Bridge height for newbs

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Strings and Things Bridge height for newbs

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  • #85838
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    I un-caged my German violin the other day after it had been locked away untouched for many months to play a tune that I am very familiar with, and couldn’t figure out why I kept messing up with the bow hitting the strings that I wasn’t even bowing ;  though there have been times in the past when I never hit the other strings accidentally.  I thought back to 2014 when I got my El Cheapo violin and how — even though I was a fiddle neophyte back then (still am) how much easier it was for me to NOT hit the other strings. So I had a real close look at the bridge on my violin and saw just how low the strings are where they cross over the bridge.  They are the correct height off the fingerboard ;   but there is no great separation of height between the four strings.  This setup is probably ideal for playing double stops, but for a newb like me, it is a complete pain.  I don’t have immediate access to my El Cheapo violin at present ;   but I know from memory that there was a distinctive string height difference where they crossed over the bridge.  They were also a correct height off the fingerboard (not to high, and not too low).

    So now, if I want to play the German violin without hitting the other strings, I have to be mindful of not using erratic bowing : I have to make very subtle crossings when going from the E string to the A, for example — almost minute, as well as holding the violin in the exact proper position.  When I can, I would like to locate a luthier (nearest one is around 150 miles plus away) and have a new bridge installed that separates each string a higher interval than the next.

    I have heard a lot of beginners complain about constantly hitting the other strings when doing string crossings.  Some of this, I’m sure, is caused by inexperience ;  but from my own frustrations, I would suggest for them to consider their bridge height / cut as the possible culprit.

    #85839
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Astute observations, o great one. For reference, here are some standard heights for violin strings, measured from the end of the fingerboard closest to the bridge, directly up to the strings as the pass above.

    E: 3.5 mm
    A: 4.2 mm
    D: 4.8 mm
    G: 5.5 mm

    #85893
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Merci, St. Jean !

    #85898
    Steve SraderSteve Srader
    Participant

    What Dr: John said , bridge arch same as end of finger board closets to bridge strings 10mm apart center to center of strings

    E: about 1/8 inch

    A:

    D:

    G: about 3/16+inch

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