Strings falling out of nut

Hello peeps, I am slowly thinking about doing some maintenance works on my beat up guitar I recently picked up and one issue that is happening is that strings fall out of the nut slot if I play them more aggressively but not too firm.

What are my options to fix it? Is filing down the nut an option to make slots deeper so strings are not falling out? Or my only option is to replace the whole nut?

If you file the slots your lowering the string height at the nut which could cause action problems (unless it’s too high?)

Replacing the nut with a better one would be the solution is my guess

Check the nut slots are the correct size for the strings. If the nut is cut for 9’s and the strings are 10’s they may not be sitting in the slots properly.
If they are seated proberly and the action is good get a new nut they’re not expensive.

Perhaps a dull question but how to check it exactly? By fitting different gauge strings or is there another way?

Rob I would prefer to lower action down as currently it’s way too high.

You should be able to detune the strings so you can pull them out and and look at the groves in the nut, or see if they are sat in the grooves ok when in correct position and tension.

OK action is a few things one point being the nut, another then bend of the neck and the last is the bridge.

It could be your truss rod needs a change and that this would affect action and strings at the nut

Can you post a close up picture?

If the action is way high and the strings don’t stay in the nut, you may well have an improperly cut nut. Often, when you buy a nut from someplace like Graphtech, it is sized for the neck and has grooves in it for the strings. BUT the grooves are just for spacing, they are not cut to depth or size.

If someone replaced the nut and didn’t know that, the action would be high and the strings would pop out easily.:thinking:

@adi_mrok the strings should sit all the way to the bottom of the slots. Nut slots being to narrow isn’t very common but it can happen if the nut has been changed.

If it’s to high at the nut them file away. You can get cheap files on Amazon but if you see guitar set-ups as something you will enjoy doing get a good set. Make sure you don’t cut the slots to wide or deep. If you do go to deep you can file the slot with crazy glue and recut it.

PS do they still make crazy glue?

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They do but since 2016 and a solid idea what crazy actually means they renamed it to mostly sensible glue


Especially when dealing with nuts! :wink:

:see_no_evil:nuts, strings , glue and oil … yes someone had to make it huh :see_no_evil:

Sorry Adrian :smile:
have you found the solution yet?

Still trying to figure out the best approach :slight_smile: don’t mind replacing the nut but it will be a challenge to do it right in the first place and not to damage anything else while doing it!

Is that a string guide in the top photo?

If it is, the strings are supposed to be under it.

Can we get a better photo of the whoie headstock?



Capo on the nut.
Sorted! :rofl:

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Maybe that’s what George Ezra was up to on the Jubilee concert.




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Adi, @Majik is on the mark. The D, G, and B strings should be run under the string guides. Are these the strings that keep popping out?

Yes as well as bottom E, I will try to restring it (as these are decade old string atm, haven’t started doing anything with it yet) appropriately and will see if this is still happenening. Thanks all who replied for suggestions!

Restringing should help. There are far too many ‘windings’, esp on the lower strings and E in particular. It shouldn’t break at such an angle at the nut, which I’m sure is contributing to the popping out.
You’ve figured this out already, but it makes me feel very knowledgeable to offer my ‘expert’ advice :rofl:

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That’s okay Brian, I appreciate anyone’s input regardless if it’s the same one - only reassures me on what to do! :grinning:

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