How to restring a Bigsby guitar

The process isn’t as complicated as most make it out to be.

How to restring Bigsby
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Why you need this

Changing strings on a Bigsby-equipped guitar can be tricky with only one pair of hands

What you need

  • A pen or pencil
  • Capo
  • Octopus (optional)
  • Wire snips

Our esteemed editor Chris once described this process as a job for an octopus, but stringing up a Bigsby-equipped guitar needn’t be as tricky as that description suggests. There seem to be two main issues that people find troublesome – getting strings to hook onto the roller bar pins and preventing them from falling off the pins when they’re threaded through the tuner posts to be tuned up.

Start by wrapping the ball end of the string around a pen, pencil or even your finger, to create a loop. Once the string is bent, it should hold its shape and will be easier to hook onto the pin. If your Bigsby has a tension bar at the front, pass the string under the bar before hooking it on. Hold the ball end of the string onto the pin with one hand, then pull the string tight with your other hand. While maintaining the tension, let go of the string’s ball end, using a capo to clamp the string in position. This is where a ‘one-handed’ capo such as a G7th proves invaluable.

Both hands will now be free to thread the string through the tuner and make the first few wraps around the post. Use the tuner to tension the string before releasing the capo. Simply repeat the process for the other five strings.

Scroll through the gallery below for the step-by-step guide:

Check out more of our DIY guides here.

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