September 14, 2006 at 04:45 AM · I've been thinking about getting a new bridge. And I was wondering if you had any recommendations/ preferences. How do different woods/shapes affect the sound you get out of your instrument?

Thanks in advance!

Replies (12)

September 14, 2006 at 05:11 AM · A bridge affects the sound GREATLY on all string instruments!!

So are you studying with Ron P. at UW?

September 14, 2006 at 05:35 AM · I'm not sure. I originally didn't know what I was going to major in at the time the application was due. So, I'm doing the late auditions next week. So, I guess my teacher will be determined then. Do you know any of the teachers there?

September 14, 2006 at 06:26 AM · Ron P. is the main teacher.

But you could elect to study with people outside as well.

I have had students in the past from UW who did that.

I am in the Seattle Symphony and the odeonquartet.

Click on my name to see my bio.

September 14, 2006 at 03:41 PM · The bridge, not the post, is the thing that makes the greatest difference in the sound of a violin. Where a post adjustment just sets things right or wrong, a bridge can change many different things--balance, overall brightness, etc. If you get a new bridge, though, make sure you go to someone who really knows what he's doing. Otherwise, what you get is just potluck. Many shops, even good ones, just make a normal bridge and don't think much about it; many amateurs will tell you they can work wonders, but actually have no idea at all what they're doing. So ask around a lot, and find the right person.

September 14, 2006 at 03:48 PM · I have carved a few bridges myself and I second your opinion that many don't know what we are doing, including myself :-)

That being said, The bridge I am using now is working out to sound pretty good--luck and all!

Someday I'd like to learn the nuances of bridge shaping. It is very fascinating and statically indeterminate.

September 15, 2006 at 02:54 AM · I bought a violin that had a rather bright and lively sound. I selected it over a milder, mellower violin, because I like to get as many different colors as possible, and I would rather struggle to tame a lively fiddle than to try to drag an edge out of a violin that couldn't provide it.

Problem was, it had a warble around c# in the top octave. Strings, parchment under the string, moving the post, playing it in, all had little effect. When my luthier put on a new bridge, The warble went away, and now I have a wonderful, lively, powerful instrument. People are shocked to learn that it's a mere unlabeled Chinese import.

So, a bridge can make all the difference, but it has to be done right.

September 15, 2006 at 06:07 AM · why do you want a new bridge? is the present one warped? ...

September 15, 2006 at 06:39 AM · Thanks for all your answers, everyone! :)

Steve, I recently bought a new violin, and the e-string has dug way into the present bridge. And it's probably not good for the sound. The other three strings are starting to dig into it a little bit too. So, I figured I should get a new one.

September 15, 2006 at 11:42 AM · "ODE TO A BRIDGE"

Ah one, ah two, ah three...

Old Mc'Fiddle Whacker got him a fiddle, ei, ei, oh!

And on its bridge he started to whittle, ei ei oh!

With a whittle whittle here, and whittle whittle there!!

Here a whittle, there a whittle, every where a whittle whittle!!

Old Mc'Fiddle Whacker kept on whittlin' 'till he whittled his bridge~n~fiddle away!!

Shave and haircut, two bits!!


Traditonal and anonymously written "mountain song", long before "Old Mc'Donald" came along, but really good!! Don't you think?? [:-`) (Copyright) 2006

Smile Michael!! You're on CANDID CAMERA!!

September 15, 2006 at 11:06 PM · Greetings,

Emily, you don`t necessarily need a new bridge. My luitheir actually fits a small piece of wood into the sunken part. You can then glue a small piece of cellophane from the inside of a cigartte packet over where the stritng goes. This is a good substitute for vellum.



October 6, 2006 at 04:03 AM · Another cheap fix is to use aluminum foil. I use it in the recording studio all the time on guitars when we have an emergency problem (between string and bridge, between string and nut, beneath saddles, etc) The foils is dense so it doesn't soak up any tone. It is thin so you can do delicate work. It is hard so it won't tear if you are reasonably careful. Works great under a thin E-string.

Emily, if you don't have a lot of money, you current bridge is straight and the right height, and your sound is acceptable, try the foil. Just put a small piece under each string. Once the strings are tuned, carefully cut-away the excess with a razor blade or sharp knife. You may need several layers under the E string. I guarantee this will work.

October 6, 2006 at 06:57 AM · Buri and Allan,

Thanks! I think I might just end up doing that, sticking something in there. I might just end up going to my luthier to fix it because I'm scared of messing it up even worse. Haha. But thanks again!


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