Floating tremolo, also called a floating bridge or Floyd Rose bridge, allows us to experiment with different techniques and add more effects to our playing style.
Honestly, changing the strings of a guitar with a floating bridge is not easy.
But don’t worry – if you follow this step-by-step guide, you can make it yourself and save some money.
What tools do we need to restring an electric guitar with a floating bridge?
- Allen key – 3 mm
- Wire cutters
- String winder
- Fine cloth
- Guitar strings
- Neck cradle or headstand
- Рolishing cloth and other cleaning materials
When we have everything we need, we can start changing the strings.
Placе the guitar on a flat surface using a neck cradle or headstand
We recommend laying a towel or soft cloth on the surface to avoid scratches on the body.
The guitar should be perfectly balanced when working on it because the floating tremolo bridge is very sensitive and will be challenging if we need to readjust it.
Removing the old string
- We place the fine cloth on the guitar’s body behind the trim
- Then we slide the backplate under the bridge
- We open the locking nut using an Allen key and put the locking blocks aside – we should remember the right order
- We release the tension on the strings and then open the bridge to pull them out
- We must remove one string at a time
Now is the perfect moment to clean the fretboard
We can use the polishing cloth and some oil.
We advise you to use lemon oil if your guitar is made of rosewood. If it’s maple wood, it should be cleaned only with a soft cloth without adding oils.
Cut off the ball end of the new strings
The perfect length of the string is if we have two to three wines on the tuner.
The easiest way to measure is when we pull the strings straight and cut them off two machine heads further.
For instance, if we work on the E string, we should cut it at the tuner for the D string.
Unwind fine-tuning nuts
We should unwind the fine-tuning nuts on the top of the floating bridge before putting the еnd of the strings in the machine head.
We unwind the nut until it’s completely loose and wind it back in when we feel some tension. We wind it in for one complete turn.
This way, we have enough room to fine-tune and stretch the string.
Put the new strings
We stretch the string to the machine head and feed it through the hole. We tension the string using the winder.
When we put the new string, we have to be sure that the wines go from the center of the headstock to the outside and don’t overlap.
The string should be lifted from the nut because the sliding can wear it out. This may be the reason for buzzing and string muting later when we play.
Fine-tune the new strings
We turn the fine-tuning screws up to the highest point and then go down two turns. That will give us enough space to tune the strings.
We do it before we remove the backplate from under the bridge.
In this step, we must be patient because we may have to tune the strings repeatedly until they all have the right pitch.
We recommend starting from the low E string to the high E.
Stretch the new strings
When we stretch the strings, we should check the angle of the Floyd and be sure that the baseplate is parallel to the body of the guitar.
Then we have to tune again using the fine tuners.
What is floating bridge guitar?
Floating bridge guitar has an extra feature – the tremolo arm. It allows you to bend or pull the strings while you play, changing the pitch.
How many types of floating bridges are there?
The Fender Tremolo and the Floyd Rose Floating Bridge are the most common types.
What makes restringing an electric guitar with a floating bridge so hard?
It’s hard because the strings go the entire way through the guitar’s body to the back and can be easily displaced.
We advise you to be extra careful because it is difficult to maintain the required balance. The force that the strings pull should be the same as the pulling force of the springs in the back of the guitar. That way the bridge stays afloat, parallel to the body of the guitar.
If you are a beginner, changing the string of a guitar with floating tremolo may look like a nightmare, but follow these easy steps, and soon you will restring like an expert.
Gary has been in love with music since he was a child. His passion is guitars and everything related to them. He is the founder of
Riff-Mag and can’t wait to share his knowledge with you.