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TAME YOUR

FLOYD ROSE

AXE

By Roman Larin
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Introduction
From the very first time I took it in my hands, I didn't want to let it
go! The glossy finish, the lightness and the superb build quality
made this guitar a pure work of art! I was an excited 18 year old
with Sponge-bob-like grin on my face and my very first genuinely
great guitar that I held in my hands was a Japanese made Ibanez
RG1570 Prestige. It hurt so bad that I could not take her home that
day, but that I had 2 more down payments of 750 euro in total.
However when I finally did pay off my debt, I couldn't wait to start
shredding my new monster and start unleashing hell upon the
neighbors!
After a few weeks of hard playing ( mostly black and
thrash metal ), it was time for a string change. There I immediately
ran into huge problems. My bridge was not balancing right and my
strings were out of tune most of the time. If I have not made my
research and asked the more experienced guitar players how to solve
my problems, I would have probably hated FRoyd Rose bridges on
guitar until this day!
I'm sure that my experience sounds awfully familiar and that
you have the same damn problems that I had in the past. When I talk
to guitarists ( being in a metal band that plays shows abroad has it's
benefits ) the ones who don't have FRoyds on their guitars say that
it's just too damn complicated ant that they had these types of
bridges in the past. The people who DO have FRoyds, tell me that
the bridge is fixed in place most of the time! That's just like buying a
huge full stack tube amp and putting the volume on 1. People just
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don't use the full potential of their FRoyd Rose bridge because they
think it's too complicated. In this e-book, I will show you that it's
actually very easy and fun to set up your Floyd Rose axe and to have
the right skills that will save you a lot of time cursing in stead of
playing. The fun part is that you will actually save yourself some
serious cash because you won't need to bring your guitar to
specialists to have it set up, re stringed and looked after. I be as
precise as possible without being a boring pain in the ass. Ok let's
check out what this e-book is all about!

Chapters
1.Why have a FR bridge on your guitar in the 1st place?
2.Types of FR bridges
3.Tuning points
4.String change
5.Getting greasy
6.Watch out for Asian traps

Chapter 1. Why the hell do you want a FRoyd Rose bridge on


your guitar in the first place?
In my case, it was not great tuning stability or being able to bend my
strings beyond the limits of physics. It was not even the comfortable
position of my hand that rested almost flat on the bridge in order to
shred faster! Hell no! If I had to summarize why exactly I choose a
Floyd Rose bridge on my guitars above all the rest, it would be
because of Laziness!
Yes, laziness! You see my point of view is this: I would
much rather tweak my guitar for an hour wile changing strings ( and
tune it until perfection ), than slap my strings in 10 minutes on a
cheap ass bridge only to tune it every 2 days! I like that I have to
tune my guitar only once a week and that I always know that no
matter when I take it out of the case, it will be ready for some
serious thrashing! I have too many things to do just to every day, so
having a plug and play ready guitar is a major motivation to grab
it and start playing. Many people who have fixed their FR bridges,
told me that it's just too hard to tune it and it can never stay in tune.
My answer is this: When you want to be a lazy player like me, you
must have some patience in the beginning. Don't think hit-and-run
thought like ( wow I can buy this guitar because it's so easy to
change strings on it. For example a Gibson SG ), in stead think longterm ( I can learn how to tackle this guitar properly and it will
always be in tune and ready to play when I need it! ) This always
pays off! Not only in the word of kick ass guitar shredding!

