So you have a nice guitar just sitting there gathering dust all because you don't know how to change the strings on it. You look at it and see how the bridge looks complicated yet you don't want to spend the money to get you local music shop to do it. What you are looking so intently at is the well known Floyd Rose Patent Tremolo Bridge. This type of bridge is used on several types of guitars that have the Whammy Bar feature. The one shown is on the Jackson Soloist. This bridge gained popularity in the 1980's after its inventor Floyd D. Rose started selling them. Some legendary guitarist that used them included Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai.
What you will need:
- A 1/8 or 7/64 Allen Key (depends on your model)
- New Strings of your choice
changing the strings on a floyd rose
Removing the strings
To get the old strings off you will need the Allen key. First, loosen the Intonation Screws DO NOT REMOVE!!! If you remove them you run a chance on loosing the Saddle-Blocks. After you have loosened all of the Intonation Screws the strings will come out from between the Saddle and Saddle Blocks. The you will want to loosen the String Retainers. The String retainers are the pieces at the headstock of your guitar holding the strings in place to keep them in tune. They are easily removed with a size 7/64 Allen key. After that just unwind the strings from the machine heads. Great, now to string up the guitar with the new strings!
Replacing the strings
Once you have chosen your strings, you will come back to the guitar just as you left it. The strings you get will all have string nuts on them. Well on a regular acoustic bridge or stationary bridge you would leave that on but for the Floyd Rose bridge you will need to remove them to even be able to fit the strings in between the Saddle and Saddle-Blocks. Ok first start with the High E String which is the smallest string on the guitar. Cut the string nut off the string where it is attached. Stick the end you cut in between the Saddle and the front side of the Saddle-Block closest to the Pick-ups on your guitar. Take you Allen key and tighten the Intonation screw until you can pull on the string and it will not come loose. Take the string up the neck through the String Retainers and into the correct machine head. Go one by one until you have all the strings in their correct Machine Heads. After you tighten the strings and stretch them a bit while tuning you can choose a specific tuning that you want, Tighten the String retainers and your guitar will rarely go out of tune.
Written by Steven Hart