Continuing our look at tuning problems, let’s start with something pretty fundamental. If your guitar’s not strung well, you’re already on the back-foot. Get this right and it just might lead to a more stable instrument.
As a young man, I was largely immune to the charms of the Bigsby. All I saw was a cumbersome hunk of metal nailed to the front of an otherwise beautiful guitar.
So much wasted time. Now, I love 'em. Perhaps this is a change that only maturity can bring. Like the pleasures of a lovely old whiskey, realising that facial and body-hair isn't all that great, or believing that all teenagers are up to no good.
Either way, I now understand that Bigsbys look great and sound brilliant.
They can be a pain to string up though. One little mini-trick, however, can make an annoying job just a bit less fiddly.
What you'll want to do is to bend the string's ball end around something like a screwdriver. The string end takes on that rounded shape and it's easier to fish it around to hook onto the axle pin.
Once hooked on, it's generally not too difficult to keep some pressure on the string as you get the tuner end sorted out but you can jam a piece of foam or something under the Bigsby axle to stop it flopping off in you have trouble. I've never found it necessary, though.
Bigsby's own installation instructions mention bending the ball end to a 45º angle but I prefer this method—I don't like placing any hard kinks in a string as it could weaken it.