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5th string slippage is driving me nuts

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Jan 22, 2020 - 6:34:02 PM

hoodoo

Canada

622 posts since 10/6/2017

I feel so incompetent at the moment. My 5th string keeps on slipping. Thinking that the problem might be the string, I changed it, but the problem keeps occuring.

Sounds like this : youtu.be/JZwXDNo8ywA

(Actual frustration at the end!)

Please help!

Jan 22, 2020 - 6:54:25 PM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14941 posts since 3/27/2004

quote:
Originally posted by hoodoo

I feel so incompetent at the moment. My 5th string keeps on slipping. Thinking that the problem might be the string, I changed it, but the problem keeps occuring.

Sounds like this : youtu.be/JZwXDNo8ywA

(Actual frustration at the end!)

Please help!


Yes, Your string is slipping.  Do a search for "guitar string lock" and do it for your fifth string.  Check the tailpiece end and make sure your string isn't unwinding at the clinch wrap, although you'll figure that out pretty fast when the string comes off.

Jan 22, 2020 - 7:50:45 PM
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12520 posts since 10/30/2008

The most common cause of this is how you attached the string to the 5th peg. As mentioned above, you have to "lock it". Basically when you first poke the end of the string through the hole in the peg, you have to bring it back around the peg BACKWARDS, then poke it up through on the outside of the tight part of the string, then tighten the 5th peg so that the "kink" in the end of the string gets locked under the tight part of the string against the shaft of the peg. This "locks" the end of the string so it can't slip under tension.

You're supposed to use the same technique on all of the pegs, not just the 5th.

Don't worry, you can fix this.

Jan 22, 2020 - 7:58:36 PM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14941 posts since 3/27/2004

Here's an example of a string lock, you have to adapt the same basic lock for your fifth peg capstan.

Jan 22, 2020 - 9:26:58 PM
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Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

2655 posts since 5/15/2011

Maybe also check the tuning peg itself isn't slipping. I find sometimes the small screw in the centre of the 'tuning knob' (for want of a better term) can come a little loose.

Rudy's diagram should be good enough, but if you'd prefer a video, I thought the Deering one was pretty good when I first started out. Jump to the 4.30 mark for the 5th string demo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gALI1XAcjS0

Edited by - Chris Meakin on 01/22/2020 21:28:25

Jan 23, 2020 - 7:04:54 AM

3711 posts since 5/12/2010

Incompetence is nothing to be ashamed of, most of us start out that way on new tasks, and it is easily overcome with guidance and experience.

I agree it is either the string was not locked when wound onto the capstain, or the screw on the knob needs to be tightened.

Jan 23, 2020 - 10:49:57 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

12191 posts since 8/30/2006

I loop thru twice then lock it

Jan 23, 2020 - 10:58 AM
Players Union Member

rudy

USA

14941 posts since 3/27/2004

The video shows that the button isn't free wheeling and the peg is not moving.  That removes a loose tuner or loose button screw as a source of the problem

Jan 23, 2020 - 4:52:09 PM
Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

2655 posts since 5/15/2011

quote:
Originally posted by rudy

The video shows that the button isn't free wheeling and the peg is not moving.  That removes a loose tuner or loose button screw as a source of the problem


You're absolutely right. I hadn't looked at Hoodoo's video, assuming it was just demonstrating the sound.

Jan 23, 2020 - 5:32:46 PM

995 posts since 8/7/2017

I cut my new 5th too short, and did not have enough winds around the capstan. So it slipped. I found that if I wrapped a piece of masking tape around the string (while it was still around the post), the tape somehow provided enough friction that the string quit slipping. This has worked for several months of home use playing. I was surprized, and gratified. I did not use the lock technique illustrated above; which I'll try next time :-)

My string would tighten, but then would slip as I played, so there was some friction before the tape. I'm not sure this tape fix will work for you, since it looks in video like your string won't tighten at all (but I may have misread the video). But if you don't have enough string to do the lock method, tape might be worth a try. Press tape tight around the string and post as you apply it.

I always keep the old 1st string when I change strings, in case my new 5th string does not grab well enough...then I at least have another string long enough to try again. Since the tape worked, I did not use the old 1st string on this banjo.

Hope this helps.

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