Headstock Protection During String Changes

Many guitarists don’t give string changes much thought except to procrastinate as long as possible. Lets face it they’re annoying at best right. Who wants to restring & tune a guitar instead of playing it.

During the inevitable string changes, if you are so inclined you can take a few seconds to protect the headstock paint & silkscrening from possible string scratches as explained below. The edge of the string can be sharp yet blunt causing micro scratches as well as actually scrape off the logo such as the Ibanez screening.

This post is the result of recent debate at the jemsite forum regarding the purpose of the string retainer bar and some people who remove the retainer bar each time they change strings on a double-locking tremolo guitar such as the Ibanez JEM, Ibanez RG, etc.

The  retainer bar has just one purpose, to allow the string to follow the angle of the locking nut so that when you lock the nut (snugly, not overly tight) the strings will stay 100% in tune. If the retainer bar is set too high the strings will pull sharp when you lock the nut. This should be obvious. Too low and no problem except there might not be enough clearance for the string, especially with guitars such as the Ibanez RG, JEM & Universe models that feature plastic trussrod covers.

Note that the trussrod cover protects the headstock as well but does not 100% cover, plus why risk scratching that?

To make a long story short simply use this printable PDF download to create your own printable cutout. , simply print the PDF at 100% scaling then cutout/trace over an index card or laminated cardstock. Tweak as necessary for an easy fit.

This  index card cutout is so easy to create and offers full protection from scratches, laziness, etc. during string changes.