One of the coolest guitars I own is a 1986 Westone Spectrum FX. Back in the
days it was not so special. However when you look back on it, the FRoyd Roselike bridge ( Japanese Design ) Turns out to be amazing! If you see this guitar
for less that 200 USD, snatch it while you can. You won't regret it!
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When we take a closer look at the bridge, we can see that it's not a typical FR
design. This is actually a Japanese modification and to be honest, this bridge is
very sensitive and responding. The coolest feature is that you don't have to cut
the ball ends of the strings off when you change them! This is a huge advantage
for the lazy guitarists!
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I wouldn't be honest if I hadn't mentioned that FR bridges have some


drawbacks. There a 2 sides to this medal. Here are the most common
drawbacks to FR bridges:
1.Having a Floyd Rose bridge automatically makes your guitar more
expensive to manufacture. Your FR bridge has plenty of small parts.
Therefor choose only good quality manufacturers ( who don't
usually outsource their production to the low wage countries )
2. Because your bridge has more small parts, there's lots more that
can break too. So don't treat your FR bridge like you treat your
parent's old Volvo! In stead handle with care and your bridge will
serve you well for a long time to come. I have a 25 year old Westone
guitar that has a fantastic FR bridge that I love and take great care
of. Never had a problem.
3.Be ready to grab a brush or some other cleaning agent and give
your FR bridge a good scrub. You see your hands produce a lot of
sweat, grease and dirt. This eats the metal that your bridge is made
of. Therefor you muse clean it from time to time ( a few times a year
would be great )
4.If you snap a string during a live show, you won't be able to
replace it in time before the crowd gets bored and wonders off to the
nearest bar. So when you have a FR bridge on your axe, ALWAYS
take a replacement guitar with you. I know that for you traveling
artists that can be a problem, however nothing holds you back from
asking a spare guitar from a fellow guitarist at a gig.

So you see that it's not all sunshine and roses. You do have to roll up
the sleeves once in a wile to get your guitar into shape. Don't let
yourself get discouraged. When you are done with this course, you
won't want anything on your guitar except a Floyd Rose bridge!

Chapter 2. Types of Floyd Rose bridges


If you expect me to give you a huge list of scientific studies telling
you what microscopic difference there is in types of locking FR
bridges, you would be wrong! There are actually only 2 types:
Type 1. The original Floyd Rose Bridge ( real and recessed models )
Type 2. Other variations of the FR bridge that work on the same
damn principle as the real one, but with one big difference: You don't
need to modify the strings when you replace them! These are the
ones I like the most. They are also called locking bridge.
The original FR was a modern miracle. It was big and heavy but did
it's job very well. Being American, it's logical that this bridge would
be huge and bulky. ( I am European and here we are all obsessed by
light weight, energy efficiency and design ). However with time the
original FRoyd Rose bridge became recessed, that simply means
that the plate with fine tuners was lowered, so that when you put
your hand on the bridge to play some chopping stuff like thrash
metal riffs, your hand won't be bothered so much by the protruding
part of the bridge. Check out the picture on on the next page...

This is the older model of the FR bridge. Nr 1 Is the protruding plate. Nr 2 is


one of the fine tuners. See how the plate sticks out? Sometimes this can be a
pain in the ass when you play fast!

The solution to this was just to lower the plate completely. Notice how these fine
tuners are positioned almost parallel to the whole bridge itself. This is what I
call pure genius!
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Both types of these bridges are great. They both hold the strings in
tune for a long time and work extremely well. It's just a matter of
your personal taste which one you find more comfortable!
Type 2 Bridges are all the modifications of the FR types. Here the
main point is that you don't have to cut the ball end of the string off
in order to replace it. This happens to be the case with the original
one, but if you have changed your strings, you already know that.
Examples are:

Westone Bridge ( you can find it on some Aria guitars too )

Ibanez Edge, Edge pro and Edge zero bridges

FRoyd Rose Speedloader bridge

In general I prefer these bridges more to the standard FR types.


Mostly due to the high degree of design and quality. I am far from
anti-American and I do own a guitar with an original FR bridge
( witch I adore ), but you must give the guys at Ibanez and
Matsumoku ( back in the 80ies ) some credit for designing and
perfecting Floyd Rose type of bridges that are easy to handle without
cutting your ball end from the strings! For the lazy guitarist, that's
simply a godsend that let's us take care of business and run off to the
bar for some beer and groupies!
Let's check out the next page for some examples of these bridges...

