Floyd Rose Locking Tremelo

If you have a guitar with Floyd Rose Locking Tremelo you could be encountering some strange side effects. This article will help you fix those problems.

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If you have a guitar with Floyd Rose Locking Tremelo you could be encountering some strange side effects. This article will help you fix those problems. If you don't have locking tremelo on any of your guitars and want to know what it's like, this will also help. Now, a lot of people ask what it does. It locks your string so that almost no matter what they stay in the tuning you put them in. This works by a clamp at the top of the neck (near the headstock) that locks the strings. When it is "locked" nothing will change the tuning of the guitar. It "locks" it so that if you accidently bump the tuners, nothing happend to the part that you play. But be careful, the string inbetween the tuners and the lock does change, and can break easily. The "lock" also reduces the pull effect of the bar. When you use a bar, it slowly pulls the strings out of tune, by forcing the tuners to move, but with the lock that doesn't happen. Now you might be asking "Isn't that a pain in the ass to adjust you're tuning?" or "what if you like to play different songs that require different tunings?" Now the whole point of the Tremelo is, you don't have to adjust you're tuning. Once you tune it to you're exact tuning, then lock it, there's no more tuning needed! It keeps it in that exact tuning! If you take it outside oftenly or you're room climate is whack, there are knobs at the bridge that fine-tune the strings, encase you go a half step out of tune. If you play different songs with different tunings, you're pretty much out of luck, you'll have to keep locking and unlocking it. If you're thinking of buying a guitar with locking tremelo or are jsut sick of it, don't worry about it, you can just take the lock of off it and it turns into a regular nut (for the most part). The only problem with that is that you'll still have to string it like a floyd rose.

Stringing It

01. Unlock the three clamps at the nut with the 3mm allen wrench provided with the guitar or bridge. 02. Set the fine-tuners on the bridge to the middle of there tuning range. 03. Change one string at a time (starting at either E string) by first loosening the string and unclamping it at the saddle with the 3mm allen wrench. 04. Cut the ball end off the replacement string with a pair of wire cutters. 05. Place the freshly cut string end into the center of the saddle and tighten the clamping screw until it is difficult to turn. 06. Thread the other end of the string under its nut clamp and under the string hold down bar, then to the tuning key and tune the string. [Pull on the string until it is tight around the tuning key and retune.] 07. Repeat 2 through 5 until all strings are replaced. 08. Check your tuning on all strings once again. 09. Re-clamp the three nut clamps. 10. Check your tuning once again making any adjustments this time with your fine-tuners only.

To Re-tune Your Guitar

01. Loosen the three string clamps at the nut 02. Set your fine tuner screws on the bridge to the middle of their adjustment range. 03. Tune the strings to your desired pitch (this can be drop tuning, open tuning, or standard pitch, the procedure is the same for any tuning) with an electronic tuner starting with the low 'E'. If you're reading this because you need advice on fixing a problem, here might be some. If you hear a twang noise when you pluck an open string, this is because you're tremelo has forced the strings down and the strings are rubbing with a fret (the metal part). This can be adjust by taking the entire lock off of the neck, by the back, with an alen wrench. Then placing very small washers between the neck and tremelo. This will raise it off of the neck. If there is still more problems, raise the bridge. This is done with an larger alen wrench. Use the 2 wholes nearest the pickups to raise the bridge. If you raise it too musch it will become difficult to push the strings down at the higher frets, so don't raise it too much. If prblems still exist, see a professional. If only one string makes the twang noise, take the string off, release the small screw inderneath the string and push the part where you put the string in up. This will raise the individual string, without effecting the others. If the strings are too high, do the opposite. That is the only problem I have encountered with my guitar, but if you have other problems you should take it in to a professional, although one could be hard to find.

