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Unread 12-31-2007, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Here's something that has puzzled me for quite some time about guitar stores and the way that they hang or display their priceless guitar on a hook wrapped around the neck/headstock of a guitar.

A LP weighs about 8 to 11 pounds, depending on the model, size, # of pickups, tremolo, etc., not to mention the amount of tension from the strings which may counteract the weight, but who knows?

So why do they insist on hanging these guitars from the neck/headstock area and add added stress to this area of the guitar? Isn't there a better way to hang these guitars that doesn't put so much stress on that particular area?

How many guitars have you seen where the neck/headstock area is damaged or the finish has marred due to the anchor around that area? To me, this is a waste. Plus, those hangers are a bit dangerous and one bad move and the guitar can come crashing down and ruin a guitar.

Somebody has got to come up with a better way to display and hang these marvels of beauty. Any ideas or inventors out there?

I just cringe when I see a $6k Les Paul AAAA-top hanging on a display like that! If that were my guitar, I would hold it from the body and never put weight or stress on that part of the guitar. Makes no sense to me.

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Unread 12-31-2007, 12:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Well if guitar stores do it with $7000 guitars 20feet off the ground, then I guess I can trust it's ok to do at home. I don't know about finish issues, I myself put a polishing rag on the hook then the guitar so that it doesn't contact the finish. As far as the structural issue, I don't know I guess. I will say that they sort of seem to stay in tune better sitting on a stand, but I don't know if its a "real" correlation. I hear what you're saying though. When you think about it, it probably isn't the best because you are putting tension on the truss rod the more bow you have in the neck. I'm planning on using wall mounts soon that actually hang the guitar sideways so as to not put tension on the neck. I think its pretty safe, but maybe not the best. Long term, who knows but again since all guitar stores do it, it can't be that bad. When you see a $7000 Les Paul or a $3000 Martin acoustic hanging on the wall, You'd thin like I said it can't be that bad.
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Unread 12-31-2007, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Guitars are more durable than people think.
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Unread 12-31-2007, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

I've got ibanezes with very thin wizard necks and the guitars are fully loaded with 3 pickups, floyds and straps hanging on them for more than 6 months, not any issues so far. I love the wall hangers for ease of access, but I don't hang my custom on em. When I go after it, it's coming out of the case. I keep it there just for more safety and security....

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Unread 12-31-2007, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

i only hang my guitars with bolt necks.
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Unread 12-31-2007, 03:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Ive been hanging my guitars for a couple years now, nothing happened yet, but im going to put a polishing rag around the hanger, so it doesnt do anything to the finish, like ArchEtech said.
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Unread 12-31-2007, 04:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RFR View Post
Guitars are more durable than people think.
This is absolutely true. Ever see a baseball bat warp after being thrown in the closet or garage for winter? Wood is tough. People build houses out of it, I'm sure it can handle holding its own body weight.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 08:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

The tension of the strings is so high that the additional stress of holding it's weight isn't noticable.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 08:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

There is very little stress on the headstock from hanging. Most headstock damage is caused from a blow to the upper backside of the headstock where the serial# is. Also, (something you should never do) if you rest your LP on the floor flat with no support under the body, the weight on the headstock is much, much more likely to cause damage compared to hanging.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 07:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scozz View Post
There is very little stress on the headstock from hanging. Most headstock damage is caused from a blow to the upper backside of the headstock where the serial# is. Also, (something you should never do) if you rest your LP on the floor flat with no support under the body, the weight on the headstock is much, much more likely to cause damage compared to hanging.
very true.

I only cringe when I see a les paul laying on it's back !

I put a pillow under the neck, to keep the headstock off the ground. or bed.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 08:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

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Originally Posted by BobbyK View Post
very true.

I only cringe when I see a les paul laying on it's back !

I put a pillow under the neck, to keep the headstock off the ground. or bed.
Would it be fine to put it upside down?(like on a bed) Whenever mines out of the case its in my hands, but I'm wondering now. I've got friend that always rests his guitar on things with the strings touching. Then again, he is the friend with a $500 guitar with no hardshell case.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 08:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

one thing i did notice on my classic was two divots on the headstock veneer where it hung in the store. but i dont think thre are any concerns as far as it supporting its own weight!
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Unread 01-01-2008, 09:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LesPaulHDXPro View Post
Here's something that has puzzled me for quite some time about guitar stores and the way that they hang or display their priceless guitar on a hook wrapped around the neck/headstock of a guitar.