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This is called the Westone Bendmaster bridge. It's different from a regular FR
type in the way that just insert your string into the saddle without unscrewing
any part of the bridge itself! This is the ultimate lazy guitarist's dream. Just put
the string in, tighten it, tune it and play!

The reason why I put this Ibanez Edge trem here, is because I want to show you
how the Japanese have modified it. It's recessed, comfy to play and is very well
made. Note: On this model you NEED TO cut the ball end off the strings! This
is the grandaddy of the Ibanez Locking Bridges.
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This is the Ibanez Edge Pro bridge. The main advantages are: 1. Recessed bar
for the fine tuners. This makes for a very comfy playing position. As you can see
on the picture the ball end of the string just pops into the hole and are screwed
tight with the allen keys on the top of the bridge. This makes changing strings a
piece of cake.

This is the latest in bridge design from Ibanez. The Edge zero. It's the same
principle as the Edge pro, except that it uses ball bearings in stead of pins. You
can also adjust the spring tension on the back of this bridge using a special nut.
It's very comfy to play and to bend too.
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The last bridge is one of the top in it's class. High quality materials
and great design ensure that it's becoming more and more popular. If
you ask me, I simply hate it! Surprised? Well that's my way of
illustrating a very important point:
NO MATTER WHAT FLOYD ROSE TYPE BRIDGE YOU
CHOOSE, IT WILL ALWAS BE THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU!
Don't listen to people who want to force their opinion upon you.
When you buy a guitar with a Floyd, choose carefully and do your
homework. Otherwise you can repeat my mistake. A few years ago I
wanted to buy a new guitar ( ESP M-400 ) because someone who
was more experienced than me suggested that this guitar was perfect
for me. However when I finally got it, I was devastated. The bridge
was hard uncomfortable to play and the neck was thick and bulky.
From that day on, I promised myself never to take anyone's advice
BEFORE I've tested the guitar myself. Therefor I suggest the same
to you!
By now I hope you have chosen your own guitar with the right
bridge. Congrats! Now let's check out the most common mistakes
that people make when tuning their guitar with a Floyd Rose type of
bridge. Don't worry I won't make it too boring and technical. It's all
pretty easy and logical once you understand how it all works...
Just hang in there for a few more pages before sneaking out for
booze and hot babes!

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Chapter 3. Tuning points of your bridge ( Or how NOT to tune


your Floyd Rose guitar! )
Our drummer plays in 4 bands and one of them ( called
Aguynguerran ) plays pretty impressive technical black / thrash
metal. I really like their stuff on tape and live. When we go to their
live shows however, I always notice that the guitarists have to tune
their guitars after each song ( Jackson RR and an ESP Flying V. Both
with a FR bridge ). When I played one of their guitars, I noticed that
the locking nuts were loose and not doing their job properly! In other
words the guys have a nice Swiss army knife and only use the
toothpick!
Many people repeat these mistakes. In order to get the maximum out
of your guitar, let's check out every part of your tuning system that
you will need to temper with when tuning your axe...

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The very first thing we'll need to address, is the locking nut. That's the magic
ingredient that will make sure that your strings remain in tune wile you play
your guitar like a bondage bitch! These 3 nuts lock your strings in place AFTER
you made the 1st crude tuning.

When you get a new guitar in your hands, chances are that the
strings are totally detuned because of long time without playing .
First thing we will need to do is loosen up the 3 locking nuts!
DON'T UNSCREW THEM COMPLETELY! Just loosen them up
that the stings have some room to move. This makes sure that you
can do the 1st part of tuning. I call this part the Crude tuning. Let's
check out how you do it...

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Your machine heads will be your primary weapon to do the crude tuning. After
you loosen up the locking nuts, you can start tuning your guitar.

Ok, so you loosen up your locking nuts. Now grab your tuner ( it
can be any tuner you like, even an application on your Iphone, Nokia
or Android ) and do the following: Tune every string starting from
the LOW E up to the high E. Do this 3 times because every time
you tune the highest string, your lowest one will change pitch! This
is normal! Don't give up.
When you tune your strings like this, your crude tuning is finished!

