Locking Tremolo Set-up Guide

Locking tremolos provide great tuning stability. They can be a source of frustration. This tutorial shows you how to set-up a locking tremolo.

Traditional tremolos still have their place, but locking tremolos reign supreme for staying in tune. The only set-back is getting the system set-up in the first place, particularly in full floating mode. Follow along with this guide to learn how to string-up, set-up, and keep your locking tremolo playing the best that it can.

For this tutorial we’re using a Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo for our examples. Some say that the original Floyds are the best for tone due to the quality of the materials. There are a variety of locking tremolos available.

Before going to the trouble and expense of swapping out a new tremolo, try your hand at setting the stock one up following this guide. You may find that the right set-up makes all the difference.

Floyd Rose tremolo parts

The main parts of the Floyd Rose style locking tremolo.

How to install strings on a Double-Locking Tremolo

Note that there are some single-locking tremolos that do not require that the string’s ball end be clipped off before installation – check your instrument.

Clipping of the String Ball End before Installation.

Use wire cutters to trim off the ball-end of the string.

Before installing new strings trim off the ball-ends. Cutoff an inch or two from the ball-end. The string manufacturing process puts stress on the area of the string closest to the ball-end. You want a good cleanly wound section of string ready for the locking saddle.

Adjust the fine tuners on the tremolo base so that they are in the middle of their adjustment range.

Above: Adjusting the fine tuners on the tremolo base.

In the illustration above we can see the proper orientation of the string lock insert with the alignment hole close to the bottom edge. A close-up shows the small hole the end of the string lock bolt fits into.

The string-end is inserted into the saddle between the string lock insert and the inside edge of the saddle. There is a small flat piece of sheet metal press-fitted into the underside of the saddle that acts as a depth stop for the inserted string.

Over time this insert may become loose and fall out. When this piece is missing (as it often is) make sure not to insert the string-end past the bottom of the saddle.

The cleanly cut string-end is inserted into the saddle approx. 3/16″ (4 mm). Then using a Hex wrench the string lock screw is tightened (clockwise) firmly.

After the string is locked into the saddle. The string is then passed over the lock nut within the grove, under the tension bar, and then into and around the tuning peg. Before winding the string up to full tension, you can put the string-lock insert back in place, screwed in, but left loose. Note that the curved underside of the lock-nut insert should follow the curve of the lock-nut base. The string should pass under the string tension bar, and be clear of the screws that mount the tension bar to the neck.

The string’s path over the locking nut. The locking nut insert has been removed over the 5th and 6th strings for visibility.

Setting-Up The Floyd Rose For Floating Or Blocked Play.

Some players prefer to let the back edge of the Floyd tremolo rest on the face of the guitar, this prevents the tremolo from being pulled up to sharpen the pitch of the strings during play and the de-tuning that occurs when a string breaks. There is a difference in the tone of the guitar when the tremolo makes contact with the body of the guitar. This type of set-up is possible on guitars with a small neck angle, and wether or not there is a relief rout behind the tremolo (found on many modern guitars). See illustrations below.

Locking Tremolo Set-Up With High Neck Angle
Locking Tremolo Set-Up With Low Neck Angle

A high neck or low neck angle can be achieved by using a neck shim to alter the neck’s angle in the neck pocket. To reduce the neck angle, the shim is placed at the forward edge of the neck pocket (not shown).

A locking tremolo set-up for full-floating operation will have a smoother playing feel, closer to that of a traditional tremolo. The strings are affected by string bends (with the string being bent up in pitch de tuning the others), and subtle vibrato effects are possible.

A full-floating locking tremolo can be difficult to replace individual strings quickly. Particularly in live performance situations. Have a spare instrument on hand or face lengthy breaks in performance. Remember, all the strings will need to be retuned once the locking nut is loosened.

Using A Spacer To Set-Up The Floyd Rose For Full-Float.

The set-up of a locking tremolo for full-float is accomplished by using a spacer block to tune the strings against during set-up, and then carefully adjusting the tremolo springs to match.

For full-floating the tremolo has to be balanced. This is accomplished by carefully adjusting the spring tension. A spacer placed behind the trem-block will act as a stop during the initial set-up. You may be able to use a nine-volt battery as a spacer, a piece of wood, plastic, or other material

Ideally the tremolo base is parallel to the surface of the guitar body so that the string passes over the saddle at correct point.

Locking Tremolo Side View With Set-Up Spacer Block.

During floating tremolo set-up, a spacer block is used to adjust spring tension. This technique can be used to traditional tremolo set-up also.

Step-By-Step Floating Tremolo Spring adjustment

  • Loosen the spring claw adjustment screws until the string tension holds the spacer in place.
  • Make sure that the tremolo base plate is parallel to the face of the guitar. Too much or too little angle and the intonation will be off (or hard to set) and your strings will be prone to breaking.
  • Adjust the width of your spacer if you need to, to get the tremolo base plate parallel with the face of the guitar.
  • Tune the guitar to pitch (string tension should be holding the spacer block in place).
  • This is a good time to double check the string height.
  • Once the strings are tuned up to pitch, snap them to get the excess flex out of the peg head windings.
  • When the guitar is tuned and remains in tune after string snapping and retuning, tighten the spring claw screws just enough to take off the pressure holding the spacer block in place.
  • Re-check and adjust the tuning again. At this point your tremolo should be balanced against the string’s tension and only minor adjustments to the tuning will be needed. If you find that removing the block throws the tuning off by a large amount you may need to snap your strings some more to takeout additional flex.

Adjusting the height of tremolo with full string tension can dull the knife edges on the tremolo base and damage height adjustment bolts, perform this adjustment with the strings partially tuned up to pitch.

Tighten the String Lock Nut bolt after tuning.

Firmly tighten the locking nut bolts. Take note of the orientation of the lock nut inserts. They are curved on the bottom to match the curve on the top of the lock nut. Make sure to replace the correct lock-nut insert. There are specific Bass, Middle, and Treble inserts – wear on them can make them less reliable if switched around. With the locking nuts tightened, check your tuning again using the fine tuners for adjustment. Your Floyd should now be good for dive bombs and whammy bar fun with only occasional fine tuning.

Additional tips

  • If you run out of fine tuner adjustment, unlock that string’s locking nut, turn the fine tuner to the middle of it’s range. Re-tune the string, and then retighten the locking nut.
  • Over the life of a set of strings, you may need to occasionally recalibrate your fine tuners a few times. Do this by loosening the lock-nut screws, unscrewing the fine tuner screws, retuning, tightening the nut lock screws, and then fine tuning.
  • Replace strings one at a time once you have your tremolo set-up. Snap and retune until stable to avoid the set-up process again.


