If you own a Gibson SG or any of the higher-end Epiphone copies, then you’re probably aware of the so-called “neck dive” issue where the neck tends to outweigh the guitar’s super-light body. As a result, when you’re standing up with your SG strapped onto you, you’ll notice that it’s tilting down with the headstock pointing to the floor. Well, a YouTube enthusiast, musician, and pedal builder Fran Blanche seems to have found a solution.
And although she’s far from the first person to come up with some sort of a solution to the neck dive issue, this really is a simple one that doesn’t require any particular modifications to your guitar’s body. Going into the neck dive issue and her new simple invention, she said in this video while comfortably standing up with her Gibson SG (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs):
“Other people might know, especially people who own Gibson SGs, or know about the famous issue about Gibson SGs, is that I’m not actually holding on to the guitar and the headstock is not pointing to the floor.”
“So look at this — it’s just the guitar sitting the right way. How is this done? Well, it’s because I invented a special kind of a guitar strap just for imbalanced guitars.”
“The SG is probably the most famous imbalanced guitar. But there are others. My short-scale bass, the Fender Jaguar Bass is also off-kilter.”
“When you wear a guitar that has the center of mass too far towards the headstock, when you let go of the neck, the headstock will just start sliding this way and point towards the floor.”
Going into more detail behind her new invention, Fran then said:
“I overcame that by making this special kind of strap. Which, although it looks like just a regular guitar strap, it’s actually got a special clip that I sewed onto strap on this side [at her right hip, opposite to the neck] that goes under my belt.”
“When I put the guitar on, I slip the clip underneath the belt. And what happens is that it’s holding the weight of the guitar right here.”
You can see that in the screenshots shared below:
Sure, we know what you’re thinking — you need to wear a belt now as well. But even with that in mind, this still seems like a pretty practical and elegant solution to a somewhat annoying problem.
However, there’s another catch to the whole thing and it’s about patenting. She explained:
“It’s a very simple elegant solution. And, right now, people are gonna say ‘Fran, why didn’t you patent that? It works so well, it’s so simple.’ Well, I have made many videos, or made many comments in my videos, about patenting ideas.”
“The only people who say ‘Fran, you should patent that’ are people who never patented anything. Especially in the last 20 years because there are some guys are like ‘I had a lot of patents in the ’70s, it was really easy, I’ve got like 20 patents.'”
“Well, these days, if you want to get a patent, you have to hire a patent attorney and the patent search process takes about six months, costs you about $10,000. And if you get awarded a patent, then people assume ‘Oh, now you’ve got this commodity to sell.'”
But it gets complicated:
“But what you don’t realize is that when you actually get approved for the patent, your idea is made public. So the patent files are accessible online. Anyone in the world can look through patent files and see patents that have been recently filed and do patent searches.”
“So your idea, whatever it is, becomes completely public where anybody can just steal that idea and make the product, or something very similar to the product”
And as Fran also adds, “there’s no international agency that is going to search for anybody violating your patent.” In practice, you’d need to do your own policing and, if you find anyone infringing upon your patent that’s still in the process of being approved, it’s an additional immense cost and an almost impossible issue to solve for a variety of other reasons.
So far, Fran isn’t doing any patenting. Instead, it’s something that she just uses for her own home studio needs. And if you’re constantly dealing with the annoying neck dive with your SG or any other guitar model, now you’re free to “steal” this idea. You can check out the full video below.
Photo: Gibson SG Standard 2006