How to Measure to Install a Lock Nut on a Guitar

Written by rob billeaud
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How to Measure to Install a Lock Nut on a Guitar
Kirk Hammett of Metallica uses a guitar fitted with a Floyd Rose tremolo and locking nut, which can be seen here at the bottom of the peghead. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

A locknut for a guitar with a tremolo bridge is a small item, but having the right one can make a big difference in your music. The purpose of a locknut on a guitar with a tremolo bridge is to keep the strings locked in position at the nut. When the tremolo is used to raise or lower the pitch of the strings, the strings remain in perfect tune when the tremolo is released. Measuring to install a locknut on a guitar is a simple process that should take no more than a few minutes to complete.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ruler marked in increments of a 16th of an inch.

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  1. 1

    Remove the strings from the guitar and locate the position of the nut at the bottom of the peghead.

  2. 2

    Measure the width of the fingerboard at the nut. There are only three different widths of nut available - or four if you include the nut for a seven string guitar. They are: 1 5/8, 1 11/16, 1 3/4 and 1 7/8.

  3. 3

    Select the nut that is closest to the width of your fingerboard at the nut.

  4. 4

    Install the locknut according to the instuctions included with the packaging and replace the strings.

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