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String Instruments

Refitting a Fallen Bridge

By July 10, 2023August 11th, 2023No Comments

Help! My Bridge Has Fallen!

close up of violin bridge and strings and tailpiece

A bridge coming loose from a string instrument is one of the scarier things facing young and up-and-coming string players. How did that happen? How can I fix it? What do you mean the bridge is only held in place by the tension of the strings? Madness!

Luckily, we here at WA Music are more than happy to assist you in refitting your fallen bridge. It is always best to have a professional string player, a teacher, or a luthier to refit a bridge. This is because they have much experience with these things. However, if you don’t have anyone of that description nearby, here’s how you can refit a fallen bridge yourself.

Safety first!

Make sure the instrument is placed on a stable surface covered by a soft cloth. This will prevent any accidental damage to the instrument while you work on it.

Inspect the bridge.

Examine the bridge to check for any damage or warping. If the bridge is cracked or significantly warped, it may need to be replaced. In such cases, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from a luthier or a string instrument repair specialist.

Align The Bridge

Position the bridge underneath the slightly loosened strings between the fingerboard and the tailpiece. More specifically, the bridge should be stood up perpendicular to the instrument’s body (or at a 90 degree angle) with the feet of the bridge in line with the notches of the f-holes. You will notice that a bridge has one higher edge and one lower edge in the curvature of the top. The high side of the bridge should correspond to the lowest string on the instrument, and the low side should correspond to the highest string. Make sure the bridge is not on ‘backwards’ when aligning the bridge on the instrument.

Check the Alignment

You can check to see if your bridge is perfectly aligned with the fingerboard by looking ‘down’ the instrument from the scroll and along the fingerboard towards the tailpiece. If the bridge sits in line with the fingerboard, you’re good to go!

Careful During Tuning

When you’re tightening up the strings and bringing the instrument back up to pitch, keep an eye on the bridge. The bridge has a tendency to ‘lean’ forward during tuning as the tension of the string increases. Be sure to adjust a leaning bridge by gently pushing back with your thumbs and forefingers. You’ll want the feet of the bridge to be flush with the instrument once the strings have been tuned.

Check With Us If Unsure!

You can always bring your instrument to WA Music Co. if you are unsure about how to refit it back to your instrument. Visit us at Shop 1/3, Morris Place Innaloo WA, or contact us at or (08) 9244 9559 to make an appointment with our luthiers and string technicians.

cello bridge and tailpiece, refitting fallen bridge
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