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Could Reading an Article About a Guitar String Breaking and Slicing Your Eyes Open Make You Obsessively Afraid of It for the Rest of Your Life?

Imagine this: It’s a perfectly sunny day and you decide to sit outside strumming your acoustic guitar under the shady branches of a towering oak tree. You notice your guitar is a little out of tune so you start adjusting the knobs accordingly until one of the strings is starting to feel a little tight… too tight. Then suddenly, the D string breaks and whips across your face, slicing both of your eyes wide open. Your pupils are splattered across the fallen leaves of the shady oak and nobody is around to hear your cries. Your mahogany Fender has betrayed you.

Don’t worry. The chances of this happening to you are slim, but totally possible. Depending on the guitar, a steel string tends to break once every four months. That’s four chances a year that a string could come barreling towards your eyeballs, leaving them severed in the jam room of a Guitar Center. In fact, in 2021 there were about 300,000 cases of string-to-eye incidents in the United States alone, and eight of them were fatal. You might be thinking, “That’s a lot of incidents. Should I be worried about this?” Maybe not, but you will absolutely worry anyway.

Basically you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting your eyes sliced by a broken guitar string. Then again, you don’t dick around with lightning storms for hours every day, so, weigh it against that.

Many renowned guitar players take preventative measures to protect their eyes when tuning their guitars. Even Eddie Van Halen would put on a pair of goggles when he was tuning during his concerts, and Neil Young wears an entire welding mask to protect his face when it’s time to tune. With more than eight hundred guitar string related eye injuries reported every day in the US, it’s no wonder even the greatest guitar players of our time are obsessively scared out of their minds.

Unfortunately, a guitar string can also sporadically snap when you are not tuning. Experts suggest changing your strings frequently to avoid this, but it might be best if you just give up on playing guitar forever. Do you want to end up like Jane Dollman? Oh, you’ve never heard of her? That’s because her career ended as soon as her eyes were sliced open by a flailing guitar string. But don’t worry, that will never happen to you… Until it does.