#1
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:-)
#2
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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#3
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.
#4
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.
#5
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!
#6
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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#7
i'd say that adding and increasing string tension would be as effective, and more easily achieved/reversable.

Anyways, enjoy.
#8
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?
#9
a tremol-no would be useful here, guthrie govan used it for things like this
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#10
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 at Feb 5, 2013,
#11
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?
#12
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.
#14
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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#15
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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#17
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.
#18
My bridge floats and I mess around with DADGAD and drop D all the time with no issues.
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#19
+1

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

Quote 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.
#20
Quote 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.
#21
I have a floating bridge and it doesn't go out of tune. What does that mean?

I'm not saying I have all the answers, and I'm genuinely asking, but I'm also not trying to be condescending to anyone.
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Quote by Shredwizard445
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Last edited by Mephaphil at Feb 5, 2013,
#22
I'm asking honestly, I don't know everything and I'm happy to be told that I've got the wrong information on something.

Is this or is this not a floating bridge?

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Last edited by Mephaphil at Feb 5, 2013,
#23
Yes, that's floating.

It may simply be that with whatever strings and springs you're using, the bridge is able to stay in tune and floating in both tunings. You may find that it floats more with one tuning than the other.
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#24
Thanks, I know. But I have never had the problem that the TS has and I have a floating bridge, that's all I was saying. I've never changed my springs or anything apart from a basic set up.

And in the world I live in, Earth, I'm polite to people and people are polite to me, if they aren't then they lose my respect. Thanks for being polite Mr.Flibble.

I've just tuned it to Keefs tuning, no problem. I don't think I've ever had any issues and I've used quite a few tunings.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Feb 5, 2013,
#25
Mephaphil,

Don't be so thin skinned. It's just a little levity. Perhaps you're misreading TS's post and/or miscommunicating what's going on with yours.

Speaking very literally, all guitars will lose perfect tuning on other a few other strings when you drop the E string a whole step. It might just be hundredths of a cent on a fixed bridge guitar with a mahogany neck-thru neck, (imperceptable to the human ear and to most tuners), but it will still be there due to neck flex. On a gutar with a bolt-on maple neck and a fixed bridge it might be a matter of tenths of a cent (still tough to measure). But on any guitar with an unblocked trem, even if it's not floating, you'll get noticeable pitch changes on the other strings.

I'm away from home right now, so the only guitar I have with me is a Strat with a 6-point trem with 3 springs in it set tight enough that the bridge doesn't float, but not tight enough to make the whammy stiff. When I dropped the E string to D, three of the other strings raised in pitch by 3-6 cents. That's about half of what you see on my MIA Strat at home which I have setup for the bridge to float. Just for grins, I went to "Keef Tuning" and the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th strings went up in pitch by 6-12 cents each! Also, the 6th string dropped about 6 cents after I dropped the 5th and 1st strings.

I'm positive that every stock Strat will behave like this, with varience driven by how tight the springs are, what string gauge your using, and body/neck materials. It's basic science, so (while I don't intend to be rude,) unless you have a magic guitar, Mephaphil, yours will do this too. Again, it's basic physics.

The real bottom line is that TS should know his guitar is behaving normally. If he accepts some tradeoffs, he can mitigate this behavior a bit. One of the disadvantages of blocking the trem all the way is if the guitar goes out of tune from bends, he won't be able to "snap it back" in tune with the whammy bar. If he puts 5 springs in there, then he can still snap it back in tune (if he were to install the bar,) but it would put more wear & tear on the guitar every time.

Best bet is have guitars with trems for every tuning you normally use, and then have a fixed bridge guitar with a stiff neck for when you want to change tunings on the fly. That's what most of the highly successful professionals do.

There's also the D-Tuna, but that's a whole different post, and it has a lot of pros and cons, as well.
#26
Of course, slight tuning changes, but I've never noticed anything that would require me to get my tuner out and tune. It wouldn't be perfect, but it never is, even after tuning. But generally I tune the strings I need and play, perhaps a slight tune of one of the strings but nothing major.

I thought that he meant drastic tuning changes. Like the A drops to a G#.

My skin is thick, I just thought you were rude lol. No worries.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Feb 5, 2013,
#27
Quote by Mephaphil
Of course, slight tuning changes, but I've never noticed anything that would require me to get my tuner out and tune. It wouldn't be perfect, but it never is, even after tuning. But generally I tune the strings I need and play, perhaps a slight tune of one of the strings but nothing major.

I thought that he meant drastic tuning changes. Like the A drops to a G#.

My skin is thick, I just thought you were rude lol. No worries.

I have never seen a trem reguardless of it being a doublelocking or vintage style ever stay in tune when a string breaks and it is set to float.
I have been playing for 19 yrs and doing guitar tech work for the last 9 as a side buisness. I have never heard of such a thing. Are you sure your bridge is floating and not flush mounted, that would explain what you are saying.

There are things like the Trem stopper, Tremelo Stabilizer, Tremol-no, Tremsetter that can make it somewhat possible. Checkout the things they have at www.floydupgrades.com

EDIT: saw the pic, your bridge looks like it is too far from the body.
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Feb 5, 2013,
#28
I couldn't tell you about breaking a string, I don't do it that often. I just tuned to DGCDBD. The Low E went sharp and the A, but that's it, once each. Nothing major, nothing drastic.

I'm not really sure what else to say, I'm really just writing what I know. And that is that my Strat stays in tune really really well, even when changing tunings. Could it be due to a good set up?

Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


Last edited by Mephaphil at Feb 5, 2013,
#29
Quote by Mephaphil
I couldn't tell you about breaking a string, I don't do it that often. I just tuned to DGCDBD. The Low E went sharp and the A, but that's it, once each. Nothing major, nothing drastic.

I'm not really sure what else to say, I'm really just writing what I know. And that is that my Strat stays in tune really really well, even when changing tunings. Could it be due to a good set up?



No, you're just talking about a different level of tolerance than everyone else is here.

I keep a tuner on my headstock at all times, and will retune if I'm 2 cents off. Usually I don't need to because a simple snap of the trem brings it back unless there's temperature changes. That's why I don't like bringing Floyd Rose guitars to play shows. Also, I tend to leave guitars in the same tuning all the time and reach for a different guitar if I want to use a different tuning. It's not really a matter of choice on the Floyd Rose guitars because they require a different setup for different tuning.

I wish I were more resillient about tuning like you. I've bumped the tuners into stuff on stage, sending the tuning about 1/4 step out and it really messed with my ability to play the rest of the song right. But I'm a pretty crappy player anyway.