Each month, we offer fans the chance to submit a question that guitarist Eddie Van Halen will answer in our Ask Eddie feature.
And in the latest edition, Robert Mclemore from Colorado wonders about Van Halen’s contributions to the development of the Floyd Rose Tremolo.
Mclemore: Eddie, I just got an EVH Striped Series guitar and besides looking and sounding fantastic, I really love the feel of the Floyd Rose, which got me thinking. What role did you play in pioneering this technology? If I’m not mistaken, the yellow and black guitar was the first to see an early prototype.
Van Halen: Hi Robert,
My role in the design and development of the Floyd Rose was adding the fine tuners to the bridge. All Floyd had was a locking/clamping nut. It didn’t work very well because strings stretch, temperature changes, and depending on how hard you play, your guitar would go out of tune. So, you’d have to unclamp the nut, which involves loosening three screws with an Allen wrench, tune the guitar and re-clamp the nut down again. There wasn’t enough time to do all this in between every song live. Another problem was that when tightening down the nut, the guitar would not stay where you tuned it. Strings would go sharp, flat, but it would never stay exactly as you tuned it. To put it simply, it was a major pain in the ass and pretty useless. Adding the fine tuners to the bridge alleviated all these problems. That was my role in the development of the Floyd Rose. Basically, I made it work. I hope that answers your question Robert.
All the best,
Submit your questions for Eddie Van Halen here.