bridge adjustment?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by greendayjustin, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. I was at my local guitar shop the other day, and the guy told me that I would have to adjust my bridge if I were to put a higher guage set of strings on my bass. Is this true, or was he just trying to get me to bring my bass in to get worked on for nothing?
    Also, if I want to make my action higher, is it ok to screw the saddles higher myself (I have a Fender P bass), or to take it into a shop?
  2. Thanks for the reply...I have another question..What IS inotation?

    Thanks again
  3. Justin, setting the intonation of the bass involves adjusting the string length, so that the fretted notes are as in tune as possible across the fretboard. The first step to getting proper intonation is making sure the open string is tuned as accurately as possible. Next, play the octave at the twelfth fret of the same string. The note will probably be flat or sharp by a few cents. Using a screwdriver, adjust the bridge so that the saddles move forward or backwards. If the fretted note is flat, you will be moving the saddle towards the neck. If the fretted note is sharp, move the saddle away from the neck. After you make the adjustment, the open string will be out of tune, so be sure to re-tune it. Then check how in-tune the octave note it. Repeat the process until the octave and the open string are both in tune. Note, however, that a bass will never be in perfect tune across the whole fretboard. There will always be minor variations in certain positions. Setting the intonation as described above will minimize this effect, however.

  4. So I do that for all the strings? Do you think this is easy enough for me to do, or should I get a tech to do it? And so the heavier guage strings I use, the more my innotation will be off?

    Thanks again!!
  5. Yes, do this for each string.

    You can do it, and if it doesn't work you can take it to tech and for about 35 dollars they can do it for you, with the new strings too.

    Yes, the heavier guage string will throw the "current" intonation off.

    Here's an online tuner.

  6. If I dont get my bridge set up, will it damage my bass in any way?
  7. No it won't hurt your bridge, it just makes the bass less desirable to play when the action is off and the intonation isn't right.

    Good luck.