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How Do I Replace a Violin Bridge?

A violin bridge may be purchased at an instrument store.
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  • Written By: Amanda R. Bell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
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In order to replace a violin bridge, you will first need to purchase a new bridge that will fit your instrument. Once you have the replacement piece, insert a bridge jack in between the strings and slowly raise the jack until all of the weight is taken off the bridge. Then, remove the bridge and slide in the new one, making sure that it is sitting at a 90° angle, spaced evenly between the F holes, and facing the correct direction. Slowly lower the jack until the weight is placed back on the bridge and slide the jack out.

As each violin is made slightly differently, not all bridges will fit all instruments. In order to find a well-fitting new violin bridge, it may be best to visit your local instrument store to have your instrument measured. While adjustable bridges are available at several retailers, they are not necessarily ideal. If you cannot find a violin bridge that will fit your instrument, you may need to have one custom made.

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Slide a bridge jack between the D and A strings and turn it until it is perpendicular to the existing bridge. Move the jack until it is as close as possible to the violin bridge, keeping the screw to move the jack between the D and A strings and holding the two bridge and jack together with your fingers, if possible. Slowly begin to raise the jack by twisting the screw until the weight of the strings are resting on the jack. If you feel that there is too much pressure, gently loosen the strings to avoid snapping.

Once the jack is holding up the strings, gently slide out the existing violin bridge. Depending on the age of your instrument, this may take some maneuvering. While a violin bridge is not glued down, it can settle into the instrument. When removing the bridge, make sure to be very gentle and watch the jack to so that it does not collapse. The jack is holding up approximately 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of pressure, and a collapse could severely damage your instrument.

After the bridge is removed, slide in the new one. Most bridges are slightly sloped, with the lowest end meant to hold up the E string. Make sure the bridge is lined up with equal spacing between each F hole. If you placed the jack in line with the existing bridge, there should be little adjustment needed unless your old bridge was out of place. The new bridge should be as close to 90° as possible to the instrument.

When the violin bridge is in place and butted up against the jack, slowly lower the jack using the screw at the top. Once the strings are resting on the new bridge, gently turn the jack and slide it up through the D and A strings. Then, retune your instrument.

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