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On digital tuners you will have dots displaying how far your string is
detuned or in tune. DO NOT let it be completely in tune! Let's move
on!

Now it's time to tighten your locking nuts. DON'T OVERDO IT!!!
When you feel counter pressure, Just try to tighten your allen key
about 30 degrees more. If you screw up your thread, it will be a
major pain in the ass to replace it. Treat it gently and those screws
will last you many years. Ok, so you're done tightening them? Great!
Let's move on. Time to go to the next phase: The Fine tuning...

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After you tighten the allen nuts on the headstock, let's jump to the bottom of the
guitar. Here on the bridge you will need to use these small fine tuners.

Ok, so you tighten the locking nut and your strings are half tuned!
Remember when I told you NOT to tune your strings completely?
The reason for this is very simple. When you tighten the locking nut,
your string tension will increase for a tiny amount! This will make
sure that your string will tuned a little more and that fine tuning
will be a piece of cake! This is the way of the lazy guitarist!
So, let's move to the fine tuners. Make sure that the tuning wheels
are screwed out ( to the top ) all the way! Just turn them counter
clockwise until they come all the way up ( just make sure they don't
fall out! ). Now let's repeat the crude tuning but this time we'll use
the fine tuners in stead of the machine heads!
So we start at the low E. E A D G B E.
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Do this 3 times ( or more ) until your strings are tuned perfectly!


Notice anything special?!
On this stage many guitarists start ripping their hair out because the
strings NEVER get tuned right! This is where we will use the 3rd and
most important step that most of use forget! I call it Spring
Tuning!
Let's flip your guitar over and open the back plate where your Floyd
Rose bridge is counter balanced with 2 ( or usually 3 ) strings.

This is the back of my guitar ( Westone Spectrum FX ) and you can see that the
springs are holding the back side of the bridge wile being attached by a plate
that is held by 2 Phillips screws ( on the left side of the picture ). This makes
sure that your springs keep your bridge floating! This is why you can make
those killer screamers and dive bombs on your guitar. Let's see how we can use
them fast and easy!

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It actually took me a wile before I started to tune my guitar using the


springs on the back. Before that I once almost threw my guitar out
the window because I couldn't get it tuned for 2 hours!
You see, everything is much more simple than you have ever
imagined! For every action, there's a reaction. That means that if
your strings are pulling from one side ( after you done the crude and
fine tuning ), your balance springs will pull from the other side.
Because your strings are fresh, they are not stretched properly and
that means you will have endless problems tuning your guitar. Let's
fix this once and for all. Grab your philips screwdriver ( or as we say
here your cross screwdriver ) and check out this picture below.

First locate the fine tuners. This is an Ibanez RG Edge pro bridge. You see, the
position of the ruler tells us that your bridge should be EXACTLY parallel to
the body of your guitar. If it hangs lower, you'll get a pain in the ass string buzz.
If it hangs higher, your strings will be flapping high above your fretboard. Let's
see this from a better angle and check how to handle this problem...

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This classic picture from Wikipedia can clearly tell you what happens. Nr. 1:
Perfect tuning. From the locking nut up to the trem unit itself. Notice that the
balance springs keep that bridge floating in perfect equilibrium of forces!
Pic 2. SPRING tension is too low! You strings pull to tight and that bridge
begins to lift it's ass. This is annoying when you play, as the strings are too high
from the fretboard.
Pic. 3 SPRING tension is too high! The springs pull the trem down giving you a
major string buzz all the way.
PS. That green stick on the trem is your tremolo arm.

Right, enough talking. First we need to analyze what's happening!


Step 1. Regardless of the position of your bridge, first we need to set
our fine tuners half way.

Those screws on the end of the trem. Remember?


