From standard tuning to drop D tuning

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Numbercruncher, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Numbercruncher

    Numbercruncher Senior Stratmaster

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    This is a theoretical one that I'll probably self-answer when I actually make the change but I like to have my theory down before I start the practice side of things.

    1) With a hard tail guitar it is a no brainer. Tune the 6th string down a full step to "D" and you are done. The other strings should not be affected as the tremolo is fixed and locked into position.

    2) With a "typical" strat you have the rear of the tremolo floating say 3mm above the surface of the guitar. Now tune the 6th string down a full step. Doing so decreases the overall tension on the tremolo and the rear will sit some distance closer to the guitar's body. To alleviate this one should remove the tremolo cover and back the tension on the tremolo screws to raise the tremolo back to the desired position. But before doing this it would make sense to adjust strings 1 through 5. The down tune of the 6th string will place more tension on 1 through five and they'll all go sharp. Flatten them knowing that doing so will also cause the 6th string to go flatter than the original full step and you are now enjoying the process of tuning a floating tremolo where each adjustment adjusts the others. It may be best by initially dropping the 6th string down half a step as adjusting 1 through 5 will flatten this string further. Time will tell.

    The point is, if you do the above, any chance you'll have issues with neck relief? Maybe not if you get the tremolo floating the same 3mm above the body as the tension should be balanced again.

    3) Here is my particular situation. The guitar in question is a Charvel with a Floyd Rose that is flush mounted at the rear allowing you to dive (collapse the strings) but not allowing you to draw back on it. So one way of looking at it is like a one way hard tail. Since the tremolo cannot drop down like in example 2 (it is already flush with the body and not floating above it), is it still a good idea to decrease tension on the tremolo springs? I can see where you might want the tremolo just barely touching the body and the drop tuning increases this tension making diving (collapsing the strings) more difficult.

    Any thoughts on #3 above?

    I know once I take a stab at it this weekend it will be self evident but knowing the ideal approach up front will help my OCDness.

    NC
     
  2. marksound

    marksound Strat-O-Master

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    Numbercruncher, joe_cpwe and Textele like this.
  3. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka

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    I use Scruggs tuners on a Tele.
     
  4. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

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    ▲ Saw Marty Stewart playing Clarence White's with those gizmos on it. E strings.
     
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  5. Wayne Adams

    Wayne Adams Strat-O-Master

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    Last practice session, I tuned my Warmoth Strat into dropped-D for a couple of songs. Did it the same way I do my Tele or any other, and it made no appreciable difference other than a quick minor tweak to string tuning. Not being a trem guru by any stretch of the imagination, all I can say is, I must have done something right installing the trem, but it was pure luck. I toyed with the idea of putting a Hipshot Xtender key on my Tele's E-string a long time back, but kept putting it off to the point it's not worth bothering with now.
     
  6. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Strat-Talker

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    Hipshot makes a D-tuner that works good. Won't cause a relief issue, but you'll need to block the trem so it's down only so the other strings don't go sharp when you flip it to D. There are various devices you can buy to do this, or you can make one yourself.
     
  7. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    +1 on that post.

    You already have it set for down only, that is where the d-tuna operates perfectly. I had my Charvels set the exact same way with a trem stopper.

    Your nut is already locked down, so get a D-Tuna and you are set!
     
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  8. Numbercruncher

    Numbercruncher Senior Stratmaster

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    Awesome guys. I'll order one today. I like simple solutions and the idea that many other guitar players like Warren Demartini like this setup as well. Not just an EVH thing but there is nothing wrong with emulating anything EVH does.

    NC
     
  9. train

    train Fender 1 —the met. Silver Member

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    Eddie was genius, the d tuna is proof. I can go from standard to drop and back again instantly.
     
  10. SalvorHardin

    SalvorHardin Strat-O-Master

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    Can it be installed on a hard-tail?