116 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    HellRaiser620
    Everyone who keeps talking about how it's aggravating to tune their floyd rose-equipped guitars down to Drop D, Drop C, etc. should really do a bit of research into certain accessories for floyd rose tremolos before ranting about how much they suck. D-tuners have been mentioned here before, but one specifically designed for the floyd rose is the EVH D-Tuna. Eddie Van Halen designed it himself, and the only requirement is that you either have your tremolo blocked with a shiv so that it can't go up, only down, or that you have a tremolo stabilizer such as the Fender Hipshot Tremsetter installed (the much easier option, in my opinion). Also, the Tremsetter helps the floyd rose tremolo system maintain the balance between the string tension and the spring tension, thus keeping the floating tremolo from leaning forward or backward. Personally, I own a Schecter Hellraiser C-1 FR with a Tremsetter and an EVH D-tuna installed, and it works wonderfully. Just throwing another option out there for everyone.
    Tom Martin
    These things are the most evil things ever. I hate floyd rose with a vengance! Shooo!
    metallicker
    i have an ibanez with a floyd rose and its ace,i can make some crazy sounds out of my guitar and all you suckers have to buy pedals,mwhahahaha
    stunt
    they're good only if you like a certain tuning and only us that tuning most often. I use a half step down tuning, but sometimes i wish i could play lower or higher. I just wish they would make the fine tune adjusters a little less fine tune so you can go from 1 step down to standard without messing with the lock near the headstock. And yeah it is a pain in the ass. So just make sure you use the tuning that you play in most often. Or your going to hate it As far as taking off the lock near the headstock, ill have to try that.
    SBR
    It doesnt take very long to unlock. I don't know why everyone says it's such a bastard to switch tunings though I must say its big flaw is the temptation to mess about with all the parts and end up breaking it. oops.
    phil_axe-man
    I have an Ibanez RG320, and when I put the new strings on it, I insert them from the headstock, and take them through to the bridge, and cut off the excess end of string there. This way, you get to keep the balls of the strings and cut off the plain end. There are several advantages to this: first, when you are winding up the string to its tuning, the ball keeps the string from slipping from the tuning head. And it also looks way cooler.
    someone teach this guy to string a guitar
    hololos
    Floyd Rose's are really good. Problem is they can be a pain in the ass, when u tune and replace strings. But, it's usually a great benefit to have it.
    ad_lib_oz
    This guy needs to know the difference between "there", "their" and "they're"...
    Emenius Sleepus
    lol yeah floyd roses are great - if you use them frequently. I'd like to add something to this article though - just personal experience stuff: I have an Ibanez RG320, and when I put the new strings on it, I insert them from the headstock, and take them through to the bridge, and cut off the excess end of string there. This way, you get to keep the balls of the strings and cut off the plain end. There are several advantages to this: first, when you are winding up the string to its tuning, the ball keeps the string from slipping from the tuning head. And it also looks way cooler. Then, I usually start from the low E-string, and tune it slightly higher than what I want (due to Floyd Rose property of knocking a string on the bottom out of tune when you are setting up a top string, for example), and do it (although to a lesser degree with each one) to all the wound strings. This way, when I finish putting all of the strings on the guitar, it's in tune almost perfectly, and the adjustments are minor. My other note is, some Floyd Roses (or very similar models anyway) have a tunnel under the unit for the string, so you put it in just like in any other guitar. If you have one of those it will save you couple of problems, and enable you to put d-tuners on it too, so you can adjust the tuning to say drop d or something "at the flick of a switch"... or de-tuner. Peace.
    Rankles
    drone: Floyd rose locking tremelo, what a waste of space in our guitar-loving universe. I have a Jackson preformer and always have it unlocked, everyone needs to use different tunings no matter who they are. Its only benefit, ois if your in a band and you have your own style of tuning which is the same for the majority of your songs then it is useful. But hey, i got a Gibson SG400 last week, so its pretty redundant, ROCK ON AMIGOS!
    No, you use a backup for different tunings you asstard. Good article, Floyd Roses are cool.
    hevechvy
    also, i've found that the floating trem makes string bending easier and over-all feel of the strings on the neck a lot better.
    eddiefan001002
    i have read all of this i am planning to get a floyd though keep in mind i am a total van haken so says the username so sould i get one or not
    hevechvy
    i cover everything by using two guitars. 1 in std tuning and one in drop D. (both with trems) then i use a morphus drop tuner to drop to half-step down, drop C, etc.
    sang71
    floyd rose is only for one purpose. when you have to use tremolo bar or whammy bar excessively for dive bomb. etc. like steve vai, joe satriani then you need floyd rose. because it will not let strings go tuneless easily as it has locking system. or else anything will do i think.
    FeenicksFlayme
    So what exactly do i have to look out for, I switch between Eb, and C# and tend to use thicker strings.... Just how exactly will that affect my Floyd Rose?
