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The T-Style 3-way Switch Mod

"The T-Style 3-way Switch Mod"

I love guitar tips that are simple for the DIY-minded guitar player, especially mods that are completely reversible. This week’s guitar mod is focused on “T-Style” guitars and their control plate. As many T-style players know, the 3-way pickup selector switch can often get in the way of your picking hand, and it is very easy to mistakenly switch pickups in mid-windmill. Suddenly your righteous neck tone is transformed into an icy tone. Whoops.

Here is a simple mod that will fix your 3-way switch blues: Turn your control plate 180 degrees. Then your pickup selector switch is well out of the way of your picking hand. You can also re-position your volume and tone knobs anyway you wish. Some guitars are easier to mod than others, and it all depends on how much wire slack you have. The pics below will help explain the idea.

Until next week, keep playing.

Kevin Philbin
Product Manager – Gibson Gear

T-Style Guitar:
T-Style Guitar

Control plate before mod:
T-Style Guitar - Control Plate Before Mod

Control plate after mod:
T-Style Guitar - Control Plate After Mod

Posted: 7/15/2010 5:20:52 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Gibson Gear – The Great List of Guitar Gear Tips, Tricks and Hot Rod Mods (Part II)

“String Ping”

We have all heard the infamous string “ping” sound when tuning up our guitars. This phenomenon is caused by a string getting pinched in the nut slot and then releasing under the tension. Steel strings can wear down your nut slot and cause this problem. It’s something we all have to deal with sooner or later. Aside from a getting a full setup at your favorite Luthier or at the Gibson Repair and Restoration Shop I have a tip to share that can ease your pinging guitar trouble.

This tip comes to us from Dave Timmons. Dave has been with Gibson Gear for almost 23 years and is a smoking guitar player who has been gigging since he was a teen. When I asked him what his favorite guitar tip was, he said: “That’s easy, I learned it from Joe Perry’s guitar tech.” Needless to say, I was all ears. Dave went on to explain that Carmex lip balm works great as a nut lubricant for your strings. You can scrape a little Carmex out of the tin with a knife or guitar pick and smear it into the nut slots. Wipe off the excess and you’re done.

This tip is great because it’s easy, it’s cheap and you can find Carmex almost anywhere, anytime of the day or night.

I encourage you to write me with your tips, mods or suggestions and I will spotlight one of them every week. Feel free to include your guitar playing bio, favorite gear, location or whatever you would like people to know about you. If you want to send a picture in, too, go for it. Make sure it’s less than 2 MB. Send your submission to

Thanks again to Dave Timmons for sharing. Until next week, keep playing.

Kevin Philbin Product Manager – Gibson Gear

Posted: 6/23/2010 4:22:05 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Gibson Gear - The Great List of Guitar Gear Tips, Tricks, and Hot Rod Mods

"Why Didn't I think of that?"

This is what I heard from a friend when I shared a guitar tip that was taught to me by the late, great Ted McCarty. Years ago, I purchased a Bigsby tailpiece, and installed it on my Cherry Red Epiphone Riviera. It looked fantastic, but I soon found out that putting new strings on a Bigsby vibrato is a big pain in the butt. It makes you wish you had a few extra arms and hands. I remember thinking, "What did I get myself into"? I ended up calling Ted McCarty at Bigsby.

Before I get to the rest of the story, I would like to welcome you to a new series of blog articles from your friends at Gibson Gear. I intend to create the greatest list of guitar gear tips, tricks, and hot rod mods ever assembled in one place. You see, I have been a guitar nut since the age of 10. I have learned so many cool little tips during my years as a player and my guess is that you have, too. So, as they say in group therapy…"Let's Share!"

I encourage you to write me with your tips, mods, or suggestions and I will spotlight one of them every week. Feel free to include your guitar playing bio, favorite gear, location, or whatever you would like people to know about you. If you want to send a picture in too, go for it. Make sure it's under 2MB. is the address to send your submission to.

Ok, let's get back to the story. So there I was, struggling for 30 minutes trying to string up my Riviera after installing a Bigsby and the whole experience reminded me of a Three Stooges sketch. This was not going well. I called up Bigsby, and Ted McCarty got on the phone. I expressed my frustrations, and Ted calmly asked me if I owned a capo. I was a little confused about his question, and wondered what one had to do with the other. I finally answered, "Yes, I have a capo somewhere. Ted instructed me to use the capo to hold down the string on the fingerboard and that would free up my hands to string up the guitar at the bridge and tuner post. Happily, minutes later, my guitar was strung up and in tune.

This instantly became my favorite guitar trick and I am happy to share it with you because it is so simple, so helpful, and most of all, it involved the legendary Ted McCarty. Thanks, Ted! If you don't know who Ted is, I urge you to check out his Wikipedia page. He is a Gibson legend:

Ok, I have officially kicked off our new blog series, and I look forward to highlighting the best guitar gear tricks and tips out there. Until next week, keep playing.

Kevin Philbin
Product Manager – Gibson Gear

Posted: 6/9/2010 4:14:53 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Back From NAMM

Well, we have all returned from NAMM and are back into the daily swing of things. The Gear Division had a very active show, displaying our new Lifestyle items as well as giving product demonstrations of our pickups. 
Frank Hannon and Dave Rude from Tesla stopped by and did a great pickup demo for us. They played an awesome blues jam followed by “Modern Day Cowboy” and then a cover of UFO’s “Rock Bottom.” Not only do these guys shred but they are great to deal with, fun to hang out with and they treat their fans like gold.

