The String Butler String Guide by Dietrich Parts

The String Butler Keeps Your Guitar In Tune

With the classic look of a 3×3 or 3-strings-per-side headstock design comes the classic flaw of the middle strings having to travel at a sharp angle from the nut up to the tuning pegs. This pesky angle can lead to tuning issues, especially if your playing style includes heavy string bending.

Ever turn a vintage Les Paul around to see if someone drilled holes for replacement tuners? They more than likely blamed the stock Gibson tuners rather than the string angle. If you don’t have the time, skill or funds to pay someone else to refine or replace your guitar’s nut, there’s the String Butler. Les Paul electric guitars are renowned for having tuning problems but with this new accessory this can be a thing of the past. This new tool can be used on any guitar that has three machine heads on either side of the headstock

The String Butler by Dietrich Parts is a cluster of 4 string trees that mounts onto the high and low E tuning pegs. There’s no drilling involved and the only tool required is a pair of pliers or a wrench to loosen and tighten the hex head ferrules around the tuning pegs. Once installed, your A, D, G and B strings sit in roller guides so they can freely move in a straight line through the nut.

I put a String Butler on both of my Gibson SGs. I recommend installing it when you’re ready to change strings since you’ll need to remove the high and the low E strings anyway. This can also be used on acoustic guitars that also have tuning problems. It took less than 5 minutes to get the String Butler on, centered and bolted down. So its very easy to install and you get directions to guide you if your not confident maintaining your own guitar.

One size does not fit all! There are a few versions of the String Butler. Guitars come in many different sizes and variations which is why there are different sizes. Version 3 is what fit my SGs. Recently a Version 4 was released for Gretsch-style guitars with an oversized headstock.

Colors include black, chrome, gold and clear acrylic. The String Butler will also work with acoustic guitars such as Matons, Fenders, Takamine, Martin and many other leading brand guitars. They are also working on one to fit a strat type headstock with six string tuners on the same edge. If your guitar’s tuners have press-in ferrules, you can still use a String Butler, but you’ll have to drill mounting screws into the headstock. Just below is a demo of how it keeps your guitar in tune just click the play button.

Clip 1: I played some open chords, then followed by some exaggerated bends and finished up with the same open chords to check my tuning. The first part of this clip is with the String Butler on my Gibson SG. You will notice in the first part of the demonstration on Sound Cloud how sweet the guitar sounds after using riffs with string bends in them and then hearing a fully in tune chord at the end while the second part goes out of tune after the bending process demonstrated in the very last chord I play.

Notice how flat the G and B strings go without the Tuning Tool!

 

The String Butler Guitar Tuning Accessory

 

The String Butler is available now from Amazon for a very low price of just $46.99 For more info, head on over to Amazon.com

Or you can simply add to cart and keep shopping just click on the image below to add to cart and happy tuning.

Read more: guitarworld.com

Flying with a Guitar: 7 Tips You MUST Know For Keeping Your Guitar Safe

7 Tips For Keeping Your Guitar Safe On Planes

These days, things aren’t so simple when you’re flying with a guitar. The dynamics — and the overheads — of airplane travel have changed so much that keeping your guitar safe, close by, and in one piece has become a lot more difficult than you may think.

Sometimes you will get away with putting your guitar in the overhead cabinet; other times you’ll get a stern communication from an overworked flight attendant instructing you to commit your precious guitar to the frigid no-man’s-land of the airplane’s belly. On that occasion, by all means, make a case for flying with a guitar in the cabinet or in a coat closet. Just remember that a taser to the throat is the TSA’s signature response to passenger disobedience, and it leaves a mark. You may realise still this is not keeping your guitar safe so how do you protect your precious axe.

Yes, in some situations all you can do is swallow hard, send your guitar to the bottom, and brace yourself for the impending stomach ulcers. To help you avoid that situation, we offer these seven tips for flying with a guitar and keeping your guitar safe, with special mention to international expert, producer and session player Jeff McErlain for his insights.

p.s. If you enjoy the quick tips and advice offered below, join free for more!

Keeping Your Guitar Safe On Planes

Flying with a Guitar

1. Loosen the strings on your guitar

Temperature and pressure changes in flight can put enough strain on your guitar to snap that perfectly angled mahogany neck — unless your strings are loose. Whether you can fit your guitar in the overhead bin or have to nervously watch as it slips out of sight on the luggage belt, you should always loosen your strings before you go flying with a guitar. Taut guitar strings have over 300lbs of tension – you don’t want that to work against you.

2. Stuff it like a turkey.

Guitars are fragile. Most of us know this. But a lot of people don’t. It’s a good idea to give your guitar some extra padding and support by stuffing a few t-shirts, socks or hotel towels into the cavities of your guitar case. Pay special attention to the headstock and neck – these are the most common break points, especially when flying with a guitar. You want to minimize movement of your instrument within the case and at the same time provide some cushion to soften blows from the drops, falls, and throws of disgruntled airport employees.

3. Know which airlines allow guitars as carry-ons.

Keeping your guitar safe is mandatory if you want to play it at your booked gig. To make it easier for you, we put together this list of airlines that are guitar friendly. If an airline is not on this list it’s because they don’t make stated carry-on exceptions for instruments or we couldn’t find any info on their site. It’s still a good idea to call ahead after checking airline websites for carry-on policies about flying with a guitar this will go a long way to keeping your guitar safe. They often have provisions for instruments.

