The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

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The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Tele295) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:56 pm

Cleaning, adjusting the truss rods, and tuning my 360/12 in anticipation of Christmas shows next week, and, sure enough, the octave G string breaks. It was an old Pyramid string, but I hate restringing this guitar because of the Rockin-R tailpiece. The strings keep falling out of the open channel in the tailpiece. It's twice as difficult as I didn't want to remove the whole tailpiece for one string.

This engineering oversight drives me nuts! Is there a modification or repro tailpiece that eliminates the open channels? My guitar is the "newer" style with the rounded horns, so I'm not sure the '63 tailpiece would work or look right, but it does seem to be a more user-friendly design.

Any advice?
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (collin) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:18 pm

Miles, welcome to the forum!


Little secret on these is duct tape. It's your friend. :)

Put all your strings on the tailpiece and put duct tape over them to hold in place. String em all up and pull the tape off, easy as that.
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Tele295) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:32 pm

Hi Collin. Thanks for the welcome

I did something similar to the duct tape trick the last time I did a complete re-string. The problem arose today when I couldn't take the whole tailpiece off, but just needed to replace a single string.

Has anyone welded a piece of metal strap over the string channels, as a "permament duct tape"?
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Clint) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:57 pm

If you're just changing one string, after you seat the string into its slot, stuff a rag under the tailpiece to hold the string in place. Another technique you can try is to pull the string taught and capo it.
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Tele295) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:02 pm

I don't know if this is the custom around here, but this is a mugshot of the offender (DOB 02/96). It has an updated 12-piece bridge, and I like the Rickenbacker compressed strings over the Pyramids (heresy!)

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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (collin) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:38 pm

Tele295 wrote:Hi Collin. Thanks for the welcome

I did something similar to the duct tape trick the last time I did a complete re-string. The problem arose today when I couldn't take the whole tailpiece off, but just needed to replace a single string.

Has anyone welded a piece of metal strap over the string channels, as a "permament duct tape"?



If it's a single string, just practice. I swear it gets easier...

I usually bend the ball end of the string just a tad to angle it upwards, so it stays in the tailpiece easier. Stuffing a rag under there (as mentioned in this thread) can help as well.

You can't weld to pot metal... and that would likely mess up your guitar's finish anyways. Just practice!


p.s.. really though, reconsider the Pyramid strings. They have been known to pull the neck forward, necessitating a neck reset. Not easy and not cheap and not worth it IMO. There are other (better) string sets available on the market, both for flat wound and rounds...
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Tele295) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:21 pm

collin wrote:

If it's a single string, just practice. I swear it gets easier...

I usually bend the ball end of the string just a tad to angle it upwards, so it stays in the tailpiece easier. Stuffing a rag under there (as mentioned in this thread) can help as well.

You can't weld to pot metal... and that would likely mess up your guitar's finish anyways. Just practice!

p.s.. really though, reconsider the Pyramid strings. They have been known to pull the neck forward, necessitating a neck reset. Not easy and not cheap and not worth it IMO. There are other (better) string sets available on the market, both for flat wound and rounds...


I am not currently using the pyramids, although I left the plain steel Pyramids on and changed out the wound strings. I hear you on the extra neck tension - I felt that very quickly, I didn't like the sound or feel of the Pyramids. I'm not trying to cop George or Roger's tone - I wanted more growl, so I went back to the compressed wound strings. Much closer to the snarly sound I wanted.

I'd rather string-change 50 Bigsby B5 tailpieces than the Rocking R! ;) I wonder if something could be glued to the bottom of the R - leather or something that wouldn't mar the finish. I didn't have a capo handy today, since I rarely use them.

Have you tried these Winfield tailpieces? They appear to lack something without the R, but it appears to be an upgrade in every other sense.
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (jps) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:58 pm

Tele295 wrote:I wonder if something could be glued to the bottom of the R - leather or something that wouldn't mar the finish.

That would make it pretty tough to replace single strings, wouldn't it?
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (collin) » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:00 pm

Ah, I missed that part about using only the steel Pyramids. Good then! :)

I'm a fan of round wounds as well. Lots of love for TI flats around here, but I'm really not impressed for a $30 set of strings. I custom-make a set of really light gauge round wounds from three D'Addario extra light 6-string sets. You don't need heavy gauge strings on a 12-string (not much bending going on!) and it's easier on the hands and guitar neck.

Honest - just keep practicing with the tailpiece it will get easier. Pull up a comfortable chair and know that it'll be 45 min. I have it down under 25 minutes now! Really not that hard once you get the hang of it. Gluing something under the tailpiece is cheating yourself of learning this skill (not to mention unsightly!).

Not a fan of the Winfield harp tailpiece, personally. What you gain in ease-of-use you definitely lose in the looks department.
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Tele295) » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:12 pm

It looks pretty close, just without the R

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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Tele295) » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:14 pm

collin wrote: I custom-make a set of really light gauge round wounds from three D'Addario extra light 6-string sets. You don't need heavy gauge strings on a 12-string (not much bending going on!) and it's easier on the hands and guitar neck.


Sounds cool - would you mind sharing the string gauges you use?
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (larry mal) » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:25 am

I put a Winfield on my 330 six string after exactly one string change. Life is way too short to be messing around with that "R" tailpiece, which is bad, and cheap, and ugly.

The Winfield is only so good, but it does what I wanted it to do, make string changing no problem at all. I also put on a Mastery bridge, locked that down, and locking tuners.

I have exactly enough patience to thread a string through one hole and into another and turn a knob. In the 21st century, string changing shouldn't be any harder than that.

Get the Winfield, keep the original "R" in case you need to shell some walnuts or something, and move on.
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (collin) » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:23 pm

What a bunch of whiners...

The problem is a lack of skill, not the tailpiece. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (Tele295) » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:12 pm

collin wrote:What a bunch of whiners...

The problem is a lack of skill, not the tailpiece. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Troublemaker :lol:
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Re: The "I Got The 360/12 Tailpiece Restringin' Blues"

Postby (jps) » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:18 pm

Tele295 wrote:
collin wrote:What a bunch of whiners...

The problem is a lack of skill, not the tailpiece. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Troublemaker :lol:

But, he is a wise one, at that. :wink:
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