A LP weighs about 8 to 11 pounds, depending on the model, size, # of pickups, tremolo, etc., not to mention the amount of tension from the strings which may counteract the weight, but who knows?

So why do they insist on hanging these guitars from the neck/headstock area and add added stress to this area of the guitar? Isn't there a better way to hang these guitars that doesn't put so much stress on that particular area?

How many guitars have you seen where the neck/headstock area is damaged or the finish has marred due to the anchor around that area? To me, this is a waste. Plus, those hangers are a bit dangerous and one bad move and the guitar can come crashing down and ruin a guitar.

Somebody has got to come up with a better way to display and hang these marvels of beauty. Any ideas or inventors out there?

I just cringe when I see a $6k Les Paul AAAA-top hanging on a display like that! If that were my guitar, I would hold it from the body and never put weight or stress on that part of the guitar. Makes no sense to me.

Comments?

for one your lucky their about 9-12 grand over here in australia and i hang all my guitars on wall hangers and i have seen no problems what so ever i would be more worried about having guiatrs on a guitar rack leaning it on one side on the neck its liable to bend the neck sideways under the weight of the guitar over a long period of time at least hanging the guiatr keeps the neck straight.

i'v seen headstocks snapped allong the middel from the stress of the strings allone allong witht he headstock compleatly snapped off from the tension of the strings.

it is allways best to stoore your guitar in its case when your not using it.

but guitar stoors arent going to spend tonnes on guitar racks that just support the body. my gibson dealer has all of their guitars hanging on hooks which lock and wrap around the neck at the headstock but they cost a fair bit and take a bit to get the guiatr off the wall. imagine all the space you would need if they used floor stands that supported the bottom and back of the guitar.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 09:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

I just yesterday watched the videos about the Stradavarius
violins and a luthier said the worst thing that musicians do
was hang thier instruments up by thier neck and heads,
so maybe the same advise would be good for guitars???

Maybe thats only because a violin is so small though
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Unread 01-01-2008, 10:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

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Originally Posted by coldsteal2 View Post
I just yesterday watched the videos about the Stradavarius
violins and a luthier said the worst thing that musicians do
was hang thier instruments up by thier neck and heads,
so maybe the same advise would be good for guitars???

Maybe thats only because a violin is so small though

Yeah, well that STRAD guy is dead, so what the hell does he know.

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Unread 01-03-2008, 05:05 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldsteal2 View Post
I just yesterday watched the videos about the Stradavarius
violins and a luthier said the worst thing that musicians do
was hang thier instruments up by thier neck and heads,
so maybe the same advise would be good for guitars???

Maybe thats only because a violin is so small though


strad-who-varius?
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Unread 01-12-2008, 10:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

as long as I have been playing i have never seen anything happen to a guitar unless it fell out the hanger /which is not likely

Last edited by mojofilter; 01-13-2008 at 05:50 AM.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 11:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Hi there, I was thinking about hanging my guitars and was worried about these same issues. I am a mechanical designer and I think I might design my own style of hanger. any input will be considered, I'm planning on using the lower strap hook and supporting the guitar mainly from the bottom. I will be sure to share what I come up with.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 11:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

i have had many a problem haging mine i went back to a 7 guitar syand after three day experiment i am tellin you its just better to keep any tension off the joint!
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Unread 01-04-2010, 11:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

I doubt it hurts them as long as wall hangers have been around.

The Alpine White Les Paul I saw at GC had black stains in the finish from the hanger that wouldn't rub off.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 11:53 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Going to have to call BS. What could possibly happen to a guitar hanging on a hook for 3 days?

Some dealers hang their guitars by string around two tuning pegs! If that doesn't hurt a guitar, hanging by the neck isn't (assuming the material is lacquer-safe)

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Unread 01-04-2010, 01:18 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Look at it this way, it can't possible help to hang a guitar by it's headstock, it can only hurt. Why take the chance? I leave mine on stands with seatbelts as upright as possible without tipping forward so there is almost no pressure on the neck at all. I've always wanted to hang em to conserve space and cause it looks cool, but I'm afraid
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Unread 01-04-2010, 02:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Forgive me for working in Metric but it's what I know.

