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Thread: Floating trem - how to you play? (Non-gear question)

  1. #1

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    Floating trem - how to you play? (Non-gear question)

    I know there are some cats here knowing how to play so this question is not about how you setup your guitar to float - there are plenty of those - but rather how do you keep in tune with floating bridges.

    I'm pushing 40, been playing since 10ish and did it professionally for a few years so I know how to play. I was even a guitar teacher for a year. And I have all the gear - boutique stuff, custom shops and EBMMs of course!

    I have three EBMM Lukes that I adore. The V neck is just perfect for my girly hands and I can use those for any style. I have tried setting the bridge to float like Luke, but I can't understand how to play like that. In my style, I let the strings ring when I bend and I tend to use alot of voicings letting strings ring while I bend. Obviously the non fretted string will go flat while bending another string since the bridge is gonna move. How on earth do you do it? I mean, Luke is never out of tune (except when he wants to [also, his timing is flawless])

    Sorry for not debating wood, colors, production numbers and the coming BFRs but I'd really like your input on this.

    Cheers

  2. #2

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    Sorry about the topic - "It's how DO you play"" or "How to play?"

    Late night in Sweden, and my playing tonight is not on par...

  3. #3

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    I have the same problem, as I often like to bend certain strings while letting others ring out. I haven't found a solution other than to set the trem to sit against the body. Unfortunately, this will only let you lower the pitch. I'll either screw the trem claw further into the body or use a 4th spring so that I can bend strings without moving the bridge, but can still dive-bomb without using too much force on the bar. It's a compromise, but I don't see another solution without using a bridge like the one shown here around the 2-minute mark. Steve Vai's Wild Guitar Collection | Interview - YouTube

  4. #4

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    Hello
    On my SUB and on my AL, the trems are floating.
    If I bend one string and let ring another string, the trick is to have your right hand on the trem in order to avoid the movement of the trem.
    It helps to have a lot of tension (I play with 10-52 strings).
    I cannot say that I control perfectly this technique (well I am not Luke ... just a poor Frenchman who tries to play rock'n'roll ...) but I manage to be more or less in tune.

    I hope that helps (if you understand something, my English is so bad)

  5. #5

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    I tend to use a lot of double-stops and open strings while bending, so I've never loved floating trems.

    Accordingly, I always set my trems to drop only (including my LIII), and set the tension up so they require slightly more force to drop than I'd use with the largest bend.

    I totally see the appeal of a floating trem, but for me the cons outweigh the pros.

  6. #6

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    Personally, if I were doing a lot of bends with open strings, I'd use one of my hardtails. The open notes will go flat regardless of floating or not, if the tremolo isn't crazy tight.
    https://danielcarlton.bandcamp.com/

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  7. #7

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    Do these techniques of adding another trem spring and what not allow you to change the tuning (like to go to drop D, or to Eb standard tuning) on the fly? This is why I've bought some hard tail off brand guitars over the years and not another Petrucci model. But, I must admit, I didn't really research all these tricks with floating bridges.

    How do you cleanly block the trem without the shim falling out when you do a dive bomb?

  8. #8

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  9. #9

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    If you are using open strings to bend against, that's a lot harder than double stop bends staying in tune with a floating tremolo. You would need to learn to use your hand to balance any movement of the bridge.

    This is why players like EVH always have the tremolo decked. Doesn't seem to have interfered with his being a master of the whammy.

    Sounds like you've got your options. You need to decide which works best for you.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck
    2021 Stingray RS Pacific Blue Sparkle / Maple FB

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