Putting new strings on a Gibson

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Gnairn23, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Gnairn23

    Gnairn23 Active Member

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    This question refers to all Gibson guitars with a Tune-o-matic bridge.

    In the book you get wit4h the guitar it says that you shouldn't remove all the string at once because the bridge will move and therefore you might need to set up the guitar again.

    My questions is.. Can you remove the 3 low strings at once, change them and then remove the 3 high strings and then change them.

    Basically, would removing 3 strings at once make the bridge move or will it keep in place by tension.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen a bridge move. Just remove them all - it makes cleaning the guitar easier. Just be aware that when all the strings are off, the stop bar comes loose - don't let it damage the surface.
     
  3. Gnairn23

    Gnairn23 Active Member

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    Oh, I thought the bridge moved when you take all the strings off, not the tailpiece.

    But yes you are right, the tailpiece is the component that moves.

    Therefore my question is irrelevant
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Not an irrelevant question.

    If the TOM bridge is stock and not one that is locked in place to the posts with set screws, then yes it can fall off said posts while flipping the guitar about giving it a thorough cleaning with all the strings removed. In addition, it's very easy to accidentally spin the thumbwheels for the bridge height adjustment with the TOM bridge removed when using a cleaning cloth in close proximity to said thumbwheels.

    If you want to keep the TOM bridge from falling off while cleaning the front and back of the guitar during string change with all strings removed, and to also prevent from accidentally knocking the thumbwheels out of adjustment, you can always use painter's tape to hold things in place during the string change and cleaning process.

    I usually remove the tailpiece during the process.

    IMO, it's much each easier to clean the fretboard and polish the frets with all the strings removed if you so desire.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
  5. Gnairn23

    Gnairn23 Active Member

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    So my question is

    Can you take 3 low strings off and then re string them, and then take the 3 high strings off and then re string them... will 3 strings be enough tension so that the bridge doesn't move.
     
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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  7. Gnairn23

    Gnairn23 Active Member

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    thanks
     
  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    One string is enough for that
     
  9. Gnairn23

    Gnairn23 Active Member

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    cheers for the comment. That's all good to know.
     
  10. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    A fellow SGer on the forum once posted a genius trick on how to avoid this. It was simply putting an elastic around the bridge and posts so it would hold it in place when the strings came off.
     
  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's the safe way to do it if you want to clean your neck free of strings. You can do the same with the tail piece.
     
  12. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven New Member

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    I always change one after another...
     
  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    You're supposed to change them?:rofl:
    When I'm in a hurry, I do one at a time, so that I don't risk the tailpiece or bridge falling off of the studs and dinging the guitar. (or worse falling on my bunion)
    When I do a proper string change, I remove them all, take off the tailpiece, bridge and knobs and on Les Pauls the pickguard, inspect and do a thorough clean and polish change all strings and do a quick setup. For me that's about a once/year event.
     
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  14. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    Who the hell reads the directions?
     
    jtees4 likes this.
  15. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I'll concur with much of what my colleagues say here...

    Very often, one OP will ask a question, hoping it doesn't sound like
    a stupid or inexperienced question
    , and the answers will be very
    meaningful to lots of others who are lurking out there, trying to
    learn something. Sharing experience and knowledge among guitarists is one of the best functions of this forum.

    So I'll add a "voice of experience" comment with this in mind.
    I'll mention the "self Locking method" of installing strings.
    Here's a link:


    There are many other how-to videos on this technique.
    You can just google "the self locking method of installing guitar strings" and find lots of information and clear explanations.

    I learned the basics before there was any internet, so many of my lessons were learned the hard way, of course. But I don't think
    everybody else has to learn that way
    . Once I got used to installing
    strings this way, I wished I had learned it decades before. It would have saved so much frustration and embarrassment.

    My SG was my first Gibson electric guitar, and I had never had any
    experience with the tuna-matic bridge before I brought my baby home. I knew how to use the adjustable saddles on my Fender bass, so that helped me understand what all the little screws were for. Lucky me, my girlfriend gave me a book by Dan Earlewine, called "How to make your Electric Guitar Play Great."

    I highly recommend any guitarist should read and keep this book.
    It explains Gibson and Fender type instruments, is really well written, and the illustrations make things easy to understand and to do yourself.

    The first time I took my SG's strings off, both the bridge and the tailpiece fell off in my lap. I didn't know this would happen. But putting the bridge back on is easy, and if you don't nudge the thumb wheels, it won't change the action or the intonation.

    Those are precision parts, which is a good thing. But the rubber band is such a simple way to solve that problem, I'm glad someone mentioned it. Also, I took the precaution of measuring the height of my thumb wheels in mm before I took the strings off. And I wrote it down on the string package. So I could easily check when I had it back together.

    So yes, you can take 'em all off at once, if you want to give your
    SG some TLC and cleaning. Or you can take them off one at a time if you're super cautious about sudden changes in tension.
    Or you can take any three off, and replace, and then do the other three. Your SG won't mind. Good wishes in all this...
     
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  16. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    You jest, but there is truth in your joke.

    I am a treble freak. My guitars are Fenders and Rickenbackers. Bright, bright, BRIGHT! And to keep things that way, string changes on those guitars are routine and regular.

    But the cool thing nobody seems to talk about in owning an SG is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO CHANGE STRINGS ON AN SG! The guitar is supposed to be Black Sabbath dark and thick. A brand new set of strings defeats that. I find that the older my strings get on my SG, the more that guitar sounds like it is supposed to.

    Got my SG in 2012. Have not once changed the strings. Maybe someone should call Guitar Protection Services and have me taken in for abusing my guitar, but I feel the guitar does not need string changes as my Stratocaster certainly does.

    See the strings on my SG? Well, they are older than that tree behind the guitar.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    For the record, I change strings on a guitar after about 20-30 hours of use(when you have 30 guitars that isn't as often as you might think.), as soon as they start to lose that brightness and before they fatigue and become corroded. I find that "darkness" if needed in my control settings so I save a lot on tetanus shots.:naughty:
     
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  18. jtees4

    jtees4 Well-Known Member

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    The same people who use built in patches on their modelling gear, and don't make their own. :D
     

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