Modern Gretsch Guitars

Do you use your Bigsby much?

1

I've always thought that the Bigsby is one of the things that makes a Gretsch a Gretsch. However I realized my last few guitars don't have one and I never use one when playing except for a little messing around. What about you?

2

I suffer from Bigsby Arm Spasm. You know grabbing the arm that isn't there. I smile and laugh it off but I'm thinking of forming a self help group.

3

I play acoustic more than anything else, so, the Bigsby isn't that important to me. I played without one for forty years, so I'm OK without it. I'm more of a rhythm than lead guy, and I only have one Bigsby equipped guitar. I do think that the metallic mass may have something to do with the tone of the guitar, somewhat akin to Fender's string thru body setup.

4

i'll say this..when i do want a vibrato, i reach for a bigsby equipped guitar..i don't even keep the arms in the various fender vibrato equipped guitars…bigsbys are different, but its a sound i like

cheers

5

Yes I use it a LOT. Maybe too much. When I'm playing I'll give it the occaisional subtle touch on chords that ring out, or during solos I'll use it to add vibrato....at at the end of the last song of the night I'll swing off it like a rubber gorilla #rubbergorillaarmy.

7

as a matter of fact, you just raised your "bigsby" to a "cjhtcz"….

cheers

8

Not having one makes you reach for other possibilities. But I do have what Tubs described; I call it the Bigsby Ghost Response.

9

It depends on what I am playing. I do use it a fair bit, but "lightly"- no power dives or such.

10

I'm at the point where I don't want to own a non-Bigsby guitar. I love 'em.

I try to use it tastefully. Usually to bend chords, chord fragments or harmonics.

11

I use it on "Ghost Riders" more than any other song, it brings a smile to people's faces when I use it on an A minor chord.

12

I use it all the time and reach for one when there isn't one, even on my acoustic.

13

I use it a LOT -- mostly to add some vibrato.

I have a Martin D41 and I find myself reaching for the Bigsby.... but guess what..!!

14

If I'm playing a Gretsch, and I expect the arm to be there, it really throws e off if it's not. I use it - a lot!

I was playing a Jazzmaster last night, and left the arm in the case. That threw me off completely. I kept reaching for it....

15

Always...can't play without one. I'd rather have 5 strings than no wanger.

16

Pretty much always. Every guitar needs a bigsby, except my Tele's I just bend the neck on them

17

I just us them occasionally. More so on my 6122-1959, probably because of the Chet Arm. Guitars, Gretsches in particular, just look "wrong" without them.

18

I took 3 springs out of 5 off of my Stratocaster to get close to the same tension as my bigsby equiped Gretsch. I don't use it often but I do use it. I'd be lost without it.

19

As Brian Setzer once said, "I don't know how to play guitar without one." I feel I've done something wrong if I work out what I'm going to do on a song and I don't have a nice woozy bend somewhere in the arrangement.

I also suffer from Phantom Bigsby Reach Syndrome. Heck, I thought I was the only who had it.

But I'm not actually suffering, mind you.

Paul/FF909

20

I'm with Kevin in that I use mine a lot but gently, no power dives for me either. With my '49 Gretsch Syncro and my other acoustics I don't find myself reaching for the arm too often but occasionally I find myself doing it!

21

Yes, without a doubt. I do use my Bigsby.

However, I think that it can be overused; typically, not in the frequency of its use. No, I have heard some people use one where it is anything but subtle. They shake their wigglestick as if they are whisking scrambled eggs. I know that my views may be out of harmony with many on this site, but I think that the vibrato should be used to enhance a note, rather than to become its main feature.

22

The Bigsby is now fully integrated into my electric guitar style. I use it a lot for fast, bluesy vibrato, especially up the neck (e.g. 16th fret and above) where it's hard to do exaggerated finger vibrato. I also use it to dive bomb on occasion, and it rarely goes out of tune - especially on my thinline 6120N. Then there's the note dips and swells which I use to color single note lines. It should be pointed out that you can pull up on the Bigsby handle to make a note go sharp as well as pressing down to flatten a note in the usual way.

23

I hardly ever use a Bigsby (nor the the vibratos the Jaguars I've owned have had). I prefer to pick notes, than wiggle a stick. At the rare times I want to use a Bigsby, I REALLY want to use it, but the rest of the time, the arm stays swung out of the way.

24

Yeah, I use it. And I reach for one on my acoustic guitar, more as an in joke than out of habit. There are certain pieces that just have to have a Bigsby dip in certain passages.

25

I'd use mine more but I haven't figured out how to tune a guitar on-stage in the middle of a song yet.


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