History of Floyd Rose – Inventor of Floyd Rose Guitar Tremolo
March 9, 2009 by Charlie
Floyd Rose is the revolutionary tremolo systems off time.
In 1964 a guitarist named Floyd Rose moved from Durango, Colorado to Reno, Nevada. There he started playing in bands. Floyd had many guitar artist influences. His biggest influence was Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix from one of his Woodstock performances.
Inspired by all these amazing guitar players he started wailing and playing hard on his whammy bar on his Fender Strat. However, he noticed the problems of his Stratocaster not holding up to his aggressive style and go out of tune. That was a problem, the tremolo systems back then would make the strings go out of tune to easily.
Floyd Rose was jammin’ on his Fender Strat and that’s when he noticed the E string was sliding around the winding on the tuner. That’s when he realized the friction around the nut was allowing the strings go out of tune. He then started thinking about some type of locking device.
Mr. Floyd’s day job was making jewelry inlays while being a musician.. Using his lapidary equipment, he created a locking nut using three wood screws. He realized that he needed to lock the strings at the other end of the guitar as well. While learning to cast metal parts, he created his first Floyd Rose Tremolo and installed it on his Gibson Les Paul.
With financial help from his parents, Floyd went to a machine shop to have another prototype of his double locking system tremolo created. He added the two mounting studs that mount the bridge. This version didn’t have fine tuners. In between bands, while developing his tremolo, Floyd worked as a sound tech for Randy Hansen. Floyd showed his tremolo system to Randy and he was very impressed with the tuning and stability. Guitar Player magazine mentioned it and the word started getting out.
Soon after, Floyd bought a milling machine and started producing more units in his basement. He didn’t waste any time to register his invention with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In the early 1980’s at a music convention, Floyd’s Double Locking Tremolo grabbed the attention of Kramer guitars. The company saw great potential with his device. At the same time, A young guitarist named Eddie Van Halen was struggling to keep his guitar in tune. A Kramer Endorsee, Eddie was also impressed by the tuning stability of the new system. That’s when he embraced the Tremolo with no second thoughts.
Fine tuners were added to the system. This was a HUGE improvement because guitarist were able to tune the strings after locking the nut. Kramer initiated a strong marketing campaign the Tremolo and the creator.
Other companies started licensing the Tremolo. Ibanez created its famous Edge Tremolo, considered the best license Tremolo ever made. The Floyd Rose Exploded around the world, thousands of guitarists embraced the unit. Kirk Hammett from Metallica, Dimebag Darrell from Pantera, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and the list goes on…
Mr. Rose is known today as the most successful guitar hardware inventor. His creation is revolutionary!