Introduction: Restring Your Floyd Rose Guitar
Step by step how to re-string a Floyd Rose guitar and retain tuning stability.
With only a few tools and a hand full of patience, you can have your guitar back to doing full dive-bombs and returning to your original tuning every time!
Until.... your strings go bad...
In which case, I hope I'll see you right back here next time!
Allen Wrench set
Your choice of guitar strings and a guitar equipped with a Floyd Rose tremor system
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Step 1: Back of Your Guitar
Install your springs back to their original places.
It's fairly important that the go back to the same positions in the anchor (top) and bridge block (bottom) so that your tremolo stays level like it was before.
If you are switching to a different gauge of strings, remember that your springs will have to be adjusted. Longer travel of a spring from the anchor to the block will pull the bridge more backwards and put more tension on the strings.
A heavier gauge of strings hold MORE tension and will pull the bridge forward more.
It takes some tweaking, but in the end it will be worth it!
Step 2: Locking Your Bridge
With only Springs attached to the back Block of your bridge, the tremolo will be pulling backwards very hard. Install the tremolo arm and pull it forwards. Put a soft cloth underneath the bridge in between the body and the routed cavity.
You can put a pen, small screwdriver, or something of a similar, appropriate size in between the bridge and the cloth that will hold the bridge flat.
Step 3: Loosen Saddles
Loosen the string lock saddles by turning the screws behind the bridge with an allen Wrench or bit
Step 4: Clip Strings
Clip string balls off (and excess wind near the ball)
And unwound ends of the 3 heaviest strings
Step 5: Insert Strings Into Bridge
Insert strings, one at a time, with the heaviest string at the top to lightest at the bottom.
Insert the string until it's fully inside the saddle and then tighten the respective screw to lock the string in place.
Remember not to tighten too hard as the block may slip out or it could crimp the string and make it susceptible to breakage.
Step 6: Align Tuner Holes
Line your tuners up like you have OCD.
Make all 6 look straight up the head from the nut.
Step 7: Wind Your Strings Up
Wind each string up from it's proper bridge saddle, through it's nut dip, under the string retainer and straight through the tuner, leaving a couple inches of string loose to be wound, and bend it on the opposite side of the tuner as pictured. This will act as an anchor while winding the string.
Hold the string down and tight before and after the nut to keep tension. Once the string is wound up, make sure it properly bunches up like in the picture so there's no slippage later.
*strings always wind outward*
Be cautious of strings that get caught while winding because they will whip you and give you PTSD for the rest of your life (also pictured)
Step 8: Wind Up and Check Yourself
Wind all 6 strings up properly until they put enough tension on the bridge to hold it up, then remove the item you used to hold it level.
Also, check to ensure your bridge is properly positioned, meaning the round knife edges are in the right place on the bridge studs, pictured.
Step 9: Stretch Your Strings
Pull your strings up at the 12th feet, push on the string closest to the bridge, and pull the bridge back with the tremolo arm to stretch your strings.
All 3 stretches pictured.
If you pull too hard, you will break the string or make it slip out. You can still pull and hold pretty good without it breaking, as long as you did everything else well.
Step 10: Almost Ready to Tune...
Install nut blocks and screws, using allen wrench.
Level your bridge's fine tuners.
Step 11: Tune, Stretch, Tune
Tune your strings to the approximate note, do the 3 stretches again, and wait 15 minutes.
Do this whole process 3 times then check to see if your guitar will hold a tune.
Once your guitar can hold a tune, this means it is stable.
Now, tune all 6 strings slightly flat, as pictured, and tighten all 3 nut screws to lock your tuning.
Finally, tune your guitar one last time using the fine tuners.
You tune your guitar slightly flat before locking your nut because locking your nut makes your affective string shorter, making the string slightly higher. Your guitar should be fairly close to in tune when you lock the nut. It takes a lot of practice and each guitar is different in its own way.
Play with it as well as spring adjustments and whatever else you can find to figure out what suits you and your guitar.
Step 12: Finished!
If you have any questions or suggestions for edits, let me know!
Cheers! I hope I helped you to learn more about your guitar and it's tremolo!