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Fender string breaking at the saddle.

Q: I'm having a real problem with my fender stratocaster. Its a couple of years old and has been great use since i bought it thought recently the A string keeps snapping at the saddle. I've tried installing different strings but it keeps happening. I'm worried that it might happen to me in the middle of a concert or something so i need to get it fixed! I was told that it's either due to a sharp burr at the saddle or just a worn saddle.

I was wondering if you could tell me if there was anything i could do to fix this problem or whether i would need to buy a new set of saddles.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Rob Weekes

A: Put a new A string on and look very closely at the groove in the saddle top. The groove should slant slightly with the highest point toward the peghead. Look for sharp edges. Smooth the string path. Luthiers use gauged files that are just exactly the width of the string. You could also use a rat tail needle file.

It is possible that the extra stress on the string is comming from somewhere else. An action set might be what you need. Groove grooming is part of an action set, but it also includes leveling and rounding your frets, twisting your truss rod and filing your nut.