Setting up a locking tremolo is a balancing act. With some know-how locking tremolos offer better tuning stability than traditional tremolos. Locking tremolos can also be set-up for flull-floating making it possible to have the base of the tremolo rest on the face of the guitar for slightly different tone and a trade off between playing technique and additional tuning stability.


The Ultimate Guitar Set-Up Guide

Follow along and learn how to set-up your guitar from start to finish beginning with: Adjusting The String Height, followed by: Adjusting The Truss Rod, and finishing up with: Setting The Intonation.

Your strings should be in good condition and the neck free of defects which might limit adjustments of the action such as neck warp or excessively worn and uneven fretwork.

Adjusting String Height

String height is an easy adjustments to make. Measure the height of the string over the highest pair of frets and adjust the saddle up or down as needed. Slacken the strings before making string height adjustments, this will save on wear and tear on adjustment screws and make turning them easier.

Bridges with individual string saddles typically use small hex wrenches. Fixed bridges are adjustable on the treble and bass sides of the bridge by screws or thumb wheels.

Setting String Height

Personal preference comes into play as well as the quality of the fret work in determining how low or high to set the string height. The illustration above shows a measurement of 1/16″ (2mm) which is a medium action.

String Height and Playing Style

When considering how high to set the strings, consider the playing style in addition to the type of instrument.

  • Traditional acoustic instruments, and playing styles that favor strumming, open chords and a desire for clean, loud notes work well with a medium-high string height, 2 – 3mm or more, as suites the player.
  • Vintage style electrics, and those going for a combination of comfortable chording and soloing with room to “dig-in” and play heavier styles do well with a medium string height, 1.5 – 2mm.
  • Players preferring a very light action and for those wanting to “shred” may favor a low action, 1 – 1.5mm.

The player and their instrument play a large part in determining a string height that is comfortable and accommodating for the player’s chosen style.

String Height Adjustment Tips: Make sure your tools are the correct size. Screwdriver tips should match screw heads to avoid slipping. Hex wrench or Allen key tools should be the correct size to avoid stripping small adjustment screws. Consult the manufacturer of your instrument if you are not sure what size tool you need. Sizes vary between imported and domestic instruments.

Reading A Ruler

A guide to reading a ruler.

Part Two: Truss-Rod Adjustment

It’s important to understand the role the truss-rod plays in affecting the action. The the primary function is counteracting string pull to relieve or add bow to the neck under string tension. The ‘action’ (all the parts that anchor the strings, divide their length, and apply tension to them) work together in a balancing act that, when carefully adjusted, keep the instrument playing optimally.

Truss-Rod Lore: The function of the truss-rod has been the subject of some debate. Basic physics dictate that “a string of a given diameter and material at pitch is always at the same tension”. Some would suggest that the when the truss rod is adjusted to counteract the strings pull, which finely controls the amount of relief at the middle of the strings length, this adjustment has no other effect on playability or tone.

Another school of thought, which we at ModGuitar subscribe to, suggests that wood and strings and the other parts of the instrument being imperfect leave room for fine tuning, and while under tension are reactive. Such that subtle adjustments can make a neck feel springy or stiff, thereby affecting the ‘feel’ of the instrument.

It will be your quest to experiment (carefully!) and come to your own conclusions. Please be very careful when making truss-rod adjustments, particularly on older more fragile instruments. It’s very easy to accidentally strip the adjustment parts or your tools, and at the worst, snap off the end of a truss rod which can leave the instrument unplayable.

Measuring Relief

Before making truss-rod adjustments first measure the string relief. Relief is the amount of space between the bottom of the string and the top of the fret.

Relief is the bow in the middle of the neck under tension set to compensate for the nature of a strings vibration which expands in the middle of it’s length in an elliptical pattern when plucked. This is easily observed by simply plucking a string and looking closely at it with a strong light behind it.

Tools required for Measuring neck relief, and Truss-Rod adjustment

A capo to hold down the string at the first fret.

Feeler Gauge Set – the gauge of .010″ is a good starting point for a medium action.

Truss Rod Adjustment Tool (usually a hex or Allen key for Fender’s, and a small adjustment wrench for Gibson’s)

Truss Rod adjustment, beginning with measuring neck relief

The Procedure For Measuring Relief.

With the guitar fully stung up and tuned to pitch.

  • Put the capo on at the first fret. Use the feeler gauge leaf that says .012″/.305mm (this is a medium amount of relief for an electric guitar strung with 10s). With one hand, press the string down at the highest fret – being careful not to push down too hard which can make the string deflect upward.
  • Slide a feeler gauge over the 7th fret and under the string. This is a little tricky, and requires a steady hand. The idea is to just barely brush the bottom of the string while sliding the gauge as evenly as possible over the top of the fret. Practice will give you a ‘feeling’ for it.
  • If there is no contact between the feeler gauge and the string, or the relief is lower move up or down in the feeler gauge range until you’ve pinpointed how much relief is present. There are fancier ways of measuring and adjusting relief, but this one is simple and as accurate as you need.
  • Once you’ve established how much relief your instrument has, you can then adjust the truss-rod to dial in the amount that correct amount. Make all truss rod adjustments with well fitting tools and in small increments (1/4 turns). If you find that you have forward bow (no relief) or back bow (to much of relief) your neck may be warped or the truss rod already broken.
  • A feeler gauge of .012″/.305mm represents a medium amount of relief. Speed players, preferring a light and low action might prefer .008″/.203mm, or even a flat neck. Players using heavier strings, acoustic guitars, to facilitate a strumming style of playing might want .014″/.356mm to.016″/.406mm.
  • You may need to make small adjustments, let the instrument rest, then make further fine adjustments.

Most set-neck guitars use a threaded nut for truss-rod adjustment which is located under a plastic cover at the head stock end of the guitar. Bolt on necks usually have a hex nut that is adjusted thru a small opening at the head-stock or neck heel (heel end adjustments may require removal of the neck for adjustment). Make sure you have the correct size tool for the job.

Some Luthiers prefer to slacken the strings to make truss-rod adjustments, particularly on vintage instruments. Unless you need to make major adjustments, you can carefully adjust the truss rod under full tension for most newer guitars.