American Airlines 
United Airlines
Delta
Southwest Airlines (Southwest accepts instruments on a “conditional basis”; i.e, proceed at your own risk.)

* Knowing in advance what type of aircraft you’ll be flying in will help you decide how to pack your guitar. If you’re flying with a guitar in a small commuter plane you should pack your guitar in a sturdy hard case because you will most definitely have to stow it below deck.

4. Get a travel guitar.

Why? Flexibility. Travel guitars aren’t just novelties anymore: you can get gig-worthy travel axes ranging from custom boutique jobbers to penny-pincher models. Here are a few brands to get you started:

Traveler Guitar.com ($299+)
Best Travel Guitars.com voted the Speedster model a 9.7 out of 10 for best travel guitar. Though it’s not recommended for gigs or serious sessions, Jeff McErlain says, “When I go on vacation for more than a few days, I’ll bring my Speedster, a pocket Pod and a pair of headphones. That’s all I need to survive, it’s great. ”

Voyage-Air Travel Guitars ($399 +)
Their motto is “go anywhere with Voyage-Air,” and they’re right. These fully featured electric and acoustic guitars fold in half (fitting into a specially made backpack) and are easily unpacked for your gig. Thom Bresh never leaves home without one.

First Act 34” Acoustic Guitar ($39.99)
Yes, this is a children’s model acoustic. Which means it’s small, lightweight, and dirty-faced affordable (in case it breaks or gets lost). Not to mention it has decent tone for the casual player. I’ve been known to take one on camping trips and to potentially dangerous field parties.

5. Pack it up and ship it out.

Shipping is not always ideal for the uber-transient guitarist, but it’s a safe and viable option when flying with a guitar is not an option. If you’re going to ship your guitar within the continental United States you can expect to spend about $25 (ground) with insurance. You definitely want insurance.

6. Invest in a good guitar case.

A good, sturdy guitar case will last you a long time and it’ll pay for itself the first time your guitar makes it out alive from the wilderness of the airport luggage bay. We’re not just talking dollars and cents here – peace of mind is a valuable commodity when flying with a guitar. Take a peek at these sheaths to see what’s out there:

Gig Bags

The strength of a gig bag isn’t in its nylon fabric; it’s in the negotiating power it gives you when you’re pleading your case to a stewardess.  Says Jeff, “The slim, smaller size of a gig bag means you can politely ask the flight attendant to put it in the coat check, which almost always works when flying with a guitar. And it’ll lend you extra sympathy points when you’re working the airport authorities: ‘This is a $3,000 guitar and there’s no doubt it will perish if you send it below! Couldn’t you please ask someone else if they could send their suitcase full of clothing to the bottom? Pretty please?’ Be polite, but don’t give in either.”

Also, carry a gig bag like a suitcase; you want to keep it inconspicuous, especially if it will be out of sight during the flight. BEWARE! Take a gig bag at your own risk. There is no guarantee that you will be able to sweet talk your way out of every situation. If you’re forced to send your guitar below deck in a gig bag, you might as well have stuffed it into a pillow case.

www.casextreme.com
These guys throw their guitar flight cases off roof tops and pummel them with iron hammers to prove their ruggedness. Not to mention, the company boasts a clientele of pro players as well as the U.S. military. While you could probably never take these cases as a carry-on, they do offer protection from the indigestion you’d otherwise suffer worrying about flying with a guitar in the cargo hold. Get one of these and leave the Pepto at home.

SKB
SKB has been around for over 30 years and makes some of the best hardshell cases out there for transporting and protecting guitars. As a rule, form-molded, plastic cases will give you the most flexibility when flying with a guitar — just don’t expect to stow it as a carry-on.  But if you have a good case, it’ll be rugged enough to go toe to toe with the burliest of luggage handlers.

Affordable-Cases 
These are road cases, the kind you see roadies hauling out of tour buses and stacking backstage. Solid, rugged, and TSA-approved, they’re perhaps the best protection you can get when flying with a guitar. Like those mentioned above, you’ll never get it past as a carry-on. These babies are stow-away only and are best deployed with a foul-mouthed ex-pat Briton roadie lugging it around for you.

7. Always be polite.

No matter how much you prepare, you can’t be ready for every scenario. Your guitar could get stolen or the flight might be too full to accommodate your carry-on case. But in those rare instances of doom and desperation, the best thing you can do is keep your cool and get smart.

Jeff says: “Sometimes I just lie. I’ll say, ‘They told me at the front desk that it was fine…’ Or I’ll make sure that I get a seat in the back of the plane so I can get on first and hide my guitar behind my neighbor’s bag in the overhead bin. No matter what, flying with a guitar is a nerve-wracking experience. But when all else fails I explain that I’m willing to put it anywhere on the flight so long as it doesn’t go below. If you’re polite, respectful and make sure you stand your ground, you can get through almost anything.”

And remember, if you’re flying with a guitar that’s not replaceable then you should get evaluated by a psychologist as to why you are traveling with it in the first place.

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