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Definative Answer: Should I wrap my strings around the tailpiece on my tune-o-matic style bridge?

by vaughn skow November 02, 2020 2 min read

So a couple weeks back a question came into one of the big forums that I see fly by all the time, and it seems like there is never a definitive answer, so I'm gonna give ya one ... right here, right now! 

The question: Should I wrap my strings around the tailpiece on my tune-o-matic style bridge?

The Answer: Maybe.

Maybe I should elaborate, but I promise, I'll keep this short and to the point!  When you wrap around the tail piece (stop bar) of a tune-o-matic, or "Nashville" style bridge it DOES make the strings feel a little slinkier and easier to bend.  And so, it THAT'S what you are wanting, then by all means go for it.

But how about TONE?  Many Les Paul players (Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Joe Bonamossa) swear the tone is improved with this little wrapping trick ... and they are right!  I've conducted double-blind listening tests with other engineer/producers/players/tone freaks, and we always pick the wrap-around as the better tone ... on an arched-top Gibson like a Les Paul or 335.  But NOT on a flat-top guitar like an SG.  Why, because the SG's flat top just does not have enough slope down from the bridge to the tail-piece to allow for the strings to be wrapped around the stop-bar and STILL have adequate downward pressure on the bridge.

And so, I can give you a rock-solid definite answer!

On an arched-top guitar, yes, wrap away gang!  It feels good, and sounds great!

On a flat-top guitar, nope, don't do it ... unless ya just gotta have that slightly bendier feel!

Speaking of "feel" next week we will discuss the plain vs wrapped 3rd string.  It's gonna be ... AWESOME!

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