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This will give you room to maneuver after we do the SPRING


tuning.
Step 2. Check your bridge and watch what position it's in. If it's
perfectly parallel to the body of your guitar, than leave it alone for
now, because after 1 or 2 weeks it will start to sag down ( because
the strings stretch out ). For this case, let's say that your SPRINGS
are pulling too tight and that your bridge is sagging down.
Step 3. Turn your SPRING holding screws counterclockwise so they
come out of the body of your guitar and shortening the SPRINGS.
Don't turn too much. For the beginning let's do it only a half turn. Do
this for the both screws!

It's those screws on the back of the guitar that hold the spring plate.
Remember? When you give them a half turn counterclockwise, you will make
the spring pull less on your FR bridge. Consequently, your trem unit will not be
sagging down so much. It will start raising itself. Pretty easy stuff, right?

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Step 4. Tune your guitar the same way as with crude tuning so that
every string is not tuned perfectly, but still with a little lag ( that's
why our step 1 was setting the fine tuners half way up! Remember? )
You will see that after you loosened up your springs, the tuning will
be much better! Just make sure you take small steps and never turn
the screws more than half a turn. You will also see one more cool
thing: Your bridge has gone up and it's standing more parallel to the
guitar body. Well done!
Repeat this process until you're HALF TUNED and after this leave
your springs alone! Finish the job using fine tuners. After that you
can plug your guitar in the amp and start shredding! When your trem
is sitting up ( because the springs are not pulling too tight ) just
tighten the screws clockwise and repeat that process. When I'm
tuning, My trem is balanced, so it takes me about 2 minutes to tune
the whole guitar. You will be able to do this very soon, so don't go
out decapitating people with your guitar because you're pissed that it
doesn't work the first time!
After a few weeks when your fingers soil the strings beyond
recognition ( after all that's what guitarists hands do as a byproduct
of playing ) we'll need to change the strings on your axe and do our
lazy tune so we can shred again and again. In the next chapter you'll
see my strategy for this. It's called the ultimate lazy tuning!

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Chapter. 4 Changing your strings the easy way!


One thing is learning to play the guitar! It's hard as it is,
goddammit! The other thing is changing the strings and balancing
that damn floating bridge that always seems to have a bad day. To be
honest, it took me about 5 years to get it right. And many times I
have considered to replace my guitars with something simple and
more easy for tuning.
However after countless hours of conversations with guitarists and
with guitar repair nuts, I finally started to make progress. So let's see
the most easy way of tuning your guitar with a FR bridge and how
you can do it fast and painless.

Step 1. Preparation. For kick ass result you will need:

Time ( between 1 and 2 hours )

Pack of factory fresh strings ( Your own favorite brand! )

Philips screwdriver ( or cross screwdriver as we say it )

Allen keys for your locking nut ( they come as standard with
your guitar, so get that gig bag out of the garage, will you! )

Small cutting pliers ( Decent ones. No Cheap Walmart shit! )

Tuner ( Analogue or digital. Whatever you prefer )

Guitar cable

String winder ( don't be a miser! This tool will save you


a lot of time!!! )

Good attitude and belief that you can fucking do it!!!

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This is what I usually need to change my strings. I have 2 of these packs in my


cable cases. That way if I forget one, I will have a spare on me every time. This
method got me out of pretty shitty situations when we played shows far from
home.

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Step 2. Relaxation.
Put your guitar on a hard surface ( table, amp or something else )
and proceed in this order.
1.

Loosen the 3 nuts from your locking nut.

You can simply use your allen key to turn the nuts counterclockwise and relieve
the tension. Don't take out the screws, but just leave them hanging loose.

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2.

Loosen the 6 fine tuners on your FR bridge unit ( turn them

counterclockwise until they come all the way up ( NOT OUT! JUST
UP ! )

These fine tuners are turned all the way up. The right one is still turned in, to
illustrate the difference in height.

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3.

Grab your Philips screwdriver and open the panel on the back

of your guitar that exposes the back side of your FR bridge and the
tension springs. You can easily do it by unscrewing the 6 screws that
hold the back plate in place. WARNING! Keep your screws in a
glass or a jar for the time of the tuning. I had countless times that I
lost those tiny screws because my cat decided to play with them and
knock them off the table. Total time spent: 2 minutes.

