Fresh Steel: How to Re-String a Floyd Rose-Equipped Guitar — and Stay in Tune
Many guitarists complain that they can't keep guitars with Floyd Rose (or Floyd Rose-style) tremolo systems in tune. Because of this, many players write off the Floyd Rose all together.
So, with that in mind, I've prepared a few tips to help you with the three most common problems you might encounter.
Stretch Before You Lock
When you are about to lock in the lock nuts by the headstock (after all your new strings are on, of course), you must make sure your strings are already staying in tune.
All too often, guitarists get their strings "pretty close" and then tighten up the saddles—but by that time, the game is lost. Stretch your strings, tune and repeat until you can play your guitar with very few tuning problems. Only then should you lock the lock nuts.
A Step Back Can Save You Hours
As you are tuning your guitar, you might notice that the entire Floyd system tends to raise up, making it no longer parallel to the guitar's body—and nowhere near where it was when your old strings were on. When this happens, lower the pitch of all your strings again (considerably) and re-tune.
At that time, you will most likely see that the bar system is back in place, all nice and straight.
One String at a Time
Last, but not least: Do not take all your strings off your guitar at once! When putting on new set of strings, it is best to change one string at a time. I start with the sixth string (low E) and put it first on the guitar.
I tune it, stretch it and repeat it until the new string stays. I do not remove any other strings—just the one I'm putting on. I simply put one string at a time, get it in tune and move onto the next string.
From my experience, once you take all your strings off the Floyd Rose system, it is quite difficult to get the guitar up and running. At best, it makes the entire process take much longer, and it can get pretty frustrating.
Hope this helps. Metal for Life!
Polish-born Metal Mike Chlasciak has recorded or performed with heavy metal greats Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach, Bruce Dickinson and Axl Rose. Mike is the long-time guitarist for Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford's solo endeavor, Halford. Mike's new album, The Metalworker, is due in spring. For more info, check out his official website and visit him on Twitter. Mike has a new EP — This Is War, and it's available digitally.