Bigsby vibrato tailpiece: everything you need to know about the iconic tremolo system

The usefulness of the Bigsby vibrato extended into the era of rock music, as evidenced by the B7 on this 60s Gibson SG
(Image credit: Future)

Bigsby vibratos were the must-have accessories for pioneering country pickers, rockabilly tearaways and 1960s psychedelic blues experimentalists. These days, they’re as popular as ever with indie rockers and ambient noiseniks.

That’s quite remarkable for a product that has remained essentially unchanged since 1951 – but Bigsby vibratos simply work because they work simply.

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Huw Price

Huw started out in recording studios, working as a sound engineer and producer for David Bowie, Primal Scream, Ian Dury, Fad Gadget, My Bloody Valentine, Cardinal Black and many others. His book, Recording Guitar & Bass, was published in 2002 and a freelance career in journalism soon followed. He has written reviews, interviews, workshop and technical articles for Guitarist, Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Acoustic Magazine, Guitar Buyer and Music Tech. He has also contributed to several books, including The Tube Amp Book by Aspen Pittman. Huw builds and maintains guitars and amplifiers for clients, and specializes in vintage restoration. He provides consultancy services for equipment manufacturers and can, occasionally, be lured back into the studio.