#1
I know this has been asked a lot of times but last time I tried drop tuning my B.C. Rich I messed up everything from action to intonation and had to bring it to a music store. I've been watching videos and reading a lot about this lately so I think I got it right this time.

Are these steps correct?

Loosen the locking nuts, start tuning down slowly. Keep tuning every string until the bridge starts to sink.

Tighten the springs in the back.

Repeat.

After the bridge is level and the strings are in tune, put back the locking nuts and fine tune.

Is this a correct way of doing it?

The guy in this video secures the bridge and tunes with the springs at the end but I've never done it that way. Is that a problem? youtube.com/watch?v=AGm0K4OA-Ws

Also, what if some strings start buzzing? The part I have no idea about is getting the action correct without messing up the whole guitar again. Sorry again for making another thread about this.
#2
When you drop tune, you reduce the tension on the neck. This allows the neck to bow backwards more than when you're tuned to standard. That induces the buzzing, if you've already had low action when you were tuned to standard. In order to get things back into rig, you need to adjust the truss rod (don't go jumping in there unless you've done the reading for that, as well). When you adjust the truss rod, you will have to retune, adjust the springs in the back again, retune the Floyd, double check the relief you've induced on the truss rod, maybe adjust the truss rod again, retune and then nail down the locking nut once more and then fine tune.

No flippin' way I'm going to go back and forth from standard to a drop tune on a Floyd-equipped guitar. Either get another guitar for your drop tuning or do as I did and pick up a JTV-89 Variax. You can drop tune to your heart's content using the built-in pitch replacement electronics and you never change the tension on the strings.
#3
depends on what tuning your going to. If you're just going to drop D tuning or something then you need just need to tune to drop D and then refloat the bridge by tuning the rest of the strings. That should suffice..
With some other tunings you will need to start messing with the spring screws on the under plate to level the bridge.
#4
Quote by TBR1450


Are these steps correct?

Loosen the locking nuts, start tuning down slowly. Keep tuning every string until the bridge starts to sink.

Tighten the springs in the back.

Repeat.

After the bridge is level and the strings are in tune, put back the locking nuts and fine tune.



You'll loosen the springs. On a perfectly set up Floyd Rose, the tension of the strings will equal the tension of the springs. So if you loosen the strings (detune them), you'll want to loosen the springs by the same amount. When they're tensions are equal, the base of the bridge will be parallel with the body of the guitar. The other steps are pretty much correct.

Also, what if some strings start buzzing? The part I have no idea about is getting the action correct without messing up the whole guitar again. Sorry again for making another thread about this.


Action should be the last thing you adjust on a guitar. So you should be able to adjust it without messing up the other stuff. Now don't think that you can adjust the action by adjusting the truss rod. The truss rod is just for making sure the neck is adjusted right. If you don't want to learn how to adjust the truss rod, take it to a store and get it it set up. Contrary to what dspellman said, you don't need to adjust the truss rod every time you change tunings. Unless you're going to a largely different tuning (more than 1-1.5 steps on all the strings) or you're changing the string gauge, or unless you're very meticulous about your set up, you can just leave the truss rod as-is after you get it set up. If you're unsure whether your neck needs an adjustment, fret the 1st fret and the 20th fret at the same time and look at the gap between the strings in the middle of this section of string you just created. If the gap is much larger or smaller then the thickness of a credit card, then your neck probably needs an adjustment.


Now, try not to adjust the action too much on you're guitar. When you adjust the action on FRs (by turning the two posts that hold the bridge onto the guitar) you're rubbing metal on metal, and too much of this can dull the knife-edges (the point where the bridge makes contact with the posts) and the guitar won't stay in tune.

Let me know if you need to know anything else, and sorry if this is wordy, I just woke up...
You can call me Aaron.


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#5
Save yourself the trouble and just get a Tremol-No. It's the best $70 you'll ever spend. I know the guy who makes them personally and I can assure you they are amazing products.

Either that, or block the bridge into a "dive only" style and get a D-tuna.
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#6
Quote by stonyman65
Save yourself the trouble and just get a Tremol-No. It's the best $70 you'll ever spend. I know the guy who makes them personally and I can assure you they are amazing products.

Either that, or block the bridge into a "dive only" style and get a D-tuna.


This guy knows. I had to drop tune mine, only a half step down. I ended up blocking it old school style, I stacked a bunch of old picks, taped them together, and jammed it into the space between the bridge and body. I will be good as long as I don't want to raise the trem at all.
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#7
What exactly do you mean by drop tuning? What tuning are you in and what are you going to tune it to?
#8
Thanks for the quick replies, really useful tips. Tremol-No is okay, but I like my whammy bar and once I get this down I won't be changing tunings frequently.

Quote by J_W
What exactly do you mean by drop tuning? What tuning are you in and what are you going to tune it to?


I'm in standard right now and I'd like to go for drop d first, then later on drop c.
#9
From standard to Drop D the tension difference is not going to be much, you may not even have to adjust anything. At worst, you're looking at a small spring adjustment. Just tune it and see what happens, if the Floyd is still level your good to go. Drop D certainly isn't going to require any truss rod adjustment.
#10
I can go to drop D without needing to change anything. I just need to fine tune some strings and that's all. I would suggest you to buy another guitar if you are going to change the tuning of all strings. Floyds aren't good for alternating between different tunings.
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#11
The correct steps are:

Keep your FR equipped guitars in one tuning. Buy other guitar(s) for other tunings.
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#12
Quote by Offworld92
The correct steps are:

Keep your FR equipped guitars in one tuning. Buy other guitar(s) for other tunings.

