thinness and susceptibility to breaking, guitar string manufacturers routinely sell sets of guitar strings with extra high-e strings and packs of high-e strings alone. Also, music stores buy their strings in bulk (usually 100 same-strings per box), and usually purchase more boxes of high e-strings because of the great demand for single high e-strings. With the lowest minimum, mean, and maximum tensile breaking strengths of 46.46, 53.09, and 59.73, respectively, the high e-string is statistically and scientifically the most susceptible to breaking.

“The high-E strings on violins and guitars are the thinnest strings used on those instruments. Consequently, they are the most likely to break and need replacement.”
-Charles Perry [1]

C2: The G-string is more durable than the e and b strings.

Plain G-string is more common than the wound G-string; however, both are larger, thicker strings that require more exerted force to bend or stress them to the breaking point than do the e and b strings. The wound G-string doesn’t have a lower tensile strength than the plain, because of the way the metal is wound, bound, and adhered to the core in a cohesive mass than in some instances improves string flexibility and stress resistance. Although the G-string has an more initial tension on the guitar, its tensile strength is much greater than the e or b strings.
Using the equation S = UTS * π * (D / 2)2 the mean breaking strength of a medium set of acoustic strings is as follows: high e-string of .013 inches is 53.09 pounds, for the B-string of .017 is 90.79 pounds, and for the G-string of .026 inches in diameter is 212.37 pounds. Therefore, the G-string has triple the tensile strength of the B-string and more than quadruple the tensile strength of the e-string. Furthermore, the initial tensions of the e, B, and G strings are 27.4, 26.3, and 35.3 pounds, respectively, making the percentage of of initial tension to breaking tension the lowest for the g-String. This means less likeliness to break due to picking, bending, strumming, tuning, and stringing than the e and B strings. Please try the formula out for yourself at source [2]. [3]


C3: The most common string broken is the high e-string.

“The last string is also an e – only a couple octaves higher. That string is the thinnest string and is most prone to snap.” -Nic Bordeaux

Sweat, finger acids, and atmospheric conditions further exacerbate the thin e-string’s propensity to break under stress more than any other string. This lends credence to the argument’s assertion. [4]
According to the Ultimate Guitar discussion forums, the preponderant broken string by acoustic players was the high e-string. [5]
According to another online guitar community, Music Banter, the preponderant broken string by acoustic players was the high e-string .[6]


III Counter Arguments


“I have snapped the g-string more than any other string.”
There is most likely a sharp spot (burr) or defect on the nut or saddle that causes that specific string to break. Furthermore, this is anecdotal evidence based on a single claim from a single claimant. To truly understand which string is the most commonly broken, we need to increase the sample size to generate a reliable average.

“I snapped the g-string from loosening and even a simple tuning adjustment.”
This is most likely not a problem with the string, but rather the guitar. The burrs previously mentioned may be the source of this problem. Loosening the string would decrease its likeliness of breaking due to tension or stress; however, when a string is loosened it modulates longitudinally along both the nut and saddle, leading me to conclude that the g-string breakage is due exclusively to a burr or defect in your own guitar’s pieces.

“The g-string is under the most tension.”
However, it has more tensile strength relative to its initial tension than the e and B strings, rendering this argument moot.

“In addition, more bends are done on the g-string.”
In your personal idiosyncratic style of playing, this may be true; however, when looking at the situation objectively, the majority of acoustic players are “strummers” which means they pick back and forth with major contact points on the low-E and high-e strings with minimal bending or even soloing for that matter. When solos and single-note-runs are performed on an acoustic guitar, the musician infrequently employs a bending technique; a more frequently employed technique is vibrato which doesn’t affect the string enough to cause noticeable stress. So, on a whole and on average, the high e-string absorbs more stress; thus, increasing its susceptibility to breaking.


It is for all of the previously stated reasons that the e-string is the most susceptible to breaking while the G-string is not.


Thanks for reading and debating! :)

[1] http://www.ehow.com...
[2] http://liutaiomottola.com...
[3] http://www.daddario.com... (click family tension chart)
[4] http://reviews.ebay.com...
[5] http://www.ultimate-guitar.com...
[6] http://www.musicbanter.com...
Debate Round No. 1
guitarlover33

Pro

You made a lot of good points about the high e string. However, the g-string is not always plain like the high e is and is more prone to breaking because of the amount of force put on it. The first string I snapped was the g-string. I snapped it by loosening it. Never snapped the high e for that reason. Most bends are performed on the g-string. In fact, the b string is harder to break than the g-string. My b string was able to tune up seven frets. Could not accomplish that with the g-string. The b string and high e are under less tension than the g-string. Tension is not how high the string is tuned, it is the amount of force put in to it.

