We are all told at some point that a Floyd Rose Restring is a nightmare. Some people will even be put off from buying one, because of how daunting the process seems. And if you’re never done it before, it can be a tough thing to get right!
Here’s the deal though….
Restringing a Floyd Rose is really easy, and if you follow the steps listed in the video below, you’ll as a result have no issues! Each time you try it, you’ll get better and better, and in no time at all it will be effortless. Think about it like this; in the same way as learning to tie your shoelaces was tricky at first, you got it down and can tie them quick and easy now, learning to restring a Floyd just needs a little practice. So, let’s unlock the secret to doing a Floyd Rose Restring!
Restringing Your Flyod Rose: Floyd Rose Restring Guide
Tools for your Floyd Rose Restring
So your strings are old and need replacing right? Where do you start? Do you just rip off the old strings with a pair of kitchen scissors and get going?
Granted, you could, but you want to use the right tools for the job. Sure, a bad workman blames his tools, but when building a house you still need more than just a hammer. You don’t need all the tools listed below, but they will definitely help make the job easier! And who doesn’t want to make their lives easier? So, what do you need?
- Stanley Blade
- Lem Oil
- Guitar Polish
- Side Cutters
- Microfibre Cloth
- Masking or Painters Tape
- Allen Key 3mm
Removing old strings
The first step on your journey to a Floyd Rose Restring is to remove the old strings. Yes, you can remove one, then put the new one in it’s place.
But there’s a catch!
If you do one string at a time, you limit your ability to clean the guitar. So, if you want to clean the guitar when you do your restring, follow the steps below.
- Unlock the locking nut using your 3mm allen key
- Loosen the bolts with your fingers and remove the locking pads
- Unwind the each machine head until there is no tension on the string
- Cut the strings in half
- Remove the top half from the headstock by uncoiling it.
- Loosen the saddle locks using your 3mm allen key
- Pull the string out
(This is the most time consuming element of the restring)
So by now your strings are off the guitar. Good job! However, now comes the most time consuming part of the job; cleaning your guitar. This isn’t something you need to do every time you restring your guitar, but I personally like to do it twice a year. Depending on your OCD status, you might want to do it more often.
In this regard it really comes down to personal preference. Whenever one of my students or a client pays me to do a restring, I always add in a deep clean, but as I’ve already mentioned, I only do my own guitars about twice a year. So, if your guitar is clean enough, you can skip this step and move to the next.
- Brush dust from the guitar with a paintbrush
- Then using a toothbrush give the bridge a scrub
- Use your paintbrush again to remove any dust that the toothbrush dislodged
- Tape up the neck of the guitar leaving only the frets exposed
- Dip a rag into the silvo, and apply silvo to the frets. No force or pressure is needed
- Using a touch of good old fashioned elbow grease, buff the silvo off the frets
- Remove the tape from your board
- To remove grime from the fret board, as well as any silvo residue, spray a fretboard cleaner on the fretboard and scrub it with your toothbrush
- Apply a small amount of lem oil onto the fretboard. Rub the oil into the wood and remove the excess
- Spray a fine mist onto the guitar
- Using a microfiber cloth, polish your guitar body in a uniform direction to prevent unsightly streaks
- Repeat this process for the headstock
And now for the meat of this article. The actual Floyd Rose Restring!
Well done on making it this far! You’ve decided to restring your own guitar, you’ve taken the strings off and given it a nice deep cleaning! Great work.
Now, I’ve broken this section into two separate phases. Phase one will deal with how to insert and attach the string, while phase two will deal with how to tighten the string, and some tips for tuning up your guitar. If you make a mistake or get lost at any point during this phase, take it slow and rewind the video and watch it a few more times.
Even if you’ve never been a scout, you will figure out how to put that string on in no time!
- Gently uncoil the string
- Cut the ballend from the string, directly behind the windings
- Inset the string into the saddle and tighten the saddle lock. Be careful to over tighten the block as you can strip the thread if you do. Also, be careful that you don’t under tighten the block as that will cause the string to pop put once you tune to pitch
- Thread the string through the eyelet making sure you go over the nut and under the retainer bar
- The method we use to ensure that we have enough slack on the string is to:
- A) Pull the string all the way through
- B) Lay your index finger on the third fret with your ring and middle finger underneath the string
- C) In a smooth motion lift your index vertically while your second and third finger maintain tension on the string
- A good method to reduce string slipping and therefore add tuning stability is to thread the string through the eyelet of the machinehead, adjust for some slack to create windings and then begin turning the peg anti clockwise to get tension, at the first full rotation tuck the string tail in under the taught section of the string and continue to wind the string up with tail passing under, then at the second full rotation pass the tail of the string over the taught section, this will cause the string to tighten down onto itself and prevent slipping
- Before tuning to you should make sure that the fine tuners are sitting at a more or less neutral point, leaving enough room for the pitch to travel when fine tuning. First unscrew the low E fine tuner till it is as far out as possible, then adjust the high E fine tuner until it is as far in as possible and use the two extremes as a level when determining the middle point of the A string fine tuner. Then adjust the other 5 to match the A
- Tune your guitar
- Snip the tails at the machine head
- Replace locking pads
In conclusion, as you replace the locking pads, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you have managed a Floyd Rose Restring. Was it as simple as you thought it would be? I certainly hope so.
Furthermore, with just a little practice you’ll be able to restring your guitar like a pro. Just keep at it!
Now you you know how to restring a Floyd Rose guitar! Finally, what’s left? Nothing! Go jam and have some fun. If you need any help, feel free to drop us a mail.