Stringing a Bigsby-equiped Gretsch

Discussion in 'The Great Bigsby forum' started by Joe M, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. Joe M

    Joe M Electromatic

    Dec 6, 2018
    Just recently acquired a couple of Gretschs with Bigsbys and, dang, they are a pain to restring. I could restring 3 or 4 Fenders in the time it takes me to do one Gretsch. I've been using the capo method, which still takes forever. So, my question is, am I missing an easier, better way to restring, or I should just be satisfied with the way I'm doing it and take my time?

    Thanks for any insight.
  2. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    Don't know how you're doing it but i just bend a little hook on the ball end first so its not trying to pop off the stud so bad.
  3. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa cruz
    Yup, first time stringing a bigsby is like that. Then ya learn the tricks and it is really just about as easy and quick as a non bigsby guitar. It all starts with that oh so important bend in at ball end of the string. Make sure it is almost bent back 180 degrees that way it will stay on the pin with gentle pressure as you do the very necessary string lock wrapping technique with a minimum of wraps.
    CaliforniaSlim and Waxhead like this.
  4. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Gretschie

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    I watched several youtube demos before I tried to restring the first time. It went pretty easy after that.
    Waxhead likes this.
  5. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Use a Capo to hold the strings in place (3rd hand)!
  6. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    It's exactly the opposite for me :eek: : I feel Fenders a pain to string !

    A very handy accessory for stringing Bigsby is the StingRay Tool - I have one, I should have another one (or built a substitution from a paper clip)...

  7. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I wrap the end around a pencil so it stays on the pin when I let go if I have to let go for some reason. I generally do not let go. I keep tension on the string until I have it through the tuner and tightened enough to hold it in place.

    I found it as easy or easier than my Strat.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
    Paul in Colorado likes this.
  8. tlsmith

    tlsmith Gretschie

    Mar 19, 2010
    I use a vibramate string spoiler and nothing could be easier. they are very inexpensive and can be bought through Amazon. try one, you'll like it.
    thunder58 and Waxhead like this.
  9. Beardog

    Beardog Synchromatic

    Apr 15, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Had the same problems first few times, it gets easier. I think the frustration is a right of passage lol
    Robbie and dak55 like this.
  10. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    No need for rights of passage or watching youtube either :)
    I highly recommend the string spoilers also.
    I have one on all my bigsby guitars.

    thunder58 and Bertotti like this.
  11. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Yup , bend the ball end into a hook and use a capo ... easy peezy
    larryr likes this.
  12. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    After a few times, it becomes second nature.
    Waxhead and audept like this.
  13. larryr

    larryr Gretschie

    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    Capo method works great for me.
  14. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Use a rubber eraser to hold the string onto the pin while you work it thru.

    A Bigsby is still far easier to string than a Floyd Rose.
    somebodyelseuk and Waxhead like this.
  15. LongJohn

    LongJohn Gretschie

    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    Bend the ball end, use a capo and stuff a wedge shaped pink eraser between the top of the guitar and bottom of the bixby pin, (the ball end of the string being on the pin). Learned that from a similar post here awhile back. ;)
  16. LongJohn

    LongJohn Gretschie

    Apr 22, 2016
    Queens, NY
    Beat me to it wabash slim.
    somebodyelseuk and wabash slim like this.
  17. Geezer1950

    Geezer1950 Electromatic

    Nov 20, 2018
    I kept losing all my erasers until I had only eraserless pencils. Now I have Vibramates and locking tuners. Now life is good.................
    Waxhead likes this.
  18. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Country Gent

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    Like others have said, i curl the ball ends of the strings to hook them on my b6. Sometimes i use a capo, but with locking tuners i don’t need to.
    I got a string thru shaft from callaham for my tele with a b5. If you really hate dealing with the strings popping out, look into one of these. Easy install, and a total game changer.
    I use a vibramate string spoiler on my b70, but some day I wanna drill holes in this one too.
    Paul in Colorado likes this.
  19. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    It gets lots easier
  20. panhead6zero

    panhead6zero Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2015
    The Motor City
    I bend it at the ball, attach the ball, then place a leather covered weight on the fret board to keep tension on the string while I attach it to the tuner. A shot bag would work well too.
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