Making Truss Rod Adjustments

  • The truss-rod for most instruments tightens (flattens the neck against string tension) by turning clock-wise. Bow is created by loosening the truss-rod counter-clockwise.
  • Hold the neck firmly or on a workbench. You can also set the guitar standing up on the floor, held steady with your legs. Carefully turn the rod a 1/4 turn at a time. The motion should be firm and fluid – You may feel some resistance if the parts have settled over time. If you find it hard to turn, or it seems to offer a lot of resistance, or does not seem to effect the amount of relief -STOP-, there may be something wrong with the truss rod. Never force the truss rod, it should turn easily. if the truss rod is not easily turned or adjustments seem to have no effect the instrument will need to be taken to a luthier for repair.
  • Make small adjustments, pausing to let the insturment rest, check the tuning, and take measurement of the relief.

You’ll find that as you adjust the truss-rod the relief changes in a measurable manner. You will be able to set it to your exact amount using the feeler gauges. Sometimes a guitar won’t seem to have enough range of adjustment or one of the other problems outlined above. That’s when it’s time to take it in and let a pro see what they can do for you.

Truss Rod Tips And Conclusions:

It’s a good idea to recheck your truss-rod adjustments after a day or two. Don’t be tempted to spray WD40, or other lubricants or oils into or around the truss rod. These chemicals can weaken the wood and/or degrade the finish and glue seams holding the neck together. If the truss rod nut is removable, a tiny amount of lithium grease or Vaseline can be applied to the thread of the nut.

Seasonal weather changes may require minor adjustment Spring and Fall for optimum playability.

Truss rod adjustment is easy to do yourself, but it does take some awareness and a careful hand. Like many guitar repair and modification tasks, experience is the best teacher. If you’re leery about making these adjustments, take it to a pro and ask them to show you how they make the adjustment.

Setting the Intonation

Intonation is adjustment of the string length at the bridge for different string gauges so that the notes played are as “in tune” as possible. With the string height set, and the relief set (truss-rod adjustment), the instrument is ready for Intonation adjustments. It’s important to set the intonation last because the string height and truss-rod adjustments both, minutely, effect the string length and thus the intonation.

Intonation De mystified

The guitar is an imperfect instrument. The mathematical calculations that define where the frets are placed is perfect on paper, but on the actual guitar other factors come into play.

Different string gauges are needed, along with intonation adjustments, to have the strings play relatively in tune with each other. The guitar is never really in perfect tune, rather it is balanced to sound as good as possible for chords and playing with other instruments.

Buzz Feiten has developed a method to compensate the strings length to provide a hybrid intonation setting. Other companies have developed compensated nuts, and even spanned fretting systems with the intention of solving the intonation problem. This article focuses on setting the intonation on a standard guitar that does not have any special enhancements.

Measuring and Setting The Intonation

For this tutorial we are using a standard sets of strings (either nine or ten gauge) tuned to EADGBE standard. The image below is a good starting point for setting your intonation – but there is a little secret trick that we have found that makes it work better.

Notice the stair-step pattern the saddles are in. The Fender style bridge (on the left) has more adjustment travel forward and back than the Gibson bridge’s saddles (on the right). The Gibson style bridge is installed at a slight angle (indicated by the arrows).

The ModGuitar Intonation Trick

To get a head-start on getting the intonation set, and to double check the intonation as it is currently set, use a ruler to precisely measure the length of string between the center of the 12th fret and the point where the string passes over the bridge saddle.

The 4th string tends to be the most balanced between gauge and tension, which results in the bridge saddle being intonated at exactly half the scale length.

For other scale lengths divide the total scale length by 2 and use this as your anchor point of the 4th string bridge saddle.

Check this measurement on the instrument, manufacturers occasionally alter the exact placement of frets and use slight variations on standard scale lengths. What we are measuring is the exact middle point of our scale length.

Intonation Trick, step-by-step

  1. First, using a precision ruler, measure and set the bridge saddle for the 4th (D) string. This will be our anchor point for positioning the other saddles.
  2. For 25.5″ scale length guitars set the 4th string bridge saddle at 12.75″/32.35cm.
  3. For 24.75″ scale length guitars set the 4th string bridge saddle at 12.375″/31.45cm.
  4. Once the 4th string bridge position is set, match the placement of the rest of the saddles to the above illustration. Each saddle will be offset roughly 1/16th of an inch, with the third unwound G string set back further.

This is a quick trick to get the bridge saddles close to the correct intonated position. Fine tuning will still be advisable for the best sound.

Fine Tuning Intonation Using An Electronic Tuner.

Fine tuning the intonation is done by comparing the twelfth fret note, with the open string note. We use the twelfth fret harmonic as a tuning reference because the harmonic is unaffected by fretting, and is the pitch of exactly the mid point of the guitar’s scale length.

  • The open note and the twelfth fret harmonic are relative to each other. The twelfth fret harmonic is an octave above the open string pitch.
  • The fretted notes are compensated by adjusting the bridge saddle so that the fretted notes match as closely as possible the open string pitch (or the 12th fret harmonic).
  • Finger pressure, variance in scale length, fret size, and string gauge effect intonation.

Now that we’ve explained a little of the theory behind the method let’s take a look at how fine intonation adjustments are made.

If you’ve used our Intonation trick above, now you are ready for fine tuning the intonation.

For Fine Tuning Intonation:

  1. Play the 12th fret harmonic, adjust the tuning until this pitch reads true.
  2. Play the note at the 12th fret. Observe the tuning. Is the string exactly in tune, sharp, or flat?
  3. Adjust the string saddle to compensate for the difference between the 12th fret harmonic note, and the open string note in small increments.
  4. Re-tune the string using the 12th fret harmonic – then compare again to the note at the 12th fret, continue adjustments until the pith matches.
  5. This technique is then repeated for all the strings to complete the intonation fine tuning. Note that the saddles should not require more than 1/8″ or so forward or backward travel to fine tune the string from the ‘land marked’ measured position. Strings that are dented, grimy, or just very old may not play true and be very hard to make accurate intonation adjustments.

When setting the intonation on electric guitars using the bridge pick-up position tends to work better with electronic tuners.

If the string played at the 12th fret is observed to be flat compared to the 12th fret harmonic then we know that the string length is too long, and the string saddle needs to be adjusted forward.

If the 12th fret note is shown to be sharp relative to the 12th fret harmonic, that indicates that the string’s actual length is too short, so the string saddle is adjusted back.

The above illustration shows the 12th fret harmonic matching the 12 fret pitch. This string is correctly intonated.

