Magazine article Guitar Player

Gary Brawer on Maintenance: The Things We Do for Trems, Pt. 2

Magazine article Guitar Player

Gary Brawer on Maintenance: The Things We Do for Trems, Pt. 2

Article excerpt

LAST TIME AROUND WE looked at some trem-related products on the market, so let's talk about a few D-I-Y trem tips that might help you out in a pinch.

Here's a way to quickly disable your floating trem temporarily, which is something you may want to do when recording some heavy rhythm tracks or whenever you need extra tuning stability. With a floating system, notes can go flat from the pick hitting the strings, and then the bridge snaps back, giving you some out-of-tune notes and often a "boing" noise. Take something like a guitar knob, pencil eraser, or shape a piece of wood, and put it under the back of the trem, keeping it at a neutral height so if you pulled up on the arm the rear of the trem would be held up. Tighten the springs or add a spring to hold the trem against the new "block." Only use enough tension to keep the trem in place so it will not move when bending a string. A more permanent solution is to shape a piece of wood to fit between the trem block and body in the trem spring cavity. Glue or screw it in place for easy removal. A tip for fitting the wood block squarely to the trem block: Take a piece of 180 grit sandpaper and cut it in a 4" long strip just wider than the trem block. Push down on the trem arm and insert the sandpaper, with the rough side facing the new wood block, let go of the arm and evenly pull the sandpaper out, sanding the protruding areas off to make a perfectly mated block.

On this same subject, we've also determined that the weight and length of the trem arm adds to the boing factor. …

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