Do you need tremolo?

Getting a tremolo, especially a Floyd Rose or similiar, can be trouble. Is it worth it?

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The main thing to ask yourself before buying anything is, will I need it?

You may go guitar shopping and find a beautiful instrument that plays nice, has a nice finish, good pickups - the whole nine yards. But it's Floyd Rose. What do you do?

Well, you need to figure out how much you're gonna use that thing, if at all. If you're not going to use it, or not use it that often then I suggest not getting one. I have one on my guitar, and let me tell you it is a headache and a half.

..but I use it.

There are good things about them, though. You can do divebombs or screaming harmonics, you can do surf guitar vibrato, finish off a song by dragging the notes down until they don't sound anymore...the options are many and the results are very good.

Tuning is a hassle, though. Forget alternate tunings!

So is it worth all the trouble? Eh, kind of. I will say I am happy I have another guitar without one.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    DJ Erik
    Excuse my lack of electric guitar experiance...But isn't a Floyd Rose the same thing as a Whammy Bar? I wouldn't know much about that, I'm a bass player...But I've played around with a couple Strats that have whammy bars and they're fun to use...
    Emenius Sleepus
    To whoever's bright head who suggested the method: tune EeABDG. I never actually tried changing all of the strings, but when fixing up a tuning that went out of whack, this is definitely a good idea
    freerunningjedi
    Well i play a bc rich beast and not only does it have a floyd trem.. its a speedloader trem which means the strings are pre cut to length and they snap in and providing your guitar is in tune allready you can break and replace as many strings you want without ever going out of tune! (takes me about 5 seconds to change a string!!+i dont have to tune it! perfect on stage) plus there is no retaining strip to unscrew, literally just snap the strings in and out and they are in tune!! i leave a low e string coiled up on my mic stand just in case. the range is great with the trem arm, squeals ala dimebag no problem!!, i would suggest to people worrying about getting a trem or not id say try one of these, the only bad thing is i have heard some people have trouble buying the strings and also they are usually about 8 so a bit more than normal (as they are special and i think there are only two companies making them) one last bonus is that there is a pretty heavy trem stop within the cavity allowing you to effectivley turn your floyd into a fix bridge!!!! check them out (speedloaders) im sure for some people this will be the best choice,
    ThrustMaster
    Tuning a floyd rose ends up like second nature after a while. I say this because my first guitar was an unrecessive trem cavity, and the second was a floyd rose...so it's all i know. A second non-floyd rose guitar would be nice though. Ended up using a trem-blocker for when I wasn't in thrashing mood, that helps. Buying a third guitar now (my first two were pretty cheap, low end), I plan on getting one with a floyd rose bridge.
    Xorcist666shred
    guys FR's really aint that hard to tune, if u tune like this EeBG EeBGAD and repeat that twice it is easy to tune, takes me 5 mins tops. Try it see if it works for you. Also dont worry about getting the tuning perfect with the machineheads, that what the fine tuners are for!!
    slipkn0t666
    ok, my thread has nothing to do with your tremolo mishaps, i just need help lol, first of all i'm getting a new guitar for my B-day cuz mines a piece of shit epiphone. I think i'm gonna get a George Lynch GL singnature baritone. But i'm not exactly sure if thats the kind of guitar i would want or if its good to be playing with. Any suggestions? I would prolly either get that one or a B.C. rich signature mich thomson. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!?!?! heres the site for the George lynch ( the one i want ) and the mick thomson guitar GL- http://www.espguitars.com /sig_george.htm ( first one on list ) and the mick thomson-http://www.espguitars.com ich .com/2003/ss/mick7/mick7_ ss_warlock.htm
    Throneofhecate
    Well, in my own situation i have 3 spare guitars with 2 differ tunings. Just pick up your secondary guitar that you have tuned DGCFAD or any other alt tuning. But, floyd rose is strictly up to you. It is a pain in the ass, but i love em, =)
    Throneofhecate
    LOL, use a wah peddle? ok ok. ONE: Its not the arm thats a pain in the ass, its the bridge. Why? Because if one string breaks on a floyd rose, all your strings go out of tune. It also takes LONGER to string and even longer to set the bridge height. BUT If you love those crazy metallish open harmonic squeals and fluttering arm riffs, then its up to you. You will sound like shit, if you dont take the time to learn how to prep a floyd rose. I would also suggest trying kahlers, which wont go out of tune even if you break a string. You have your two kinds of tremolo's too: 1) Recessed tremolo cavity -(insane divebombs etc) 2) Unrecessed tremolo cavity -(warm vibrato) You'll normally get a recessed tremolo with any guitar similar to a (jackson/bc rich) The unrecessed trems are always going to be a bit more 'bluesy-ish'. Warm bend and vibrato. You WILL NOT get the crazy squeal outta this one. I dont know who said it, but a ***in' wah pedal DOES NOT EVEN GIVE A SIMILAR EFFECT TO A FLOYD ROSE. Floyd rose distorts the pitch... a wah does not change the pitch AT ALL. Ive tried whammy pedals too, horrible imitation like sound. Wah pedals are only gradual changes in the band/gain. So, if you want the raging metal bombs or bluesy vibrato, learn everything you can about trem's and their counterparts. Do not settle for cheap expression pedals either, you should either grab an axe WITH a floyd rose, or just grab one without.
