Foot of bridge

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Don Higdon, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Your bridge set up is as wrong as it can be, yet you say you don't want to change anything because it feels comfortable. I've heard the same argument from guys with sloppy technique.
    "Comfortable" is what you're used to. There is no reason, none, why proper setup and/or proper technique will feel uncomfortable. Quite the contrary.
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I see you're back.
    It's not obvious to me that Wes has sloppy technique, nor did I say so. Only you said so. Wes is a self-described newcomer to the instrument, with a teacher and an inquiring mind. I suspect he'll do fine.
    I addressed only the components of bridge setup that he cited. Generally speaking, the bridge should be aligned with the F-hole notches ('north-south') and centered ('east-west') with the fingerboard. There are exceptions, of course, such as when over centuries a bass loses its symmetry, in which case it's a judgement call for a competent luthier.
    I don't represent myself to be an "expert" at anything, not even reading skills.
  3. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur In Memoriam

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    It sounds like both you and the bass would profit from a trip to a qualified luthier.

    If that's not economically possible, email me off list and I'll email you my instructions for installing an adjustable bridge. The information may give you some idea of bridge placement and also how to shape the bottom of the bridge foot.

    But you really should have the bridge in the proper location, dead center and with the inside cuts of the f-holes centered on the bridge feet.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    Your history on Talkbass has not been forgotten. If you try to pick up where you left off, you won't last long. Write it down.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    No one here is blind. Back at the beginning of the year, the DB board recorded a record number of Troll postings right at the end of January, a trend which continued to dribble on over the next few months. Many of these postings were made by a single troll who went by many names. Some of these included: Bassturbator, Bass-to-pus, BassLix66, and god (who has since been eliminated and banned). The username CoNtRaBaSsO_cLaSsIcO showed up at about the same time and exhibited the same characteristics as the postings by the above trolls. In addition, these idiots took to email and PM harassment of certain members (who shall remain nameless) who mentioned the fact to me. I was not a moderator then...if I had been, I would have tried to get all of the above banned. I am a moderator now, and what I wanted you to write down is the following:

    As long as I am moderating, this side of the board will have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR TROLLS in effect. You already have two strikes against you in my book. If you revert back to your old ways, I will see to it that you get banned from this site. I will also not hesitate to delete and/or edit your posts if I deem them out of line. The buck stops here. Are you getting all of this, or do I need to slow down and pronounce everything phonetically?
  6. contrabasso_classico

    contrabasso_classico Guest

    Jan 22, 2001
    Hey Don!!!

    Excellent advice to our friend Wes. It is obvious that Wesley has "sloppy technique" because of the placement of his bridge. Seasoned players like you and I know that his lousy setup is "as wrong as can be". I have one query for you, what are the key components of "proper setup" and "proper technique". You seem to be a real expert, I can't wait to hear your opinion. Thanks.

  7. contrabasso_classico

    contrabasso_classico Guest

    Jan 22, 2001
    Chris and Don,

    Thanks for the warm welcome back to talkbass!! I apologize for complimenting Don on his expertise in this area, he seemed to take it as an insult. Looking forward to further bass oriented discussion.



    BTW chris, what am i supposed to write down??
  8. Kevinlee

    Kevinlee Guest

    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    I was told by the guy who works on my bass to make sure the bridge is between the f hole notches for a couple resons.

    1. That is how your intonation is set up. Moving it back is going to lengthen the spread between notes.

    2. You have to be careful of having the bridge foot directly on top of your sound post, for this could cause the soundpost to go through the back of your bass from to much pressure.

    He also told me if it is to far away from the bridge foot (as in having your bridge closer to the fingerboard) the bridge foot could go through the top from lack of support. These may or may not be likely to happen........but I sure wouldnt want to find out on my bass!

  9. Wesley

    Wesley Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    The foot of my bridge is not making full contact with the top of my bass. On the Low E side, the outer edge of the foot is raised about enough to tuck a folded piece of paper (i.e. twice the thickness of an average peice of paper) under it. My bass teacher just suggested that I stick something underneath it (like a piece of paper or cardboard) so that the vibrations from the bridge could be transfered to the top of my bass. I have heard though that bridge sitting on the top like this could damage the surface of the top of my bass. By not having this looked at by a luthier, am I risking damage to my bass? I should mention that my Realist pickup is underneath this side of the bridge - so for now I figure the pickup is protecting the top of the wood - on the other hand, might the pickup be responsible for the unbalanced foot of my bridge?
    Another possible cause for this might be the position of my bridge. I have it positioned further down towards my endpin then usual (it doesn't line up with the notches of my F holes) and also shifted a little off center so it is closer to the f hole on the bass side then on the treble side (this way my right hand doesn't hit the corner on my fingerboard betwen the E and A string when I pluck). Because the curves of the bass top are steeper in this position - this might explain my lopsided bridge foot. I don't feel like changing anything however because right now my bass feels very comfortable. Unfortunately I know very little about basses and their setup - can anyone help me?

    thanks Wes
  10. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Memo to self:

    Never, I repeat NEVER tick-off Mr. Fitzgerald!!!!