Check out the video of them playing in the Gibson Gear booth below. They are the real deal. That wraps it up for today. Everyone keep rockin’.

Posted: 1/21/2009 12:16:21 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Lifestyle Products Unveiled at CES

Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas….or so they say. I don't think that its 100% true, and that's okay with us because some of the gang at Gibson Gear spent the better part of a week in Las Vegas for the CES convention, and we want to spread the word far and wide about our new Lifestyle product line. We have been working hard behind the scenes on developing new products for you that are of high quality and cover a wide selection of items that any fan would be proud to own, and we definately do not want it to be kept a secret.

Watches and Jewelry:
We have designed over 50 different styles of watches. They range from ultra-modern to classic designs that never go out of style. Every detail on our watches was designed specifically for us, and by us. They are not cookie-cutter designs by any means, and they incorporate Gibson design motifs even down to the box design. The same goes for our Jewelry; Unique designs, and high quality.

A pen is a pen right? Well, you might think differently when you see the new line of Gibson pens. Again, quality and design are the 2 factors that make our pens so special. We didn’t just take a 29cent bic and put a picture of a guitar on it. Every Gibson pen incorporates many Gibson design motifs, and features a full color reproduction of a guitar or headstock on it. Even the pen box is exceptional.

You can probably guess that our new clothing line incorporates great designs and is high quality. It didn’t take long after we displayed our clothing at CES that many consumers were making offers that we found very hard to resist to buy the clothing that we were displaying. Unfortunately it was not for sale at the show but it will be soon. We will be offering designer T-shirts, Hoodies, Mechanic shirts, jackets…etc. Styles range from ultra-modern with all over print, silver stitching, and leather embellishments to low-key designs.

Overall our experience at the 2009 CES show was excellent. Our only worry is that we may not be able to keep up with the demand for the products, but don’t worry we can make more. Next, we are off to the NAMM show in Anaheim, and I can’t wait to show my products to consumers and artists.

CES Vlog No. 6: Introducing our new Lifestyle line of clothing, jewelry, pens and more!

Posted: 1/14/2009 7:49:16 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Tips on Guitar Maintenance

Well 2009 is here and the holiday season is coming to a close. Although this is a very hectic time of year I always find a little time for myself to work on a few personal projects. This year I decided to take a night off from everything to tweak a few of my guitars. Now, being in this business for quite awhile I know how important a good setup and fresh strings are. That being said, I can be somewhat remiss when it comes to keeping my own gear in tip-top shape. Sometimes life just gets in the way of important things like working on guitars! I would like to point out that if you are not experienced or comfortable performing any guitar maintenance by all means take it to a reputable and qualified repairman or technician.

I usually perform just a few functions. I check the neck relief, give the frets a light buffing, restring, set the action if needed, and check the intonation. This usually doesn’t take a lot of time as long as your guitar hasn’t been exposed to any extreme weather or climate changes and you are using the same gauge and brand of strings every time. Years ago, when I played out five or six nights a week, I used to restring every two nights always making sure the guitars were thoroughly cleaned up during each restringing. Currently, I have not been playing nearly enough so I have been going longer between string changes.  I have recently been using our Gibson Vintage Re-Issue Pure Nickel strings. The Pure Nickel has a somewhat rounder tone than Nickel Plated Steel strings such as our Brite Wires. I’ve found that they have a very long “shelf-life” while on the guitar for when I don’t get my strings changed as often as I should. Like everything, each player has their own preference as to what works for them. Sometimes my preferences change on a weekly basis! When you’re surrounded by great gear every day you have a lot of options to play with! Go figure! The important thing is to find what works for you and make sure your guitar is properly maintained. It’s amazing how sometimes something so simple like fresh strings can inspire one’s creativity.

Everyone have a great weekend (and show your guitar some love).


Posted: 1/2/2009 9:45:39 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Introducing Gibson Gear's New Lifestyles Line of Guitar Parts, Clothing and Accesories

Happy Holidays from the gang at Gibson Gear. We hope that 2008 was good to you and wish all of you an even better 2009. This is a new blog designed to give the Gibson fan an inside look at the Gibson Gear Division and the folks that make it happen. My name is Dave and I’m honored to have the privilege of writing the first blog. I have been with Gibson for almost 22 years and have played guitar for a little over 30 years. Funny thing is … I was a lot better player 20 years ago. My healthy new lifestyle must be to blame. Yeah, right! Anyway, we hope to share new product news, artist signings, funny stories, or whatever else comes to mind with you. Please check in regularly. One never knows what we might put up.

One thing we are excited about is our new Lifestyles Product Line. The Lifestyles Line will include high quality items such as watches, jewelry, shirts, jackets and much more. More information will become available as this electrifying new line of products comes together. We think everyone will be blown away.
Also, new for 2009 is our online Gibson Store. The store will feature Gibson accessory items that may be purchased directly online. Currently, the store offers our very best-selling Replacement Parts. Over the next few weeks you will see many more items such as pickups, strings, instrument care products and the new, aforementioned Lifestyles products added to the store. Please visit us at

Until next time…Keep on jamming!


Posted: 12/31/2008 9:26:19 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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