If your Strat bridge is leaning too much towards or away from the neck, these simple steps will get you back to the right angle.
A reader recently asked how he could adjust the angle of the tremolo bridge on his Stratocaster. In his case, the bridge was leaning towards the neck. Adjusting this is a very simple process. The main thing to keep in mind is to not tighten the trem claw screws too much (covered in step # 3). Your goal is to have the perfect balance between the tension of the strings and the tension of the tremolo springs.
1. Loosen your strings a great deal. You don’t have to remove them, but loosen them almost to the point of removal.
2. Turn your guitar over and remove the tremolo cavity plate (a square piece of plastic on the back of the body that is being held by several small screws).
3. You should notice two rather large screws that hold the trem claw to the body. If your bridge leans too much towards the neck, tighten those two screws. Do not screw them all the way in, but tighten them so that they are substantially closer to the body. If your bridge leans too much away from the neck, loosen those two screws a bit.
4. Flip your guitar over and tune it up.
5. Check your action, make micro adjustments using the string saddle height adjustments if needed.
6. If needed, repeat steps 3-5, to get the angle of the bridge just right. You may have to loosen the two screws in step # 3, and that is ok. This process is mainly about finding the right balance, and that could take a few tries.
Don’t be afraid to consult a qualified guitar repair technician. If this is your first time making these kinds of adjustments, it might be a bit unnerving. In the end, it is a simple adjustment that you can make yourself, in order to get the angle of the bridge just right.