How does changing Bridge height affect sound?
Hey all! I find that my violin's strings are wayyy too high off the fingerboard, and slightly affecting how I play. I was wondering if changing to a new, shorter bridge would necessarily affect the sound negatively?
Thank you all!
My guess is that if your strings are higher your violin will have a bigger and brighter sound but that's just a guess. However, you need to consider how your instrument plays. If you're hanging around in first position playing bluegrass fiddle music, the high bridge could be an asset. If you're wondering why your instrument is hard to play in higher registers, then it's time to hire a good luthier to cut you a new bridge and probably adjust the nut and look over a few other things too.
You don't need to cut a new bridge to lower the strings, only if you want to raise them, you just file the notches lower till you get what you want then round off the top of the bridge to match the new lower notches, of course leave this to a professional luthier.
The force vector through the bridge into the violin is proportional to the height of the bridge; the higher the bridge, the larger the force into the violin. This can choke the instrument's response and spoil the tone with some strings
And, of course, there is the fact that many instruments have long lost their original bridges.
I am considering getting a luthier to cut/modify the bridge for me, as it does affect my playing in the higher registers. Oh well, as long as it doesn't affect tone and projection I'm completely up for changing/modifying the bridge.
It will affect those things. But quite possibly in a good way. Ask the pro.
In my experience, shaving wood from the top of the bridge has two effects:
"Acrid tone". Haven't heard that description used before. Can't wait to try it out. :-)
Is it a new violin or an old violin? Is it a well-made violin or an inexpensive mass-produced "factory" violin?
Lowering the bridge (by trimming the top) reduces the rocking moment to the body, thus weakens the lower frequencies. And the reduced mass is like "unmuting", thus strengthening the high frequencies... including the very high ones you might not want, giving harshness (or acrid tone, if you taste or smell with your ears).
All original and never re-set? Have someone look at that to be sure.
My violin (Nicolas Morlot ca.1820) has a warm, but rather dull tone.
Tricolore light gauge can also work miracles in the right spot. Even with the wrapped D.
oooh those sound like good ideas. Stephen, Im not sure if the neck has been tampered with, but I only know that it is all original, the same one from the 1700s.
An Italian violin from the 1700s will have a neck glued onto the top ribs, not set into the block inside like a modern neck
Assume for a minute that the angle of the violin neck is "typical".
I know we are taught at the beginning to push all the way to the fingerboard because we start with pizzicato and need to do that for a plucked note to ring. However, we generally use more pressure than we need and it's worth experimenting with how little pressure you can get away with when it comes to the bow. One of my violins has a higher action and for most things the break point of pressure making a clear tone is before the finger touches the fingerboard.
I once lightened two bridge blanks to the same extent, but in two ways: