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Ten Commandments of Gibson electric ownership.


NeoConMan

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Saw another thread on the forum today with young guys hearing for the first time about the dangers of nitrocellulose lacquer and foam rubber on stands - white cotton covers fix it - and I thought it would be a great idea to put the most important things to know in one place.

 

I was gonna do this on my own website, but I never got around to it.

 

If there were such a thing as a list of do's and don't's for the young, inexperienced, even parents who buy for their kids, what would be the Top Ten? What would you guys tell a young 'un with a new Sunburst Les Paul or Cherry SG?

 

 

 

Here's a few that come to mind, feel free to jump in with your own.

 

1. DO NOT touch the truss rod. If you think the rod is the problem, take it to a luthier. It's beyond your skill level.

 

2. DO NOT store your guitar on any stand with foam rubber, no matter what the stand maker says. Your finish will pay.

 

3. DO NOT put any stress or pressure on the back of the headstock. It WANTS to snap off, don't tempt fate.

 

4. DO NOT rely on the lame-*** factory strap pins. Properly install locks of some kind immediately, or you'll be at #3.

 

5. DO NOT use abrasive guitar polish of any kind on nitro finish. You cannot imagine the extent of damage you'll do.

 

6. Always wipe your guitar down with a dry polish cloth after playing. If more work is needed, try washing your hands.

 

7. Never leave your guitar anyplace you wouldn't leave a baby - in the sun, cold, wet, or inside a vehicle over 70 degrees.

 

8. If your guitar is in its case and exposed to cold, let it warm up gradually for a few hours before opening the case.

 

9. If you're not sure the Gibson you own is the right one for you, buy another and compare them long term.

 

10. If neither of those guitars seem to be the right one for you, repeat number 9 as often as needed. Play like hell.

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I agree with all of the rules except #7.

 

I used to leave my guitar and amp in the trunk of my monte carlo alot...when I was younger, I was very mobile and during my bar gigging days, I would leave my axe and boogie amp in the car alot. I always let the quitar aclimate(?) to the surroundings before I took it out an played it, I never saw any damage from the way I treated my '79 LP. I'm not recommending breaking rule #7, but you'd be surprised just how much abuse a les paul and a good amp can take.

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Do not apply cream wax on the body! It'll fill and dry in the pores and will be a nightmare to remove. Gibson pump polish works great with it.

 

Good one.

 

Don't cheap out on stands either.

I see the cheap, wobbly sh!t at guitar shops and it makes me cringe.

 

Replace the plastic jack plate with metal.

 

Don't move bridge thumbwheels when changing strings, or you'll be headed to the luthier for a set up again.

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I used to leave my guitar and amp in the trunk of my monte carlo alot...

I always let the quitar aclimate(?) to the surroundings before I took it out an played it

Yeah' date=' but would you do it again?

:-)

 

They [b']are[/b] tough as hell, but how do you find out what the breaking point is?

There's only one way, and it ain't pretty.

 

I'm not that lucky - I don't tempt fate.

Do not displease the Guitar Gods lest they smite thee from above....

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Here's a few that come to mind' date=' feel free to jump in with your own.

 

[b']1.[/b] DO NOT touch the truss rod. If you think the rod is the problem, take it to a luthier. It's beyond your skill level.

 

Bulls**t! I'm cheap. I always do my own!

 

2. DO NOT store your guitar on any stand with foam rubber, no matter what the stand maker says. Your finish will pay.

 

I believe this one

 

3. DO NOT put any stress or pressure on the back of the headstock. It WANTS to snap off, don't tempt fate.

 

Ehhh.. I've grabbed it and wiggled it for some vibrato - no biggie.

 

4. DO NOT rely on the lame-*** factory strap pins. Properly install locks of some kind immediately, or you'll be at #3.

 

Used factory ones and locking ones - no difference if you are careful

5. DO NOT use abrasive guitar polish of any kind on nitro finish. You cannot imagine the extent of damage you'll do.

 

Makes sense

 

6. Always wipe your guitar down with a dry polish cloth after playing. If more work is needed, try washing your hands.

 

Never do it. But I don't have that acidic sweat that some folks do because I am pure and sweet.

 

7. Never leave your guitar anyplace you wouldn't leave a baby - in the sun, cold, wet, or inside a vehicle over 70 degrees.

 

+1 - The case helps if it must sit in cold or hot, but best to let it acclimate slowly. And never leave an acoustic in the hot car unless you want your bridge to pop off!

8. If your guitar is in its case and exposed to cold, let it warm up gradually for a few hours before opening the case.

 

See above

 

9. If you're not sure the Gibson you own is the right one for you, buy another and compare them long term.

Me likee!