Common Intonation Problems and Solutions

Question: A string can’t seem to get set correctly no matter how far I turn the intonation screws. It just won’t go sharp or flat the way it needs to. What is wrong? Answer: You can set the intonation so far off that it cannot be adjusted properly, though it will seem to be close. This is because the range of adjustment of the bridge saddles is very fine. A common problem is to have the saddle set too far forward or back to begin with. Solution: Use our ‘land marking’ trick (as described in this article) to get your saddles back within the proper range relative to your guitar’s scale length – then fine tune.

Question: Changing string gauge (from 9s to 10s, etc), do I need to adjust intonation?
Answer: A change of string gauge up or down one gauge may require fine intonation adjustment. A good rule of thumb is that the heavier the gauge of string the more the bridge saddle will need to be adjusted back.

Setting up the guitar is a process in several steps, each of them necessary to create a balanced state for optimal playability. By following the methods described in this article, you can effectively adjust and maintain the playability of guitars and bass instruments. With practice, these adjustments will become second nature, and are valuable skills in assessing new and used instruments for purchase or sale, as well as keeping your own instruments ready to play at their best.


Buying A Guitar: Budget & Recommendations

So, you’re looking to buy your first guitar? There are so many models, options, and features to compare, I thought it would be beneficial to outline some of the features to look for, some of my personal picks, and market trends.

Depending on your goals; wether you intend to dive in and learn yourself, take classes, or just dabble around a bit and see how you like playing, Adult player, or youngster there’s a guitar that’s just right for you.

Your budget is your first consideration. Have a price you’re willing to pay in mind before you go shopping. It’s real easy to get up-sold on features or looks when comparing instruments side-by-side. Even online shopping can be a kid in a candy shop experience with your credit card burning a hole in your pocket and thoughts of that shiny new guitar arriving at your doorstep.

With that in mind, here’s a chart outlining typical price points and features you can expect to find in your price range. As the chart shows, beyond a certain point you are mostly paying for cosmetics and/or other professional features. Those top of the line instruments are suitable for collectors, pros, and that retiree that always wanted a custom instrument. But realize this, in the hands of a beginning player they all sound about the same. There’s no magic wood or pick-up that will make you a better player quicker than practice, and lots of it. In fact, I’d wager that very few players are masters of their instrument to a degree that they can squeeze those mystical notes out of them. So, head out of the clouds, budget in mind, let’s find you a guitar.

This is how the market for instruments is trending as of Fall 2011.

$99 – $179 Beginners instruments, suitable for children, and those who really just want to give playing a try but don’t want to invest much in a instrument. There’s a lot of this sort of guitar around, you friends and neighbors probably have one collecting dust in a closet or attic.

Pros: Cheap enough to be pretty careless with them, no concern of collect ability. Generally good enough to learn the basics on. Good instruments for modders, a whole instrument for the price of custom parts.

Cons: Quality concerns. They may look the same to the untrained eye, and to a beginner might even seem to play as well as any. But very quickly the quality of really cheap instruments tends to overshadow their usefulness. Often the components are unique sizes unrelated to industry standard specs, making upgrades not worth the expense. One of my biggest concerns with starting a player off with a very low cost instrument is that the playability is not going to be as good as the mid line models out of the box. While they can be adjusted, fret work done, all the things a luthier (guitar maker/repair person) can do to improve the playability, by the time these things have been done the cost becomes equivalent to a better instrument.

How many new players have set the guitar down for good disappointed at their progress in learning to play never realizing that a lot of the cause was a cheap instrument with a bad factory set-up? I can only imagine.

To their credit there are some good bargain models out there. Today’s $99 big box store impulse buy is a much better instrument than those of just 5 years ago.

Conclusions: If you must and budget dictates shop around for a bargain instrument. Have a player with some experience go with you. Online purchases – as with other instrument purchases online, read the posted reviews, and get your ear to the ground to find out what others have found out about your prospective new instrument – before you spend a dime.

Also, at this level a good used instrument can be a real upgrade in quality though you don’t get to tear open the box.

Rondo music SX series:
Fender Squire series:

Note: often you can find entry level instruments sold as a kit, complete with a small amplifier a few picks and a starter booklet. Not a bad deal, generally, for the absolute beginner or a child.


TASCAM 2X2 USB Audio Interface.


First Impressions

Manual in box, no discs, Ableton Live Light 9 code card (requires Ableton account to add serial number to account before activation can go through), Sonar brochure (not used, I’m on Mac). It’s a strudy medium sized desktop unit, doesn’t seem prone to sliding around and has some heft to it. The knobs feel solid with smooth rotation that facilitates fine adjustment. The range of adjustment feels right and seems tuned to musical production. The Line out and Phones knobs are a bit close together for my fingers, but I didn’t find it to bother me once I got used to making tweaks to the level settings as I worked.

I was able to plug the 2X2 in and start using it imediately, requiring no software or drivers on MAC OSX Mavericks to use the 2X2 out of the box. True plug and play. I did get around the installign the settings panel and updating the fromware, which were quick and easy installs that didn’t require a restart. The 2X2 is bus powered, which is conveneint for on the go use with a laptop and also prevents some groun loop issues I’ve encountered with other interfaces when used with amps or other effects hardware. The AC adapter (not included) is required for using the 2X2 with IOS devices, which seems to defat the purpose for a portable recording solution, the required cable (lightening?) or USB adapter is also not included for IOS use, hence that functionality isn’t reviewd here.

Once I installed the settings control panel, there was a way to change this behavior and have the line out directly control the computer sound output.I did install the drive, which went without a hitch. I then downloaded and used the firmware updater to get the unti up to the latest – which corected an issue I found where the phantom power (48+) switch when turned on would cause the unti’s USB light to flash. I thought that might indicate that it needed a power adapter to operate with phantom [power on, but it turned out to be a Firmqware issue and was solved once updated.


A little confusion at first over how to monitor. The computer/monitor knbo needing ot be turned toward computer to hear the computer sound, then the line out knob also turned up. I was a little concerned at what this arrangement suggested about gain staging, but that worry was addressed via the software control panel which lets you switch to using the line outs directly as computer line out. Direct wardware monitoring is a handy feature though I’ve not often felt the need for it.

The sound is excellent for a unit in this price range, seeming pretty flat and transparent, with a musical and pleasent overall feeling while mixing.

When compared to the older Tapco Link USB which this unti replaces on my desktop, the sound feels bit squased but more refined and accurate. At 96k I was hearing details in recent recordings I’d missed and making different mix choices as a result. The 2X2 uses NE5532 op-amps which have been used in countless recording consoles and recording gear. My listening tests, though not scientific, confrimed for me that they have a great musical character.