Note the 4 holes around the cavity where the springs are mounted. This is where
the cover plate use to be fixed on. I took it off in order to have access to the
springs.

This process makes sure you will be changing strings faster and
easier. You see now your guitar is relaxed and ready to be handled.
Let's proceed...

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Step 3. Taking it easy!


Now remember when I told you how to balance your trem unit so it's
parallel to the body of your guitar? This is a necessary pain in the ass
procedure when you tune your guitar. HOWEVER in stead of doing
it all the way from the start ( and losing time ) let's minimize this
step! It's easier than you might think.
On many websites I've read how to put a block of wood under your
FR bridge in order to change the strings. I think this is totally useless
work. Why? Well because when we change the strings one by one
( that means taking baby steps ), you will not need to fix your bridge
at all!!! This is the secret! One string at a time. Let's start with the
low E.
1.

Use your string winder to loosen up the Low E string. ( ONLY

THIS ONE! )

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2.

Grab your cutting pliers and cut off the string when it's

hanging loose. Cut it right after the locking nut where the string
starts to curl.

This is where good pliers come in handy. Your strings are tough as hell and
unless you get decent equipment, you'll be in trouble.

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3.

Grab your allen key and unscrew the saddle on your FR trem

unit. ( The saddle is the last part that holds your string in place )

4.

Remove the string and put the new one in. Screw it in place!

DON'T OVERDO IT! If you will break the thread on your trem unit,
it will be and expensive mistake! Trust me on this!

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5.

Feed the string under the locking nut and into the machine

head.

Remember after you feed your string through the hole on the machine head,
wait for step 6 before bending the string so it stays in place.

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6.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH! Hold your string at a distance

of 14 cm ( or the distance between your thumb and index finger )


This is the distance I found to be most useful to handle.

This is the probably one of the easiest ways to measure the distance between
your string and fretboard. Using this technique, you'll have about 3 4 string
windings on the machine head. This is what we need. Not too much work and
not too little too.

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7.

Wile you're keeping your string under pressure, bend the end

of the string in the opposite turning angle as your winders on your


machine heads, If you're not sure, look up the picture of your guitar
online and see what way you need to spin the machine heads in
order to tighten your string correctly.

In this example, the string has to be stretched counterclockwise using the


machine head. Note that the string end is bent in the opposite direction of the
turning angle! This is very important, as your string will stay in place using this
trick. We want laziness, remember?

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8.

Grab your string winder and wind up your string wile you

hold it under pressure. Don't overdo it! If you are not sure how far
you can tighten your string, just do it until you see your FR bridge
stand parallel to the body of your guitar. ( In a moment we'll tune it
up anyway! )

Check out that we have 3 windings on this string. It's more that enough for
every string!

9.

Congratulations! Your 1st string is replaced! Total time for one

string: less than 4 minutes!


10.

Now do this for the other 5 strings and pay special attention

when your replacing the high E ( the thinnest string ) because it's
very easy to break if you over stretch it!

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Ok so now we have this picture:


- All your string are replaced
- Your 3 locking nuts ( on the neck ) are loose
- You fine tuners are unscrewed all the way up
- Your bridge is parallel to the body of the guitar
- The back plate of your guitar is taken off ( exposing the balance
springs )
Looks great! Ok, next we're going to stretch the strings before fine
tuning. This step is very important because there's no point
whatsoever in tuning your guitar wile your strings will stretch out
and lower your bridge and give you additional pain in the ass!
String stretching is very easy. Grab your string in the middle ( at the
12th fret ) and gently pull it 4 centimeters ( about 1,5 ) in the air.
Wobble it up and down so the string starts to stretch and settle. Do
this for all your strings. Total time spent: 3 minutes!
After you do your string stretching, you'll see that your FR bridge
has sagged down ( it's pulling the strings too hard ). At this stage it's
time to tune up your guitar using the method in the chapter 3. You
will need to pay special attention towards your balance springs ( on
the back of your guitar ) in order to get that bridge parallel to the
body! This way you will enjoy every second of playing when you
get down to business after string change and tuning.

