Alternative tunings with a trem - do I need a different guitar?

naetharu

Well-Known Member
#1
Hi folks,

Probably a simple question but I am stumped on it and so far have found conflicting information. I currently own a Squire Strat. It has the two-pin style trem system on it (looks like the ones on the American Standard rather than the 6-scew style found on most Squires and the Mexican/Specials).

I've recently started wanting to learn some songs that are down-tuned. These range from 1/2 step down (Eb Standard) to drop C (everything down to D-standard with the thickets string down to a C four semi-tones below a normal 'E').

The trouble I have is that with the bridge system I've got on the guitar dropping the tuning messes up the bridge height, and screws with the action and intonation. I'm wondering if I might be better off purchasing a 2nd guitar with a fixed bridge and setting that one up for lower/drop tuning.

At the end of the day I want to be able to play along with the tracks I am learning, and those vary a great deal in different tuning etc. What would you do? I did also think about blocking the Strat's bridge, but I'm wary of messing with it as I love the way it plays in standard tuning right now.

If I was to go for another guitar, what do you think about the Ibanez RG421? It looks like a good choice on paper but I won't be able to try before I purchase and so any feedback on it would be very welcome.

https://www.andertons.co.uk/p/RG421...-rg421m-wk-electric-guitar-in-weathered-black
 

cat-the-odd

On the other side of your screen
#2
I did also think about blocking the Strat's bridge, but I'm wary of messing with it as I love the way it plays in standard tuning right now.
Do you actually use the trem?
If not, your salvation is a stack of coins, some tape and two turns of a screwdriver away.
I did that to my trem-loaded guitar an I'm happy with it. If I'd ever need the trem, I'll pull out the stack of coins.

Cheers!
 

naetharu

Well-Known Member
#3
That sounds very interesting. I don't use the trem at all right now. If I'd had the choice I would have purchased a hard-tail Strat but alas they were not an option.

So is the idea that I place the coins inside the back cavity to stop the bridge moving?
 

cat-the-odd

On the other side of your screen
#4
So is the idea that I place the coins inside the back cavity to stop the bridge moving?
Exactly. Use a suitable stack of coins or a block of wood. Tighten the springs, slide the coins/block between bridge block and body and slacken the springs more than before (you could even take them off). The coins should beheld firmly in place by the string tension.

Easy thing to do.
 

ed lespaul

Well-Known Member
#6

ADK

Number of lost picks (2019 Season) = 1
#8
Come on guys!!! The answer to this was given to us by our lord monkey face, on the 1st April 2009.

Here lies the answer:
 

ADK

Number of lost picks (2019 Season) = 1
#10
Uhm - yes. Until you pull the piece of wood / stack of coins out. I would've thought that would be glaringly obvious to everyone?
 

ed lespaul

Well-Known Member
#11
You are missing the point. What I was referring to was with the options I posted above, you can have it blocked, and also use it in divebomb mode. So, it's still functional, as well as blocked.
 

naetharu

Well-Known Member
#14
Cheers for your help folks. After much mulling it over and trying out a few options I've just ended up buying a 2nd guitar. Having one set up for low-turnings and another for standard seems to work best given I can then have my action and string-gauge all correct for the lower sounds.
 
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