The 2X2 held up to my full range listening tests with a variety of material. Driving monitors through balanced inputs well – though I did want to add subwoofer to get that extra umpf in the mix on bass heavy tracks, not the 2×2’s fault, but I think it did expose this missing link in my monitoring a bit more than the Tapco ever had. Good to keep in mind for mixing. I found myself revisitng my recent mixes able to hear detials I’d been missing.

True to claims noise is noticlbe on the input channels, thohg the transparency of the gain channels made me more aware of background noise that my guitar pickups pick-up. Something that had been masked by my prevois interface and thus making it’s way into my recordings.

The ease of use when compared to the Digi 003 rack, which has been my mainstay high-res input source is dramatic, plug an play, vrs a clunky driver settings panel and AVID’s general reluctance to make thier gear cross-compatible. The Digi still rules for inputs, boasting 18 with the included ADAT optical port, so it will stay in the stable for bigger recording tasks. But for day to day use, The price of the Tascam and even it’s bigger sibling interfaces hands down beats Avid’s upgrade costs to stay in the ProTools universe on a modern OS. I can always boot into an older OS for PT trackng and mixing.

The first thing I did was Launch Logic ProX and dig into a project I’ve been working on, making some review examples for Peavey’s Revolver amp sim plug-in. I wanted to put the 2X2 to at least half of the real test – how does it handle direct guitar signals? I’m glad to say it worked really well. I was able to quikly set the input level on the 2X2 by watching the green signal light as I strummed hard on the guitar, and then back it off a bit when the light went red. A set and forget operation. The 2X2 has a good modern chipset, so latency is really low. I was using it at 32 samples, where I’d often had to use 64 or 128 with older gear. This translates into a more natural playing and recording expereince.
I found that I didn’t really feel the need to turn the input/computer dial on the 2X2 toward input at all, though it still might come in handy.
I was recording tacks on the fly through direct input with the amp sim running and enjoying the process, able to forget the settings and try and focus on the performance more. So for guitar and presimably Bass, the Tascam 2×2 get’s a thumb-up.

When comparing specs I noticed that headphone level for the 2X2 is roughly half of that of it’s bigger sibling the 4X4. But that turned out to be a non issue in my tests. The headphone output was able to easily drive even my ATK 240m headphones which have a high impedance to full range volume and more. Presumably the higher rating of the 4X4 facilitates driving two headphone outputs over the 2×2’s one.


The inclusion of MIDI in and out sealed the deal for me when shopping for a low cost 24bit/96Khz cabaple interface since in my little studio I still have keyboards and controlers from before USB was the standard. I hope to be able to use my Line6 pedal board as a footwitch controller once I figure out how to do that, and also to hook up my older Alesis keyboard.

Overall I’m realy impressed with the TASCAM 2X2, the sound quality raises the bar for my home studio, and the ease of use has gotten me focused on performance and mixing vrs trying to find the right combo of input settings and configurations. The 2×2 has great gear appeal, looks nice on my deask, and has immediately been incorporated into my audio prodcution workflow. It also serves as a excellent high res audio output box for games and regular music listening, the driver (on Mac for this review) plays well with everything and I was able to have Ableton and Logic both up and running along with iTunes and listen to all three at once, a really versitile interface. If you’re shopping for an audio interface that’s affordable and has class leading features the TASCAM 2X2 should be on list.

What’s Included: The 2X2 interface itself, printed manual, Ableton Lite (Mac & PC) and Sonar LE (PC) software download links and registration/serial numbers.

Things I’d like to see: A mute button (software seletable for line out, Phones or both).
Individual phantom power switches for each channel.
Detented input gain pots.
A real wish list item – include the AC adapter with the 2×2. Hard to justify at this price point, but hey just a wish.

Review Technology

TASCAM TC-S1 Solar Tuner Quick Review


Here’s a YouTube video review, TASCAM TC-S1 Solar Tuner. A great, lightweight yet sturdy, and compact tuner that charges an internal battery by solar power. Small enough to fit anywhere. Features 4 tuning modes: Animated Strobe, Meter, Needle, and a Fine Tuning mode as well as calibration from A437-A445. A fast internal processor coupled with a responsive onboard mic or 1/4″ phono jack for input. A mini USB connection for charging and an included silicone sleeve for protection.

Check out the video for operating instructions and a demo if the features.


Logic ProX New Guitar Tones.


LogocProX has several updated and new guitar effects and amp simulations. The best part of the latest version of Apple’s proffesional caliber recording software – the learning curve has been eased. Enhancements to the user interface have given a fresh look and feel to legacy visual style, which had origins in the Emagic version of the software. Now that’s going back!

HowTo Lessons

Logic Pro X and Reason – How to Rewire

Logic Pro x, a 64 bit app requiring OSX 10.8.4 introduces new routing options for rewire apps.

Reason 6.0 is required for 64bit computability.

1. Launch Logic Pro X.
2. Launch Reason
2a. Reason should launch into 64 bit (rewire 1.8.1) mode – as indicated in the master routing section.
3. Set-up your Reason interments or channels.
3a. Give each instrument a unique name distinct from it’s mixer channel.
3b. Route your instruments to individual “hardware” channels (1-64 in stereo pairs) in Reason.
4. In Logic X, create an External Midi, and a Summing “Folder Stack” set of channels for each instrument or mix group to be routed FROM Reason.
4a. The option to route audio internally FROM Reasons “hardware bus” is only available to Logic’s Summing -Sub tracks.

With this set-up you can play and record Midi data in Logic, while the datas triggers a software synth in Reason, then route the audio back to Logic to a summed track for recording or bouncing the audio output.

A bit of a workaround, but workable.


Used Guitar Buying Guide

Prices of new guitars keep going up. A used guitar can be a great value. Use this ten point guide to evaluate your used guitar or bass purchase before buying.

You can find used instruments online on Ebay, Craigslist, or the used section of your favorite internet music store. Private sales by individuals, second hand stores, or your local music shops. Before you buy familiarize yourself with this handy guide.

