Repair Shop Spot: Easy Drop Tuning Mod for Electric Guitar

Mass Street Music luthier (and mad modder) Matt Harmon goes over his latest mod, which allows him to switch pretty easily between regular and drop tunings with his Les Paul:

I’ve recently wanted to learn a few songs in a lower tuning, specifically a few Queens of the Stone Age tunes, but I didn’t want to buy a new guitar and leave it tuned down all the time. I bought a new bridge and made a new nut for my guitar so I could swap out the parts – and with a quick truss rod adjustment have a guitar that could go back and forth between tunings.

electric guitar bridge and nut

Matt swapped the original bridge and nut on his LP (pictured above), with a new nut and bridge cut to accommodate wider strings for drop tunings. He can switch back easily any time.


My LP is usually strung with Hybrid Slinky .009 – .046 and tuned to standard.  I’m currently running Not Even Slinky .012 – .056 with the guitar tuned to C standard. This required the nut slots and the bridge saddles to be widened and to re-intonate the saddles for the different tuning.

LesPaulelectric guitar reliced bridge

The newer bridge with wider slots. Matt also relic’ed the bridge to match the guitar better!


Just for fun, I aged the new bridge to match the aged guitar (Seuf relic’d this Les Paul!). – Matt H.

wider slot bone nut for drop tunings

The newer nut, now in place, has wider slots to accommodate the .012-.056 strings Matt’s been using for the drop tunings.


Mass St Music repair Matt Harmon with modded Les Paul

Matt with his Les Paul, made even more versatile with a swappable bridge and nut for lower tunings.

Interested in a mod like this, or getting relic’d parts for your guitar? Just give us a call at 800-747-9980 and ask for Matt ‘the Mad Modder‘ Harmon.

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