What nut material

My Gretsch is soon going off to a Luther to be re strung and set up properly. I am thinking of upgrading the nut from synthetic bone. I have a bigsby and play open chord fingerstyle and blues. Any suggestions on what material will be best ?


Welcome, BrightonBlues.
I am not experienced enough to give any meaningful advice on nut material. I am sure someone who has experience will come along shortly.

I don’t have a clue and am not good enough that it would make a difference for me. Having said that, did you ask the luthier? He/She would probably have done good ideas?

I did ask, but he has not got back to me yet. I just thought that i would reach out and see what you guys think.

What is wrong with the synthetic bone nut that’s on it?
If it was soft plastic I could see changing it but synthertc bone
is more consistent and harder than real bone.

Nothing is wrong with the nut thats on it. Im just just looking to up grade.


No point in upgrading for the sake of upgrading is the short answer.

Hope that helps.


If you want a real upgrade brass is the best, it gives a brighter and more resonant sound.

Only if he wants a brighter and more resonant sound. Not
something I associate with finger style blues. So I won’t say brass
would be an upgrade in this case.

I`m hearing graphite maybe the best material as the strings slide though better. It last longer and is easier for tuning and general wear and tear.

On a guitar with a Bigsby I’d consider Tusq (synthetic ivory with teflon added) or graphite. Both of those are “slippery” which can help with tuning stability. That said, you could also apply graphite (even from a pencil lead) to your existing nut to help reduce friction at the nut.

For what it’s worth, the best upgrade I made to my Gretsch was adding locking tuners. That helped tuning stability quite a bit.