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Sometimes though, when you neglect your FR bridge too much


( like me for example ), you will encounter pretty nasty situations
and some parts of your bridge will just cease to work. In the next
chapter we'll see what we can do when your FR bridge gives you the
finger and stops working. Don't shit yourself just yet. It's all very
easy, because by this point you're almost done taming your Floyd
Rose axe!

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Chapter 5. Getting' greasy!


When you're a total freak about cleanliness and order ( or when
you're a woman ), you'll have no problems with maintaining your
Floyd Rose bridge in spotless condition. Sorry guys, that's the way it
is! However when you're a lazy guitarist ( or just a guy ), you
normally won't give a damn about the condition of your bridge. I
know I don't! I just want it to work!
Evidently after a few years of yellow nicotine fingers, sweat and
spilled beer, your guitar won't look the same any more ( hell, my
anodized finish is even wearing out on my bridge because of that! )
That means you'll have problems with your Locking trem and you'll
need to know how to deal with that backstage and not when you're
playing live. So let's check the most common problems that WILL
eventually happen to your FR bridge ( and other parts )
1.

Tightening block jamming

2.

Fine tuners jamming

3.

Saddle screw jamming

4.

Rust on the trem

5.

Dust and other crap on the trem

6.

Problems with the locking nut ( wearing and broken thread )

I could add some more, but these are the most common ones. Let's
check out how we can solve each of those problems when they
occur.

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1. Tightening block jamming


This is one of the most common diseases of the Floyd Rose bridges!
The block that jams your string ( on your trem unit ) jams when you
loosen up the screw that pushes it forward.

This is what that little bastard looks like. It's very easy to break and to lose, so
treat it very gently!

This happens because of rust and high pressure of your screw.


Solution for this is simple. First make sure that the screw that holds
the block in place is unscrewed. Than tap that block with a
screwdriver until it loosens up. After this remove the block and clean
it with water and baking soda for a few minutes. Before installing
the block, clean the area where it sits in the trem so you won't have
this problem again ( for a wile ). Put it back in place and tighten the
screw ( NOT TOO TIGHT! ) You're done!
You see, this is a serious matter for any guitarist who needs to
use his axe on stage. When you're doing the final adjustments
backstage, you DON'T want this problem to happen. So before you
slap new strings on your guitar ( PREFERABLY 1 WEEK BEFORE
YOUR LIVE SHOW ), check the position of the tightening blocks,
so they won't jam!

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2. Fine tuners jamming


Same problem can be seen with your fine tuners. They just don't
like, sweat, beer and all the other exotic stuff you use on stage that
sticks to your fingers and hands! So when the fine tuners start to
jam, grab some WD-40 ( or something like gun oil ) and use an ear
cleaning stick to apply A LITTLE oil on the threads. After this just
turn them around until they start to loosen up and move smoothly.
Problem solved.

3. Saddle screw jamming


This problem is caused by the same factors as the previous one.
When you get down to grease the saddle screws, don't take the screw
out ot the trem unit, because on many systems these screws are
under pressure from a spring mechanism. So you don't want to look
around for a stupid small part that jumped out of your trem unit
because you weren't careful. The problem is easily fixed with an ear
cleaning stick and some oil ( or WD-40 ).

This is the little guy I'm talking about. I never take this part out of my bridge to
avoid major pain in the ass re installation!

