guitar string tension

Can You Over Tighten Guitar Strings? (Guitar String Tension)

Are you tuning up your guitar and thinking that you have over tightened the strings?  Or are you worried that you may over tighten them and what the consequences would be?

Can you over tighten guitar strings?

Yes, you can over tighten guitar strings. If the tension is too high the string will break. This is the main reason you need to pay attention to the tension. If the tension is too low, your instrument won’t sound as good as it’s supposed to.

How Much Tension Can A Guitar String Take?

A typical guitar string should take around 20-25 pounds each.  The tension depends on several factors. The most important factors are the size of the strings and their thickness. Other factors include string composition and string gauge.  All strings are made of different materials, have different thicknesses and are of different composition.

How Can You Tell If The Tension Is Too High?

One way to tell if the tension is too high is by the feel of the string. You can do this by pressing it down with your finger. You can tell if the string is too tight by the amount of resistance that you feel.

When you press down on the string, it should almost all go down with no resistance. If there is resistance then it will be to hard for your finger to go through or it would stick to your finger. The tension should never stick to your finger because this means that it’s too tight.

Which Guitar String Is Under The Most Tension?

This depends on the type of strings that you are using so it never is the same for one guitar string to always have the most tension.

What should happen is that the low E string should have the most tension but with traditional strings, and how they are manufactured, the tensions can be all over the place.

There are now also balanced tension strings that are designed to make each string have close to the same tensions on each.  This gives a very consistent feel when playing each string.

Does A Longer String Have More Tension?

The length of a guitar string from tuning peg to bridge saddles should not affect tension.  A longer string will have a higher pitch but it should produce a lower amount of tension. It is the materials and thickness of the string that cause the main change in tension.

How Important Is String Tension?

String tension is very important if you want your guitars to sound their best. If you don’t pay attention to the tensions then your instrument won’t sound as good as it could do.  You would then need to spend time and money on setting it up again, getting new strings and so on. Which would all be time and money wasted.

What Happens When You Tighten A Guitar String?

When you tighten a guitar string, the pitch of the note goes up.  Tightening a string also changes the tension of the string. Bigger strings have more tension than smaller strings. If you use a set of strings that are all different sizes then they would have different tensions.

What Happens When You Loosen A Guitar String?

When you loosen a guitar string, the pitch goes down and the tension also goes down. If you were to use a single size it will be lower but if you used one size for each string it may not change as much.

Can Your Strings Be Too Tight?

Yes, your strings can be too tight. They may fall of or break if they were too tight.  It’s important that you don’t put a lot of tension on them because they need to be able to produce a good sound. A guitar string should never feel like your finger is going through it.

How Do You Not Over Tighten Your Guitar Strings?

Use a tuner!  If your guitar is out of tune you will be tempted to tune it more and more so that it matches the rest of the group. This often leads to over tightening of the strings. If you use a tuner then you can just tune it up or down as needed.


Can you over tighten guitar strings? Yes, it is possible to over tighten guitar strings. Make sure that you don’t over tighten them because then your instrument won’t sound as good as it could do. It will also start to wear out quicker than it should if the tensions are too high. By using a tuner you can stop yourself from tuning up too much.