    warlockking
    I just got an ESP with a Floyd in it. mines blocked so it only goes down, but thats actually better for me, i never really need it to go up, and i rarely use whammy bar anyway. stays in tune great even if i use it though. gonna put heavier strings on it soon though
    KaiEspLtd
    if i tune my guitar from E standard to D standard should i change the spring tension or just tuned it like normal gutiar?
    koolakron
    there are a couple of good videos on you tube check them out. the one where you use picks in the back to block the trem and then loosen the springs works the best because you can tune all the stings with out worrying about the string tension pulling the trem and knocking the other strings out of pitch. once in tune, lock, fine tune, then tighten the springs just enough till the picks fall out then check yer tuning and fine tune by adjusting the springs till you have the right pitch again, this ensures that your spring tension and string tension are the same. be sure that your saddle is parallel to the body of the guitar, and sometimes when tightning the springs the picks might get stuck and not fall out right away so only tighten in small increments and check the picks to see if they are getting loose. also when tuning the guitar you should tune in playing position not lying down. Once you have it set up you should not have adjust the springs again unless you put a different guage of strings on. And if you play in different tunings then get yourself a second guitar with a fixed bridge.
    Nettak
    I see a lot of people complaining about the same things here so I thought I'd shed some light on it If your tremolo bar is a bit loose (meaning you can move it up and down a bit without the bridge actually moving) then you need to open up the back plate and tighten the little screw that holds the bar. It's on the lower right side, from that angle. If your bridge is pulled in towards the body, or the other way, then you have probably retuned the guitar or changed your string gauge. The way to fix this is to open up the back plate and tighten or loosen the springs in there. Loosen them if your bridge goes inside the body and tighten them if it's the opposite. Note that it's basically a tug of war between your STRING tension, and your SPRING tension in the back. Adjusting either will lead to a change in pitch, so you have to carefully balance it to get in tune with your bridge still in the right position, and this can take a lot of time if you're inexperienced. Also, since your bridge is floating, using your tuners to adjust the string pitch will slightly change the pitch of all the strings, because as I mentioned, increasing string tension pulls the bridge towards the neck. It's hard to balance, but you get used to it with some time. I hope I helped :3
    ibanez95FTW
    i have an Ibanez Rg350DX it has a trem lock and floyd rose bridge. I have 3 lock in nuts on the trem lock. But even when i use my whammy bar with all the trem lock locked it still gose out of tune. Plz help this is so F**kin pissin me off PLZ HELP ME
    beyondexile
    As a quick thing, the guy who wrote this is re-stringing the floyd correctly by keeping the ball ends at the head. This however will only work with strings than are complete all the way, ie no daddario's whom to my knowledge the wound part of the string stops before the internal part. So with ernire balls for example which are wound the entire length it will work. Anyway the reasoning is because when you cut the ball end of the string it compromises the winding, so when clamped it actually makes the bridge end of the string weaker. So if your strings are snapping easily and its down the bridge end, try it out also try to avoid changing all strings at once on floyds, remove one then replace, keeps the tension
    Christ Killer
    Well I asked a guy at a local shop and what he does is get the excess bends it back and twists it, using two pairs of pliers (one should be a pressure wrench); kind of like the the wound string. This gives the string more width and actual grip. So if you have this problem... well that's one option. ***Thanks to everyone else who gave tips on how to tune; made it a lot easier for me to get my guitar in tune, since I play dropped C.
    Christ Killer
    My problem with my floating bridge is that the 1st and 2nd strings won't stay locked into the bridge! It's a completely stock RG5 so it comes with an Edge III bridge. Can I get some help here?
    BibaLin
    Having a floyd rose isnt that hard stupid. It only screws up the nut and bends the head a little bit. Thats only in the long term mabey, like 10 years. just take off the frikken locks u moron. And eliminating the saddles is good. I like the fine tuners. U can replace your strings faster. And why do u have top change your tuning so often? Most of the songs these days play on drop D or standard. SO i adjust the fine tuner on the 6th string so i can change it to e or d any time i want. I love the floyd rose. Like metalliker, i saved about 200$ not buying the pedals. You can make like any frikken sound outta it. OUtta the 800$ i've payed for my Ibanez RG 320 Deluxe which is about the second best RG out there.
    burnerofsouls
    hi everyone i have a problem with my jackson kelly's floyd rose(i think everybody have), and i would like to ask if somebody can help me with this. supose i'm playing and guitar is tuned,but when i use the floyd rose,moving it up or moving it down the guitar isn't tuned anymore. my floyd rose isn't right balanced, i've heard this is a problem of most of jackson guitars with floydrose,what can i do to fix it? is there anybody that can help me? thanks ..seeya
    jimmyG7