 

10. If neither of those guitars seem to be the right one for you, repeat number 9 as often as needed. Play like hell.

 

See above!

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Hah!

Remember SP, I'm talking about the noobies and novices here.

 

Once they're as smart as we are, they can break the rules all they want - kinda like those other Commandments...

 

Starting out, they need some help knowing where the boundaries are without hitting the wall.

You know me, the warm, soft, loveable, furry Samaritan that I am....

:-)

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Hah!

Remember SP' date=' I'm talking about the noobies and novices here....Starting out, they need some help knowing where the boundaries are without hitting the wall. [/quote']

 

You're right, Neo. And that is a good list of rules to follow.

 

Hah!

You know me' date=' the warm, soft, loveable, furry Samaritan that I am....:-)[/quote']

 

You really are ya know.

 

That said, I still think folks should learn to do stuff themselves - at least in the long run. I've always taken my stuff apart (and usually gotten it back together) and never failed to learn something in the process. Every time something breaks in the house, I learn something new by being too cheap to call a repairman and figuring it out myself (water heater and fuse panel problem last couple months). Same goes for guitar. You aren't gonna break it - unless you are really stupid - so don't be afraid to work on it. Start small - but work up.

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3. DO NOT put any stress or pressure on the back of the headstock. It WANTS to snap off' date=' don't tempt fate.

 

I've always wondered why I see a lot of these [/quote']

 

 

I think the most common scenario is the guitar leaning against an amp or a piece of furniture. When it falls, any direct impact on the headstock area results in snappage due to the extreme angle of the headstock and the tension of the strings.

 

The second most common scenario is shipping via UPS! [-X

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A guy told me a story once about how his bass player knocked his headstock off during a song.

 

He backed away from his mic and turned to his left just as his bass player was crossing behind him.

Headstock hit the body of the bass and SNAP, the headstock came off - in the middle of a song.

 

He said it took a second to dawn on him the extent of the problem.

He was in the "Damn, I broke a string" frame of mind, then realized all six strings were on the floor with the bridge.

"Okay, I can't lose any parts because I gotta put this thing back together" turned into

"Wait, there's nothing to hook the strings to because the headstock is GONE!!!"

 

He then realized the guitar would not be playing any more that night, he was holding shiny firewood in his hands.

Had it repaired and sold it.

 

 

The sh!tty stand problem just did the same thing to a friend's 70's Les Paul Custom a couple months ago.

He can get it fixed, but the guitar that was worth a few thousand dollars is now only worth several hundred.

 

He was playing his Strat for Hotel California, and as they finished the song he bumped his LP.

It fell face down and SNAP!

He was so pissed off, he couldn't play.

When the rest of the band was telling him to set it aside so they could look at it later he told them all to get f-cked and quit on the spot. He tore down his rig during the second set while paying customers watched.

Pathetic.

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I guess I've not played a new LP in a long long time - what's this about "plastic" input jacks? My LP has a sealed switch craft input jack. The newest guitar I bought (last year) was an epiphone elitist dot and it has a metal input jack?

 

I need to get out more. I'm going to Gruhn's Monday.

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I never mess with the truss (I have on the Yamaha) because if you break it you're f**** and the luthier probably will not beak it. It's worth a few buck to have them do it.

 

I store the guitar on a stand and have not had trouble -- and I set them on a stand when I am playing (but that one is old and wrapped with electrical tape.

 

I would never use abrasive (grit) on the guitar and best to use gibson polish. Never use furniture polish (it hates laquer)(always use real guitar polish). I have used clear nail polish on my Yamaha and used auto Scratch Out and some elbow grease and it looks great. I do not do anything like that on my other guitars.

 

Yes -- I have the luthier put in strap pins and the dumb *** Fisher pickup strap pin is an accident looking for a place -- that Fisher stuff is garbage! Gibson out to take that OFF their guitars altogether.

 

Yes .. a polish rag is cheap but it nothing else use a cut up T-shirt and wipe it often -- leave the rag in the well of the case.

 

Yes never leave the guitar where you would not leave a baby. TRUE -- any guitar .. any guitar.

 

Well severe hot could be a problem over east of here in the desert (Anza Borrego) but I don't take it there. Yes -- do not leave it where you would not leave a baby.

 

Um .. I am pretty happy with my J-100 (and it took a little messing around to get it there -- but I am very happy with it) All (brands) of the acoustics need to "go in" once in a while .. and it's anywhere from $35 to $60. It's how they are. I hear others tell me they have to do it too. They are made of wood.

