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.

Ultimate Guitar
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

    Tom Martin
    These things are the most evil things ever. I hate floyd rose with a vengance! Shooo!
    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.
    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
    Maybe your springs are bad? try new ones and if you want resistance, put another one in yeah..i opened up the back...the springs were stretched right out....
    Most peole who hate floyd rose are either lazy or have no idea how it all works. Read.....
    Im weird..i use 0.10 for my high E string and 0.10 again for my B string.....just though I'd mention that
    you cant...i think....but you can stop it pulling up by shoving a bit of wood underneath it...then you just dont use it and its fine
    about my last comment.....how big would i have to drill holes for the height adjustment rod things to fit??
    hey...can you install a floyd rose into a standard strat body through the bridge routing...please help me with this one...building an EVH frankie
    Rabid Gerry
    I have an altogether different problem with my floyd, my problem is that the bitch stays at pitch for about 5 seconds! It stabablizes around a semitone flat. This really really bothers me and I dunno what to try to solve the problem. At the minute the guitar's bridge is slightly high at the back tipping up so I intend to tighten the strings at the back to solve this. Would this may be the cause of the going slightly flat? I thought of may be trying a string locking wrap at the machine head. I'm pretty well up on the understanding of this bridge, but getting to do what I want is something else. I find the strings a little high also but I don't seem to be able to lower the bridge anymore at the height adjucment posts at the each side. I've lowered it as far is it'll go before trying to take the bridge into the body. The guitar this bridge is on is a Fender Strat, I bought it brand new with the bridge on as my own choice rather than the standard as I wanted o start learning wammy techniques proper. Anyone can help me then I'd appreciate it!!!
    Is there anyone here that can help me with mine, I just bought a Rhoads off of a friend. for some reason, I cant get the floyed rose risen up more to keep it locked to where I can use the whammy bar and everything. I need some feedback...PLEASE!
    Just a slight correction in regards to my last post. Blocking a floyd rose floating tremolo with a shiv keeps the bridge from going down (when you pull up on the whammy bar). Sorry if that was a bit unclear. Also, the EVH D-Tuna may not work perfectly on a licensed floyd rose, because those aren't the real thing.
    OUtta the 800$ i've payed for my Ibanez RG 320 Deluxe which is about the second best RG out there.
    LOL. You're very, very stupid. It is not the second best RG out there. And how exactly have you saved so much money on with a floyd from not buying pedals? You do realize that there are pedals out there that do things besides alter the pitch, right?
    the fendernator
    i took all my strings off by accident and can't reattach new strings because when i try to tune them they pull the bridge up. help?
    Th6r6a6sH wrote: Smart me went from a light gauge set of i-dont-knows to a set of Zakk Wylde signatures and the tension is so huge the bridge goes up.. and stays there. wtf?how do i balance the bridge for a heavier guage? help me out plz!
    this is because Zack uses a 10-60 gauge (I think) and you were using like 9-42's which means that the balance is changed because the floating trem is balanced between the springs and strings all you have to do is take of the plate on the back of your guitar (the biggest plate in the center) and tighten the little screws holding the spring claw but since you are using a lot heavier strings (you may need more springs you can pick them up at a guitar store.) then tune up to pitch (these strings are meant for drop C tuning only if tuned to standard they can wreck your guitar because of all the pressure) and your trem should be level with your guitar (body not in height) fine tune the springs until it is perfect.
    i have a floyd rose on my new guitar, an ibanez knockoff, and i like how it works, i couldnt use the tremelo on my old one... I like doing that motley crue car accelerating intro!
    Maybe your springs are bad? try new ones and if you want resistance, put another one in
    my floyd doesnt go back to the right position when i use it...it stays a bit flat so i ahve to pull it up to get it back to normal tuning...its bothering me like hell
    I've just bought a KE2 Kelly with the Floyd Rose Original locking trem. It's going to stay permanently in standard tuning, as I have a Gibson Les Paul Custom to tune to anything else!!
    Ive got an s470dxqm it has a ZR Trem its like a floyd but not entirely floating so changing strings and tunings is a breeze
    0n my floyd (well...its a copy...but it iz basically the same) I just restring and keep the ball on the string...it doesnt do anything....u dont need to cut it off.....
    anyone know how to tighten the slot the whammy bbar goes into...mine wobbles....its PISSING ME OFF BITCH!!
    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
    Um personally i would change the gauge of the strings lower
    I bought a BC Righ Platinum Pro Jr. V. This guitar has a Floyd Rose and I love it! So what if it takes a half-hour to change the strings. I just sit down, watch the Simpsons, and change the strings. I always use .010 guage strings, so I rarely have to change the spring tension.
    my guitars ibanez RG 7420 - LoTrs trem - shithouse ibanez Gsa 370 - edge - awesome trem Jackson Rx10d - licensed floyd rose not sure what type but its holding up to the abuse so to all those out there who whinge about floyds, learn to maintain them properly or get a guitar tech to do it, its not hard
    Smart me went from a light gauge set of i-dont-knows to a set of Zakk Wylde signatures and the tension is so huge the bridge goes up.. and stays there. wtf?how do i balance the bridge for a heavier guage? help me out plz!
    In fact there are two types of floyd rose tremelo..... one that is within the body and one that is sitting on the top like a fender hardtail. (non floyd rose)
    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.
    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.
    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?
    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
    if i tune my guitar from E standard to D standard should i change the spring tension or just tuned it like normal gutiar?
    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.
    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
    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
    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?
    I'm getting a Jackson Warrior XT guitar brand new and was wondering what I can do to set it up best to semi-tone lower tuning (DGCFAd) because my music is heavily influeced by Death and I would like to basically use all the same techniques Chuck used (R.I.P.). After this initial tuning change I dont think I'll want to change again afterwards. Thanks in advance.
    Sonic Blast
    chinko wrote: 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!
    CvPrEpKiLLaH wrote: 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...
    have you guys ever heard of Kahler tremolos? they're very similar to Floyd Rose tremolos. They make several bass tremolo and they are really great. Among others, Les Claypool (Primus) and Victor Wooten use them. Kahlers do the same thing Floyds do, but they're easier for maintainance and use. They're also not floating.
    can someone help me please, i stupidly took all my strings off an ibanez rg licensed trem as i wanted to oil my board. now i can't get the trem flush with the body, should the springs be fully stretched or just a little? im using skinny top heavy bottom ernie balls and am on the verge of throwing this piece of shit out of the window!! can you pm or email please, cheers :o)
    know im no expert but wouldnt that last part mes with the indintaion (hope i spelled that right) your best bet with these are get them set up for the tunning you want and not chang it alot if you just stay with the same strings and tunning and you can just change the strings your self but inless you want to spend the next lifetime trying to set up a guitar just to change your mind and have to do it your self
    i fave a b.c. rich beast and it has a floyed rose,honestly it pisses me the hell off