    Pompybass
    The tremolo is a very good inbvention, it widens out the potential of a basic electric guitar. Though the tuneing is a bit of a fag, they need strings that dont strech so easily. I'm jus waiting for a bass with a tremolo, that will be fun.
    teenagemisfit2
    i agree with you...my first guitar was a strat, and at first, i the tremelo was a pain in the ass and i hardly used it. later on however, i started playing a lot of rockabilly/psychobilly stuff and really started to use it a lot more...
    feenxfire
    OMFG I PHUCKING hate my goddamn floyd rose!!They are a pain in the ass to tune and everything so if youre lie me and you dotn get alotta money to buy more than one guitar a year....stupid rick peeple(no offense ^_^ ) and you wanna de-tune your guitar then you gotta unscrew the little knuts and redo the whole thing!I personally would instead go buy a whammy pedal...lol And when you gottta change the strings it takes foreva it has taken me as much as an hour to do it....dont ask why it took me that long it has NEVER taken me that long before...
    Shortys99887
    My whammy bar is a pain in the ass..it always gets in the way so I take it off and end up putting it on again later
    Preszombie
    I have a Peavey guitar with a whammy bar. Its pretty cool to use, but I also have a Les Paul, and I use it a lot more. If you can afford it then get a guitar with and without one. If not then go with whatever you think you'll enjoy best.
    6string-sandman
    I have a floyd rose on my ibanez. I pulled the entire guitar to pieces, repaints it and now i am putting a hardtail on it. I am also building my own guitar. After my floyd rose experence i have devised another way to satisfy my whammy head needs without the tuning trouble. Answer is Bigsby B5 or B50 + a Graphtec Graphite Nut.
    hippypants
    i have had my beautiful fender stratocaster for a year now and i have to agree. the whammy bar on it is not meant for doing dive bombs or anything too strenuous (i don't know how to spell that). its perfect for rock like Rory Gallagher or Thin Lizzy and Pearl Jam and obviously Jimmy and other stuff like that. not really meant for the heavy metal side of things, there you need a BC Rich yes yes yes
    tza
    i got a stopper in mine ... so i can use alternate tunings, and not go out of tune, i just cant pull the bar up
    Bubonic Chronic
    "Look if u like to play flashy then use it, if not then shut up and dont buy a guitar with a whammy on it in almost every situation there is a none whammy bar version of the guitar so dont moan." You don't even realize that you just made the same exact point that I did, do you?
    Bubonic Chronic
    Stranger: I know how it works, and so does my luthier. We both were banging our heads against the wall getting the intonation set - and we know what we're doing. Like I said, I do love my instrument and I use the trem all the time, but I am VERY happy I never sold my old Yamaha, on which I tightened down the tremelo (non-Floyd Rose) a long time ago. BTW, a FR will generally stay in tune for you once it's set, it's getting it there that's trouble. I actually taught my luthier, Dave, a little something when I suggested tuning in this order: EeABDG which goes about three times faster than traditional tuning - and it still took 20 minutes!!! Argh.
    jonnyhendrix
    yer the floyd rose is a whammy bar with locking nuts on the bridge and on the nut aswell, these nuts lock in place over the strings to stop them going out of tune, but to detune or tune up you need to unlock them and doing this is usually a pain in the @ss
    Andrewbiles
    well aren't most removable anyway? I mean you can take the arm out. Both of my fenders have arms that either slot in or have a screw type thing on them so they lock in almost. I agree with you on the tuning, however you can get guitars that lock up near the headstock and so don't go out of tune, Ibanez do a good one like this but for guitars without that lock it's extremely annoying having to tune it back, so it would help to have good machine heads as well to hold the notes in accurate tuning for longer
    EvilMP
    Ok people who don't know anything about them or how to use them properly should not bash them. Everyone says oh your copying Tom Morello! News Flash Brendon Small aka Dethklok uses it almost on every song. It was used in Galaktikon also. It has a myriad of uses, IMHO Floyd's are a pain in the arse. Your locked into one tuning and that is it. Where as a stop tail you don't have to really worry about that unless you detune all the way down to B or C then your going to need a setup and a truss rod adjustment. I just bought one and if you look at any pro guitar player they all have them even Dime had one on his rig and he had a Floyd!