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Electric Guitars/Tremolo springs too resonant


Hello Dr. Moore,

I need your advice. My recently purchased a guitar(A Fender Stratocaster American Standard), and it has been brought to my attention that every time I hit notes such as A sharp, B, and C, the springs for the tremolo arm resonate with notes, and it gives natural reverb. This is more pronounced when plugged in and played with overdrive. I wedged a thin layer of urethane foam in the space between the springs and the backplate, but the springs chew up the foam and often pieces of the foam are stuck in the coil and the guitar will not stay in tune.

Is there any way to dampen the springs so that the springs won't resonate?

Thank you in advance.


Hi Daphne, thanks for writing in. You have a very nice guitar, I have had several Stratocasters with a love ~ hate thing going on. My current Strat is the 1968 I bought used in high school. The tremolos on these guitars are the worst, I have been fighting them for years. Do you have at least three springs on it and are they pretty new? Try to tighten the two claw screw to eliminate any looseness or slipping of the springs. You can angle the springs, the center spring straight and the other two move the bottom hook over a notch. So it looks like a pyramid and moves the tension over a greater area, you may want to put new springs on it at this time. The gray metal block that the springs hock on to are replaced for a number of reasons. They install longer brass blocks for many reasons, excessive vibration being one of the reasons. I hope one of these suggestions helps you Daphne. I stopped fighting with these tremolos years ago, I changed springs at the same time I changed strings and that kept tension up to specs. I tried many things to make them work but I gave up and just block them. The main thing was they put the guitar out of tune. Many of the great guitarist that use them have them work with lock nuts and lock bridges.
Thanks and let me know how it went for you.  

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DR Kevin P Moore


Guitars and cats make life so much better. Playing the guitar is a wonderful thing, fixing you guitar is not that hard. I have played since I was a kid and started to fix guitars and the other things that needed repair. I still repair guitars for friends and myself and do enjoy it. I rebuild old guitars to their former condition, all amps and music gear. That the mystery out of where and when a guitar was made. The value of it and the difference between junk and a guitar you can grow old with. Ask me things and have some fun.


The fascination with electric guitars is the top for me. I fix amps, wiring and put the things that fall off back on. The way to really set a guitar up and make it a player. Buying a guitar is an art, and good amps that will get out that tone we all look for, Zen guitar and amplifier is a way to approach it. Better is no worry ask an expert.

Library of congress, five patients. I write on several guitar forums and many essays on guitar health.

PhD, MS, BA and a BS all from CMU. I have a BA from Mercyhurst College.

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