Hi all,

new here, I was led to FRETS.COM, which i think is a fantastic site, from the Gibson forum.

I posted there inquiring about ideas on how to protect the back of a guitar ( Gibson Hummingbird TV )

from scratches/belt and button damage ect' when playing live.

Save for the obvious solution of changing my wardrobe when playing, I was led to the Scratch Pad product, which looks good... but maybe problems with Nitro' finish.

Was then led to FRETS site and info on applying clear pickguard material

This seems like perfect solution for me... to apply the guard to the back of guitar to protect from over  damage. Just wondering on how and if it may affect the Nitro' finish? I am waiting on the guitar to be shipped direct from Bozeman factory and also wondered if I should give the Nitro' time to 'cure' befor applying anything to the finish.

Any advice much appreciated.

Views: 2097

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

 Just leve it alone and play it . If you don't want to get any marks on it leve in the case.Bill...............

Gibson uses a substandard lacquer so it's a total crap-shoot.  According to Henry J, it takes about 2 years for their finishes to cure.  I can't verify that as every pro player I know who bought a Gibson made after 2001 have either sold the guitar (at a tremendous lo$$) or had the necks stripped and properly finished.  You'll find out that we're (especially me) not big fans of Gibson's quality or lack thereof.

I'm with Bill Eden:  Just play it.  Scratches, dents and gouges are unavoidable and even with extreme caution, will happen.  It's normal, & it's expected.  Gadgets like the scratch pad come & go because they're either not effective or just too much of a hassle to deal with. Thin "snake oil".

How are you going to protect the pickguard from scratches?  See where I'm going?  Where does overprotective "analism' stop?

If you're THAT concerned about the new guitar, buy a $250 guitar to play on stage.  Lots of touring pro's do just that

Best of luck,


dont wear a buckle that scratches when you play.wont cost a dime

 There is a black cloth tie around thing that has an elastic on it that is an old idea. They are on Ebay... My friend, I understand that you just spent a lot of money on your guitar and do not want to damage it at all.  The biggest problem with that is  'you are gonna have to play it'.    There is no getting around it. Short of getting one of those Elvis Leather things that they actually sew your guitar into, your guitar will get damaged.  Here on this Forum though, we don't say 'damaged' as you are meaning it. We say lovingly used.

 I can't name a single person on this site that would order a new guitar (acoustic or electric) from Gibson. They would order a Collings, or any of a dozen others though... Sorry for this if you did'nt know.  

IMHO The finish IS the protection! Placing plastic on the back would look weird. It would also be non-reversible if you consider re-sale. Most players I know do not worry about this sort of thing. I have two Gibsons that are less than five years old. They are scratched to hell and back, but I play a lot. Somehow, this stuff becomes way less important when you're playing a show, it's nearly 2AM, and you have along drive ahead. Once you get the first dent, just keep pushing forward :)

Well...... erm thanks for the replies..... I guess.

I understand this forum is more geared towards luthiers/repairers ect'..... I was really trying to contact Frank and get his opinion on adding clear pickguard protection over nitro'.
Maybe went around it wrong.

To advise to not play the guitar if I dont want any scratches/ 'mojo' is ...well I find it a little disrespectful. Of course I understand an instrument gets used and bruised... I even prefer an instrument to be "worn in", for want of a better expression. If you read Franks technique in the link I posted in original post, its clear that the covering should be easily removed if needed. It seems like a good solution to protect the back of a guitar to me, that is all.

I take on board your dis-like for Gibson guitars. The ones i have played...from 2009 onwards sounded fantastic to me, so I guess its all subjective ( I am not a luthier or any type of expert on build..and it seems Gibson could be more consistent...but like I say, in my limited experience they sound great to me.)

I see a hell of alot of professional guitarists playing Gibson, and they sell practically every guitar they make. So obviously they are doing something right.

I guess I was just after some advice on nitro' finishes... thanks all for your time.


"I was really trying to contact Frank and get his opinion on adding clear pickguard protection over nitro'."  Then you should have e-mailed Frank directly with a personal message.

Emmett, you asked and we gave you our honest opinions.  Gibson is akin to a car dealer whose business it is to sell cars.  Lots of hype & marketing.  However, if you really want to know about the reliability of a car, ask the mechanic who works on them.

WE are the guys that have the burden of fixing & correcting Gibson's errors and mistakes so they CAN be played.  Having to spend a couple of hours setting up a brand new $3500 "plek'd" ES-335 (or any Gibson or any other brand that costs more than $1500 street) is DISRESPECTFUL to the people who buy them. 

"I see a hell of alot of professional guitarists playing Gibson, and they sell practically every guitar they make. So obviously they are doing something right."  They are...they give their guitars to pro players so people will see them playing them. As far as selling every one they make, well, you really need to educate yourself.  That's just some more of Gibson's self-serving propaganda.

I do agree that a properly setup Gibson sounds good, especially the ones with the Classic 57 pups. The ones with Burstbuckers & Dirty Fingers,  ahhhhh...not so good.  My primary gripe with Gibson is that they're selling $400 guitars (quality-wise) for $5000 and they don't even throw in a tube of KY!


Loved this post! ^^^^

No doubt Mr. Juszkiewicz' attorneys will be contacting you, shortly...

I am compelled to respond to this discussion.

When I pick up any instrument, I try my darndest not to leave evidence behind.

If I just put countless hours into a build, I take every precaution within reason not to mark my territory.

Don't wear a belt buckle that looks like the grill of a 1955 Cadillac and pickup a guitar to play.

Regards to all,


Emmet, welcome to the forum.  The replies didn't answer your question.  People put clear guards on the top all the time, I don't image one on the back would hurt.  The longer you wait before applying the better.  Good luck

Hi Emmett.... welcome.  I'm sure no one here meant any disrespect. Your goal of trying to protect a nice instrument is a good goal. As repair people we tend to be a little skittish of "perfect" instruments, as it's sometimes indicative of a customer who will never be happy with the whatever work's being done.  

Having said that, it's still OK to want to keep your baby as new as possible, just keep in mind that dings and scratches are gonna happen eventually.  Speaking for myself, there's something about good, honest wear that is appealing... and actually preferable to a brand-spanking new piece of 'jewelry'. 

In my own experience with fresh nitro finishes, they never stop fully curing. It's an ongoing gradual process that only stops in x-years when the finish flakes-off.  So the longer you can wait before subjecting it to wear, the better.... up to a point, and that point is your call.  I'm not opposed-to 'protection devices' per se, but they do look kinda' out of place on a nice guitar. So play it, enjoy it, celebrate the first ding and move on.  Just my 2-cents. 

Thanks for the constructive comments Glen and Mike.


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service