How to Hardtail a Floyd Rose

The Floyd Rose Tremolo System is a patented design that allows the player to infinitely raise or lower their guitar’s pitch without having to detune it. The system works by allowing for the strings to be locked into place at any point along the neck while still keeping enough tension on them to stay in tune when played.

You must understand how this technology works before trying to hardtail your Floyd Rose tremolo system. Doing so improperly could lead to serious damage and injury, which can easily be avoided if you follow these instructions carefully. This post will cover everything you need to know about how to hardtail a floyd rose. Before we begin, you’ll need to gather a few tools and parts.

How to Hardtail a Floyd Rose

Reason to Hardtail a Floyd Rose:

The reason for this is that the Floyd Rose is notorious for being poorly designed and made. As a result, after years of heavy use, the string tree will wear out, and so will many other components inside and outside the tremolo system. This is why it’s important to understand how the Floyd Rose works so you can figure out how to hardtail a Floyd Rose if something breaks down the road.

Tools Needed:

  • Allen Wrenches
  • Needle-nose pliers or another gripping tool.
  • A complete Floyd Rose Original Tremolo System shock mount assembly with the tremolo bar attached.
  • A few Graphite Paddle Shaft bushings and Roller Bushings.
  • A drill and bit to match the bushings you purchased.

Stepwise Guides on How to Hardtail a Floyd Rose:

First Step Is to Remove the String Tree

Step 1: Remove the Tremolo Arm, and String Tree

The first step is to remove the string tree and tremolo arm from your guitar. The Floyd Rose Original Tremolosystem is installed with a small piece that holds both of these parts inside the body. This piece needs to be removed before you try and hardtail a Floyd rose.

A few common tools that can be used to remove it include needle-nose pliers and a small Phillips head screwdriver. Be sure not to lose this piece, as you will need it for reassembly after hard-tailing the Floyd rose.

Step 2: Remove String Retainer Bar

After removing the String Retainer Bar, use a small screwdriver to pry up and remove the two machine heads. This will allow you to access and remove the bar inside of the guitar. Three bolts connect the bar on both sides and in front of it. Remove these by using an Allen wrench.

After the bolts have been removed, gently pull out the bar. You might need to wiggle it a little so that it can come off properly.

Step 3: Drill Out the Inside of String Retainer Bar

 After you have drilled out your new holes for your bushings and strings, you’re ready to reinstall everything back into the guitar. To do this, first, make sure your bushings are the proper size for the new holes you drilled. Shaping them with a file can help them fit easily into the holes if they are too tight.

Now slide your bushings into the place where the string retainer bar used to be, and fit them snugly against both sides of the inside of your guitar.

Now that you have your bushings in place, it’s time to reinstall the String Retainer Bar. First, line up all three holes on both sides of the bar with their corresponding mounting holes on each side of the body.  When they are lined up, insert and tighten down all three bolts.  Make sure you use your Allen wrench.

Next, slide the tremolo arm through its hole, and place the string tree back in place on top of where the String Retainer Bar used to sit. Now all you need is a new set of strings!

Suggestions to Hardtail a Floyd Rose:

Drilling New Holes Into the Guitar

– If you need to drill new holes into the guitar, be sure that they are straight. If not, your strings might become crooked, which will cause tuning issues.

– If your bushings are too tight on the inside of the guitar, file them down to make them easier to install.

– Make sure your bushing has a tight fit in all of the holes in the guitar before you begin hammering them into place.

– If your bushing is too big for any of the new holes you drilled, you might need to drill out each hole a little more.

– As I mentioned above, it’s important to make sure that your drill bits are properly sized for your bushings, or else you might have a loose joint.

– Be sure to use a high-quality string on your guitar after hard-tailing the Floyd Rose. A broken string could make it much more difficult for you to change strings in the future, and this change will be very noticeable because of the lack of a tremolo arm. If a string does break, take your guitar to a professional.

– Be sure to gauge your strings properly, and consider using string sets instead of individual strings.

– Use a small amount of wax to lubricate the bushings after you’ve installed them. This will make tuning your guitar much simpler.

– If you’re replacing old holes with new ones, there is a chance that the surrounding wood might become damaged. If you’re a perfectionist, or if this is a prized guitar, consider having a professional repair the damage after hard-tailing.

– Be sure to use good quality wood glue when reinstalling your String Retainer Bar inside of your guitar. This will keep it from coming loose over time.

Warnings For Hardtail a Floyd Rose:

Remove Your Locking Nut System

– If you have a locking nut system, it will need to be removed before proceeding with this project. This will require specialized tools that are not common for most guitarists. Be sure to remove your locking nut system ahead of time!

– If done improperly or in the wrong order, hard-tailing a Floyd Rose has the potential to ruin your guitar completely. Always be sure to read the instructions to ensure that you aren’t destroying your instrument.

– If your bushing is too small for one of the holes in your guitar, it has the potential to completely break through the surface of the body where it meets with another part of the wood. Make sure ALL of your measurements are correct before you drill.

– If your bushing is too big for one of the holes in your guitar, it can cause loose spots within the wood. This will be very noticeable in the instrument’s sound, and it will also make tuning very difficult.


This blog post has provided a detailed account of how to hardtail a Floyd Rose. For this process to succeed, you will need to follow the steps outlined in detail and use all necessary materials. If done incorrectly, this procedure could lead to a broken guitar and a waste of your time.

So be sure to take your time with this project, and make sure you have all the necessary supplies before beginning. I hope this article has been of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your own Floyd Rose install. Thank you for reading our article. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below.

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