Counterargument 1 The high e string is the thinnest. True, but the g-string's core is under more strain than the high e according to coleclarkguitars. In addition, the core of the g-string is more delicate than the high e because it is thinner.
Counterargument 2 "Plain G-string is more common than the wound G-string." Plain G-Strings are rare on acoustic steel guitar.

http://www.coleclarkguitars.com...
http://www.frets.com...
Wallstreetatheist

Con

Thanks again for debating and judging! :)

Signposting
:

I Dropped Arguments
II Reinforced Main Argument
III Counter Arguments
IV Conclusion

I Dropped Arguments

1. My intellectual competitor neglected to address many points in C1. These combine to form a salient argument, because the phenomenon of increased high e-string demand has arisen out of an externality of economic reality: people break their high e-strings more than any other string. This prompts salesmen, and consequently producers, to supply more of the stringed good.


2. My rhetorical adversary drops my C2’s point that even if the G-string is “wound,” the winding process fuses the metals together, fortifying the string. This makes a G-string, which has a thinner core than the high e-string, stronger than it. This is the reason the tensile strength is higher for the G-string and more people break the high e-string. My opponent can ignore the manufacturing process of strings, Newtonian physics, and the acoustic guitar players’ consensus, but the argument still stands indomitably.

3
. My opponent drops my entire C3, which gives evidence to the fact that more people break the high-e string than any other string. This debate is about whether or not the “g-string [is] the most susceptible to breaking on an acoustic six string steel guitar.” It is not about which string one of us has broken a few times or which string Joe Robinson or Tommy Emanuel has broken most often; it is about which string is most susceptible to breaking on an objective average.


II Reinforced Main Argument

C1: The high e-string is the most susceptible to breaking.
Imagine a logger named “logger Mack.” He goes into the forest and spots three trees in a row. The first tree is 13 inches thick, the middle 17 inches thick, and the last 2 feet thick. Which will be the most difficult for logger Mack to fell? Obviously the tree that is 2 feet thick. Logger Mack would have to spend more time and effort chopping at the last tree than the first tree to achieve the desired result, after which he can yell, “Timber!”
The same is true for strings. When sweat, finger acids, atmospheric conditions, abrasion, and stress all act upon a taught string, that string will eventually break. The difference is in the chance of breaking in a specified time, which are both directly influenced by the diameter of the string. Therefore, since the high e-string is thinner and relatively more influenced by external strain, it is more likely to break than the G-string.

C2: The G-string is more durable than the e and b strings.
Because the G-string is has a greater diameter than the e and B strings, it is significantly more resistant to external strain and conditions. Cross-apply my logging example here. The G-string has a higher tensile strength based on the Newtonian physics equation: S = UTS * π * (D / 2)2

C3: The most common string broken is the high e-string.
This is one of the strongest points of this debate, because it increases the sample size necessary to form a conclusion of an average.
In this chart, the high e-string is demonstrated to be the most frequently broken:


String Breaking<br><br><a href=http://www.yesfans.com...; />


III Counter Arguments

“The first string I snapped was the g-string. I snapped it by loosening it. Never snapped the high e for that reason.”
Again, this is anecdotal evidence. Moreover, it is the hasty generalization fallacy. Your logic goes: 1st broken string was G-string; therefore, G-strings are the most susceptible to breaking. It is clearly fallacious and erroneous on that accord. This reasoning would be like me buying an iPhone, then opening up the contacts application, and upon frustratingly seeing no contacts there, make the assumption that iPhones don’t have contacts.
Again, you probably have a defect in your saddle (string rest near sound hole), nut (string rest on the neck), or tuning posts (string tightener in direct contact with string on the neck).
I’d take your guitar to a music shop and ask them to examine it after describing the problem.

“Most bends are performed on the g-string.”
On acoustic guitars, bends are infrequently performed, and single-note-lines often employ no bending or vibrato. The reason why bends, when performed, occur on the e and B strings more often is that it is difficult to bend on acoustic strings, which are of sturdier construction and wider diameters. So, bending on the G-string is more difficult than on the e and B strings, making people bend more frequently on the latter strings, rendering this argument obsolete.