4. Rust on the trem


I don't care what kind of space age coating your Floyd Rose trem has
on it, sooner or later it will start to rust! That's just something we'll
have to live with. This natural phenomenon is simply inevitable.
Personally I don't mind a little rust on my trem, but if you're a very
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neat person, I would recommend grabbing fine grit sand paper and
giving your rusted stain a little rubbing. Usually your trem will start
to rust where you put your hand most often, so don't sand the whole
bridge! Just one small place will do.
4. Dust and other crap on your FR bridge
One time when we played a show in Munich ( Germany ) we got
these big ass German Beers on stage for drinking in between every
song. Good deal right? Wrong! I not only ended up wasted to the end
of our gig, I also managed to pour great amounts of that beer all over
my guitar! This situation ( and many others off course ) will most
definitely be your reality as an active guitarist. That's why it's
evident that there will be plenty of dust and other sticky substances
building up in the small cracks and holes in your trem unit. I
recommend cleaning your guitar after every show using a dry cloth.
When you get home however, just get yourself a good old
toothbrush and get down to business in those small holes where dirt
and dust loves to hide. This will keep your guitar in killer shape and
will most definitely make it look stunning!
5. Problems with your locking nut
This situation is more common that you think. You see the allen
bolts that hold your locking nut are quite flimsy ( that's always like
this! ) and they're only made to jam the strings in place! Not to crush
them. Unfortunately many guitarists forget this small fact. So they
grab their allen keys and get messy with those gentle and fragile
bolts. Evidently they break the threading on the bolts and have to
replace the whole damn locking nut. After you are ready to tame
your Floyd Rose beast, I know you'll never make this mistake! You
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will have to deal with another one! The wearing of your locking
pads!

It's those square blocks that actually press down on your strings and keep them
locked in one place so they don't slide across the nut and fuck up your tuning!

When you notice that those blocks start to show considerable


wearing on the side that holds the string in place, just go online and
order 3 more of these new blocks. Problem solved! If you want to
squeeze more life out of these parts, I usually change them every 2
3 years. This lets me keep my lazy habit of tuning my guitar once a
week. Isn't that what it's all about? Your job is to play your guitar
and not spending your precious time fixing it!
Off course in your long carrier as an axe shredder, you'll encounter
many more problems with your Floyd Rose bridge, however the
ones above are the most common. Always keep your end goal in
mind ( having a stable guitar that can handle dive bombs, bending
and some serious abuse! ) and you'll never the need to downgrade to
a guitar without a FR bridge! By now you almost know everything
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you need to know about taming your FR beast and in the next
chapter I would like to give you a few words of advise when you are
buying a new guitar. I have made plenty of mistakes in the past and
lost a lot of money of horrible guitars, that's why I feel it's very
important to give you this information. Read on...

Chapter 6. What's out for Asian traps!


When I was young and didn't have cash to buy a decent guitar, I
once borrowed a crappy Stratocaster copy from a friend of mine. It
was a guitar alright. Everything was in the right place and made
pretty fine. However that guitar was lifeless. No soul and no
character! Playing it felt like shagging a pile of manure. All the
action was there, but it just felt like shit!.
Eventually I gave that guitar back and bought my first decent
axe. From that moment it was like a whole new experience! The
doors of inspiration singed open and my fingers started to play
themselves!
I pretty sure that you also started out with some cheap ass Chinese or
Korean guitar that you picked up online or in a pawn shop. My point
is this; it may cost a little more ( or hell, it usually costs a lot more! )
, but it's still better to get your hands on a good quality guitar that
will last you years to come! Don't make mistakes like I did and
NEVER buy shitty quality guitars with Floyd Rose bridges. I
personally suggest the German, Italian, Brittish, Japanese and US
made guitars to be your good friends for many years to come. Off
course the Chinese will eventually learn to build instruments with
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passion. The only question is when! It's always an expensive


investment, but at the end of the day a good quality guitar will serve
you a lot longer than a cheap lifeless knockoff!

Final Words
Well my friend, it's time you had in the big world of Floyd Rose
guitars on your own. By now you know all my secrets to fast and
lazy handling of your Floyd Rose Axe! I truly hope you can spread
this knowledge to your friends, family and people you may know in
the future and I hope that you have enjoyed reading this book as
much as I have enjoyed writing it for you!
Kick ass with all your future projects, bands and albums! Never give
up playing your guitar!
Roman Larin. Belgium 2011

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