Broken Tailpiece

September 14, 2006 at 04:46 AM · My violin's tailpiece just broke near the chinrest. It looks like it cracked. The bridge fell, all the strings are intact, just off of the instrument. My concern is I am leaving for school on Sunday. How long does it take to fix a tailpiece? Can they be ordered or are they handmade?

Replies (6)

September 14, 2006 at 06:45 AM · you can just go to a violin shop (maker/repairer) and they'll do it on the spot, it's no hassle to do just don't do it yourself.

September 14, 2006 at 02:28 PM · Why not do it yourself? Piece of cake! Just buy a tailpiece, set up the tailgut to the correct length, re-reave the strings, put the D-string over the bridge, gently standing the bridge up, bring the D- string up to some tension, then bring the A up, check and adjust the bridge to stay vertical, continue this process with the G, then the E, and voila!

*Everybody* should (a) learn how to do this and (b) do it when necessary.

The bridge of a violin does nopt magically stay in place. It really requires that the player pay attention to keeping it standing upright. replacing a broken tailpiece is part of the natural process of keeping your violin in working order.

September 17, 2006 at 08:55 PM · The tailpiece is easy, I agree.

BUT, when the tailpiece broke and the bridge fell the post may have shifted and may be way out of position.

Also, the sudden snap of the tailpiece may have (probably not, but maybe) cracked or loosened something.

A quick look by a luthier and a replacement tailpiece and post check/adjustment will only take a few minutes.

September 17, 2006 at 09:55 PM · I would advise against trying to fix it yourself!! I agree that it is a useful thing to know how to do....just don't do it until a professional luthier has shown you how! In this case, take it to your luthier and have him/her fix it...and show you what to do for next time. :)

Good luck!

September 20, 2006 at 12:38 AM · "Setting up the tailgut to the correct" length can be a bit more than just using the "standard" measurement of 55mm. Each individual violin might require a bit of fine tweeking to find a spot that works best for that particular instrument. Let your luthier do it...

September 20, 2006 at 01:06 AM · If you are not sure about your abilities, then by all means have your Luthier do it.

But it is quite easy to replace a tailpiece.

Normally for a full size violin, a 110mm tailpiece will do just fine.

The density of the tailpiece makes a big difference in the sound of the instrument. Also the gut placement makes a difference as well due to the tension ratio (with the strings).

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