  • Is the neck straight? This is a key factor to evaluate when looking at a used guitar or bass. In person you can check this yourself, by eye. Sight down the neck from the peg head toward the body. The frets should be even with the top aligned without individual frets appearing higher or lower than the rest. A smooth sweep is what you are looking for with the slightest bow, without humps, waviness or twisting. Additionally you can hold a string down at the 1st fret and also a fret close to where the neck meets the body to evaluate the relief, the bow should be very slight. Also find out of the neck’s truss-rod is adjustable. Sometimes the truss-rod nut can be stripped or the neck bowed or twisted so much that it cannot be adjusted properly.
  • Are the frets worn? A well played instrument will show some signs of fret wear, particularly closer to the nut. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker. Very deep pits or groves in the frets can indicate a neck that may have a limited time before it will require at the least a fret level, dress and polish job, and at the most a total refret. Deeply worn frets my also cause the strings to buzz when played.
  • Are there deep scratches or dents in the finish? Minor surface scratches in the finish can usually be rubbed out, as long as they are not so deep that they have gone through the top coat of finish. Normal wear and tear and surface scratches are expected in used instruments and can even lend character to older instruments. Acoustics and instruments with lacquer finishes are typically thinner and may have less finish to buff out to remove scratches.
  • 4. Is the hardware clean and rust/tarnish free? Normal playing can put a film on metal and plastic parts. This can be cleaned up with a combination of denatured alcohol and a modern wax to make them seem like new. However, blue/green tarnish, pitting or rust is permanent damage, so make sure you can live with the appearance.
  • Are all the parts included? You may find used instruments with missing screws, knobs, strap buttons tremolo arms, etc. Consider if you will be able to find replacement parts if needed.
  • For Electric

  • Do all the knobs and switches work? If you are able, be sure to try an electric guitar plugged into an amplifier to make sure all the switch positions work, and the volume and/or tone controls function. These things can always be fixed or replaced, but that will be an additional cost to you.
  • Check the condition of the pick-ups. Are they clean? If they are uncovered, is the wrapping tape intact? Are there any visible loose strands of copper coil winding wire visible? This may indicate a pick-up replacement will be necessary. Also while plugged into an amp, make sure all the pickups are working. If the instrument is lacking strings a coin or other metal object tapped on the selected pick-up will be picked up and amplified.
  • 8. Are all the tuning pegs installed, and do they all match? They should turn easily, and be securely fastened to the peg head with metal nuts and/or the back of the headstock with small metal screws. Missing tuners can sometimes be bought individually.
  • Is the nut in good shape without cracks or chips? A nut can be replaced if needed.
  • Is the bridge in good condition and adjustable? This is important for maintaining the intonation of the guitar or bass. There shouldn’t be missing nuts bolts or string saddles.

Wrapping it up

We hope this guide helps you select a used instrument. Most of the key points are simply things to be aware of when evaluating a used instrument, to help you determine if the price is right. In the case of missing screws or other parts most American and modern imports there are parts available as replacements.

The only real deal breaker is a twisted or overly bowed neck. Everything else can be repaired, replaced, or polished to bring your latest used guitar find to an almost new state.


Fender Standard Telecaster

The Fender Standard telecaster is a key guitar designs that has inspired generations of guitarists to pick up thine axe and play! Designed by Leo Fender, introduced in 1949 as the single pick-up Broadcaster and later the dual single coil pick-up Telecaster or “Tele”, as it is often called, was put into full production in 1950. Favored by country pickers and indie rockers alike, even ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen plays a Telecaster – incidentally his is one of the very first off the production line.

Our review model is from around 2002 and was made in Mexico. This one has that classic mix of an Alder body, a one piece Maple neck, vintage style frets, a modern bridge assembly, sealed Fender tuners and standard controls and pick-ups. The color is Agave blue, which was used on Made in Mexico instruments by Fender for several years. It’s a light shade of blue with just a hint of metal flake. As you can see from the pictures below the Fender logo is the outlined and filled type found on MIM instruments from this period.*

*As opposed to Squire instruments of this period which had solid logos, earlier American made Fender logos and the current import standard line logos.

The serial number tells us a bit about the age of this instrument, as well as dates stamped on the neck heel, under the pick guard and in the neck pocket. These dates represent when individual components where manufactured or inspected and usually range a few weeks or months.

As musical styles shift and change from hard rock and heavy hum-bucker fueled tones to twangier single coil tones, the Telecaster finds a frequent resurgence in popularity. Make no mistake, the stock single standard Tele style pick-ups can bring the heat, but the end result is a bit less meaty than the Gibson Les Paul’s dual hum-bucker tone.

At the same time the Tele stands on its own when compared to the three single-coil equipped Fender Stratocaster. The Stratocaster has a little more tonal variation due to its three pickups being controlled with a five-way switch compared to a standard Tele three way switch. A lot of the telecaster’s charm is in its simplicity and the variety of tones that a good player can irk out of what is considered by many to be a bullet-proof guitar.

Our model lives up to Tele expectations. The Mexico manufactured Standard Telecaster does vary a bit from the American model, and some of the traditional Tele design ideals. When compared to more expensive American made Telecasters you’ll find that visually the quality of the wood may be better cosmetically and beyond that the selection of the wood for it’s tonal characteristics varies widely – what you get is still that tried and true recipe for success.

Fender Standar Telecaster Review Continues…

HowTo Review

Apple Garageband Virtual Guitar

Jamming on Apple’s Garageband App for iPad

Take a few minutes to check out the virtual guitar instrument in Garageband on the iPad. Lots of fun with guitar-like bending and playing techniques. It’s like GuitarHero on steroids! The recording and editing functions aren’t the same as the desktop app, but worthy of having fun and sketching out ideas on the road or on the couch. If you ever wanted a guitar set-up perfectly for tapping ala Eddie VanHalen – this app is for you!

HowTo Technology

iTunes Playlists, Export and Import.

Watch the video, it’s easy!

ModGuitar iTunes Playlist Import & Export How to Article

Share your playlists or save them. It’s easy to do, and fun to share with friends and family. *note the playlists do not copy music, they are just a text file that describes what songs are in your playlist.

Please note: or are not sponsored by or affiliated with Apple, Inc. in any way. This video is just for informational purposes.


SP Sound Percussion Double Bass Drum Pedal Set-Up And Review

Just in for review and trying my hand at playing double bass patterns on the drums. A great deal from Musician’s Friend as one of their “Stupid Deals Of The Day”. Watch as I unpack it, set the pedal up, and then give a quick playing example.


Fender Strat Plus Bi-flex Truss Rod Fix and Pick-up Swap.

I’ve had this Strat Plus Deluxe for ages. Unfortunately the previous owner must have used the wrong hex wrench (I’m not ruling out the design of the Bi-Flex truss rod itself) which has led to the truss rod socket being stripped completely, leaving the neck unadjustable. This is a somewhat common problem for this model and others equipped with Fender’s Bi-Flex truss-rod design.
The 93′ Strat Plus Deluxe with pop-in trem bar, two point floating tremolo, locking tuners, roller nut, Bi-flex truss rod, in crimson burst finish.

