#1
Hi, I am learning DP songs and I want to use my whammy bar quite often and I just want to know the ways in which I can make use of the whammy bar while not going out of tune often. I own a mexican strat. Also, what's the best way to get rid of the hum in a strat? is change of pickups the only option?

Thanks!
#2
For tuning stability I found the best solution is to replace your nut with a graphite one and put on some locking tuners. Also make sure your strings are properly stretched. You can get own brand tuners from places like Axesrus.co.UK that are just as good as gotoh, Schaller etc so you dont need to spend a load of money.

Alternatively, you can lube your current nut with pencil lead, which is actually graphite.

With regards to hum you can get noiseless single coils or buy humbuckers. You could also try shielding your control cavity and pickup cavities with foil and then line your scratchplate back with foil and see if that helps.
#3
Whammy bar tuning problems are almost always caused by the strings binding in the nut. As already noted, graphite from as pencil can help. I Wouldn't bother with locking tuners, if you install strings properly and never tune down to a note, but always up, strings should stay in tune fairly well, even the cheapest open back tuners I have on my 1966 Harmony stay in tune great as long as I always tune up to the note I want.

You can also use cutting torch tip cleaners to slightly widen the nut slots and reduce the binding. Don't overdo it. A Tremsetter might also help.

http://www.amazon.com/Hipshot-Tremsetter-401000-Tremolo-Stabilizer/dp/B000TJ8TX2

I Have one on my Squier Strat, it helps but doesn't eliminate all tuning problems. The only thing I know of that completely solves tuning with a whammy bar is a Floyd Rose or Kahler setup...Jeff Beck uses a locking nut, you might look into those too. Standard Strat tremolo but a locking nut.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#5
It depends but if it has 6 screw bridge here is what I do and it works for me:

1: Tighten the 2 outer screws on the bridge and let the 4 in the middle loose
2: 3 springs in the back going straight from claw to blok not crossed.
3: Exchange the string guide for B+E strings on the headstock to something better like US standard.
4: Optional is to change to Fender super bullet strings which fit a vintage 6 screw tremolo better and thereby give better tuning. I used these for years but from a service I got regular strings on it and still the tuning was as good as ever. I am back to Super bullets.

That is my secrets for a stable tuning on a vintage setup Stratocaster. My bridge is set to float.

For the hum you can shield the inside with copper or paint or both. You can also find single coils humbuck pickups and it will be a plus for the sound and no hum in your case.
Last edited by anders.jorgense at Jun 6, 2015,
#6
well disagree on not getting locking tuners. many are staggered which means you can eliminate the string trees which ias often once of the spots that strings bind. as mentioned a good nut is a cheap fix as well. something like a graphite nut works best.

one thing i do is set the trem to float. when you do this usually a quick yank up on it will unkink strings at the nut. byt the mid 70s ritchie had custom made bars. if you look at pix from late period Rainbow into the 80s DP you'll see he has a longer bar with a bend in it.