This Is Why You Suck at Guitar: How to Change Tunings and String Gauges on a Floyd Rose Tremolo!

Join Uncle Ben Eller for a crash course on how to understand your trem and change tunings on your Floyd Rose-equipped guitar with no hassle!

Ultimate Guitar
Suckamaniacs! Uncle Ben Eller here is back with a brand new installment of This Is Why You Suck at Guitar! I get dozens of emails and telepathic dream messages every week from fans all over the world who are in a world of pain from trying to change tunings and string gauges on their Floyd Rose/Ibanez Edge/Lo Pro Edge tremolos... And I can't blame them! I remember the first floating bridge guitar I ever messed with, it was my brother's Ibanez EX Series... I was trying to tune down a half step to play along to the Metallica "Load" and "Reload" records (...yeah.), and I just couldn't figure it out!

By the time I got the low strings tuned down, the high strings were WAY sharp, then when I tuned them down, the low strings had jumped up to standard pitch again... what a nightmare. I actually sold my soul to the devil in order to finally get the tuning changed over... boy do I ever regret that move now! It was years later that I stumbled across this awesome trick for changing the tuning on a Floyd-Equipped guitar. I'm going to save you a LOT of time and frustration, not even to mention your immortal soul. You just may need that later.

You just need a couple simple tools and some knowledge of the crazy seesaw-like effect that your strings and springs have. You'll learn about blocking your bridge (from both sides!), adjusting the claw screw tension, the famous Whoopi Goldberg, and the aftereffects of messing with your tuning and string gauge. It's all super fast and easy once you learn the basic principles of how to do this. It's all reversible, it doesn't harm anything, and if you follow my steps, you'll have great success. Huzzah!

Thanks so much for watching, let me know how it goes for you! Cheers!

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25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I gave up my guitar with Floyd Rose, too much of a hassle unless you have your own technician
    Lol. My first guitar I ever owned has a Floyd. Took maybe half an hour when I first bought it to learn how to operate it. Been absolutely zero hassle ever since.
    My first was a really cheap Jackson Dinky. It didn't even have a locking nut. After that you can imagine I had a bias against them. I now have a much better Jackson and I love my Floyd Rose. Two months since I fully tuned it all I have had to do is tweak the micro adjustments.
    my 350€ dinky came with the locking nut. maybe you had an older series which didn't have it never thought of tunning the damned thing using this method. I'd block the tremolo below the microtuners with a 9v battery, take the tuners and tune to whatever tunning I'd want and after that work the clawscrews if the bridge wasn't leveled. this just seems way faster and hassle free. (i probably took a solid 10/15 minutes changing tunning and if I had to change the strings maybe an hour, lol).
    30 minute youtube videos FTW! Seriously just felt like a college lecture but nevertheless great video. I never knew you could use a block in the back of a floyd, always did it in the top cavity. Question though, can the 'Claw Screws' in the back ever be tightened and loosened so much that over time you strip the wood? I know you're not suppose to change tunings too frequently with a floyd, but won't the holes in the wood get over used if you keep tightening and loosening those screws every time you do adjustments?
    No, it won't chipped or be stripped from the wood.. the screw they've used is way too deep .. on my Yamaha - i've tuned from B standard tuning to E standard .. and i didn't have any problem with adjusting the "claw".. so cheers !!
    The trick I've always used was a demo credit card, wrapped in tape for strength and thickness. I can place it directly flat underneath the Floyd's body. Floyd likes it that way. Still working since 2011.
    Wow. Killer video! Been forever since I've watched a 30 minute long YouTube video in it's entirety! I do have one question though.... Is there a 'threshold' as to how far this technique would go? I guess a better way to ask this would be, if my guitar is in standard, how many steps up and down from standard would you guys recommend I deviate using this technique? I think the lowest I would ever want to tune down would be drop C, so do you think I'd be able to do that using this technique?
    I used this technique to go from being in half step down to going to C standard so you shouldn't have any problem at all tuning down to drop C from standard. I'm not quite sure about tuning back to higher notes however, but i would assume it wouldn't be much of a problem.
    Awesome, thanks for your response! I would have also guessed that I wouldn't have had any problems downtuning with this technique, but was just worried about potentially damaging my guitars in any way. But seeing the success you and a few others have had with this trick makes me feel much better about it, so I'm definitely looking forward to giving it a shot myself! Thanks again!
    This is a very twatty way to name an article. This is why you suck at guitar? I mean, yeah clickbait, but have some class fuck me.
    It's just the name of the series for that kind of videos on his channel. It would be boring if he called it "Technique Lesson nº57" or whatever.
    Okay...3 minutes in he's explaining how a trem works on a guitar, but in the background is some very familiar music. I believe it's some video game cover but using guitars. It's on the top of my tongue. ARG! *That didn't take long. It was from Final Fantasy 7* must research more