Checking your violin bridge. Your violin bridge plays a crucial part in producing the sound of your instrument. Its job is to transfer the vibration from the strings down to the soundboard and body of the instrument, thus increasing the volume and helping to shape the tone. The bridge is only held in place by string tension, and this tension also holds the soundpost in place. Your soundpost, which should fit snugly inside the instrument below the treble foot of the bridge, helps to transmit the vibrations between the top and the back of your instrument.
Check Your Bridge Before Playing
Checking the bridge prior to playing can prevent problems such as the bridge being pulled down flat onto the top of the instrument, which could cause damage to the surface/varnish, and could move the sound post out of position.
Things to look for as part of your bridge check include:
- Checking that, when the violin has been tuned to normal string tension, the back of the bridge (facing the tailpiece) is at an exact 90-degree angle to the top surface of the violin.
- Checking that, during tuning, the back surface of the bridge stays at this 90-degree angle to the top of the instrument, and that the bridge is not pulled forward too far.
- Checking that the other surface of the bridge (the surface facing you when you play) is sloping/leaning slightly towards you i.e. less than a 90-degree angle.
- Checking that the feet of the bridge are in complete contact with the top of the violin. Well fitted bridges maximise contact and therefore allow the maximum transfer of vibration.
- Checking that the middle of the outside feet of the bridge line up with the middle of the F-holes.
- Checking that the bridge lines up centrally with the end of the neck i.e. it is not too far to the left or the right across the top of the violin.
Take It To The Experts
If you are having problems with your bridge, the best option is often to bring your instrument to professional repairers. We can adjust your existing bridge, fit a new bridge, and carry out any necessary sound post work.
Our Stoke Newington workshop is fully equipped and staffed by expert craftsmen ready to undertake a full range of repairs and restorations, both common and not so common, on violins and all stringed musical instruments. Give us a call at 020 7249 9398 contact us online.