A number of my guitars have a Floyd Rose tremolo system with the locking nuts near the headstock.

How can I effectively tune a guitar that has a Floyd Rose locking tremolo?

  • Double check your setting first (harmonic positions, bridge, etc). :) – Pitto Jan 6 '16 at 13:00
  • I've heard that a good string order to follow is 342516 ("DGABEE"), then repeat. My guess is that the middle two strings pull down the center of the bridge to a relatively stable height. – Mateen Ulhaq Feb 8 '20 at 14:16

Loosen the lock screws at the nut. Adjust the fine tuners (on the bridge) to the "middle" position, so you'll have room to fine-tune in either direction.

Ideally, tune one string at a time, with a tuner - trying to get the strings in tune with each other will be tough until everything's almost done, as tightening one string moves the bridge and throws the others out of whack. After several passes over all 6 strings, things should stabilize. Get things as close as possible before locking down, as the fine tuners have limited range.

Lock the screws at the nut, and (again with a tuner) use the fine-tuners to finish the job.

  • 2
    I usually adjust the fine tuners with a bias so that there is extra room to raise the pitch of the string, since as they are played they tend to go flat. – Avalanchis Jan 13 '11 at 21:54
  • 3
    Another crucial step is to try to get the strings stretched out as much as possible before locking down the nut. – Avalanchis Jan 13 '11 at 21:55
  • This specific hint ibanezrules.com/tech/setup/tuning.htm and the whole tech section of this site were extremely useful to me. – Pif Oct 17 '14 at 9:58

First, unscrew the the locking nuts. Now tune your instrument the usual way. Second, screw again the locking nuts and use the tuning keys located on the Floyd Rose to fine tune.

Never use the standard tuning keys (i.e. the ones that are located on the headstock) while the strings are blocked or you'll get trouble! :)

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