 

The electrics need a lot of tender care too but they rely on electonics to sound good (and bad). Still the neck is wood and they have a truss rod 9etc.) and they ARE a guitar.

 

I would not want to play a horn or a keyboard or an accordion --and I tried mandolin and violin and wasn't good at it. So guitars are my thing. No matter how touchy they can be. I accept what they are and what they are not (and what I am not).

 

Nothing in this life is perfect. If you are holding our for something perfect you are going to wait a long time. We do not have much time. Gibson is a really nice guitar (and if you like them they are a great guitar). But so are the others .. Martin (some of them any way), Taylor, Collings -- it's a lot like cars. There are lots of brands and nothing wrong with any of them -- not much different either. They all plahy the same songs and if you mess with them long enough you finally have what you wanted.

 

You know the action low (I like it low) but I see some guys with Martins slamming away at their guitar -- I don't whup the snot out of my acoustic. It all depends on how you like to play them. The Mexican folks like nylon string and hate steel string. (not me). Some like a lot of fringe and gingerbread hanging on the guitar -- not me. It's all what you want.

 

Well so after a while you have the action the way you want it, the saddle the way you want it, the bridge pins you wanted, the strap hardware you wanted, the case you wanted and so on and now you are happy. Well -- if you are happy you are happy. That's it. That's it.

 

You know .. your family might have had the same conversation about you! It's all relative(s). They like you in spite of whatever your shortcomings are -- they'd prefer to have you around anyway. I look at my guitars as family (in a kind of way). I take care of them and I would not want any of them hurt.

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Mosquito repellent.

 

I've heard stories about it killing nitro.

 

In a forum a couple years ago, a thread had a few examples.

One guy was playing around a campfire with his acoustic (tempting the Guitar Gods) and had sprayed his arms.

Put the guitar away that night and noticed finish issues the next day - bad ones.

 

Another was playing an outdoor gig somewhere in the South one night, humid as hell.

Says he was sweating like crazy, soaking wet, and wiped his brow and arms - then his hands - between songs.

 

Well, he kept spraying the bug stuff on too, they were thick.

Guitar was all slimey and nasty - he's thinking what a b!tch it's gonna be to clean all the sweat and bug spray off.

Half-assed wiped it down after the show and put it safely in the case.

Couple days later he got it out in the light and G@dannnnit!!!

Worked on the guitar for a couple hours with several cloths and a bottle of polish but the damage is permanent.

 

 

Never seen it first hand, but there were lotsa testimonials to the fact.

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(#1?) I must be a luthier. I do all my own setup and mod work, including truss rod adjustments. Never had any problems, They're not as fragile as you'd think.

 

The rest sound pretty reasonable.

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D Dude,

Have you heard the horror stories of broken truss rods in Gibson necks?

 

Have you seen the damage the unenlightened ones can do to a neck?

 

Like I told Surfpup, when you know your stuff, go for it.

When you're a beginner, don't be so eager.

 

My final thought on the matter is that very often the truss rod is NOT the problem.

Jacking with it creates more problems, then the death spiral begins.

 

Probably a dozen times I've seen kids restring a Les Paul or SG and bump the bridge thumbwheels down.

Once in tune with the new strings they think that the truss rod must need adjustment now since the strings are laying on the frets. With all the "information" on the web now, they are instant set up experts and the guitar gets f-ed up GOOD.

 

Seen it too many times - with my own eyes.

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Interesting about the bug spray and the deodorant. Who would have thought that? My Gibson only goes to certain places but my Tacoma goes everywhere -- it has a strange finish on it (odd kind of stuff -- like a resin of some kind. I do not like it but it seems impervious to most stuff. The $150 Yamaha goes where the Tacoma doesn't go (like Star Trek). It has a pretty normal finish but so far it has been OK. I got a ding in the Yamaha in and Italian place. Fixed it with clear nail polish. I also play blues with it in a really crappy bar in San Diego. (I have taken the Tacoma there too and a crappy Kustom amp. ... This reminds me of a story about a place call "Dirty Dotties" (Dorothy's Cafe) It was wild on Fridays (pay day) so we'd all throw $5 on the table (pay in advance so to speak) .. and when the s__ hit the fan we'd get in the car and be leaving the parking lot about the time the police were pulling in. But you know it was always the same guys duking it out -- you get a kind of vision of a guy who owes some lawyer his house and the lawyer is trying to get him pro on 15 charges and keep his drivers license and the guy keeps getting one more charge tacked on every Friday night ... how can they fight week after week and not be locked up? Good fights .. but you need to be ready to scoot as soon as you hear the sirens. Oh .. Dotties was in Wheeling Illinois (on River Road) .. many years ago. Good fights.

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