    ok i have a problem. i have an ibanez rg350 with a floyd rose. i just restrung it yesterday, one string at a time. however, when i go to tune it, the bridge keeps coming up (as if i were pushing the wammy bar down) because i am tightening the strings. what can i do to fix this
    metalmse
    I've owned a Kramer Nightswan for about 11-12 years, & an Ibanez RG320 for about 3 years. Both have a Floyd Rose. After paying some idiots way too much money to work on my guitars, I decided I would learn to do it myself. After all I have a degree in auto/ diesel technology, I could learn to do it. With a couple of books & places like this, I've done all my repairs. Floyd's are really simple, if the bridge pulls up when restringing, the springs are what you look at. If you go to a heavier string, You need more spring tension. My RG had 3 springs with the stock strings. I use a .052 6 string, so I added a 4th spring & more tension.
    Zavien_bg_gt
    My FR is having the same problem.. i know what i did wrong though, i replaced the strings, not one at a time, but I took the factory strings off and then put new ones on, all at the same time..>.< it was rather dumb of me I am sure, but it is the first FR i have ever dealt with. Besides, my beast wasnt even supposed to have a FR that i remember, lol, and I got it for 400 bucks cheaper then from BC Rich themselves.. i will have to bring it to the shop to get it right, so i can start jammin some more.
    lamb_of_god129
    my FR is doing something that no one can explain, when i change the strings the bridge pulls up from the body and i have no idea how to make it go down like at all so if you ciould help that would be awsome
    Tobe
    I bought a jackson which came with a floyd rose bridge and i just changed the strings for the first time and ive noticed that the strings are alittle closer to the pickups then they were before so i was wondering if theres anyway i can fix that?
    Sabrecat
    BigDrew..you need to adjust the springs in the back of the guitar, they will pull the bridge back down into place. But keep checking your string tention while you do this, while pulling the bridge down you pull the strings too. Keep them generally in tune as you go 1.so you know where you are as you go, and 2.so you don't break all your strings off..could be very dangerous to your face!!!
    BigDrew6565
    hey everybody, Got a simple question, I just restringed my Jackson and the tremelo floated up real high and now the action on the bottom frets is much higher than usual what causes this and how can i fix it?
    rreite2233
    I'm guessing either these people have a cheap knock off FRose or a 'licensed' one because I have a 10 yr old FR that has served me great in 3 different guitars now. I just upgraded my KH2 to a speedload fixed bridge setup ... not sure how much I like this one though. Might see it for sale on eBay soon. Thinking I should have gotten the trem. version instead. These trems are not the easiest to adjust but when they are done PROPERLY they stay in place until you stretch the strings out. There's not a tremolo in place that can stop strings from going though.
    David Gimour
    How the hell do you unlock the nut? (this is my first floyd rose guitar so give me a break)
    BibaLin
    nuh uh, the easiest way is, simple. Cut the frikken balls off lock it in the bridge, then string em through the locks, lock the locks, then through the tuning machine. that keeps the strings from slipping when changing strings. then unlock the locks, tune it, then lock it, then fine tune it. its not that hard. why are people so stupid these days. I carry my 3mm wrench and my 9mm pistol everywhere i go since i gotted it.
    CvPrEpKiLLaH
    A bass with a floyd rose... Interesting idea, but the strings are already so low, I don't see any divebombs, and a huge up-pull would be kinda weird and would probably snap the strings...
    chinko
    I have an Ibanez RG320, and when I put the new strings on it, I insert them from the headstock, and take them through to the bridge, and cut off the excess end of string there. This way, you get to keep the balls of the strings and cut off the plain end. There are several advantages to this: first, when you are winding up the string to its tuning, the ball keeps the string from slipping from the tuning head. And it also looks way cooler.
    hmmm not a bad idea, cept you need a floyd rose bridge to do that. for anyone that ever uses a whammy bar, use a floyd. then you dont detune your guitar after a lengthy/vicous divebomb. i wish basses had floyd roses, it would be COOOOOL!
    peter_2004
    i have a floyd rose tremelo on my wesley m2556. personally i think its great but then again this is my first guitar so ive got used to it. i dont usually tune it any differently either sinse im not experienced enough so its perfect the way it keeps in tune 4 me. maybe one day wen i realise different tunings might sound better then ill become frustrated and smash it through my amp, but until that day comes, i salute the floyd rose!
    Cain 777
    I happen to slam my strings very hard as I jump and twist and just pummel my strings and guitar. The floyd helps me keep from having to retune every song. I tried taking off the locks at the nut and I put them back on after one practice. I went out of tune after one song. I never use the trem. bar I love the nutlocks because I never have to retune in the middle of a performance. If you're breaking strings during your performance you're either using a razor as a pick or are using old and shoddy strings. I play pretty much only in standard and I keep another guitar handy for drop d or alternate tunings like you should. I might add anyone who has a floyd and uses drop d tuning shouldn't have a floyd rose. It really screws with the tension springs that keep the bridge floating.