How to Restring an Electric Guitar with a Floyd Rose Bridge
12 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Maintaining an Electric Guitar
Restringing an electric guitar fitted with a Floyd Rose bridge system takes a little longer than it does on a regular electric, but if you plan to do a lot of whammy bar work, a Floyd Rose is well worth the effort.
Some rock music, particular rock from the ’80s, makes extensive use of the whammy bar and floating bridge (where the bridge isn’t fixed, but floats on a spring assembly). Unfortunately, standard floating bridges weren’t meant for the kind of abuse that creative guitarists like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani cook up, so manufacturers developed better ways to make sure that bridges return to their original position and the strings remain in tune.
Floyd Rose invented the most successful of these assemblies. Rose used his own patented design to ensure a highly accurate, movable bridge system and locking nut (a clamplike device that replaces the standard nut).
If you find a guitar with a Floyd Rose bridge, here's how you change its strings:
Remove the old string (if you haven't already).
Snip off the ball end of the end of the string and slip the end of the string into the tiny viselike mechanism on the bridge.
The strings on a Floyd Rose bridge are positioned using a top-mounted approach, unlike most electric guitars.
If you own a Floyd, you must carry a set of spare strings with the balls snipped off or at least have wire cutters always at the ready.
Slip the string onto the tuner's locking nut and lock the string into position.
Use a small Allen wrench to lock the nut and secure the string.
Attached the strings as usual to the tuning mechanisms on the headstock.
Use the ridge-covered knobs on the bridge to tune the string.
Thanks to the locking nuts in the tuner, you can do all the string tuning using the knobs, called "fine tuners," on the bridge because their movements are much smaller and more precise than the typical headstock tuners.