“In fact, the b string is harder to break than the g-string. My b string was able to tune up seven frets. Could not accomplish that with the g-string.”
Again, this is anecdotal evidence of a single case, and should not be construed to subsume the average. Also, one does not “tune up seven frets;” one tunes up seven half steps. You shouldn’t try that with any string, and this in no way supports your case.

“The b string and high e are under less tension than the g-string.”
If we buy into your analysis that initial string tension is the most correlated factor with string breaking, then the debate topic you should have posted would concern the susceptibility of the D-string to breakage. Standard tension measurements on the strings show that the D string has more tension than any other string. Why haven’t you asserted the D-strings vulnerability to breakage?

G and D Tension Comparison<br> <br><a href=http://www.daddario.com...; />

[1]

“Tension is not how high the string is tuned, it is the amount of force put in to it.”
The tension of a musical instrument string is a function of its mass (or weight) per unit of length, the vibrating length of the string, and the pitch of the note produced when the string vibrates. Tuning it higher increases the force load, tuning it lower decreases the force load. [2]

“g-string's core is under more strain than the high e according to coleclarkguitars.”
If this was the case, then why do more acoustic players break the high e-string than any other string? Because of the factors I’ve stated in my reinforced C1. Also, the text content of Cole Clark Guitars’ website is edited by one person: Cole Clark. He doesn’t state any scientific evidence to corroborate his claims either. Even if that statement applied to all of his company’s manufactured guitar into 100 years into the future, the resolution would still not be affirmed, because the company’s output is so trivial compared to the main acoustic guitar manufacturers: Taylor, Martin, Gibson, Fender, and Ibinez, so the average would remain that the high e-string is the most susceptible to breaking.

“In addition, the core of the g-string is more delicate than the high e because it is thinner.”
Cross-apply dropped argument 2.

“Plain G-Strings are rare on acoustic steel guitar.”
This is false. I will concede that the “unwound” or “plain” G-string is not the most common type, but I will not say that it is rare, because it’s not. The structural integrity of a plain or wound acoustic steel G-string is superior to that of a high e-string, making the latter more susceptible to breaking.


IV Conclusion
A thinner string is more affected by sweat, finger acids, and atmospheric conditions. This aspect is exacerbated by the greater stress the thinner string receives relative to its diameter in playing, tuning, and stringing. This is even further compounded by the highest impact of acoustic strumming (along with the low E-string) and the lowest exerted force needed to break while bending. The high e-string’s standing as the lowest tensile strength string make it the most susceptible to breaking. That’s why, on average, more acoustic players break the high e-string than any other string.

It is for all of the previously stated reasons that the resolution is successfully and overwhelmingly negated.

Thanks again! :D


[1] http://www.daddario.com...
[2] http://liutaiomottola.com...
Debate Round No. 2
guitarlover33

Pro

First, my opponent accused me of fallacy. After the g-string breaking incident, I read on string breakage and asked other guitarist and the result was the g-string is usually the first to break and is the most common. That along with my experience has led me to the conclusion that the g-string breaks the easiest. Also according to the data, you cited, the g-string is not even a distant second. If you examine data closely it's mostly all other string other than the high-e. From what I recall it the number go like this, four claim the b-string, four claim the g string, two claim the d string, and a surprising two claim the e low. The numbers other than the high-e add up to 12/18, which is about 66%. The remaining six claim the hi-e, which is 33%.
Secondly, my opponent says there is a sharp edge on my saddle and other malfunctions on my guitar. I do not think there is anything abnormal about my guitar. I was able to tune the replaced g-string up to g#. I even did it on elixir's g-string, which is often criticized for breaking easily. I got that g-string up to A. Elixir g-string gets criticism on both their light and medium gauge g-string. That also holds true for their Nonoweb and Polyweb acoustic brands.
In addition, my opponent claims plain strings are more common than wound. Not true when it comes to acoustic. Plain g-strings are irreverent to the debate because they are mainly used for electric guitars not acoustic. The debate is about acoustic strings not electric. Plain g-strings do not go on acoustics because of intonation. I have experimented with many acoustic strings brands and not even one of them has a plain g-string.
Furthermore my opponent thinks I think tension is main factor. He proves this by talking about why d-string breaking easier than the others should be the debate. The d string is slightly under more tension than the g-string; however, it is thicker, has a thicker core, has higher tensile strength, and is able to stretch out more. While tension is not how high the note is tuned, it should be taken in to consideration. Think about why b string and high e string are just plain as opposed to being wrapped. If the b and hi e were wrapped they would not be able to tune all the way.
Moreover, my opponent believes the high e string is the only string that can be bought. It is possible to buy other strings separately too. At my local Guitar Center, for example, you can buy Ernie ball strings separately.
Finally, Although the g-string tensile strength is stronger than the b and high-e strings it is still not stellar compared to the first three thicker strings the low-e,a,and d. All these factors, Low tensile strength, high tension, and a thin core make recipe for an easy breakage on the g-string.

