Noticing the top curve of my bridge is somewhat wrong.

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Strings and Things Noticing the top curve of my bridge is somewhat wrong.

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    I’m going to change the arc of the bridge to conform more to the arc of the fingerboard. Granted, the E string side dips more, but that’s what folks do. However, I was a bit dismayed to see that the bridge is somewhat too flat between the G, D and A thus not giving me as much access to the D string.

    It was okay when I was starting out on fiddle because I had a really light, tentative pressure on the bow and it was generally hitting only the one string that way. But now that I’m taking on double stops, using expression and working my way higher it’s a bear trying to not touch the adjacent strings no matter how slowly I go. And I’m hoping that’s the core issue. My control is otherwise pretty decent on the other strings.

    I’m a bit surprised because the guy I got it from was a serious pro who had it restored, and I would have thought he would have caught it being a problem. But I think he was just flipping it for a little side cash, as some musicians do, and I can’t really complain because I should know how to do this. Overall it’s a nice instrument with a very pleasant tone.

    Anyway, the curve seems like a problem when compared with the curves shown on YouTube where luthiers are explaining bridges and such. So I’m going to jump in with a rasp curving it a little more to separate it a bit. Worst thing that can happen is I screw it up and get a little experience and buy another bridge.

    Any hints of what to NOT do?  I figure it’s merely adjusting the curve slightly.



    If you mess it up and have to buy a new bridge, it’s gotta be cut for the fiddle and the fiddler…so…I’d be careful.  I mean, some people are brave that way and can look at youtube and figure stuff like that out…I’m way too scared to do that.  My husband has done it for me and he did a really good job…so…maybe if you just feel comfortable with delicate wood carving and such…but all I can say is good luck.  For one thing…you haven’t been playing that long, right?  So you might not really know how you like your bridge yet…might be better to give it more time and see if you adjust to how your bridge is cut.  Not trying to discourage you from trying though…so…I’ll just say good luck and let us know what happens!

    Or maybe get in touch with the guy who you bought it from and ask his thoughts on the bridge.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by cricketcricket.

    If you live anywhere near St Louis, Chris Talley at the Bluegrass Shack , in New Athens, Illinois, can work wonders for

    bridges.  I bought a Gerald Stockdale fiddle five years ago that had a marvelous sound, but was

    just hard to play.  I took it to two noted Luthiers in the area, who told me there was nothing wrong with it.  I started several times to sell that fiddle, but each time something told me to hold on to it.  I was taking another fiddle to Chris to have the pegs dressed, when something told me to take along the stockdale and have her look at it.   She played it and told me the bridge needed to be changed…it wasn’t right.   She fit a new Aubert bridge while I was there.  Anyhow, to make a long story short, that fiddle is now what I have been looking for, for several years… plays like a dream.  And it definitely ain’t for sale!  I highly recommend Chris to anyone who needs a stringed intrument worked on.  You can find here website on line.



    Thanks Cricket and Jimnew. I’m in the Los Angeles area so that particular luthier is out.

    The part that confuses me is that while I was playing all the time I seemed to be able to hit the D string pretty clean as it’s shaped right now. Before I was just happy to get a clean light single note at a time sound. Of course as a fiddler I could play nothing but double stops and call it “my signature style”.

    Well now, I’m going to sit on it a couple days and decide whether I’m going to risk it. Plus it will give me time to nervously bite my nails down to the quick which has to be good for the fingerboard. 😀

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatargoneworkin.

    Seems to me I remember back when I was newer with the fiddle that I would have times when I couldn’t hit one string and other times when I couldn’t hit two strings…for whatever that little tidbit of confusion is worth.  Anyway, I hope you can figure out what’s going on with it soon.

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