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Old 02-05-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
Acechao111
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Fender drop tuning help?

Hey! Anyway, I have a Fender Stratocaster, and I like to play a mixture of music that uses both E and drop D tuning. It's a pain when I have to change tuning on my Fender though, because when I change one string, all the others seem to move too. I have a tremolo bridge, but I don't use a whammy bar. Is there a way around this, or is it just a Fender thing? It's my only problem with the guitar. Stays in tune just fine once it's there.

Thanks:-)
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
Mephaphil
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You probably need it set up. What model is it? Dropping down a step from E to D on one string shouldn't result in a whole tuning session.

None of my guitars have ever done that.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #3
Acechao111
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It's been looked at by my local guitar shop guy. He said that it's because the Bridge in the Fenders have springs or something like that. He got it from an official Fender dealer anyway.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
DeviousByNature
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it's a fulcrum tremolo, so the springs in the back of the guitar balance the tension of the strings - meaning that if you alter the tension, the springs move. to retune with a fulcrum vibrato you can do three things. You can either get a small block of wood, or anything really, and place it between the bridge piece and the guitar (in the back of the guitar, google tromolo blocking), you could also add two more springs (so there are five, the max amount) and tighten their anchor-screws right in, so that the bridge is completely flush with the body (this means that the spring tension is so high that any retuning will not effect the angle of the bridge). Please bare in mind that both of these will inhibit the use of your whammy bar. The third option is to just retune all of the strings.

that's it I'm afraid.

I find that having both a tele and a strat can also solve all of these problems.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:41 AM   #5
Acechao111
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I think the tremolo block is probably the option for me, thank you! I've only ever used my whammy bar when messing around anyway! Thanks a lot for your help!
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #6
Mephaphil
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I have never had this issue with any of the 7 Fender electric guitars I've owned. I just tune one string and that's it, I'm good to go.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
DeviousByNature
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i'd say that adding and increasing string tension would be as effective, and more easily achieved/reversable.

Anyways, enjoy.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:46 AM   #8
Acechao111
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Would the guy at my guitar shop be able to do it? I'm scared I'd mess it up, and he doesn't mind having a look at my guitar when there's things I'm not sure of. What should I ask him to do?
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
leigh596
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a tremol-no would be useful here, guthrie govan used it for things like this
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
Mephaphil
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Tell him it goes out of tune when you drop it one whole step to D, and it shouldn't do that. He should check the string tension, the bridge, the set up and then tell you what he can do to fix it.

Sending you away without fixing it doesn't give me the greatest confidence in his abilities, but yea, it shouldn't do that at all.
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Last edited by Mephaphil : 02-05-2013 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:10 PM   #11
Acechao111
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But yeah, if I ask for some kind of Tremolo block or high string tension to fix it at my local guitar store, it will fix my problem with tuning?
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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Dude, just get in the back of the guitar and tighten the springs up. The tremolo is obviously not tight against the body. What kind of guitar shop can't fix that? There's no need to spend money on a new block. That won't do a lick of good. It won't solve the obvious problem.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #13
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Or do what Deviousbynature said.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:21 PM   #14
Mephaphil
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Well it depends on whether or not that's the problem, doesn't it.

Maybe your strings need changing, maybe it is one of the listed problems above. But it shouldn't do that, so take it to the shop and let them have a look at it and they'll do it quickly. Seeing as you aren't willing to do it yourself and see what works just bring it to a professional.

It's irrelevant what we say as we don't have the guitar there so we don't know if it will work as you'll only know once it's worked, right?

So, bring it to your shop and let them tell you exactly what's wrong with it.

Saying all that, pictures would help. But anyway, take it to the shop, it's easier lol.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:23 PM   #15
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You don't need to take it to a shop. All you need is a screwdriver.

Right now your bridge is set up to 'float'. This means that the bridge, when the guitar is tuned to E Standard, has a gap betwene the back of the bridge and the top of the guitar. This is so people that use the vibrato bar can pull up on it, as well as push down. When you retune the guitar to Drop D, the string tension is shifting and is no longer balanced with the spring tension. This makes the bridge move, causing everything to go out of tune.

You said in your first post that you don't actually use the vibrato bar. So there's no point having your bridge 'floating'.

All you need to do is open the back of the guitar up and increase the spring tension so that, when tuned to E Standard, the bridge is sat right on top of the guitar with no gap. You can do this either by adding additonal springs, by tightening the current springs, or a mixture of both. In fact, to safely 'block' the bridge without needing to use an actual block of material, you can simply put in all 5 springs and tighten them. All of this only requires a screwdriver.

Once the spring tension is increased enough so that the bridge lays on top of the guitar, you can detune the guitar to Drop D and nothing will go out of tune; the bridge has nowhere to move.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #16
Acechao111
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Thanks for your help guys, I'm bringing it to the shop now
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:27 PM   #17
Dimarzio45
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THANK YOU MrFlibble. Acechao111- Learning to do this stuff yourself not only saves you money, but gives you the knowledge of what EXACTLY is going on in your guitar. I've tightened the tension on 3 of the 14 guitars I own. Fixes the problem every time.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:29 PM   #18
Mephaphil
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My bridge floats and I mess around with DADGAD and drop D all the time with no issues.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:30 PM   #19
DeviousByNature
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+1

everyone else who thinks that it could be old strings or blah blah - you're wrong, pay attention in science.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
You don't need to take it to a shop. All you need is a screwdriver.

Right now your bridge is set up to 'float'. This means that the bridge, when the guitar is tuned to E Standard, has a gap betwene the back of the bridge and the top of the guitar. This is so people that use the vibrato bar can pull up on it, as well as push down. When you retune the guitar to Drop D, the string tension is shifting and is no longer balanced with the spring tension. This makes the bridge move, causing everything to go out of tune.

You said in your first post that you don't actually use the vibrato bar. So there's no point having your bridge 'floating'.

All you need to do is open the back of the guitar up and increase the spring tension so that, when tuned to E Standard, the bridge is sat right on top of the guitar with no gap. You can do this either by adding additonal springs, by tightening the current springs, or a mixture of both. In fact, to safely 'block' the bridge without needing to use an actual block of material, you can simply put in all 5 springs and tighten them. All of this only requires a screwdriver.

Once the spring tension is increased enough so that the bridge lays on top of the guitar, you can detune the guitar to Drop D and nothing will go out of tune; the bridge has nowhere to move.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil
My bridge floats and I mess around with DADGAD and drop D all the time with no issues.


Mephaphil,

You don't live in our world, but on Earth spring tension needs to equal string tension on a floating bridge. That means when you have a floating bridge and you change the tuning of the low E, the other strings will need to be re-tuned as well.

So either you live on a different planet, or your tuner is only accurate to about 20 cents.

It's not a Fender issue, it's a floating bridge issue. It's simple Earth physics. Probably the same physics that apply to this entire universe. So I'm not sure where you're at.
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