December 25, 2010

GUITAR WORKSHOP I - Floyd Rose I: tuning & restring

There are too many guitar-player with a locking trems out there who have no idea how to tune their guitar, far less how to adjust their whammy. I have much phone calls to do it. Believe it or not, but there are two guitarplayer who bring their guitar around to restring them.
Now that I'm moving, I thought I could write a little blog. I also tune up and fix guitars.
I know a lot guitarrists who say: "I hate Floyd Rose/locking tremolo guitars, cause it's too difficult to tune them!"
What? I love locking trems. A well adjusted whammy is the best thing you can get. No more off-tune sound, no everyday tuning, a lot more sound capabilities etc. It's easy to restring them or tune them. It doesn't take more time as a fixed bridge guitar.

1st rule: do not change the string thickness much. Take if possible always the same strings.
Ernie Ball and ghs are my faves. I guess your local dealer will approve that they are one of the best strings for locking trems.
Okay, put a thin iron plate under the whammy like that:

Some people take wood, but there's a lot tension on the trem, so the wood could break and probably harm your neck. The plate should fit exactly in the gap between the tremolo and the body. If not, never mind, we'll fix this later! ;)
2nd rule: do not let ever the whammy relapre or to drop back fast!
Now change one string after the other. (first the thick E-string, tune it, than the A string... and so on...)
Let's see: Is you guitar tuned and does the tremolo lay softly on the iron plate. So you can pull the plate easily out? Perfect. Your whammy is well adjusted!

No? No problem. Let's continue until it's fine.
The tremolo is too high/in the air: First, let the strings a bit lose till the trem lies on the plate. Now open the back of your guitar. The tremolo is attached to 3 springs. The springs are too tighten, we have to relieve them a bit. Now try to tune your guitar. If it's still too high, you have to relieve the screws again, until it's fine. If you do it the first time or if the whammy's already very misaligned, it takes some time. But when it's done, you'll be very happy with your whammy bar.

tighten or release both bolts

I take a flat spoon :)

Can't put the plate easily out: You have to tighten the strings. Open the back of your guitar. There are three springs. Tighten the screws a little bit and tune your guitar. Is the plate going out easy? well done! If not do it again untill it's fine!

3rd rule: Guitar mechanics are very sensitive. You don't have to screw on or relieve any screws to much or too heavy. Try a little bit before ruin anything on your beloved guitar!

If your locking tremolo's adjusted once, you don't have that much efford. Use always the bolt for EVERY tuning (rule 4!). You won't have any problems with tuning. And if you see ther's a little change you can fix it fast.

5th rule: Change one string after the other. If you take the whole set down, it'll take much more time to tune the guitar.

If you want to polish and clean every corner of your guitar, take the string set down. (Don't forget the iron plate!) But you don't have to do it every time! Really not! That says someone who has been blamed to be a fussy guitar cleaner and polisher!

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment