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What do I do if the bridge becomes bent or falls off?

The bridge should be individually cut and fitted to your instrument so that the feet fit the top exactly and the strings are at the correct height above the fingerboard. The correct positioning and fit of the bridge is very important to give the optimum sound and ease of playing for your instrument. If the strings are too low there will be a tendency to buzz, and if they are too high, this can cause tenseness in the left hand and possible damage to the muscles.

Over time the bridge will have a tendency to pull forward towards the fingerboard as the strings are tuned. When this happens the bridge will warp and unless it is fixed can eventually break. Examine the bridge from the side. If the bridge has pulled forward, very gently pull it back with the thumb and forefinger at the top and bottom of both sides of the bridge. When viewing the bridge from the side, the back (facing the tailpiece) should be perpendicular to the top. The front of the bridge will have a slight slope.

A warped bridge can be fixed. It must be done by an expert though. Over time if it has been flattened many times it just might be necessary to have another one fitted. In straightening a bridge it is heated and clamped until it returns to its original shape.

If the bridge falls, loosen the strings and place a soft cloth under the tailpiece to protect the top from the tuners. Pop the bridge back in place, putting its lower side under the string with the highest pitch. The center of the bridge foot should be aligned with the center of the inner f hole notch. The strings should be centered over the fingerboard in regard to the left-to-right orientation. As you bring the strings up to pitch, take care that the top of the bridge is not pulling forward. If it is, gently pull the top of the bridge back, making sure that it stands perpendicular to the top of the instrument. A well maintained bridge should last many years and it shouldn’t be necessary to replace it as long as it fits correctly. If it is necessary to replace the bridge it must be done by an expert.