The bridge of a guitar mainly helps to support the strings of the guitar and also in transmitting sound vibration. Stringed instruments work on the theory of producing a low sound and then transmitting them to convert into large ones. Bridges are the medium through which this transmission happens and that’s why the bridge is often glued to the top of the guitar.
What are the benefits of an acoustic guitar bridge?
Bridge mainly controls or maintains the positions of the guitar strings which ultimately bring out perfect tunes. Let’s learn about more benefits of an acoustic guitar bridge.
- Supports the strings to remain in a perfect position and thus maintains the gap between the strings and fretboard which is also known as action.
- Helps to align the strings accurately on the sound holes and over the pick-ups. In this way, the strings remain in the correct position on the guitar body.
- The bridge makes your guitar play session more comfortable as the structure is built to provide comfort.
- As a bridge keeps the strings in position without any obstruction in between, the sound vibration can flow freely. Therefore a bridge helps to amplify the sound of a guitar.
What is an acoustic guitar bridge made of?
The bridge of an acoustic guitar can be made of different materials but metal is not used for making acoustic guitar bridges. Let’s find out what is usually used to make an acoustic guitar bridge.
- Most bridges of acoustic guitars are made of wood but there are particular types of wood that are needed for making bridges.
- Hard dense woods are the best material for making any bridge because they are perfect for transferring enough energy to the soundboard.
- If softer and flexible woods are used in construction there is a chance of losing too much energy while transmitting the vibrations.
- Among the hard dense woods, rosewood and ebony are most commonly used for making acoustic guitar bridges.
- Sometimes a bridge is made of the same wood that has been used in making the sides and back of the guitar.
- Nowadays artificial materials are used in making acoustic guitar bridges as well.
Acoustic guitar bridge models
As we are mainly discussing acoustic guitar bridge types so here in this section, you will come to know about the acoustic guitar bridge models or types.
- Fixed and floating are the two main types of models of acoustic guitar bridges.
- Fixed bridges are fixed directly to the case with the strings with glue which are attached to pegs and pegs resemble the wooden pins.
- Floating bridges are not glued to the strings rather the strings are anchored to a fixed tailpiece in the floating bridge.
- Apart from these two models, another bridge model is also available which is the grooved fixed bridge. In this type of bridge, the strings horizontally pass the bridge and are fixed by some little balls in reliable spaces.
How do you make a bridge for an acoustic guitar?
If you want to make a bridge for your acoustic guitar on your own then you need to have some idea about the parts of a bridge and the materials you will need. Below here, I am going to give you a guide on these.
- A steel-string acoustic guitar bridge consists of a bridge, bridge saddle, and bridge pins.
- The bridge is usually made of wood and if you want a durable bridge then obviously choose hard dense wood like rosewood.
- Bridge saddle is the most important part because it transfers the vibration. Bridge saddle is mainly made of plastics so for saddle you can choose normal plastic or flash plastic according to your budget. Bones are also used in high-quality guitar bridge saddles.
- Lastly, bridge pins that don’t have any function with the vibration or tunes. Bridge pins are made of the same material as the bridge saddle. So choose the same material for saddle and pins according to your budget.
- After selecting the materials you need to measure and shape all the things and then attach three parts to give it the final shape of the bridge.
Does the guitar bridge affect the sound?
You have already come to know the functions and benefits of a guitar bridge. Now time to see whether the guitar bridge affects the sound or not.
- Bridges transfer vibration to the soundboard so it puts an effect on the sound of the guitar.
- Different types of materials used in making different parts of a bridge create a different resonance which can ultimately affect the sound.
- All the parts of a bridge should be attached accurately and also the bridge should support the strings in an accurate position. If anything inaccurate happens the sound will be greatly affected.
- So the bridge can affect the guitar sound if not attached appropriately or maintained well.
Guitar bridge maintenance
Maintaining the guitar bridge well is important for enjoying an unaltered sound from your guitar for a long time. Here’s how you should maintain your guitar bridge:
- Use a gentle or soft and dry brush or cloth for cleaning any dust or dirt from your guitar bridge. Try to continue this process whenever you touch your guitar.
- Whenever you change the strings of your guitar you can use a soft cloth and liquid detergent to give a deep wash to your guitar bridge.
- If the bridge gets damaged then immediately change it or you can make one by yourself. But as the bridge of a guitar follows some harmonic rules it is better to change the bridge from a professional.
- Often polish or paint the wood that is used to make the bridge.
For becoming a guitarist it is very important to know about all the parts of a guitar in detail. The bridge is one of the most important parts of an acoustic guitar and so you should have a vast knowledge of acoustic guitar bridge types. Hopefully, this article will help you to gather all the preferable knowledge about acoustic guitar bridge types and related factors