I enjoyed this debate and learned a lot. Thank you.

http://mudcat.org...

http://www.thegearpage.net...

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com...

http://acapella.harmony-central.com...

http://www.justplainfolks.org...
`
Wallstreetatheist

Con

You have progressed well over the course of the debate, and I look forward to more guitar-related debates with you!


Signposting:

I Counter Arguments
II Overview of Main Argument
III Conclusion
IV Voting Issues



I Counter Arguments

“my opponent accused me of fallacy. After the g-string breaking incident, I read on string breakage and asked other guitarist and the result was the g-string is usually the first to break and is the most common.”
Again, I am sorry my rhetorical nemesis had a “G-string breaking incident,” but he espouses a fallacious position. He asks us to believe that his string broke (anecdotal evidence, smallest sample size), that what he read on string breaks was that the G-string is the first to go (no source or reasoning provided), and that one other guitarist encountered the identical problem and said that string breaks first (small sample size, argument from false authority, anecdotal evidence).

“my experience has led me to the conclusion that the g-string breaks the easiest”
This is a fallacious argument from experience.

“If you examine data closely it's mostly all other string other than the high-e. From what I recall it the number go like this, four claim the b-string, four claim the g string, two claim the d string, and a surprising two claim the e low. The numbers other than the high-e add up to 12/18, which is about 66%. The remaining six claim the hi-e, which is 33%.”
The most broken string in the poll was the high e-string. My opponent, either being ignorant of statistics or not understanding his own resolution, provides a skewed analysis of the data. The most common string broken is represented by the largest number of guitar players; that string happens to be the high e for all of the reasons I’ve provided throughout this debate. This negates the resolution, I thank my opponent for bringing it up.

String Breaking<br><br><a href=http://www.yesfans.com...; />


“Secondly, my opponent says there is a sharp edge on my saddle and other malfunctions on my guitar. I do not think there is anything abnormal about my guitar. I was able to tune the replaced g-string up to g#. I even did it on elixir's g-string, which is often criticized for breaking easily.”
Again, please refrain from telling personal tales of banal minutiae that are impertinent to the main substance of the debate. So, if there is no longer a problem of breaking your G-string for strange reasons, then why bring it up to begin with? This entire debate has been from your personal experience, not from evidence, reasoning, or legitimate support.

“I have experimented with many acoustic strings brands and not even one of them has a plain g-string.”
Your persona experimentation does not count as legitimate evidence and it does not rule out the fact that many acoustic players use plain G-strings. Folk players have a plain G-string, because the nature of a folk guitar is different that a full dreadnought size guitar: the tension and internal bracing is different. Also, acoustic strings are sold in half-and-half type string sets with the E-A-D wound and the G-D-e unwound (plain).

“The d string is slightly under more tension than the g-string; however, it is thicker”
The G-string is thicker than e-string. The resolution is negated.

“my opponent believes the high e string is the only string that can be bought. It is possible to buy other strings separately too. At my local Guitar Center, for example, you can buy Ernie ball strings separately.”
I never said that first sentence, only that high e-strings are bought in a higher quantity to satisfy the demand of customers. This is, of course, followed by anecdotal/personal experience fallacy.

“the g-string tensile strength is stronger than the b and high-e strings”
That is true, which makes it more resistant to external stress factors.



II Overview of Main Argument

C1: The high e-string is the most susceptible to breaking.
-The high e-string is the thinnest, making it more susceptible to the external stress factors: sweat, finger acids, atmospheric conditions, abrasion, and stress.
-The high e-string has the weakest tensile strength (the Newtonian physics term for the “breaking point”).