Exactly.

In fact, I don't even recommend drop tuning a floyd rose guitar. Why? Because, unless you have a D-tuna, bad things will happen. Don't do it, TS. Leave your FR in some standard tuning. Typical floyd rose setup are NOT designed for drop tunings.
#13
God I forgot how lazy this forum is when it comes to floating trems...
You can call me Aaron.


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#14
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Exactly.

In fact, I don't even recommend drop tuning a floyd rose guitar. Why? Because, unless you have a D-tuna, bad things will happen.


No. D Tuna was made to switch from standard to Drop D, not because Floyd's don't work in drop tuning.
#15
Quote by J_W
No. D Tuna was made to switch from standard to Drop D, not because Floyd's don't work in drop tuning.

Yeah, D Tuna just makes switching between drop D and standard a lot faster and easier.
Quote by AlanHB
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#16
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Yeah, D Tuna just makes switching between drop D and standard a lot faster and easier.


as long as the floyd is not floating then yes. But I'm guessing the TS's floyd is floating.
#17
The D Tuna has nothing to do with this thread anyway.
#18
Quote by biga29
God I forgot how lazy this forum is when it comes to floating trems...


"Oh, let me play/learn this song real quick" or "oh shit, I have this idea let me work this out and get it down".

OH WAIT, BETTER **** WITH MY GUITAR FOR 20 MINUTES WHILE I FORGET WHAT I WAS DOING.

It's not laziness, it's "why would I spend the time doing this when I don't have to".
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
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#19
It's obviously not that smart to buy a guitar with a Floyd as your only guitar if you change tuning often.
#20
Quote by Offworld92
"Oh, let me play/learn this song real quick" or "oh shit, I have this idea let me work this out and get it down".

OH WAIT, BETTER **** WITH MY GUITAR FOR 20 MINUTES WHILE I FORGET WHAT I WAS DOING.

It's not laziness, it's "why would I spend the time doing this when I don't have to".



I understand what you're saying, but I was referring to the fact TS is basically saying "How can I change tunings with a FR?" and the forum is responding with "don't...."
You can call me Aaron.


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#21
Quote by biga29
I understand what you're saying, but I was referring to the fact TS is basically saying "How can I change tunings with a FR?" and the forum is responding with "don't...."


It's just that it's sort of a PIA.

That's why I got the Variax JTV-89F (Floyd version).
I can change tunings with an FR without actually changing the tune on the guitar.
Very cool.
#22
I tuned my guitar down successfully, thanks for the help.

I see that lots of people like to say "don't" or "buy this and that instead". I do agree that a floyd is not good for people who change tunings all the time but this is not the case here. This was a one-time thing for me, I just wanted to get it over with already. I won't change tunings for a looong time.

The only reason it was in standard is because the guy in the music store forgot to tune it down for me after setting it up (even though I told him at least a million times). I didn't really care and told him it's okay but this week I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms because I couldn't play lamb of god.
#23
Glad you got it figured out. They're really not as bad people say. if you ever need any more help with them just come up the FR sticky at the top of the page.

You can call me Aaron.


♠♣♥♦
Out on parole, any more instances of plum text and I get put back in...
#24
Quote by dspellman
It's just that it's sort of a PIA.

That's why I got the Variax JTV-89F (Floyd version).
I can change tunings with an FR without actually changing the tune on the guitar.
Very cool.


Do you work for Line 6? Almost every thread you bring up the Variax.
#25
Quote by J_W
Do you work for Line 6? Almost every thread you bring up the Variax.


I don't, but they should probably hire me <G>. Most folks here have obviously never touched one.

Part of the reason is that we've had SO many threads regarding downtuning Floyd-equipped guitars.

The Variax is simply a very cool way to quickly switch tunings, and it's golden when a Floyd is involved. Unfortunately there's only one Variax model with a Floyd.

The threads on UG seem to repeat themselves -- "I want a guitar and I want to pay no more than $________". "What's the most metal guitar/pickup/string/amp?" Which is better, the Ibanez <random model number> or the Ibanez <some other random model number>?"

Thus the answers repeat themselves as well. One guy's favorites are Reverend, Fernandes and Godin, for example, brands that exist, but have little traction in the US. Most of the answers mirror whatever models exist on the guitar wall at Guitar Center. There are tons of other guitar brands, but for some folks, their only exposure to guitars comes from that wall. Everything else is mythical to them. I'm just stunned at how prevalent Ibanez and Schecter seem to be. UG also seems to be *very* heavily stocked with metal players. I don't think it reflects the overwhelming popularity of metal worldwide; my impression is that it's so very easy to play and doesn't require much musical knowledge from most players. And drop tunings are popular, but so many of the players are copying their heros through 8" and 10" speakers with 5W of power in their bedrooms. The result is not exactly the gut-busting earthquake that the players are imagining in their heads.
#26
Tremol-no would be a solution. They're easy to fit and do the job. Other that that, buy a guitar without a Floyd if you change tunings a lot.

I had a Floyd on my old MH-400 but grew to despise it. I sold it and bought my MH-350NT. Never looked back.
RIP Tom Searle.