The problem is that the weight force acting upon the joint is a component of the force acting vertically and horizontally on the headstock. I'm going to assume a 17 degree headstock angle since this is the Gibson section.

m = 5kg (approx assuming 11lb)
g = 9.81 ms^-2

mg = 5*9.81 = 49.05 Newtons

This is the actual weight of the guitar itself, the force acting upon the joint is a function of the cosine of the angle from the vertical, or the sine of the angle from the horizontal. I'm going to take the angle from the vertical, 17 degrees as per the headstock angle

adjacent = cosine(17)
hypoteneuse

hypoteneuse*cosine(17) = adjacent

The adjacent is what we're looking for to find the force so

49.05 * 0.9563 = 46.9065 Newtons

So the force acting upon the headstock joint is only 46.91 Newtons

Funnily enough on an Epiphone with a 14 degree headstock angle (Norlins are like this too are they?) for a guitar of the same weight the force would be approximately 47.6 Newtons so it's better to hang a Gibson rather than the equivalent weight Epi.


Last edited by Shane; 01-04-2010 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Fixing units, acceleration has a squared in it
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Unread 01-04-2010, 02:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinrider1 View Post
Going to have to call BS. What could possibly happen to a guitar hanging on a hook for 3 days?

Some dealers hang their guitars by string around two tuning pegs! If that doesn't hurt a guitar, hanging by the neck isn't (assuming the material is lacquer-safe)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y24...leff-small.jpg
I'd also like to point out that ALL of those sunburst guitars in the photo are real 58-60 Bursts (and Mary Ford's GT and a few other unique ones as well)... Dirk Ziff with his multi million dollar Burst collection and this Perry guy as his pro have probably looked in to this sort of thing. Again, see the above pic!
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Unread 01-04-2010, 02:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
strad-who-varius?
STRAT O. Various.

He's the guy that invented all of these various strats:

Fender® Guitars
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Unread 01-04-2010, 02:27 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
Forgive me for working in Metric but it's what I know.

The problem is that the weight force acting upon the joint is a component of the force acting vertically and horizontally on the headstock. I'm going to assume a 17 degree headstock angle since this is the Gibson section.

m = 5kg (approx assuming 11lb)
g = 9.81 ms^-2

mg = 5*9.81 = 49.05 Newtons

This is the actual weight of the guitar itself, the force acting upon the joint is a function of the cosine of the angle from the vertical, or the sine of the angle from the horizontal. I'm going to take the angle from the vertical, 17 degrees as per the headstock angle

.....

49.05 * 0.9563 = 46.9065 Newtons

So the force acting upon the headstock joint is only 46.91 Newtons

....
What is the weight/force per unit area at the headstock/neck transition point. Isn't that the weak spot because of the truss rod cutout?

What is the effect of string tension?

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Unread 01-04-2010, 02:34 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agave_Blue View Post
What is the weight/force per unit area at the headstock/neck transition point. Isn't that the weak spot because of the truss rod cutout?

What is the effect of string tension?

I have an Epi so don't know that area unfortunately. Divide the force across the area and it can be gotten with accurate measurements of the divide.

I would think string tension is more of a torque force would it not be, trying to pull the headstock around from the tuning pegs? What gauge strings, what brand strings, what material strings and what tuning you have it in would have an effect (or affect, not entirely sure) on that I'd assume also
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Unread 01-04-2010, 02:34 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

I dont think it hurts anything. I dont do it but I wouldnt not do it because I was afraid of hurting my guitars.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 02:50 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

Innappropriate post

Last edited by GibsonByBirth; 01-04-2010 at 07:30 PM.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 03:10 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Does hanging a guitar from the neck/headstock do damage?

no.











if you want to baby your guitar even further, get one of these.


Mandolin Brothers uses these little mounts which are nailed into a wooden piece with one little angled nail, and then the leather strap is around the tuners (which i thought would be harmful) and is just hanged, all their guitars are like that, even the $75,000 1957 LPGT. Apparently it does no harm and works great.

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