1993 Fender Strat Plus Deluxe
The truss rod being unadjustable isn’t necessarily the end of the world. However, if you live in a climate zone that has big changes in the weather seasonaly, you could be stuck with a guitar with less than optimal playability. In may case, a guitar that has too much relief (back bow) in the neck, requiring a higher action to play notes cleanly.
Having given up on adjusting the truss rod, I had previously done a fret dress and level procedure on it, focusing on taking off some of the height off the frets at the nut and high end of the neck. This was a good intermediate fix which brought back much of the playability. I wanted this guitar to play as well as I know it can, so I ventured to dig deeper and find a way to adjust the truss rod – without resorting to costly factory authorized repairs, or attempting to replace the truss rod entirly which is a very tricky venture on this type of Fender neck – if that repair was even feasible. The cost of repairs alone makes replacing the neck the next best option, but I wanted to keep the guitar stock. It’s an American made Fender Stratocaster, a design no longer in production. After some consideration on what needed to happen for this fix to work, and an assessment of my tools, I came up with a plan.

Tools Used For The Truss-Rod Fix

  • Torx Bit – sized to just fit in the stripped socket
  • Hex Wrench – whatever size your guitar needs
  • Rotary tool + various bits
  • Hammer

This pic shows the roller nut with the set screws removed. I didn’t even remove the strings at first. If I was able, I’d make the adjustment with the strings just slackened, and the roller nut slid down out of the way.
Roller Nut

First I try to get the correct 1/8″ hex wrench to seat in the truss rod adjustment socket. No luck, the socket was truly stripped, almost totally rounded off inside.
Attempting to make an adjustment to the stripped truss rod socket with a 1/8

Before using a very small milling bit to cut a few ridges in the inside surface of the truss rod socket, I first used an abrasive bit to sand away some of the mahogany plug so that I can get in there with the other tools.
A sanding bit used to open up the work area.

This photo shows the truss rod end with a couple of ridge milled into it (it’s not real easy to see) so the Torx bit can get a grip. I ended up using a metric Torx bit that was slightly oversize, and with a hammer, tapping it into place. This was a very touch and go operation, and I might not be able to make another adjustment.
The truss rod socket end with ridges milled so a Torx bit can make the adjustment.

Finally, I was able to make the 1/4 turn adjustment needed to reduce the back bow and get the relief within a useable range. With this guitar on its way to playable status I went ahead and replaced the Blue Lace Sensor pickup that had stopped working as well as switching the positions of the three Lace Sensors that are stock to this model into their factory spots: Neck – Gold Lace Sensor, Middle – Silver Lace Sensor, and Blue Lace Sensor in the bridge position. At some point along the way the pick-ups had been switched around, and I thought it would be cool to check them out in the stock configuration. Lace Sensors are suitable for any pick-up position, though each one has a distinct tone as indicated by the color designation.


Locking Tuner Upgrades: Pros and Cons

Mod Guitar How to Locking Tuner Upgrade Pro & Con

Locking tuners eliminate the slack at the peg head end of the guitar string by clamping the string to the tuning post which stabilizes the guitar’s tuning. Are locking tuner upgrades always the best option? Read this article and find out!

Fender Strat Plus Sperzel brand Locking Tuners and LSR roller Nut

Locking tuners first made their appearance with the Fender Strat Plus in 1987, which featured Sperzel locking tuners and included a LSR roller nut [above]. Combined with a 2 point floating tremolo, tuning stability is greatly improved over a standard 6 point tremolo. Locking tuners really provide the greatest benefit to guitars with tremolos. Locking tuners are available for every style of guitar including Fender and Gibson models, imports, and even Bass instruments.

Pros and Cons of Locking Tuners:


  • Better tuning stability for tremolo equipped guitars.
  • Cleaner headstock look and feel (no excess string windings).
  • Quicker string changes.


  • Harder to fine tune at times as the string goes from slack to full tension very quickly.
  • A loss of some of the flex in the feel of the instrument as played.
  • Locking tuners can add weight to the headstock Vrs. stock tuners.
  • Locking tuners tend to be more expensive than standard tuners.
  • Non-stock upgrades that require drilling.

Gotoh brand locking tuners for Stratocaster style Guitar

I’m a fan of locking tuners for modern guitars where more extreme playing styles are expected during performance. Big whammy dips and dives and heavy tremolo use comes back to tune better with a combination of locking tuners, a graphite/lubricated nut material, and well installed strings. For players looking for live playing solutions, locking tuners are a good idea because stage lights, trucking gear around, and a variety of environments reap havoc on instruments.


HowTo – Projects, Tutorials, And More

EBO Bass To Guitar Conversion

Follow along as we convert a beat up non-collectable Gibson EBO bass from the late ’70s and convert it to a SG guitar. It was a big project that went really well as the clips and photos show.

Midi Guitar Custom Build

We wanted to get the best of both worlds Midi and Regular electric – only a custom build would do. Follow along as we pick the parts, build the body and trick out a custom midi guitar.

Next Project: Mary Kay Strat® Clone. Watch as we build a hard-tail strat with modern parts while retaining a vintage look.


Quick Nut Fix Buzzing or pinging nut problems fixed in just a few steps in this step-by-step tutorial.

Tuning The Guitar This walk-through tutorial shows you how to tune your guitar or bass and cover different tuning methods.

String Winding: Tension Counts Learn the right way to install and wind a fresh set of strings. Get the best tuning stability using a few simple steps.

Floyd Rose® Style Locking Tremolo Set-Up Locking trems offer tuning stability and dive bomb ability, but take a little extra work to set-up for best performance. This guide explains the technique in detail.

The Ultimate Guitar Set-Up Guide Here it is, the definitive guide to guitar set-up on the web. We show you how to set-up a Strat® or Les Paul® style guitar. Basic concepts explained, with detailed instructions for adjusting the action, intonation, and truss rod.

See the Mods section for more specific pick-up and electronics modifications

HowTo Tutorial

Mandolin Fret Dress and New Nut

Fullerton A Style Mandolin

I acquired this Fullerton “A” style mandolin a few years ago when one of the big retailers was closing out the brand. It’s a nice instrument overall, well constructed and for the price was a great way to learn some mandolin. What I’ve found lacking was the fret-work. So here we go, getting down to brass-tacks and doing a pretty thorough fret dress. What got me going on this was the nut developing a crack which made it necessary to craft a replacement.

