Tuning A Floyd Rose Bridge Guitar
Guitar tuning is something every guitarist lives with and understands, so when a new guitar comes along that doesn’t work quite the way you’re used to, it can be frustrating! A Floyd Rose Bridge is a floating bridge – a bridge you attach a whammy bar to for crazy tone and pitch effects. Because of their ability to customize your pitch, however, they need to be tuned a little differently than you’re used to.
We recommend watching the video above for a complete guide, but we’ll also give you the basics here! A guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge has two main components (other than the bridge itself) that you may not be familiar with if you haven’t ever used one before. Those two are the locking nut on the neck near the headstock, and the finger tuners at the very bottom of the bridge itself. Let’s start with the locking nut.
The locking nut enables you to take your strings from normal tension all the way down to completely loose and back again without losing its tone that you’ve set. To tune a guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge, first you need to unlock the locking nut, usually with a philips head screwdriver. Once the nut is unlocked, you can tune your guitar like normal! Tune one string at a time without going back to the last string. Once all 6 strings have been tuned, play the string you tuned first again. You’ll notice that the pitch has changed. Because it is a floating bridge, any changes you make to the tension of one string will affect the tone of a different string. Because of this, you can’t get exactly in tune with the headstock tuners. So instead, unlock the nut, tune it up, then tune it one or two more times to get you really close (but not exact). Once that is done and you’re reasonably close, lock the nut again and move on to the next section!
That next section being the finger tuners at the bottom of the guitar. Once your locking nut is locked again, you are able to increase or decrease the tension of the strings without effecting the pitch overall once it comes back. But like we talked about before, your strings almost certainly still aren’t in tune! That’s where the finger tuners come in. They’ll get you the rest of the way with your tuning, as the tuners are apart of the bridge and won’t affect each other (in any noticeable way, at least).
One thing to keep in mind is that you really only need to use the headstock to tune your guitar when you change the strings. Once you’ve used the headstock and gotten most of the way there, you should never really need to unlock the nut again, until the next time you need to change your strings.
And that’s it! You can now shred to your heart’s content. Check out some of our Floyd Rose bridge guitars on our website, boothemusic.com, and we’ll see you next time!