Other Guitars

To Bigsby or not. That is the question


I guess it depends on how much you use a Bigsby? I never liked the look of a missing tailpiece, there must be a good way of lessoning the look of “something is missing.”


Is that an early '80s? Looks great. To me the weight would be a factor. I put a B7 on my 335 and kept the guitar slightly under 4kg/8.8lbs.


My '79 335 came with a trapeze tailpiece, so Bigsbying was a no-brainer. That was 1983, and I haven't been without a Bigsby since. (My previous guitars had Bigsbalikes, so it's been a life-long thing.)

It doesn't look natural on that one, though. Maybe maple caps in the holes would help...a LOT. I'm wondering if a hardware store wouldn't have such things, intended to cover screws for finish work.

But ultimately, it's your call. Only you know how crippled you'd feel without a wiggle-stick.


Why would you NOT want that Bigsby on that guitar...?


The trouble with Bigsbys on semi-hollow Gibsons and anything with a flat face(except a B16-loaded Tele) is they need a tension bar to work.Stiff as a board. Dialogued with EE on FB about this issue-he uses B5-B7 types on his Gretsches and likes them,but I didn't get to ask him how he deals with it.Maybe there's a fix I don't know about.


I prefer the look of the guitar with the Bigsby as without it, it looks like too much open area on the top. The Bigsby gives a more overall balanced look to all the hardware.


Another vote for "no." Only because it looks really, really good stock. With the Bigsby, it's kind of like braces on a pretty smile: looks better with them off--unless you need it. If it's just about cosmetics, I'd leave it off.

But hey, who am I to tell Paul Pigat about how his guitar should look?

What's it sound like? I wanted one of those for years (imagined I'd be as cool as Dave Edmunds, but I wasn't). I ended up close-- remember those ES-333's, which were like a poor man's 335? They had an access cover in the back. I put a Bigsby on it, but ended up removing it. Somehow never felt right.


Yeah leave the Bigsby on it but to divert attention away from the vacant tailpiece threaded inserts you'll want to attach some kind of mystery contraption that looks important but doesn't actually do anything...or maybe does do something! A pick holder? A slide holder? Something anyhow.


You'll make it sound perfect either way but I say no if it is a semi-hollow.


A B7 or B12 works well for me on a semi. Just don't expect it to feel like a Gretsch. Here's mine:


Not on that baby.

In fact, I only like a Bigsby on one Gibson, that Les Paul the Rolling Stones had.


"In fact, I only like a Bigsby on one Gibson, that Les Paul the Rolling Stones had."

Which I saw in the flesh recently! It is currently on display at The Met in New York. Saw some amazing guitars there...

I would suggest that if you want to put a Bigsby on a 335 (which really should be a good idea) try a B6 with one of those tension bars which bolt into the stop tailpiece holes. I think Tavo has done this with an Epiphone and it looks really schmick. Maybe it was a Les Paul? Can't remember.

Really, it's the kind of thing that someone who makes fabulous bar bridges should be making. You'd think it would be easy of you're good at making bridges.

(edit) Here you go! http://townerusa.com/produc...


I vote no. I love Bigsbys, even considered putting one on my P90 thinline tele, but not all guitars "benefit" from a Bigsby. A 335 to me is a classic design that does not.

(honestly, despite my considerations, I'm not a fan of Bigsbys on teles either... with a few rare exceptions...)


If the guitar is a 70's model, then that particular style of Bigsby is period correct, and you should go with it (open bridge holes be damned). But if the guitar is a reissue of some kind, my aesthetic goes right to the genesis of the form, and a vintage B7 would be the cats meow!


Every guitar deserves a bigs,



If a guitar needs a thingemadoodle to cover up the stop bar holes, don't put a Bigsby on it.


I don’t remember Bigsby model numbers. My 335 has the short one, presumably intended for space-limited applications. (It was doing the backstroke in a box of old parts I found when working at the music store, and I liberated it.) I didn’t know better than to just try it.

Since in consequence the strings run further from the bridge to get to it, and by the topography of the guitar that’s a slight downhill run, there’s enough down-tension without an unsightly tension bar. The handle doesn’t come to the accustomed location, but it’s never been a problem. (If it had been, longer handles are available.)

Is it period-correct? Geez, I never thought about that. It’s properly functional, musically useful, and looks to me like it belongs. When I first put it on in 1983, it was much older than the guitar, which had never heard the word “vintage.” I didn’t care: there it was, I could afford it, it worked. Both the guitar and the tailpiece were present in the same period of time, so it seemed correct to me.

Aesthetically, the short/wrong Bigs without t-bar looks better to me on the 335 than the one you now have, Paul. It’s a thought. Of the solutions proffered here, I still prefer somehow capping the remaining bushings with low maple plugs, if that’s feasible.

I think aesthetically you gotta make the holes disappear (insofar as possible) - or put something there that at least LOOKS like it has purpose. Not something that calls attention to them, making an observer say either “why the hell did he put that there” or “I guess he thought he had to dress up the holes.”

So I like either Jack’s functional t-bar - in conjunction with a t-bar-free Bigsby - or Doppler’s suggestion of something looking important (preferably complicated and mysterious) that doesn’t do anything. Maybe a row of little electric motors, with wires routed from their shells going to each string post on the Bigsby. You can say it’s Gibson’s new auto-tuning system.


It’s still not clear to me if the guitar is older (even vintage perhaps)... or a new reissue? If it’s brand new then I understand the concern about the holes (first scratch on a new car...). But if she’s been around the block and shows any signs of being a gig-worthy machine, then I feel like the holes just add character. I’ve never really appreciated the black little plaques Gibson applied to conceal them. Just tell people that this is where the sound comes out!


I vote no. I love Bigsbys, even considered putting one on my P90 thinline tele, but not all guitars "benefit" from a Bigsby. A 335 to me is a classic design that does not.

(honestly, despite my considerations, I'm not a fan of Bigsbys on teles either... with a few rare exceptions...)

– ruger9

I'm with ruger!

I love Bigsby's ,i just don't like double tension bar Bigsby's,including B5's.

That is a lovely looking 335 Paul!

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