C2: The G-string is more durable than the e and b strings.
-The G-string is thicker than the e and b strings, making it more resistant to the external stress factors.
-The winding process of the wound G-string increases its structural integrity via the fusion process in manufacturing. It’s tensile strength is greater than the e-string.
-Plain G-strings have even more structural integrity than the wound.
-Of the three top strings, the G-string has the lowest ratio of initial tension to tensile strength; therefore, it requires the most exerted force to break it.

C3: The most common string broken is the high e-string.
-The most frequently broken string is the high e-string according to online guitar forums.
-Polls demonstrate that the e-string is the most commonly broken.
-I have quoted two guitar experts who agree with those averages.



III Conclusion
The high e-string is more affected by external stress factors. This means it receives more stress relative to its diameter. Being compounded by the highest impact of acoustic strumming, the lowest tensile strength, and the lowest exerted force needed to break while bending, the high e stands as the most susceptible string to breaking on an acoustic steel string guitar.




IV Voting Issues
1. I have demonstrated with polls and guitar communities that the most common string to break, on average, is the high e-string.
2. I have shown with Newtonian physics that the G-string has a higher tensile strength; therefore, less susceptible to breaking.
3. I have demonstrated through examples, science, and reasoning that the thinner a string is, the more it is affected by external stress factors.
4. My opponent has used only personal experience, anecdotal evidence, and the opinion of one other man as his source of argument.
5. My opponent has dropped many of my arguments and points.
6. My opponent has provided sources without context, some of which are broken links.
7. My opponent has not held his burden of proof with the resolution on an overall average or empirical level.
8. The arguments I have provided prioritize and crystallize the most important aspects of the debate into a cohesive mass from which the debate is objectively ruled in my favor.


Thank you for judging and debating. Vote Con! :D
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
tarkovsky, I have made a grave error. Forgive me, I beseech you!!!!!1
Posted by tarkovsky 5 years ago
tarkovsky
G-strings are thin pieces of cloth. Even if you dress up a six string acoustic in one (sicko) its still easy to break.

Con definitely took this one. Good job on both sides though.
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
because u cant play :D
Posted by A_Douchebag 5 years ago
A_Douchebag
Guitars are lame
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
Thanks to you too!
This forum category includes music: http://www.debate.org...
I'm giving you tips to improve on, so your organization and formatting looks better.
You've improved a lot over the course of the debate.
Next time, you should list rules and rounds in the first round.

Good luck!
Posted by guitarlover33 5 years ago
guitarlover33
I never before debated online or on this site. Please go a little easy on me. I am glad I got the chance to debate something I feel passionate about. Finally I would like to thank wallstreetatheist for accepting the challenge.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
guitarlover, on your next debate, use better organization. Switch the text to "Rich Text," put space in between points, and bold and underline important parts.
Posted by MikeyMike 5 years ago
MikeyMike
I saw G-string...

and then was immediately disappointed by the words that followed.
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
I think the pro wants us to know a few things:
1. When we play the G- string, we must do it gently.
2. Do not put the g-string between your teeth.
3. The G- string is the best kind of string there is.
4. Everyone should use the G-string/
Posted by DevonNetzley 5 years ago
DevonNetzley
I have been playing for three years now, and the only time i broke a string was either strumming way too hard, and down tuning. The first one to go was the high e then the g string. I find the thinner strings such as B & E easier to snap.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
guitarlover33WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Bull to reason for decision. Anyone who needs an RFD in this case clearly didn't read the debate. Clear win for the con on all levels.
Vote Placed by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
guitarlover33WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear win for Con who used more scientific methods to prove his point and did a better job with refutation
Vote Placed by DevonNetzley 5 years ago
DevonNetzley
guitarlover33WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Don't even bother me why i gave him points, i have my reasons.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
guitarlover33WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: OMG, actual data. Evidence wins.
Vote Placed by Deathbeforedishonour 5 years ago
Deathbeforedishonour
guitarlover33WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I think it's obvious who the better debater is.
Vote Placed by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
guitarlover33WallstreetatheistTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used good sources, pro did not have a good counter to the physics of tension and tensile strength of the G and E strings...Con showed many reasons why E string was weaker overall, (even brought up corrosion factors)