Do you ever bend the neck on your SG like a poor man's whammy bar?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by zone47, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. zone47

    zone47 Member

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    You know, like at the end of a phrase to lower the sustaining note pitch a bit? It's kind of a cool sound. The only thing I worry about is the neck snapping off, but other than that, it's a cool feature because the SG neck is so lanky that it probably doesn't mind. :confused: I wouldn't ever do it on an older SG with the more fragile neck to body joint.

    The other thing is at the end of a phrase or song, I'll grab the neck at the nut and then the body near the strap lock and then shake the guitar lightly for a cool vibrato effect. I think I saw Pete Townsend do that one time... it's another cool hidden feature of the SG.

    It's probably not a good thing to do if you don't have a good feel for what is safe for your guitar, but just saying it's one of the reasons I like playing a SG. :smile:
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry - you will be able to do it for ages before you suddenly can't any more. Seriously though, this really isn't a great idea.
     
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  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Townshend didn't mind, he destroyed his guitar at the end of the show anyways. The people you see doing it don't mind having to get one of the dozen back-ups they have if it breaks.

    I'm in the really isn't a great idea team.
     
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  4. zone47

    zone47 Member

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    It's not like I do it all the time, but is a cool effect if you are performing, that's all.
     
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Gibson SG, $1800 +/-
    Aftermarket wiggle stick, $150 +/-
    Common sense-priceless.
    :io:
     
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  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why the SG gets pigeon-holed as having a lanky or rubber neck. Many of the SG with batwings have a substantial neck with some chunk to them. The neck on the 1970 SG Junior that I had in the past was far from being lanky.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  7. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    With my Telecaster I can do it without worrying, with the Firebird too, I could do it on the strats but there's no point as they have trems. I've gently tried it on the SG twice but both times there were creaking noises from the neck joint, so never again.
     
  8. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    I can knock my SG out of tune by tilting it either forwards or backwards. The neck is THAT slinky.
     
  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Plus it has a disposable neck anyhow!:rofl:
     
  10. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I could bend the neck on any guitar I've ever played, but that wouldn't make it a good idea.
     
  11. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Legend has it that someone knocked a hubcap back in place with a Tele.
     
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  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    You sure you aren't thinking of this?

     
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  13. Spiral

    Spiral Member

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    I started doing it a little bit occasionally, after noticing someone do it on youtube, then stopped after watching another video where a luthier said it wasn't a good idea to do that on an SG. I've since been playing more expensive custom shop guitars, and just wouldn't risk it.
     
  14. Astral Traveler

    Astral Traveler Active Member

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    Plus the neck is like a baseball bat :D
     
  15. 67King

    67King Member

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    Do it all the time on one of my SG's (the other is dedicated slide), and my Les Paul. Used to do it on my old Tele. Usually grab the top of the headstock, put my forearm against my fingering hand, and pull forward a little so my fingering hand acts like a fulcrum.. The SG is only a few years old, but the Les Paul is now 30 years old, and I've been doing it for 25 on it. It takes very, very little movement to get a half note drop. I'd be surprised if the neck shape changes more doing that than removing the strings.
     
  16. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    My way of thinking goes like this:

    If you want a wah sound, get a wah pedal and put it in your f/x loop.
    If you value your SG, don't stress the neck joint.


    It's just wood and glue, and we've all sat on musician stools that had
    the wood and glue joints coming loose because of so much flexing.
    Personally, I would never do it to MY guitar, and I would never consent to someone else doing it to my guitar. Do it to yer own guitar, blast you.

    Oh but I asked one of my friends, Rod Capps
    to play some lead parts on a recording several years back, using
    my SG special. I gave him my beloved instrument for a week, so
    he could practice and prepare. At that time, I only owned but one SG, and
    I felt a bit of separation anxiety, but it was worth it. It's my favorite, my
    '07 SG faded special with '57 Classic and Classic Plus...

    When we were in the studio, I was thrilled with what he had prepared for the session, until he did that wah thing with the neck.
    But I was so grateful to him for his contribution that I let it go, and
    didn't give him any grief about it. Here's the song:



    He does the neck flex thing only once during his solos and
    fills. And it sounds great, and it didn't do my guitar any harm.
    Since he did it right in front of me, while I was watching him,
    I presume he didn't think there was anything wrong with it.
    I didn't bitch.

    But I would never do it. I can do it with my Telecaster too,
    but I wouldn't flex the threads in the maple of the neck, because that's all that's holding it together. Steel screws, sunk into wood.
    No glue, so if you flex the neck, you enlarge the holes and make
    your neck fit more loosely.

    It's a dumb idea, and you can get all kinds of effects with
    pedals, and not harm any guitar. That's my way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  17. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Good god no!
     
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  18. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Well-Known Member

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    I was just playing the SG last night. I held a chord and leaned over to change something on the floor and the chord went south. I immediately straightened up and tried wiggling the neck fore and aft with my left hand to create gentle vibrato. You see Tele players do this all the time. The Tele has a maple neck so it takes a whole lot more effort to produce that than it does on an SG's mahogany neck. I can't see any downside to gently wiggling a chord but I don't do the half-step stuff.

    Bob
     
  19. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    There’s this one guy that is most famous for playing a Flying V that is painted half black, half white that flexes the headstock to create a vibrato effect and does it really well.

    I have seen interviews in the past where he explains that the headstock broke off and each time it was repaired the guitar was stronger that it was before.

    I am not recommending to flex the headstock on your own guitar.
     
  20. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I discovered that on my $84 Epi LP Special the other day. After plunking a E power chord hard and let it ring, I flexed the headstock by gripping that chord and pushing up the back of the low E tuner with my thumb. Cool effect. I wouldn't try that on a Gibson ...
     

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