Broken Mandolin Nut

Here you can see the nut, like a broken tooth, removed from the mandolin neck. Removing the nut makes an ideal situation for doing fret work, as the leveling files can go over the full length of the neck.

By sighting down the neck with the strings slackened and pulled aside, and the nut removed it’s pretty clear that there are some high frets which directly affect how low the action can be set. This becomes a major issue with a mandolin, as the frets are the smallest available, so that great care must be taken to only level them as much as necessary.

Leveling Mandolin Frets With A Leveling File

After an initial brush over with my leveling plane (an industrial diamond coated steel plate), it became clear that these frets had some very uneven tops. This was no quick fret dress.

Rocking A File Over High Frets

Using my rocker file up and down and across the neck confirms this with the clear clacking sound as the file rocks back and forth when balanced over a high fret.

A Sharpie used to ink the tops of all frets.

Using a sharpie I mark the tops of each fret, allowing the ink to dry before proceeding. Careful not to stain the binding or fret board with the ink. Another sweep across the whole fretting surface with a fine leveling plane reveals the high and low frets and the ink is worn off. This is work, observe and continue sort of process. Observing how the plane is removing material from the top of the frets guides me where to apply firmer pressure.

High frets after Going over sharpie marks

Unfortunately, a few frets were very high, and I had to move to a medium leveling file to get the frets leveled down evenly. This instrument is made in China and typically with this level of quality the frets are not made of the hardest form nickel-silver.

Using a soft paint brush to sweep away filing debri.

A soft paint brush is excellent for brushing the fret dust off. With a high quality instrument, (or a customer’s for that matter), greater care would be taken to mask off the instrument body to prevent the chance of scratches.

A triangle file with a rounded edge for fret side profiling.

A triangle file with a rounded edge for fret side profiling.

A triangular file with a single rounded edge is used to put a taper on the fret edges. These frets are pretty soft, so the final rounding is done with graduated grades of sandpaper.

An issue that came up as I worked through my various leveling files working down to the finest grade was that the frets are so small that none of my crowning files will work to give the frets the necessary angled side profiling after the tops are leveled. Ideally, the tops will be leveled, slightly rounded over, and the side tapered to create a finer point of contact for the strings. These keeps the notes accurate, and the tone clean without buzzes.

I put some extra pressure on the highest frets from the point where neck meets the body. This keeps the action low for the final set-up. There’s usually some slight rise in the fret board where the neck is glued in verses the part of the neck that is clear of the body. This mandolin doesn’t have an adjustable truss rod. Most likely there’s a plain steel rod set into the neck under the fingerboard to provide the rigidity to offset the pressure of the string tension.

Using sand paper to round over and polish frets.

Filing done, I move onto using sandpaper (grades 400, 800, and 1200) to put a bit of roundness on the top of the frets and polish them up to a bright gloss. Using finer and finer grades removes the scratches left by the former grade of paper. It’s important to work the frets over evenly, avoiding upsetting the delicate leveled state made during filing.

The Fretboard cleaned after filing and sanding.

Fretboard grime cleaned up with Denatured Alcohol.

Once the sanding is done I use denatured alcohol to clean the fret board. You can see the kind of grime that comes off on the rag in the photo. I keep going back over it using the solvent until the rag comes away clean.

Denatured Alcohol is pretty safe to use, and not nearly as harmful (potentially) as harsher solvents, like naptha or benzine. Still, care should be taken to avoid using any solvents near open flames, smoking, pilot lights, etc. I follow the manufacture’s warnings on the solvent packaging, including working in a well ventilated area.

A light coat of Mineral Oil rubbed in to seal and condition the fretboard.

The denatured alcohol dries the fretboard surface, a well as removing any traces of waxes or other conditioners. To offset this I use either lemon oil or simply mineral oil to condition the board. This gives it a nice luster and protects the fret board from drying out too much.

A new mandolin nut partially shaped.

Next the nut is cut from a scrap piece. And formed and fitted using files and sandpaper. It’s a back and forth process getting the shape just right.
Once the basic shape is formed, I use a feeler gauge with a grooved edge to very carefully cut the start of the new nut slots. While luthiers with busy shops might have a pattern for this, I do not, so the process takes some care to get it just right.

Cutting nut slots for the 4 courses of double strings.

Using a small diamond file to deepen the new nut slots

After cutting the nut slots using fine files to make them deeper the nut is then reshaped a bit and polished up before being fitted to the end of the neck permanently.

New Mandolin nut slots cut.

This mandolin is starting to shape up, the frets leveled, new nut, and now the bridge leveled and cutting fresh slots to space the strings evenly.

Tapping grooves in the leveled bridge.

I use a soft faced hammer to tap the string grooves into the bridge. A few turns of the bridge adjustment nuts and the bridge height is set.

The bridge set between the F-Holes.

The bridge is set so that the feet are at the mid-points of the two cut-out F-holes. That’s it, ready to tune it up and try my hand at playing some mandolin.

This is the kind of work you can do yourself if you’re handy. This article glosses over the key steps in performing a fret-dress.

HowTo MODS News Socialize

Mod The Ramen!

Just for fun! Get Your Lunch On, Mod The Ramen!


Tune Your 4 String Bass Standard Tuning EADG

Simple play this video and match your Bass pitch, string-by-string and you’ll be tuned up in just a few minutes. The videos can be played full screen, so you can follow along from across the room. Turn it up and get it tune!

Four string Bass in standard tuning from low to high E, A, D, G.


Tune Your Mandolin

Simple play this video and match your mandolins pitch, string-by-string and you’ll be tuned up in just a few minutes. The videos can be played full screen, so you can follow along from across the room. Turn it up and get it tune!

Mandolin 4 sets of dual strings tuned in unison. The strings are tuned from the 4th (thickest) string to the 1st G, D, A, E.

Please note the actual pitch of the note in this video sound 1 octave higher than the tuned string pitch on your mandolin. Be careful not to over-tighten the strings. Match the notes by using the 12th fret harmonic.


Tune Your Guitar

Here we have created several YouTube videos that you can use to tune your guitar by playing along. They are quick and easy to use, and can be accessed anywhere. No need to buy a tuner, a great resource for beginners and pros alike.

Play the video, match your string’s pitch, and you’ll be tuned up in just a few minutes. The videos can be played full screen, so you can follow along from across the room. Turn it up and get it tune!

Standard Six String Guitar Tuning.

The strings are tuned from the 6th (thickest) string to the 1st E, A, D, G, B, E.

Eb half step low tuning > next page)