"Why Didn't I think of that?"
This is what I heard from a friend when I shared a guitar tip that was taught to me by the late, great Ted McCarty. Years ago, I purchased a Bigsby tailpiece, and installed it on my Cherry Red Epiphone Riviera. It looked fantastic, but I soon found out that putting new strings on a Bigsby vibrato is a big pain in the butt. It makes you wish you had a few extra arms and hands. I remember thinking, "What did I get myself into"? I ended up calling Ted McCarty at Bigsby.
Before I get to the rest of the story, I would like to welcome you to a new series of blog articles from your friends at Gibson Gear. I intend to create the greatest list of guitar gear tips, tricks, and hot rod mods ever assembled in one place. You see, I have been a guitar nut since the age of 10. I have learned so many cool little tips during my years as a player and my guess is that you have, too. So, as they say in group therapy…"Let's Share!"
I encourage you to write me with your tips, mods, or suggestions and I will spotlight one of them every week. Feel free to include your guitar playing bio, favorite gear, location, or whatever you would like people to know about you. If you want to send a picture in too, go for it. Make sure it's under 2MB. Gear@gibson.com is the address to send your submission to.
Ok, let's get back to the story. So there I was, struggling for 30 minutes trying to string up my Riviera after installing a Bigsby and the whole experience reminded me of a Three Stooges sketch. This was not going well. I called up Bigsby, and Ted McCarty got on the phone. I expressed my frustrations, and Ted calmly asked me if I owned a capo. I was a little confused about his question, and wondered what one had to do with the other. I finally answered, "Yes, I have a capo somewhere. Ted instructed me to use the capo to hold down the string on the fingerboard and that would free up my hands to string up the guitar at the bridge and tuner post. Happily, minutes later, my guitar was strung up and in tune.
This instantly became my favorite guitar trick and I am happy to share it with you because it is so simple, so helpful, and most of all, it involved the legendary Ted McCarty. Thanks, Ted! If you don't know who Ted is, I urge you to check out his Wikipedia page. He is a Gibson legend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_McCarty.
Ok, I have officially kicked off our new blog series, and I look forward to highlighting the best guitar gear tricks and tips out there. Until next week, keep playing.
Product Manager – Gibson Gear